Highlights “Questions Worth Asking” – Online Forum For Nonprofit Practitioners

Recap of “Questions Worth Asking” – Online Forum For Nonprofit Practitioners

Questions Worth Asking (QWA) is the signature online community program hosted by Philanthropy University. Each month, we invite an interesting guest speaker from the development sector to join a handful of Philanthropy University learners to field pre-collected questions collected from its thousands of learners. “Questions Worth Asking” Q&As is held on Google Hangouts and live broadcasted to YouTube with the intent to have them serve as a resource for connecting, sharing knowledge, collaborating, and inspiring.

Tools And Tactics For A Healthy Work Culture

Tools And Tactics For A Healthy Work Culture

I am very grateful for many learnings and experiments that I was part of during my time at Philanthropy University, California. As much as the organization is keen on making a measured impact around the world, it is equally focused on strengthening the interactions and values of the internal human resources in the organization.

TEAM BUILDING: Scavenger Hunt escapade with Philanthropy University Team

TEAM BUILDING: Scavenger Hunt escapade with Philanthropy University Team

As a result of an amazing onboarding methodology to the “town culture” only to be found and uniquely practiced at this organization, Philanthropy University team does not require any additional team building exercise per se. The scavenger hunt was one of many other events we do randomly as a healthy deviation to our busy work schedules.

Our recent scavenger hunt, took place on a Friday afternoon where the entire team took to the streets of downtown Oakland. The team was split into two, “Bantosaurus” & “Team PUSH”. With activities lined up on an “app”, to say this was entirely a digital scavenger hunt”. As much as it was fun running around the streets on financial districts of downtown Oakland. It was a treat to discover, learn the history of the city, the buildings, and monuments.

The scavenger hunt took me to little pockets of the city that I have never been in spite of living here for almost year. The activities were point based with a clock ticking. Some of the highlights were taking pictures in front of a certain venue, building, or simply to answer a trivia.

Q&A with Beth Kanter (author, master trainer & speaker)

Questions Worth Asking 

This month, I had the privilege to have a virtual fireside chat with amazing Beth Kanter (author, master trainer & social media guru) who was featured on  “Questions worth Asking” video chat series run by Philanthropy University. The interview was watched by Philanthropy University learners from across the globe, many of whom had submitted questions in advance. In this blog, I will revisit some of Beth’s answers to the questions which can serve as a resource and inspiration to nonprofit leaders and many out there. Beth has over 35 years working in the nonprofit sector in technology, training, and capacity building and has facilitated trainings for nonprofits on every continent in the world (except Antarctica). Beth will be answering questions on Digital Strategy for Nonprofits, Networking for Social Change, and Crowd Fundraising.

A Leaf from DAY 1 @ Philanthropy University: Welcome

A Leaf from DAY 1 @ Philanthropy University: Welcome

Each organization has it’s own ways of welcoming a new team member on DAY ONE. For some it means a round of handshakes coupled with an intensive onboarding.or others, it calls for celebration. For us here at Philanthropy University, it is the middle path.There are certain peculiar characteristics unique to us (“Welcome to the Town”). Time and time again, we get to demonstrate our “welcoming gestures” when we hire a new staff. The team goes through the full circle of induction to celebrations in one go. Joining Philanthropy University means you are not part of a “family” but coming to reside in a “town”. You will get to read more about the town culture if you read the article “Are we family?” written by our CEO, Connor Diemand-Yauman.

What is Lean User Testing?

Lean User Testing

As the User Advocate Lead at Philanthropy University, I have been playing different roles and my scope of responsibilities has equally evolved from quarter to quarter during the past twelve months. Partly, this is due to the fact that as an organization we are constantly ideating of our product. This is a common feature at a startup company. As Philanthropy University embarked on the journey of refocusing our market to emerging economies, so did the features of our product took a 360 degrees turn. As an EdTech company with a bold vision of impacting 100 million lives by 2020, Philanthropy University will help measurably improve 5,000 local organizations in the Global South, enabling them to more effectively improve the lives of the people they serve.  

What is “Sync up meeting on foot” means to you?

Let’s break it down,“Sync up” is basically a semi-casual business phrase used for talking about updating people on information. Sync up meeting means to have a meeting so everyone can catch up and is on the same page. We here at Philanthropy University do things a bit differently. We call it a “Sync up walking meeting”. In other words, most of our catch-ups take place “on foot” with the exception of the two key meetings we have on every Mondays (Weekly Sprint Planning) and Fridays (All Hands) where we rely on technology, ie.Trello, Zoom and the TV screen.

The Process of Conducting a User Discovery Call

A Discovery Call (DC) is a meeting with a customer who is a recipient of your service /product. The goal of the discovery session is to understand whether or not the user is happy with your service and how better you can align your services to meet his/ her needs. With this premise in mind, I conduct discovery calls at my organization, Philanthropy University to attune our course offerings to the needs of the learners.

Questions Worth Asking – An Interactive Forum For Philanthropy University’s Learners

Questions Worth Asking – An Interactive Forum

Questions Worth Asking (QWA) is the signature online community program hosted by Philanthropy University. Each month, we invite an interesting guest speaker from the development sector to join a handful of Philanthropy University learners to field pre-collected questions collected from its thousands of learners. “Questions Worth Asking” Q&As is held on Google Hangouts and live broadcasted to YouTube with the intent to have them serve as a resource for connecting, sharing knowledge, collaborating, and inspiring.

Building capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Global South

Building capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Global South

Building the capacity of nonprofit organizations in the Global South is an emerging theme in the development sector discourse. First, let’s define what is “capacity building?. The Capacity building is a common word that we have come to associate in the Development Sector. In fact, this has been a buzzword for many decades freely used by donors and practitioners alike. In essence, it is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, abilities, processes, and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in the fast-changing world.  Similarly, there is an alternative discourse about the effectiveness and the impact of the capacity building. Has it yielded the results it expected? All the while, some people cringe when they hear this word, as it has lost its impact. This is due to the fact that some of the intended outcomes, expected to address have failed while many countries and communities are still struggling to show a marked improvement. So how did it fail in some places while some places have great success stories to tell. It could be many reasons while some may be unique to the regions or those communities. To enjoy the fruits of capacity building, it requires leadership, policies, advocacy and above all a mission and a vision.

Capacity building can take different forms from sharing skills and knowledge to monetary donations while it also can be in-kind assistance. There can be many approaches to build the capacity of a nation, community to a grassroot level organization. Today, I am going to talk about Philanthropy University’s approach to building capacity of nonprofit leaders and grassroot organizations in the global south. The approach taken by Philanthropy University is to offer free online courses that will provide civil society organizations with the training, support, and resources they need to execute on the mission and achieve their goals. Philanthropy University believes that these organizations are best placed to deliver services, improve the lives of those they serve, and offer lasting solutions grounded in the context of their communities. By investing in the development of organizational infrastructure, through human resources, fundraising, and change management, for example, organizations are stronger and better positioned to respond to the critical issues in their communities.