Seattle Works

A blog that documents all things Seattle Works…and much much more!

Seattle Works as a “networked nonprofit” #ihubs December 12, 2011

Filed under: Innovation Hub — seattleworks @ 3:32 pm

Sigh. Writing you from a beautiful room on a beautiful farm where I am calling airline baggage service every 10 minutes until they pick up the phone. Wish I was strolling these lovely grounds instead of calculating whether I’m going to have to catch a ride into town and buy a week’s worth of underwear before the Summit starts.

In the meantime… might as well blog.

I’m excited for Sarah and I to not only spend this time with the nine fellow iHub organizations and some of the HandsOn Network staff, but for the power-house combo of partners HON is bringing to this retreat. I’ll try and spotlight some them during the week. Today:

Alison Fine (@afine), co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit”

This book has been on my reading list for a few months now, and the news that I would be spending this week with one of the authors was the kick I needed to actually START READING IT (I’m halfway through so far.)

Wish I would have done this sooner! While I’ve been hearing that this book is the go-to foundation for nonprofits and social media (a great topic, but not necessarily one that would jump to the top of my priority list), I now understand that the book is really about big-picture organizational change.

Networked Nonprofits are simple and transparent organizations. They are easy for outsiders to get in and insiders to get out. They engage people to shape and share their work in order to raise awareness of social issues, organize communities to provide services or advocate for legislation. In the long run, they are helping to make the world a safer, fairer, healthier place to live.

Networked Nonprofits don’t work harder or longer than other organizations, they work differently. They engage in conversations with people beyond their walls — lots of conversations — to build relationships that spread their work through the network.  (emphasis added by me)

WHOA! All the things I have been thinking about Seattle Works and our future – some of which only live right now as gut-level, semi-articulated concepts in my brain – spelled out clearly.

Our board has laid our a fantastic vision in our Strategic Plan, and as I work to operationalize it, I’ve been thinking and saying things like:



“more integrated across teams”

“even more participant and partner-driven”

“giving our volunteer leaders more responsibility and more say”

“building deeper relationships with our nonprofit partners”

It turns out what I’ve really been saying is “Let’s make Seattle Works even more of a Networked Nonprofit“.


Now if I only had a toothbrush…


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