All Blog Posts Tagged 'philanthropy' (65)

The global development "players"

"The development landscape has never been more cluttered than it is today," wrote Marc Bellemare in Foreign Affairs last week.

"Oh great, what have I missed?" I thought, as I had already prepared my intro lecture for International Development Communications. The industry exists, fueled by…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 13, 2014 at 9:48pm — 1 Comment

“Create” nothing: A new social good mantra

Aid workers and development practitioners, how many times have you seen a paragraph like this in a proposal?

“Community Mobilization: To ensure communities are… community management committees (CMCs) will be formed. Based on accepted cultural practice, CMCs will be chosen by the community members themselves with strong encouragement on establishing a gender-balanced CMC. The CMC will represent the community and be responsible for ensuring effective community…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 25, 2013 at 10:47am — 2 Comments

Wanted: Films that illustrate how aid works

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The Social Impact Media Awards, organized by DEEDA Productions, have announced their 2nd annual call for submissions for their juried 2014 awards. Filmmakers and do-gooders, show us your video-based products that portray people grappling with the realities of aid programs on the ground!

SIMA is looking for…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 21, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

From the Ground Up: The Dynamism of Social Good in the MENA region

From the ground up:  The dynamism of social good in the MENA region



The possibilities are endless.  This is what I learned on Thursday at the MENA Social Good Event at the Neuseum, which was hosted by Al-Mubadarah.  I attended the event in my capacity as…

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Added by Maha Hilal on November 9, 2013 at 1:50pm — 1 Comment

Help put peace in the spotlight!

Pro Bono Australia recently recognized the Institute for Economics and Peace as one of the 50 most impactful Philanthropic Gifts in Australia’s history. They are now holding a public vote to determine the 10  most popular gifts. The organizations that make it into the top 10 will be profiled and their cause will receive significant media attention.

Of the 50 nominees, the Institute for Economics…

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Added by Institute for Economics & Peace on October 21, 2013 at 12:41pm — No Comments

From one Cornhusker to another: Peter Buffett, philanthropy, and how we can frame the dialogue

Dear Mr. Buffett,

The charitable industrial-complex, philanthropic colonialism, conscience laundering and inequality – these are topics a fellow Nebraskan like me wants to have more conversations about. So that’s why I was glad to read your New York Times op-ed this weekend, the …

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 1, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

To change the world, you need a pulse.

No matter how self-aware we are when we come into international aid, philanthropy, or social enterprise, most people, especially in the beginning, operate from a worldview in which change in poor people’s lives is possible with our help.

As I've written before, the jury is still out on this in my mind.

In my career, I have…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on May 5, 2013 at 4:24pm — No Comments

The Power of No

Imagine not being able to turn away from a problem that you see in this world. You are compelled by a sense of responsibility, passion, and the audacity to believe that you can do something about that problem. You have decided to take the leap and start an organization, an initiative, or a social enterprise.

To do so, you of course need resources. You don’t have them. You have to ask those with money to invest in you.

Imagine sitting across the table from a potential donor,…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 31, 2013 at 7:00am — 1 Comment

Leading From Love: The attentiveness that brought accountability

A guest post on how-matters.org by Rajasvini Bhansali

It had been six months since I started my new role as a management advisor for a network of youth polytechnics[1] in rural Kenya. The Wakamba village elders in Maseki village where I lived had named me Mutanu meaning “one who smiles a lot.” My career, coursework, and …

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 30, 2013 at 11:10am — 4 Comments

13 thoughts for aid in 2013

As I was sitting in a year-end retreat, I started jotting down this list of things that the development aid world could use more of in 2013. I offer it as some food for thought for the year ahead.

  1. Aid organizations that are external-facing, employing attentiveness to “taking the pulse” of the customers and partners they serve and the world around them. No more head-down, power-through focus on “our programs”. Time to look up and outside of our own systems, requirements, and…
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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on January 6, 2013 at 11:34pm — 6 Comments

Thoughtful Conversations & Sideways Approaches: The Barefoot Guide Connection

Are there alternatives to the cynicism and disillusionment that pervades in so many organizations that are working towards ‘development’? Where are the people who are interested in creating more grounded, creative, human and humble ways of doing this work?

You can find them here.

When I first picked up and started reading The Barefoot Guide to Working with Organisations and Social Change almost four years ago, it was one of…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on December 4, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments

How do you tell a compelling story about people in need that doesn’t simplify or stereotype?

I use my How Matters YouTube channel to highlight portrayals of international assistance that inspire more nuanced conversations about the politics of global development and international aid. Frankly though, there’s not enough content to keep that page very active. Very few video-based products show people grappling with the realities of programming on the ground and the stories of grassroots change-makers too often remain…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 14, 2012 at 6:02am — No Comments

What makes a thought leader?

I’ve been called a “thought leader” lately. It’s a lot better than some other things I’ve been called in my life, but still, it’s a label I’ve been trying to understand—so much so that I facilitated a session on it at last month’s Opportunity Collaboration.

When I first heard the term, I did a bit of sleuthing to understand its origin. It seems it comes from the private sector. (Isn’t most of the “latest” aid and philanthropy jargon…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 11, 2012 at 8:59pm — 1 Comment

How are international aid projects like U.S. presidential elections?

Yes We Can: The campaign/proposal writing

You have to get lots of people involved. In fact, the more people who share your vision, the better. You tell the voters/donors what they want to hear. Persuasion and hyperbole can be more important than substance. The popular vote/buy-in of the people served may be irrelevant in the end. You’re happy (though thoroughly exhausted) when the campaign is over/proposal is submitted, but the hard work is yet to…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on November 8, 2012 at 7:33am — No Comments

The storm’s a-comin’

I’m quickly writing this post before the 100-mile wide Hurricane Sandy, which has already killed 65 people in the Caribbean, takes the power out in Washington D.C. where I live.…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 29, 2012 at 1:11pm — 2 Comments

Don't you talk about my...that way...

“Excuse me. What’s that you’re reading?” the woman wedged next to me in the busy restaurant asked.

Sitting on the table in front me yesterday was Tori Hogan’s new book, Beyond Good Intentions: A Journey Into the Realities of International Aid. (Now available …

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 23, 2012 at 6:59am — No Comments

The Ego and International Aid

He has now stood up at the long table, perhaps hoping that the argument can be won by positioning himself above those with whom he is supposedly vehemently disagreeing.

About what? I’m unsure, as is the normally reserved and quiet junior staff person, who has uncharacteristically burst out laughing at the scene before her.

Her and I both know that what’s being discussed has less to do with the issue at hand, and more to do with these men’s need to be on top.

I recently…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on October 15, 2012 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Ideas please! Help shape the next “How Matters Hub”

“For all of us who are in the ‘change the world’ business, we seldom reflect on our own attitudes and behaviours as donors, facilitators, managers, experts, technocrats. Yet we want to see change in the attitudes and behaviours of those we serve?! We do not want to change the power status quo within organisations and amongst ourselves, yet we are telling ‘communities’ to do so?!” ~from a …

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 24, 2012 at 6:41am — No Comments

Development is like music

A guest post on how-matters.org by Oscar Abello 

That video of Victor Wooten doing a solo electric bass performance of Amazing Grace just blows my mind. (See it on YouTube here.) In a recent TEDed video, he plays a slightly toned-down…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on September 11, 2012 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Finding Room for Error

A guest post on how-matters.org by Mary Fifield

The power of learning is not just a slogan for many of us working in the non-profit sector. It's the value that undergirds the programs that we help deliver—programs designed to support people in discovering their own talents and skills to better their well-being, their environment, and their society. It's a value that supports our own…

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Added by Jennifer Lentfer on August 28, 2012 at 7:10am — No Comments

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