Connected Giving | June 2018 edition

Risk leadership, peer-to-peer giving models and impact investing

This month’s industry news summary offers essential analysis of risk-leadership – what it means and why it’s important, a challenge to impact investing funds, innovative peer-to-peer fundraising models, the importance of not-for-profit professional development, acquisition of high-level donors and impressive statistics on innovation in the not-for-profit sector.

Jump to any one of the edition’s articles by clicking the links below:

Risk leadership: a necessary embrace for not-for-profit leaders

Generally, when we talk about risk management for not-for-profits, there is a note of panic in the conversation, writes sector veteran Rob Meiksins. Moving from risk management to risk leadership is a hot-trend, even if not enough time is often taken to discuss what that means. It makes sense that we need not always live in fear of risk: the question is how to be intentional about which risks to take on and how to avoid ones that could be detrimental to the organisation’s survival. Read the full article (5 mins).

Why impact investing funds need to invest in creativity

With an unmistakable need for more creative solutions to global problems, we should be looking to creatives – artists, designers, innovators, and storytellers – now more than ever. Funded competitions are emerging all over the world to tackle problems from Alzheimer’s disease and air quality, but there’s a voice missing from these teams and conversations, says Laura Callanan, founder of Upstart Co-Lab, a fiscally sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy AdvisorsRead the article (4 mins).

Three innovative peer-to-peer fundraising models for not-for-profits

With the growth of online and mobile tools, peer-to-peer fundraising is now much more accessible, even to smaller, locally-focused not-for-profits. But ease of access doesn’t equate to ease of outcome. In fact, greater accessibility means the competitive pool is much larger, demanding creativity, dynamism and risk-taking from fundraisers. Most evident in the three successful examples highlighted by Forbes contributor David Hessekiel are an effective alignment of donor community characteristics and interests with the strengths of an organisation and the appropriateness of technology deployed.  Hessekiel also offers this free resource on building an innovative peer-to-peer program. Read the full article (7 mins)

Australian Executor Trustees: Learning for impact

Over the next 20 years, the not-for-profit sector is likely to experience unprecedented change. Learning for Impact, a Discretionary Grants Program formulated by AET in 2016, has tested assumptions about the value and role of professional development in preparing and retaining quality staff, and identified avenues for staff at not-for-profit organisations to access learning opportunities. The strategy for distributing grants under the program was to ensure the effectiveness of AET clients’ philanthropy. The findings of extensive research, consultation and grants allocation have shown the importance of capacity-building in the form of staff training and development, not withstanding most organisations’ omission of this kind of investment, particularly when facing funding pressures or uncertainty. Over a year on and this piece rings true! Read the full article (6 minutes).

Tracking unicorns: In search of the high-level donor

How can your organisation find the unicorns of this world? It would be wonderful if every not-for-profit were fortunate enough to receive a mammoth bequest, but for most, such luck requires careful planning. Exploring the individual giving landscape, as well as the peculiarities of high net-worth donors, are must-do’s for going about such planning efficiently. Diana Holder expands on these undertakings and links to a wealth of quality resources about donor preferences, interests & dynamics in her article for Grant Station – well worth a look. Read the full article (7 minutes).I

Not-for-profit sector leading the nation on innovation

Around 95% of not-for-profit organisations are actively pursuing innovation or improvement strategies, with the sector also leading the adoption of several cutting-edge technologies, according to a 2018 report by Commonwealth Bank. This impressive rate for not-for-profits is well above the national average (82%). Categories of innovation the report examined included the embrace of new marketing techniques, policies to unlock the creative potential of staff, organisational willingness to adopt changes and the implementation of new technology. Charities in particular are leading the way when it comes to large scale innovations. And while financial benefits are a major motivating factor, organisations also cited improved efficiency, customer or community outcomes and workplace satisfaction as reasons for practicing innovation. Read the full article (7 minutes), or download the full report (28 pages).
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