Thursday, June 18, 2009
FOUNDATION CENTER VIRTUAL NETWORK DAYS, DAY 2
HOW FOUNDATIONS BEHAVE DURING AN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN
The Foundation Center does a great deal of research on foundations. Steven Lawrence, the Senior Director of Research, discussed the effects of the current economic situation. He said that foundation giving decreased by 1% in real dollars from 2007 to 2008, not as much as expected. Two-thirds of foundations expect to reduce giving in 2009 but one-fifth expect to increase giving. Most funders expect to maintain the number of programs and geographic areas, even dipping into their endowments to do so, but are less likely to add new ones. 100 foundations were affected by the Madoff affair, and two have closed completely.
THE ROLE OF THE CC SUPERVISOR IN PROMOTING CENTER SERVICE AND RESOURCES TO HELP YOUR COMMUNITY
This webinar was presented by the Foundation Center's Director of Marketing and VP for Communications. The Foundation Center is very active in outreach to grantseekers, grantmakers, and policymakers. Tools included the following: e-newsletters, emails, brochures, specials events, Facebook, Twitter, the Foundation Center web site, and ads in non-profit newsletters and web sites. 60% of the Foundation Center's income is from fee-based services: In addition to Foundation Directory Online and the other databases, they will do grantseeking research for a fee for non-profits without the staff to do it themselves. Cooperating Collections are advised to promote the Foundation Center services with flyers, on their web sites, on Twitter, in press releases (the Foundation Center has templates for this), and at computer terminals. A downloadable form is available for patrons who want to opt-in to Foundation Center emails.
THE ONLINE LIBRARIAN: WEB SITES FOR HARD-TO-ANSWER REFERENCE QUESTIONS
This was my favorite webinar. Two librarians who staff the Foundation Center's Ask Us email and chat reference for the public talked about the most common questions they get. These include the following:
How do I get government assistance?
How do I get funding to volunteer abroad?
How do I find out about social entrepreneurship?
How does my group get funded without 501 (c) (3) status?
How much should our new director get paid?
How many nonprofits are there in the U.S?
For the most common questions, there is also an excellent FAQ on the Foundation Center homepage. The librarians use delicious to organize their bookmarks.
BEST TITLES FOR YOUR COLLECTION WHEN FUNDS ARE TIGHT
Jimmy Tom, the Manager of Bibliographic Services, talked about resources the Foundation Center has for collection development. The Foundation Center's library holdings are searchable online and also have a blog and rss feed for keeping track of new acquisitions. Topical resource lists and reference guides that include books, articles and electronic resources are also available. The periodicals Philanthropy Annual and Philanthropy News Digest have book reviews. Two new acquisitions he highlighted were the DVD Ready, Set, Raise: Your Guide To Grassroots Funding, which might be good for a library program, and Prospect Research: A Primer For Growing Nonprofits, which helps the reader analyze the wealth of individual donors.
Handouts, interesting articles, and bibliographies for the conference are available here. There was also a Twitter page, a LinkedIn group, and an Ning group for the conference. All in all, the virtual conference went well, although I would have liked a little more interaction. I had technical difficulties with one webinar, but there should be archived versions available soon.