News and Insights

Introducing DIY Strategy Improvements: 10 Activities for Community Foundations

11/16/2015

Jan Jaffe and Mark Sedway, The Giving Practice | How do you feel about strategy? Most philanthropy practitioners we work with feel ambivalent at best. For most of us, signing up to do strategic planning is about as energizing as arranging to get your teeth cleaned. It has the oppressive quality of someone doing something to you rather than being in charge of your own health, especially when you bring evidence of poor self-care to the appointment. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In the same way that flossing and brushing your teeth will make that appointment less painful, we’ve seen how foundations that treat their strategy not as a discrete planning process but as ongoing practice, and use bite-size activities to make the experience manageable and fun, come out the other side with their strategy gleaming and in good health. more »

Before Moving Forward, We Need to Retreat

09/29/2015

Nicole Neroulias Gupte, Communications Manager | Our staff retreat last month at Islandwood on Bainbridge Island required only a carry-on bag, but mentally, I'm still unpacking it all. At other places I've worked — mainly newspapers and small nonprofits — conventional wisdom was that we had neither the time, budget nor need for an annual retreat. Now that I've finally experienced one, I'm wholeheartedly convinced that getting out of the office and out of our comfort zones, even for just a day and a half once a year, gives us the renewed energy and refreshed perspective we need to move forward individually and as a team. To inspire other organizations to design or rethink your staff retreats, here are some notes. more »