BY ANIL PATEL
At the recent Ashoka Canada Forum
, a number of us were able to sit down with McKinsey Consultants to ask questions around strategy and scaling.
One of my colleagues Taylor Gunn
from Student Vote brought an interesting dilemma his team is facing to our working group. In a nutshell, Student Vote has a ton of good ideas. His team is struggling to prioritize which opportunities are worth exploring in the future. Eric Monterio
from McKinsey shared a strategy tool his team uses called Portfolio Analysis. As Eric was talking and drawing out the 2 x 2 grid, I started to customize an excel spreadsheet as illustrated below.
To begin, Student Vote determines how many of their stakeholders are touched by each idea. The more stakeholders an idea reaches, the more aligned with its mission. The next two columns have predefined drop down lists. Column L describes the Level of Certainty
(certain/some certainty/uncertain) of a particular idea. For instance, how well defined the idea currently is. Column J describes the Potential Impact
(Transformative, Modest, Incremental) of a particular idea. For instance, a particular idea can really be a game changer.
A separate worksheet summarizes all the entries, so Student Vote management can see how many ideas fall into ‘Certain/Transformative’. These ideas would represent ones that are well constructed and could have significant impact.
If you click on the image, the actual spreadsheet will download. Feel free to customize as you see fit. Or if you would like some help customizing one for your organization, drop me a line.
In any case, what do you think of the tool? What does your organization use to prioritize new ideas or potential programs? Are there other frameworks that you know of?
As many of your know, Framework shares space with CanadaHelps.org
. On Thursday I was talking to Ren Ramkhelawan
, their systems architect, while getting coffee. We were chatting about the increasingly complex world of Software-As-A-Service integration and maintenance.
It was a timely discussion. Our bookkeeper was also in the office (she comes into the office about every three weeks).
So naturally I was doing some budget stuff including running reports from PayPal, online banking statements and donations made through CanadaHelps.
Right now there is a lot of manual steps from receiving our CSV file to updating our budget documents which I present to my board. Below is a brief illustration of the process and the steps that it takes. (Our recent deployment of Box.net
desktop sync has been a real productivity enhancement.)
We are really excited that Canadahelps has received funding to create APIs and other system integrations. While they are working on their road-map, we hope it includes an integration with Salesforce.com. Salesforce.com is more than just our relationship management tool, it is our knowledge repository and base technology infrastructure for so much of what we do.
As I've written in the past, we believe this wiki has been super instrumental in helping Framework develop a robust open-architecture strategy. Before doing this in 2005, we were selecting a lot of technology because someone told us it was free or the functionality was good. However, we were making bad technology 'bets'. And these bad 'bets' were slowing us down, not enabling our mission.
While our current strategy is really sound
, Framework still has a way to go. Simplifying ICT infrastructure is hard these days, but our team is confident that all this hard will will pay off as we scale for impact.
Framework is fanatical about helping people connect to causes they care about. This operational infrastructure is going be a key to our success.
We'd love to hear from you. How do you manage your online donations? What bottle-necks do you have that we can all learn from? What do you think of our plan?NOTE: This illustration has also been captured on our publically viewable technology wiki - http://it.timeraiser.ca.
Posted by Noorin Ladhani.
I attended Mobile Technology for Social Change a couple weeks ago hosted at MaRS. Great conference, great speakers - I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about attending next year. Check out my post outlining some of the lessons I learned here
POSTED BY ANIL PATEL
Just after my panel presentation at the Business and Community Partnerships Forum co-hosted by Volunteer Canada and Imagine Canada, a few of us were pulled aside to participate in a Podcast as part of Volunteer Canada's eVOLution. I've copied and pasted information on their site below (in italics). Let us know what you think.
Episode 2: Corporate responsibility – new technology and measurementClick here to listen to podcast
Join Anil Patel, executive director of Framework; Michael Edwards, a writer and activist affiliated with New York-based think tank Demos; and host Graham Machacek, Manager of Marketing and Communications at Volunteer Canada, as they discuss the role of emerging technologies and measurement tools within the non-profit sector, and the difference between performance measurement for non-profits and for businesses.
1:05 – Anil Patel describes how his company uses new technologies and provides an overview of his session at the Canadian Business & Community Partnership Forum
1:50 – Michael Edwards describes his work with technology and metrics, and provides an overview of his session at the Canadian Business & Community Partnership Forum
3:00 – Anil discusses the benefits to non-profits of sharing information online
4:35 – Michael on improving the relationship between the business and non-profit sectors when it comes to performance measurement
6:40 – Michael explains why social change does not adhere to business models of measurement and metrics
7:55 – Anil discusses what businesses can do to support organizations working with new technology and measurement tools
9:25 – Michael discusses what businesses can do to support organizations working with new technology and measurement tools
11:15 – Anil describes how non-profits can get started using new tools and technologies
12:05 – Michael describes how non-profits can integrate performance measurement tools into their work
13:15 – Anil on the benefits to non-profits of using tools that already exist, rather than building from scratch
POSTED BY ANIL PATEL
My family grew up with the Davidson’s, long time family friends. Al Davidson is like a second dad to my siblings and me. He is a cancer survivor. Last Friday, he organized a Relay for Life
event near Collingwood. The event is a 12 hour relay walk with up to 20 team members starting at 7 pm until 7 am. “Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life gives you and your community the opportunity to celebrate cancer survivors, remember and honour loved ones lost to cancer and fight back against all cancers.”
A touching aspect of the event were the ‘luminaries’ lit up and placed around the track in dedication of survivors or in memory of loved ones.
Our team Al’s Pal’s had a total of 13 luminaries inspiring us as we rounded the track in their honour. I have to say, while my tank was empty from just returning from the Calgary Timeraiser (we literally drove from the airport right to the track), it was inspiring to walk with Al. Many of us walked nearly 30 kms over 12 hours.
Switching gears a little, my friend Peter Bombaci
has recently took the helm of Movember
Canada. Movember currently focus on raising awareness and supporting research on Prostate Cancer, but is broadening it strategy on men’s health
Framework look forward to working with many groups focused on kids health, woman’s health, men’s health and health for the aging. If there is one thing I took away from the Relay for Life is that there are preventative things we can do to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce the chances of cancer. We as a community need to better promote healthy life styles.
Posted by Anil Patel
For a young guy, Tim Brodhead has seen a lot, done much for many and knows his trade very well. This is apparent in reading through Reflections on Philanthropy and Society
: The Speeches of Tim Brodhead. It was compiled as a gift and handed out to guests in the room at his recent retirement celebration as CEO of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.
While Tim has delivered several dozen speeches during his tenure, just over two dozen were selected for the book. I was very interested in this compilation, and read through each speech carefully. My learning style is to write notes in the margins - it helps me process information. In doing so, I like to doodle things like timelines and visual ways to connect content.
below is what I came up with after reading Reflections. From each speech, I selected one of many “quotables” for part of the diagram. I was searching for themes that relate to our work at Framework: helping people connect to causes they care about.
Three themes emerged:
- How do organizations build capabilities to better engage people in their network over time?
- How do organizations become a learning organization to develop these capabilities?
- How does sharing concise and relevant content in real-time establish itself as the ‘new normal”?
Together, these themes will be a large focus of our staff retreat in June. Our agenda and breakouts will hone in on refining the information sharing we’ve already put into place as we begin to ramp up for our Fall Timeraiser events.
But back to Tim. Thanks so much for all your support and belief in our work. All the best in your new adventures and congratulations once again for your leadership in the sector as the head of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation.
Be sure to enter our WestJet Social Media contest for your chance to win a pair of WestJet tickets, ANYWHERE WESTJET flies!
Full Rules and Regulations can be viewed here: https://timeraiser.box.net/shared/jurlqn1j8b
POSTED BY ANIL PATEL
It has been a super busy week. While our team is preparing for the 6th Calgary Timeraiser (next Thursday June 16th), we have also been busy ramping up our technology planning work as part of the Platformation project. Our newest colleague Noorin has been at the MyCharityConnects & NetChange Week conference for five days meeting and networking with technologists. Amanda and I have been busy with the following related to technology:
One of the most common questions from audience members is "What steps can I take to start technology road mapping?"
I wish there was an easy answer. Every organization we meet is at a different level of capacity and competency. This afternoon, I did take a moment to create an illustration. The goal is to help demystify how staff and board members can begin developing a long-term ICT strategy. It is a simple 6 step process:
Framework has nearly completed our ICT Road-Map. Here are a few of the items we've pulled together:
- Embedded in operational plan (see row 56 of our Score Card)
- Fully vetted hardware/software infrastructure
- Public technology wiki for shared learning
What do you think of the Technology Planning road map? Any suggestions? What has worked for you?
Three things jumped out as I read Librarian to the World
(Fast Company Issue 154. April 2011 Pg 104 to 109, By Karen Valby
The first is Wikipedia’s Ontario connection. Sue Gardner, the director hired by founder Jimmy Wales, is from Port Hope, Ontario. I’m not sure why I sit up when I read about people working abroad for iconic organizations who have roots in Canada, but I do.
The second is that Wikipedia’s staggering content has been contributed primarily by volunteer editors from across the globe. Fast Company reports that it would cost $50,000 to print the 3.5 million English entries, and that ‘one copy would fill up 1,500 books at 1,500 pages per book
The third is the technology behind the platform. While only 2.5% of the contributors provide 50% of all the content, Wikipedia is a remarkably transparent platform. Any online visitor can view who has contributed on any entry. While this has lead to some interesting curatorial disagreements, the platform seems to produce some very reliable information. And rather than having to wait months for the background on a topic or event, it is being co-created in minutes or hours.
Together, here is what the observations above mean to Framework:
- Crowd-Sourcing & Our Sharesies mandate. Framework will be try to emulate some of the winning elements from the Wikipedia model and apply this to our ‘sharing mission critical information in real time’ mandate.Coffee with Sue.
- In September, I’ll be in San Francisco for several conferences and meetings. I hope to grab 30 minutes of Sue’s time to share our Shareies model.
Did you read the article? What did you think? Is Sue in your network? Could you help connect us? Are you interested in sharing your mission critical information? Do you want to participate in Sharesies?