New York Times

Mar 9

Lessons from The Millennium Villages

Anonymous

An article in today’s New York Times on the challenges of providing foreign aid points to an initiative lead by the philanthropist and global economist Jeffrey Sachs called Millennium Villages.  The Villages is an international development model designed to help rural African communities lift themselves out of extreme poverty.

What it aims to do is the near impossible.  Like many of our nonprofit clients, it must carefully balance an ambitious, if ultimately rewarding, agenda with finite resources.

The early success in The Village’s first test community, Sari, Kenya, is remarkable. Agricultural yields have doubled, child mortality has dropped by 30 percent, and school test scores have shot up. 

Sachs attributes this amazing success to programs and objectives that are tightly focused, based in technology and relatively straightforward. 

I think, given those simple criteria, that lessons can be learned for organizations that seek to make a similar impact in communities around the country and globally: keep your goals focused, your methods clear-cut and your aim realistic.

Mar 4

Making Twitter Work for You

Paul Massey

Today’s New York Times features Getting the Most Out of Twitter, and it echoes a number of the conversations our team is having with nonprofit and foundation leaders on how to make Twitter work for their organizations. 

Many nonprofits have demonstrated that they are a force on Twitter. They are connecting with advocates, sharing updates and providing insights on their work. Above all, they’re participating in the ongoing conversation on Twitter that makes the medium so compelling.

Check out yesterday’s list of Top 25 Nonprofit Tweeters, which features organizations such as Acumen Fund, Ashoka, Global Giving, among others, to get a sense of what nonprofits are doing on Twitter. 

And, if you’re having conversations with your nonprofit executive director or board members about whether Twitter is right for you, take a look at today’s NYT. It offers great suggestions from Claire Cain Miller on how to make Twitter work for you, including:

  • Discovering the value of custom news feeds
  • Making lists to help you key into relevant content
  • Plugging into conferences happening around the world
  • Localizing information about what’s happening in your city
  • Soliciting expert opinions on questions you need answered