Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mainstreaming Networks in Philanthropy

While the idea of networks is not new to philanthropy, grantmakers are paying increased attention to the concept. In part, this is thanks to the advent of new technologies that have revolutionized the way we engage with one another. While networking still takes time and resources, connecting across organizational, geographic and time boundaries is easier, cheaper and faster than ever before. But this newfound interest in networks is not driven by technology alone. Rather, it reflects the sector’s need to increase impact. Grantmakers and nonprofits recognize that often even the most resourceful organizations are dwarfed by the issues they face. Sharing knowledge, synchronizing messages, coordinating efforts and pooling resources can help organizations reach their goals and achieve lasting, system-wide results.

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO), a national membership organization for foundations focused on nonprofit effectiveness featured networking building in this month’s update. As networking as evolved in to a verb over the past years, it has often been associated with a high level of activity but a low level of order. A new study from the Interaction Institute offers some strategies to make the development of networks more valuable and more efficient.

Read the executive summary.

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