Seattle Works

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

Leaping Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Look First August 8, 2012

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 5:24 pm

DENISON Venture Philanthropy Club

Looking around at the way philanthropy has been presented in various articles, books, and conference speeches, I keep noticing two different approaches to social change:

The “Just Do It!” Approach: In this approach, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. So why not take a bunch of shots at once, learn from the failures, get up, and try to do it again? This approach has the catchphrase “innovation” and it emphasizes lofty goals (end world hunger now!), trial-and-error, and going big or going home. I see this approach being personified by an organization like “The Case Foundation”, or in an article like “It’s Time to Be Fearless”.

The “Study Everything Before Doing Anything” Approach: In this approach, you have to look both ways before crossing the street. You can’t just run off and expect to solve the social problem without putting in a bunch of time…

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Ten Ways to Fund a Non-Profit August 6, 2012

Filed under: Grab bag — seattleworks @ 4:46 pm

A fun and informative read on fundraising

DENISON Venture Philanthropy Club

Many for-profit businesses make use of “business models”, which are shorthand for how companies earn profit and manage their business, sustain and improve, and well… just stay in business. Now, I certainly and emphatically am not one who thinks that non-profits should be more like businesses, and they couldn’t even if they wanted to. But when it comes to raising money, perhaps there is a thing or two non-profits could learn.

Forget about business models. …Enter “lending models”. These models help answer questions like: How much money do we, as a non-profit, need? Where do we get it? Why isn’t there more of it? How do we mangage, sustain, and improve? Luckily, William Landes Foster, Peter Kim, and Barbara Christiansen summarized some of their research in their article for the Standford Social Innovation Review: “Ten Non-Profit Funding Models”. There goal is not a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather to…

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