Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Continuing Philanthropy Club meeting in on-line discussions

Today's Philanthropy Club of Chicago meeting featured Kate Cangemi, Program Officer, Community Health Initiatives, BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois. Yesterday I wrote about the Making Learning Connected MOOC #CLMOOC that started a couple of weeks ago.

As I listened to Katie speak about the new Health Care Law (find info at and about how Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois reviews more than 250 grant applications each cycle I made a list of topics that I felt could be discussion points in MOOCs connecting the non profit sector, the philanthropy sector, community members and policy makers. Here's my list.

Non-profits connecting and discussing ways they are sharing information about the new Health Care Law with clients and with staff. I'd like to see this as a workshop at the November 4 Tutor/Mentor Conference in Chicago. However, it could also be a topic in a MOOC sponsored by BSBC or any other company or foundation.

How are technology centers helping clients, staff understand and navigate the new Health Care Law. Chicago has a variety of community technology centers. Many youth serving programs have tech centers. An on-line discussion could share ideas for how different centers are using their technology to educate clients and staff on the new law.

Staff turnover - how does this affect the knowledge base and organizational effectiveness of non profit organizations? What organizations have high turnover rates. How do funder decisions contribute to this? What can we do collectively to overcome this that we can't do working alone?

Changes in Grant Making - Impact on NPOs.

How do small non profits show impact? People are not widgets? Change takes place over many years. Impact in the neighborhood or family can negate even the best efforts of NPOs?

Donor focus on specific neighborhoods. What if you're not in that neighborhood?
What resources are available to help non profits identify donors who want to support work in the neighborhood where they operate? How might non profits in the same zip code or community area work together to enlist more corporate and foundation support of programs in their area?

Grant Proposal is the "Golden Ticket". We don't have time to look at web sites?
How can we educate donors to make giving decisions based on what we show on our web site and how they understand our work? Can we? Is it possible to generate on-going funding based on a review of information on a web site vs what gets presented in a narrowly constructed grant proposal? Do we reward great grant writers or great programs?

Let's talk about collective impact. How do we make sure everyone in the neighborhood has 100% of needed operating funds so they can do their part of a collective effort?

Let's talk about overhead and what it takes to build and sustain great organizations.

How do we make sure we have great organizations in every neighborhood, instead of a few great organizations in a few neighborhoods?

How do overworked managers, staff, foundation leaders, etc. find time to read this and participate in MOOCs and on-line networking and learning forums? Is it possible? What are the trade-offs?

If you attended today's meeting, or have attended similar meetings where you've wanted to have a deeper conversation with donors and peers, but can't find ways to do this in face-to-face meetings, please add to this list and look for people willing to host and facilitate MOOCs where this is the focus.


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Tutor Mentor Connections said...

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