Whether February 2009 finds you humming along in a nonprofit role you love, struggling to find new ideas to keep your organization afloat, or temporarily between jobs – there are great opportunities for learning, networking, or expanding your thinking on the horizon.
March 17 – Indiana Nonprofit Town Meeting
Focus – last year’s inaugural event attracted more than 300 participants who explored issues about the role of nonprofits in our communities and contributed to a national discussion about what the sector can and should be doing.
Speakers – Nationally recognized keynotes
Format – Keynote speakers with lots of breakouts and group discussions
April 30 – Think Now, Think Next - Securing the Future 2009 - Cincinnati
Focus – This event has been co-hosted by Leadership Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce for the past 8 years with typical attendance in the 300+ range. This year’s format brings nationally known speakers on future trends and nonprofit management plus a little populous appeal (Exec Dir of the Oprah Foundation).
Format – extended time with each speaker, discussion to apply their ideas to your organization.
I don’t know about you, but I have had about enough of the language of gloom and doom. I restated the title of this article in a more positive tone, you’ll see the real title on the link. The author does a very nice and succinct job of sharing how we can better relate to our supporters under any circumstances. It’s a short read and gets you thinking. Share your thoughts.
Thank you to Marta Fetterman at Indiana Youth Institute for sharing Bill Gates first annual letter since he moved from Chairman of Microsoft to the Gates Foundation. He shares some really interesting insights about the intensity of business and nonprofit work, the similarities he sees and the differences. He also gives some insight into foundation projects that have not achieved the results they had hoped and how the foundation determines where to invest next. Read the full article and share your thoughts.
My find this week was the transcript from a presentation in New York City last fall that challenged arts organizations to look at their work and their audiences in new ways. I am not often one to read a 13 page article but it kept me engaged and got me thinking. I also saw many ideas and principles that would apply beyond the arts world. My thanks to Heather Hallenberg of the Fine Arts Fund in Cincinnati for sharing it with me. The Fine Arts Fund raises $12 million a year from a workplace giving campaign and provides capacity building for local arts organizations. They are preparing to kick off their 2009 campaign (see the video).
Excerpt from “Surviving the Culture Change” – Diane E. Ragsdale
“Last summer, on the recommendation of Ruby Lerner at Creative Capital, I read the book Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. Gonzales spent years trying to understand why some people survive harrowing circumstances-like an avalanche-and others do not.
I was particularly interested in a chapter in which he examines how people get lost. Gonzales explains that the way we navigate in life is by forming and following mental maps: literally pictures in our minds of particular areas or routes. Gonzales says you get lost when you "fail to update your mental map and then persist in following it even when the landscape," (the real world), "tries to tell you it's wrong."' Edward Cornell, one of the scientists Gonzales showcases in the book, gives an example of this. He says, "Whenever you start looking at your map and saying something like, 'Well, that lake could have dried up,' or 'That boulder could have moved,' a red light should go off. You're trying to make reality conform to your expectations rather than seeing what's there. In the sport of orienteering, they call this 'bending the map.’
Gonzales describes five stages that a person goes through when lost, which correlate with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of dying: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Gonzales says that the final stage-acceptance-is the one that separates those that survive from those that don't. Here's how he describes it, "... as you run out of options and energy, you must become resigned to your plight. Like it or not, you must make a new mental map of where you are." Not where you wish you were.”