Guest blog: How Can We #ShiftThePower Using Social Media?

Social media is about relationships. Like offline relationships, the value of your online relationships is based on the time you invest in building them. While many of us may not be able to spend hours on social media every day, if we are strategic about the time we do invest, the results can be huge and transformational. The trick is to find and build your tribe – the people and organizations that care about the issues you care about. Instead of blindly casting your net into the vast twitter ocean, for example, you can find and enter smaller rooms where people are having conversations that you can contribute to and influence. One way to do this is using hashtags.

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New GFCF grants in China, Mongolia and India!

A grant for US $20,000 to the Guangdong Harmony Foundation will support a project to map the community foundation landscape in China, focusing on the characteristics, purposes and relationships with other sectors of this emerging set of institutions. Meanwhile, in Mongolia, a grant for US $15,000 will MONES, the Mongolian Women’s Fund to develop an online giving portal to promote local philanthropy. And in India, with a grant of US $10,000 Gramin Evam Nagar Vikas Parishad (GENVP) will be exploring the feasibility of creating a Dalit community foundation in Bihar.

A full list of GFCF grants made in 2014 and 2015 can be found here

Social Good Brazil Summit live stream in English

Since 2012, the Social Good Brazil Program has annually organized a summit to debate and promote the use of technology and new media for social change. During the event, experts, entrepreneurs, opinion makers and great names of social innovation in Brazil and worldwide gather to discuss Social Good. The summit counts on the partnership of +Social Good, a global community formed by innovative people from more than 120 countries.

You are invited to join this global conversation watching the 2014 Social Good Brazil Summit via live stream! The seminar will be held in Florianópolis, Brazil, on 5th – 6th November 2014. For more information on the Summit itself or how to stay tuned from your own computer, please consult the Social Good Brazil website.

 

 

 

 

When the trouble came to our house: How one Ukrainian community philanthropy organization is responding

Inna Starchikova The last six months have shocked the Ukraine. Unexpectedly, the state met problems with its integrity under the influence of our neighbour, Russia; citizens sought to stop the creation of an authoritarian regime and are trying to restore democracy. And finally, as the world is aware, we have a war in our east territory, leaving the rest of the country to try to solve all of these problems that have accumulated. It sounds like a lot of challenges for the Ukrainian state and citizens because it is. But, interestingly enough, this period of time has also yielded quite a bit of new information about philanthropy – examples and useful models – that can perhaps be used to define the main trends and risks affecting the sector for the next three to five years. Qualitative analysis of all of this information is still waiting to be explored more deeply, but I can already share some early observations:

1. Most NGOs and foundations lost “urgent charity” to social media. During this crisis, the main flows of charitable help from citizens went into bank accounts of individuals (via online donations), largely outside of the foundation sphere and without official records (money-boxes). This was especially highlighted at the local level, where calls for help from within informal networks evoked the greatest trust, and therefore response. People didn’t care at all about the tax implications of such donations. This was the situation we experienced in our city (Odessa), though it was common across the Ukraine.

2. There have been attempted raids on charitable foundations located away from the military zone. Some years ago we tried to discuss this problem, as well as possible mechanisms to counter it, with our colleagues at a national conference, but without success. There have already been several attacks this year aimed at different foundations. One of these raids received wide publicity (not to mention millions of Hryvnia, our currency, for the families of those killed at Maidan) and became a scandal, with members of the Ukrainian Philanthropists Forum getting involved with a team of lawyers.

3. Odd crowdfunding companies for government institutions have emerged. For example, the Ukraine has been left with a very weakened army. Citizens continue to pay taxes to maintain it, despite the lack of investigation or punishment to identify who was responsible for its destruction in the first place. Furthermore, instead of reporting what is happening with the millions of public funds being devoted to the army’s budget, there has been an enormous campaign in the mass media for charity donations to the army using modern mobile channels. In the end, it is likely that the same army generals who were involved in the first plundering have raised millions from patriotic citizens. These kinds of donations carry huge commissions in the Ukraine (more than 30% to business providers), but authorities never seem to mention this in their reports. Such “transparency” raises further concerns regarding possible abuses. There are additional risks associated with charity in the Ukraine, which means there is a need to reconsider conventional ways of providing international assistance as well as domestic help. We have preferred to deal with existing regional partners during this period, who have already proved their competences and capabilities.

On 2nd May there was a tragedy in Odessa, where we live and work, which garnered the world’s attention. Numerous citizens were killed. It was impossible for us to believe that dozens of inhabitants could be killed in this European city; the city was blanketed with confusion and depression. Our foundation provided different support after that, but I think that the greatest help was our psychological support: we returned faith to the people and to the community of thousands of residents by delivering messages and support through social media during the first evening and all night after tragedy. More information on the events in Odessa can be found in the “Report on the Human Rights Situation in Ukraine” published by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights  on 15th June 2014. It has a large section entitled “Investigations into Human Rights Violations Related to the Violence in Odesa on 2nd May.”

I’d like to offer a few words and some comments which you cannot find in this report. We were also interested in determining the causes of the tragedy with a view to preventing such incidences in the future. However, our goal was not to punish the perpetrators or official groups involved, but rather to check the “state of health” of the whole community. We asked members of the community two closed-ended questions, with the possibility to add comments, as well as their own answers. Below, the findings:

%
Causes of the tragedy: What did you personally do wrong, which allowed the tragedy to happen on 2nd May in Odessa?
I failed to stop a friend who went to earn money for their participation in the meeting 0
I was not on the front lines to prevent conflict 7.41
I previously did not take action around the accountability of authorities 18.52
I did not support the earlier actions that could have prevented the tragedy 22.22
My actions, as well as inaction, could not have led to the tragedy of 2nd May 51.85
Further prevention: What steps will you take to reduce the risk of recurrence of such tragedies in Odessa? 
I will avoid participating in paid rallies and will discourage my friends from doing the same 38.57
I will avoid any mass gatherings 12.86
I’ll be sure to respond to the unscrupulous actions of the authorities 37.14
I will maintain regular contact with authorities 2.86
I will participate in manifestations against the abuse of authority 8.57
I will support activities reputable for me, including financially 0
I do not plan to do anything to prevent the tragedy in the future 0

 

We often try to use such quick instruments in order to accelerate our own internal reflections (and sometimes for proactive engagement). Our foundation developed its own direct “digital channels” to the community with the help and support of the GFCF. This table contains important information for better understanding the current, complex situation, as well as specific roles for community philanthropy organizations (CPO) in the future.

In my opinion, the main role of CPOs is the same as anywhere: to support community development based on a community’s needs and resources. At the same time, situations such as the one unfolding in Ukraine, set specific (not to mention challenging) tasks for CPOs. It is very important for us to understand what can be implemented without our involvement, and what has a high demand but little chance to be realized without our participation. A time of turmoil and change requires crisis management, when we should be focusing our efforts on the changes that the community really needs. We’ve already started supporting the design of a more modern system to encourage better self-government based on IT, mobile technologies, and the concept of direct democracy. This can enforce people’s participation in decision-making at the local level and can also provide new opportunities for monitoring local authorities as well as preventing conflicts. We are going to implement it first with civil society organizations, with an eye to further developing this infrastructure by the time of the 2015 local elections in the Ukraine. At the same time, our region still is at risk of falling back into conflict. We as an organization will therefore be focusing on building our capacity to work with larger humanitarian aid bodies, as well as to deliver conflict resolution services.

We didn’t imagine that the trouble would come to our house. Sometimes it’s scary and sometimes it’s deeply frustrating. However, many people living in Odessa greatly appreciate the place, and with this great, common love we move forward together, inspired to look for solutions even in the most dire of situations.

Inna Starchikova is Executive Director of the Charity Fund “Moloda Gromada” (“Young Community’) in Odessa, Ukraine

Palestine, Russia & South Africa: community foundations on film

Watch Nora Murad’s interview with Executive Director of Dalia Association, a Palestinian community foundation. In Nora’s words, “I recorded this short video with Saeeda Mousa, Executive Director of Dalia Association. In it, she talks about the amazing potential return on investment in the Palestinian community, but it’s not the type of investment that you might be thinking of!”

From Russia, a short, haunting and heart-warming film about a small and desolate community in Russia’s remote Primorski Krai which tells what happened when a Russian sailing frigate called “Hope” came to town.  And how the local community foundation, which serves Plastun’s 5,000 residents and is a partner of the GFCF, has also played its role in working to restore hope in a community where it has been long-lost… (in English, with Russian sub-titles) http://vimeo.com/52727702

And from South Africa Watch the final episode in the story of a partnership between the West Coast Community Foundation (South Africa), the Community Foundation for West Flanders (Belgium) and MyMachine (Belgium) and supported by the GFCF.

De Slotshow – The Unveiling from MyMachine on Vimeo.

 

From Russia, a short, haunting and heart-warming film about a small and desolate community in Russia’s remote Primorski Krai which tells what happened when a Russian sailing frigate called “Hope” came to town.  And how the local community foundation (which serves Plastun’s 5,000 residents) has also played its role in working to restore hope in a community where it has been long-lost… (in English, with Russian sub-titles) http://vimeo.com/52727702

Technology, social media and innovative thinking for social change: join the conversation TODAY!

Conversations on Social Good continue: Technology, social media and innovative thinking for social change. Next stop… Brazil

November 6-8, 2012

Florianópolis, Brazil and via live stream worldwide

Following the Social Good Summit (presented by Mashable, UN Foundation and 92Y) and joining the Global Conversation on technology, social media and innovative thinking for social change, Brazil will host the Social Good Brazil International Seminar.

The seminar brings together influential minds, social entrepreneurs, innovators and business and community leaders from all over the country, as well as international specialists such as Beth Kanter (The Networked Nonprofit), Simon Mainwaring (We First), Aaron Sherinian (UN Foundation), and Peter Sims (Little Bets). The event is going to connect people from all walks of life to share ideas and actions to make the world a better place.

The Social Good Brazil Seminar will take place on the island of Florianópolis, Brazil, on the 6th, 7th and 8th of November for a group of one thousand attendees, and will be shared around the world via live stream. As with the Social Good Summit, a Digital Media Lounge will gather journalists, bloggers, and social media opinion makers that will report, discuss and share from the site to a global online audience that will be able to interact live.

Among the Brazilian speakers, Reinaldo Pamponet (ItsNOON ) is going to share his insights on a new networked economy, Edgar Morato (Saútil) and Rodrigo Bandeira (Cidade Democrática)  will tell their story of social good initiatives, pointing out the challenges and opportunities. Among the international speakers, Aaron Sherinian (UN Foundation) will present a panorama of social good in the world and Beth Kanter (The Networked Nonprofit) will address how to use social media to drive change.

The seminar is an initiative of VOL and ICom the Community Foundation for Greater Florianópolis, in partnership with the UN Foundation, Fundação Telefônica, Instituto C&A, IBM Brasil, Techsoup Brasil, InterAmerican Foundation and other local partners.

Visit the website: www.sgb.org.br/english

Where:  CIC – Centro Integrado de Cultura. Avenida Governador Irineu Bornhausen, 5600, Agronômica  Florianópolis – SC, Brasil, 88025-202
When:  Tuesday to Thursday, November 6-8, 2012
Agenda and speakers:

For details and a complete list of speakers visit: www.sgb.org.br/english

November 6: from 6 pm to 22 pm (local time UTC -2)

November 7 and 8: from 1 pm to 7 pm (local time UTC -2)

 –      Aaron Sherinian – VP of Communications and PR of the UN Foundation, member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC)

–      Beth Kanter – Named one of the “most influential women in technology” by Fast Company Magazine, and one of the “voices of innovation for Social Media”, she co-authored “The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change”.

–      Gilson Schwartz – Sociologist, economist, journalist and entrepreneur, Director of Games for Change Latin America.

–      Peter Sims – Consultant and award-winning entrepreneur, author of the best-seller “Little Bets”, which grew out of collaboration with faculty at Stanford’s Institute of Design (the d.school).

–      Reinaldo Pamponet – Ashoka Fellow, partner at ItsNOON, a marketplace for creative economy and one of the “50 Greatest Innovators of the Brazilian Digital World” by Proxxima Magazine.

–      Rodrigo Bandeira – Specialist in web citizenship, founder of Cidade Democrática, a successful online platform that promotes civic engagement.

–      Rodrigo Cunha – Journalist, Head of PR at LiveAD, Senior TEDx Ambassador in Latin America and organizer of Rio +Social.

–      Simon Mainwaring – Specialist in branding and social media, author of the best-seller “We First”. International speaker with engagements including Cannes International Advertising Festival and brands such as Google, Coca-Cola and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Our new-look home page: plus, TCFN archive shifts to our new user-friendly resource section

It’s been a year since we launched our new website and these latest changes to our home page and resource section reflect our desire to be more nimble and responsive to the latest developments in the community foundation / community philanthropy field as well as to build up the knowledge base on this under-documented field in a more organized and accessible way.

You can now comment on or share news items, reports etc. and we’ve also included our Twitter and Facebook feeds in an attempt to link up the various platforms where the GFCF is active. We are also pleased to annouce the transfer of resources produced by the Transatlantic Community Foundation Network.

From 1999 to 2011 TCFN provided a platform for the exchange of experience and expertise among community foundations on both sides of the Atlantic. It sought to identify good practice and share it with emerging and existing community foundations, as well as to foster the development of this form of philanthropy in counties where the concept is still new. During its existence, a number of working groups were responsible for developing resources that it is believed will continue to be of use to community foundations at different stages of development and in different parts of the world.

The Resources section of the GFCF’s website offers selected TCFN resources and related papers on community foundations. A full archive of TCFN resources can be found here and the GFCF resource centre here

GFCF launches its new website

As you can see, we’ve revamped our website! The new site has all the content you would have found on the old one, but in a more accessible and intuitive arrangement. We have also:

  • completely re-designed and restructured the site
  • created a new home page, with a changing menu of news items, relating to our own work and to stories connected with it
  • made it easier to donate to support our work
  • established Facebook and LinkedIn pages, which you can access from our home page

We wanted the new site to reflect the responsive character of our organisation, and the dual purpose that we serve: to provide not only funding to individual community foundations working at a local level all over the world, but also a platform for the global community foundation movement to promote itself more widely and more effectively. With this in mind, we have also, crucially, built into the site the flexibility to amend it as our concerns and activities develop, and as our users, colleagues and associates would like us to. Over the next few months, for example, we will be establishing a members’ forum, where users can post comments about their own work or research in related areas. Please tell us what you think, by e-mailing us with your comments on: info@globalfundcf.org

Latest news

GFCF launches its new website

The Global Fund for Community Foundations launched its new website in early 2011. We wanted the new site to reflect the responsive character of our organization, and the dual purpose that we serve: to provide not only funding to individual community foundations working at a local level all over the world, but also a platform for the global community foundation movement to promote itself more widely and more effectively.

The new site has all the content you would have found on the old website, but in a more accessible and intuitive arrangement. In addition, we have:

  • completely re-designed and restructured the site
  • established a members’ forum, where users can log on and post comments about articles on our site or about their own work or research in related areas
  • created a new home page, with a changing menu of news items, again relating to our own work and to stories connected with it
  • made it easier for you to donate to support our work
  • opened Facebook, LinkedIn and delicious accounts, which you can access from our home page

We have also, crucially, built into the site the flexibility to amend it as our concerns and activities develop, and as our users, colleagues and associates would like us to.

So please tell us what you think. E-mail us with your comments on: info@globalfundcf.org

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