Collaboration and Philanthropy – Creating Civility

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I want to acknowledge the tragic and surreal events of the past week — we are all shaken. These are no ordinary times and it is hardly business as usual. At the Nonprofit Quarterly we are working on a thoughtful response to the reality we are now living.

The October issue of the magazine with its theme on collaboration is particularly timely. Creating a civil society requires us to transcend organizational and other boundaries to reach new heights of effectiveness, whatever our work is. This issue is full of stories of creativity and vision — but common to all of these stories is the willingness to engage in dialogue. We are proud to include here an article by the internationally renowned author Daniel Yankelovich on that very subject.

Also, don’t miss the special eight-page supplement on philanthropy. Some of the articles are disturbing, to put it mildly. “The More Things Change…” documents how foundation giving to groups representing ethnic and racial minorities has decreased precipitously. All by itself, this is bad news, but when you read this article in concert with the other articles in the upcoming issue on social movements and on where really large grants are going, it paints a picture of increasing social exclusion in our work. We urge you all to consider and take action on the things that you may be able to do to reverse this trend.

The Magic of Dialogue
by Daniel Yakelovich
The act of collaboration must start with dialogue. You cannot build relationships without having an understanding of your potential partners, and you cannot achieve that understanding without a special form of communication that goes beyond ordinary conversation. Long-time observer of the American public Daniel Yankelovich shares with us his analysis of what dialogue is and how to do it.

The More Things Change…
by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
The community development budget of the United States has been cut. Funding for African-American causes has been slashed. Minority issues overall are getting scant attention of the powers that control the purse strings. The information in this article is a wake-up call for anyone holding dear the value of inclusion.

Recommended Resources:
Shaping Globalization: Civil Society, Cultural Power and Threefolding by Nicanor Perlas. Perlas writes, “I wrote (this book) to provide a way of thinking about social change and societal development that can empower readers to arrive at relevant answers on the basis of the specific, concrete social circumstances in which they find themselves.” At the Nonprofit Quarterly we can hardly contain our excitement about the thinking and work presented here. If you’re interested in becoming more strategic and effective in your work, this book will enable you to jump a few light years ahead. To order visit their Web site and click on publications

“Measuring Development — Holding Infinity,” an article from the Community Development Resource Association. Starting with the basics of what is it that we seek to measure and why and then going on to explore how development is currently measured both formally and informally, this excellent article concludes with a perspective on what it takes to really measure — see — development. Don’t miss the section on implications for practitioners. To read this article go tothe CDRA , click on publications and then click on writings from annual reports.