The newly redesigned Philanthropy News Digest (PND) is a compendium, in digest form, of philanthropy-related articles and features culled from print and electronic media outlets nationwide. In PND's Off the Shelf feature, you'll find reviews of books on a variety of topics ranging from fundraising to nonprofit management.
Here are excerpts from two recent book reviews, both of which are available at Foundation Center libraries.
Cause for Change: The Why and How of Nonprofit Millennial Engagement
Derrick Feldmann, Kari Dunn Saratovsky (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2013)
"According to Saratovsky and Feldmann, the "why" of millennial engagement is simple: nonprofits can't afford not to engage millennials on millennials' own terms if their organizations are to thrive. In part, that's because millennials boast $62.7 billion in discretionary spending power and, perhaps more importantly, are in line to inherit some $41 trillion in wealth from their parents and grandparents. What's more, Saratovsky and Feldmann argue, millennials insist on being actively engaged, as opposed to simply solicited, and are driven by personal relationships based on trust.
The "how" is more complicated. Saratovsky and Feldmann propose a "Millennial Engagement Platform" comprised of four "operational and cultural components" "leadership inviting" (i.e., inviting and empowering millennials to connect with the organization's decision makers); transparency; social connectivity; and a solution-inspired environment." Read more...
The Cycle: A Practical Approach to Managing Arts Organizations
Brett E. Egan, Michael M. Kaiser (Waltham, MA: Brandeis University Press, 2013)
"Kaiser is big on proactivity. He thinks of institutional marketing "as a proactive tool for healthy organizations as much as...a remedial approach for troubled ones." Moreover, no organization, no matter how successful, can afford to become complacent at any stage of the cycle. The cycle is not self-perpetuating; each element fuels the element that follows, for better or worse. If an organization neglects to maintain the engine, the engine will stall.
It's an approach that's evident not only in the book's emphasis on long-term planning, but also in its focus on the critical role of the board and donor stewardship. Raising an organization's profile through effective institutional marketing is critical to recruiting effective board members, Kaiser writes, but at the same time board members must be actively managed and engaged — for example, by being asked to "adopt" specific projects. Arts managers also should audit the board periodically to evaluate board members' productivity and replace those who no longer meet the organizations' evolving needs. Although it may surprise some readers, Kaiser tells us that, when working to save Alvin Ailey [American Dance Theater], he asked eighteen of the dance company's thirty-six board members to relinquish their seats — and that 'seventeen did so happily and remained actively engaged with the organization.'" Read more...