Online Community Building: Gardening vs Landscaping
Amy Sample Ward
My current job title includes the term "Community Builder" and I get asked nearly every day just what that means. How do you build community? Where is the community you want to build? How can I be a community builder online? Tips, secrets, ideas? I want to take a break from all the hard work building community to share some of what I believe is the core of successful community building (on or offline).
Open Source Altruism
In today's inter-connected world some of the most innovative models for social innovation will become those that can modularize, "crowdsource," and aggregate small tasks. Philanthropy was once one-to-many in direction and amplitude, but today facilitated means of communication and synthesis online are enabling many-to-many philanthropic models to become widespread and increasingly powerful.
Giving Sector Should Invest in Social Media
The giving sector, especially in the face of the continuing economic crisis, needs to retool its model for charitable giving and fundraising. Nonprofits, for example, should start looking at building social media into their overall fundraising and communication strategies. Often reluctant to move beyond traditional strategies, whether or not those actually produce positive results, nonprofits should look at social media tools that are changing the way people communicate, connect and spur one another to action.
High-Performance vs. High-Impact Nonprofits
Recently I was part of a conversation about how to define a high-performance nonprofit. One issue that came up was whether we were talking about "high-performance" or "high-impact." Now bear with me: this isn't semantics; it is critically important. A high-performance nonprofit is a very well-run organization. It has outstanding leadership, clear goals, an ethic of monitoring its activity to be sure its programs are effective, and it is financially healthy. A high-impact nonprofit is one whose efforts have been proven to cause sustainable, positive change.
The Innovation Imperative
I set out to write about President Obama's forward-thinking decision to create an Office of Social Innovation to unleash new approaches to solving problems that have resisted traditional approaches. Even though the office and a related social innovation fund are still in their early planning stages and not even officially been announced, it is already clear to me that they represent a significant opportunity.