June Sugiyama, director of Vodafone Americas Foundation, discusses the Foundation's Wireless Innovation Project with Janet Camarena, director of Foundation Center-San Francisco.
Vodafone Americas Foundation's Wireless Innovation Project is a competition to promote innovation and increase implementation of wireless related technology for a better world. Total awards up to $600,000 will be available to support projects of exceptional promise.
More information on the Wireless Innovation Project here.
Try this exercise: Gather your board members around a white board or flip chart and ask the following question:
"If we could design the perfect board for our organization, what skills and qualities would we look for in prospective board members?"
Skills would include specific expertise to help the board run effectively: program knowledge, marketing, fundraising, consensus-building, and appropriate professional wisdom (for example, accounting, community organizing, investment, or legal knowledge).
Qualities would cover more intangible – but no less important – factors such as personal experience as an agency client, sense of humor, team player, good listener, willingness to attend meetings, risk-taker, experience on other boards, and diversity in terms of race, social class, gender, age, geography, and sexual orientation.
Perhaps the most important criterion is passion for and commitment to the nonprofit’s mission.
Brainstorm this list with the full board. Think as broadly as possible. With a bit of effort, most groups can generate 25 to 30 characteristics they would love to incorporate into their "best board."
Having created this list, it’s natural to ask, “How does our current board compare to this idealized one? What are we doing well? Where do we need help?” Or, you might even ask, “How do we recruit a different mix of board members to fill the gaps we’ve identified?”
If you’re ready to continue to the next stage of this exercise, review the list together and assign a collective grade for each item in order to prioritize.
You can also use this exercise as a tool for self-evaluation. Ask each board member to rate himself or herself against the criteria on the list, using the same scoring system. This exercise helps leaders to think more creatively and comprehensively about what they bring (or don’t bring) to the board, and it provides an opportunity to help improve or remove less-than-effective trustees.
Looking for more details on #howtechgives? As Mashable reports from The Chronicle of Philanthropy's 15th annual "Philanthropy 50" list, donors from the tech world accounted for nearly half of the $9.6 billion donated in 2014, and 6 of the 10 largest donors have a background in technology (click infographic to enlarge):
Stay tuned for more updates from our #howtechgives blog series. View previous posts from the series on charitable giving by tech companies here and here.
This content is from The James Irvine Foundation blog.
For nearly a decade, the Foundation’s Leadership Awards have recognized and supported California leaders advancing solutions to critical issues facing our state. I encourage you to learn more about the extraordinary contributions of previous recipients here on our website.
Here’s the real story.
Each of these unique leaders was nominated for the award—whether by a colleague, beneficiary, or close observer of their work. With the nominations period now open for the 2016 Leadership Awards, you have an opportunity to help us recognize next year’s innovative and effective leaders.
In just three simple steps, you can nominate an individual or pair to receive a 2016 Leadership Award:
Please provide a few brief details about the nominee and nominator.
Please prepare a brief narrative that describes the nominee’s project and addresses six selection criteria.
Please complete your nomination by April 21, 2015, 11:59pm PDT.
Like nonprofits everywhere, Northern California nonprofit agencies need the information contained in a large and robust compensation and benefits survey. Unfortunately, national surveys are of little use, because they do not take local differences into account.
58% of the 2014 Fair Pay for Northern California Nonprofits survey's participants see hiring challenges in the year ahead, as economic conditions continue to improve. They foresee increased competition from their colleagues and businesses to attract and retain the "best and brightest" employees. More than they have in recent years, they'll need the wealth of information produced by the 2015 survey to compete effectively on this new playing field, including invaluable information about compensation, base pay, employee benefits, salary increases, personnel policies, as well as information about how their peers are dealing with the recession and data that larger nonprofits can use to justify to the IRS the compensation they pay their executive employees.
Northern California nonprofits will also need help in combating the related challenge of high employee turnover. In 2014, the Northern California survey reported a 17% turnover rate for full-time employees and 20% for part-time employees, up slightly from 14% and 19% respectively, in 2013. The wasted expenses for job recruitment and training caused by employee turnover reduce the amount of dollars a nonprofit can spend on much-needed direct services. High-quality data about compensation and benefits allow Northern California nonprofits to make decisions that can limit these expenses.
How This Survey Helps Northern California Nonprofits
The "best survey of its kind" helps nonprofits in Northern California
Set fair salaries and benefits to attract and retain the "best and brightest" employees
Evaluate industry standards for compensation for a range of positions
Budget and plan for the cost of adding new staff members
Analyze your own jobs and compensation
Stand up to the scrutiny of an increasingly skeptical public
Compare their salaries and benefits with others in their community, not with organizations totally out of their local economic market.
This post originally appeared on Transparency Talk, the Glasspockets blog. Janet Camarena is the director of Foundation Center's San Francisco office and leads the Center's Glasspockets effort.
Every year around this time our attention here at Glasspockets shifts to a super-scale analysis of goals, touchdowns, wagers, and keeping the ball moving down the field. That’s right—it’s time for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Annual Letter! The Super Bowl metaphor is an apt one, as this letter makes transparent the thinking and strategies behind the world’s largest philanthropy, so the stakes are high as the letter, in a very visible way, outlines the foundation’s playbook, what it’s tackling, and progress toward its ultimate goals. And the letter comes from the donors themselves, which contributes to breaking down barriers between its global stakeholders and the people behind the philanthropic institution.
In past letters, one of the things I have particularly appreciated was the Gates’ reflections on lessons learned, which often included both successes and missteps. In many ways, this letter is a departure from that model as instead of using the letter as an opportunity to make the recent past transparent, the letter instead uses the experience and lessons the foundation has been learning to open our eyes to the possible future of the developing world.
It’s a risk to try and see into the future, so it’s fitting that the letter is titled Our Big Bet for the Future, and outlines how they are “doubling down” on the wager that they took when they started the foundation 15 years ago and, based on the progress made so far, making ambitious goals for what is possible 15 years from now. The “Big Bet” specifically is that “the lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history. And their lives will improve more than anyone else's.” And the specific outcomes they predict will result are:
Child deaths will go down, and more diseases will be wiped out.
Africa will be able to feed itself.
Mobile banking will help the poor transform their lives.
Better software will revolutionize learning.
This is a reminder that when donors are transparent it helps them influence others and serves to create a movement for change.
The letter also departs from previous ones by acting as a call to action for others to get involved. This is a reminder that when donors are transparent it helps them influence others and serves to create a movement for change. In fact, the Gates’ letter concludes with directing readers to join the Global Citizen initiative, which offers people the chance to take action to end injustice and inequality in the world.
“Becoming a global citizen doesn’t mean you have to dedicate your life to helping the poor. It does mean you follow an issue of global importance…You take a few minutes once in a while to learn about the lives of people who are worse off than you are…You’re willing to act on your compassion, whether it’s raising awareness, volunteering your time, or giving a little money.”
Philanthropy is a team sport, and this year’s letter make it clear that the problems and solutions they are working toward are larger than any foundation alone can tackle. But by making transparent a future in which the end to extreme poverty is within our reach, they are contributing to building a team and a final score for which we all can root.