Get Networked, Foundations, Says Allison Fine

A full house packed the breakout session with Allison Fine at FPN’s Statewide Summit on Philanthropy to learn more about networked foundations and the cultures that make them possible.

In our networks today, we have to cultivate free agents – people who do not belong to nonprofits or our foundations, but who speak and influence others on multiple networks.

“On land” – meeting in person – is not irrelevant, but social media added to the mix makes your networks visible, actionable and much bigger much more quickly.

Social media is inexpensive, easy to use, two-way and scalable.

The costs? The loss of privacy. They own your data on Facebook. And it all requires some elbow grease to make it work.

Our default setting as institutions is a tendency to be implementers as staff, instead of engaging other people to work on our behalf as ambassadors – your donors, your grantseekers, your board members. But when the walls are down, we are developing answers with the world. Social media only works when it’s authentic and real. Continue reading

Inspiration From a Brave Generation

The first night of Florida Philanthropic Network’s 2012 Statewide Summit on Philanthropy featured something new at the Summit: A Dinner & A Movie event, sponsored by Wells Fargo. We screened the Emmy-winning American Experience PBS documentary Freedom Riders. After the movie we had a discussion with Dr. Ray Arsenault of the University of South Florida-St. Petersburg, whose book was the basis for the movie, and former Freedom Riders David and Winonah Myers.

The documentary itself was moving, disturbing, intriguing and inspiring – it’s easy to see why it won three Emmys last year. It shared details I never knew about six months in 1961 when more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. After facing brutal beatings, extended jail time in sometimes harsh conditions, burned buses and life-threatening showdowns with angry mobs, these brave young men and women ultimately succeeded in removing segregated sections on all interstate buses and trains and all bus and train stations and facilities. Continue reading

Advancing Philanthropy in the New Social Economy

The Florida Philanthropic Network’s 2012 Statewide Summit on Philanthropy is off to a fabulous start – inspiration, innovation and fresh approaches from some of the country’s leading philanthropic thinkers.

Perla Ni is the founder and president of Great Nonprofits. Her walk through the new social economy explained how new tools like social media, new structures and financial instruments, and new approaches are deploying innovations for public good.

Walls are coming down in every sector, as the information is flowing more freely. For example, farmers can follow others on Twitter to know exactly what’s going on over acres of land. At John Hopkins University, scientists studied 1.5 million health-related tweets to understand big misconceptions about flu treatments. And even the DMV in California is using Twitter for customer service and monitoring. Continue reading