Rebuilding Trust in Civil Society Means Rebuilding Trust in Each Other

by Dan Cardinali, President & CEO, Independent Sector

This blog was produced as a part of Field Focus: Local Action, a three-month digital series examining how individuals and organizations plug in to the communities they care about and spur others into action, as well.

Independent Sector is the only …

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Taking a Systems Approach to Change with Young Americans

by Derrick Feldmann, Cause and Social Influence and INFLUENCE|SG

This blog was produced as a part of Field Focus: Local Action, a three-month digital series examining how individuals and organizations plug in to the communities they care about and spur others into action, as well.

The Cause & Social Influence …

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Change Can Start Anywhere. It’s Up to Philanthropy to Get Onboard.

by Dennis McMillian

This blog was produced as a part of Field Focus: Local Action, a three-month digital series examining how individuals and organizations plug in to the communities they care about and spur others into action, as well. Join the conversation by using #FieldFocus on social media …

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Photo: Two women standing side by side wearing "volunteer" t-shirts

Local Action: Philanthropy’s Answer to “Where Do I Start?”

by Tory Martin

There are countless organizations dedicated to helping individuals begin their philanthropic journeys. Sites like VolunteerMatch and DonorsChoose make taking action simple and fast, while national programs like Teach for America, City Year, and AmeriCorps provide immersive experiences on a grand scale.

Many of the places we …

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Photo: Mariah (student intern)

A Student’s Take on What Philanthropy Really Means

by Mariah Otlewski, Communications & Engagement Intern, Spring/Summer 2018

In August 2015, I finished packing up my childhood room, said goodbye to my dog, and drove west to my new home — Grand Valley State University. I came from a small town on the east side of Lansing, …

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Let’s Stop Talking About Leadership

by Tory Martin

“We’re constantly questioning ourselves. Are you working hard enough? Are you organized enough? Are you the leader these times require?” Tamir Novotny, executive director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), looked out over the crowd of 200 or so young professionals who gathered in Detroit, Mich. two weeks ago …

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Series of three photos showing a shelving unit full of archived documents, an open box full of archived documents, and an open folder with a single archived document

Your Organization’s Archives Could Be a Treasure Trove of Donor Intent

by Brittany Kienker, Ph.D.  //  photo credit: Rockefeller Archive Center

In considering how to best navigate modern-day institutional challenges, board members and staff may ask, “What did the founder intend for this program?” or “Is this what the donor really wanted?” Whether you are looking forward …

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Photo: Juan Olivarez talking with Tory Martin

Meet the Johnson Center’s New Distinguished Scholar in Residence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Juan Olivarez

Juan R. Olivarez, Ph.D. joined the Johnson Center in July 2018 as Distinguished Scholar in Residence for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Before he began his position, Tory Martin, Director of Communications and Engagement, sat down with Dr. Olivarez to hear …

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Photo of Grand River and Grand Rapids skyline

Data Goes Hyper-Local in Grand Rapids

by Steve Wilson

My early career experiences with nonprofits leading local community and economic development created a perfect pathway for me to enter place-based philanthropy. Back then, I often looked to local foundations to provide both support and leadership as we envisioned future infrastructure needs.

Nearly 15 years ago, as I rode …

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Photo: Detroit skyline on a cloudy day

Unnatural Disasters: Can Nonprofit Governance Promote Recovery in Detroit and Flint?

by Davia Cox Downey

Over the past two years, my research partner, Sarah Reckhow of Michigan State University and I have explored the concept of disaster, whether natural or man-made, to examine how these types of events impact collaboration between local government and nonprofit organizations and …

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