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Back to Out-of-School

NPO Conversation at GMA: Wednesday, September 10

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We invite leaders of nonprofit organizations to join us each quarter for a brown-bag lunch discussion about issues, ideas, and concerns in the nonprofit and philanthropic community. The meetings are a time for us to “talk shop” and move beyond the usual conversation between foundations and nonprofit organizations.

Each session focuses on a particular topic, and reservations are required. Guests will learn a little about GMA and a lot about their peers’ perspectives on important issues.

Topic for Conversation: Back to Out-of School

School-age children spend the majority of their time outside the classroom. For years, the nonprofit sector has helped to fill the gap, providing quality after-school and summer experiences. In today’s competitive and shifting global economy, we look to out-of-school time programs to narrow the academic achievement gap, through after-school enrichment and college access programs, and summer vacation programming designed to reduce learning loss.

Have we gone too far? Some would argue that the best learning takes place in less conventional places, in the freedom of unstructured and unusual activity. Seemingly unproductive activities have the capacity to transform individuals and the communities they share. Continue Reading »

Follow your site visit with Thanks and more…


On the heels of a recent site visit, the group of trustees I was with wrote a check to the school. To be clear, our visit was not made in conjunction with a grant application. Their spontaneity impressed me and started me thinking.
Is it necessary to leave a tip for good learning?

A trustees’ learning tour…an educational site visit…a funders’ day out…a local nonprofit visit as an option at a national conference.  Such hands-on learning adventures have become commonplace in our field, and with good reason.  To better understand what nonprofits do, what their leadership accomplishes, and what may be possible with additional resources, there is no substitute for seeing with our own eyes. Site visits can even re-connect us
with our own mission.

Continue Reading »

Online dating? Relationships matter to nonprofits too


In a conversation with seven nonprofit leaders this week, we learned about how some nonprofits are working to overcome the challenges of relative obscurity to deliver messages that could transform communities and maybe the world. They are putting relationships first, and no one ever mentioned LinkedIn or Facebook (though match. com did come up once).

Nonprofits today are busy – raising funds, building awareness, forging coalitions, measuring change and delivering services too. Success often depends on skilled communication, especially when the nonprofit name is not widely known. Other people, more than technology, can help the most. Here are three basic ways these nonprofit leaders purposefully build relationships that matter:

Continue Reading »

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