Best Practice

Mott showcases community foundations in advance of the field’s centennial celebrations

Publication date: 
04/2013

In celebration of the community foundation field's 100th anniversary in 2014, the Mott Foundation is continuing its series of articles that examine various facets of the field's growth and development. The articles report on what is occurring in Mott's major geographic focus areas — Central/Eastern Europe and Russia, South Africa and the U.S. — and provide information about how the field is expanding globally.

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Educating English Language Learners

Publication date: 
04/2013

The education of English language learners (ELLs) is a matter of increasing urgency for the philanthropic community concerned about education and youth. English language learners are students who enter school without the English language skills needed to participate in and access the academic curriculum.

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Data at a Foundation’s Fingertips: Creating and Building Dashboards

Publication date: 
03/2013

Much like the gauges on your car’s dashboard, which keep critical information within immediate reach, dashboards present an organization with data related to its operation, performance, well-being, and overall health. Generally speaking, dashboards gather, organize, and present information in a friendly way to help organizations more effectively measure, monitor, and manage the way they work.

Listening to Those Who Matter Most

Publication date: 
03/2013

To become more effective, nonprofits and foundations are turning to various sources for advice. Some look to experts who can share knowledge, research, and experience about what works—and what does not. Others turn to crowdsourcing to generate ideas and even guide decisions about future directions or funding.

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Does Your Organization Have Social Media Guidelines for All Staff?

Publication date: 
03/2013

One of the basic tenets of my first book with Alison Fine, “The Networked Nonprofit,” was that everyone in the organization participates in social media from the executive director on down – not just the “social media person.” Having staff use social media as part of their work can extend the organization’s network and increase the organizational comfort level through regular practice.

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Seven Reasons Nonprofit Mergers Make Sense

Publication date: 
03/2013

Whenever we note (e.g., in Merging Wisely) that mergers are not necessarily a path to cost savings (at least not to immediate cost savings), we invariably get a few frustrated responses demanding, “Well then what’s the point?” Given the high-profile nature of mergers in the for-profit sector, where financial motivations are paramount and cost savings an immediate and important goal, this question is understandable. Mergers in the nonprofit sector are different, however. Nonprofits are mission-driven, and the ultimate goal of a merger – like any other strategy – is an enhanced ability to advance the mission.

3 Business Reasons for Employee Engagement Programs

Publication date: 
03/2013

Employee engagement is multi-dimensional and in addition to competitive benefits, mentorship, state of the art facilities etc., cause programs are hallmarks of the best workplaces. Here are the data points you need to make the business case for creating a holistic employee engagement strategy that includes community impact.

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Building Community Capacity for Participation in Evaluation

Publication date: 
02/2013

Grantmakers can be more effective in addressing complex community challenges when they have strong partnerships with community organizations and members. Authentic, firsthand understanding of and engagement with grantees, community members and other partners enables grantmakers to make informed decisions, secure community buy-in and build a strong foundation for sustainable solutions to community problems. This engagement and understanding doesn’t start and end with program implementation; it extends also to the learning and evaluation process.

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