And now for our semi-regular trip around the blogosphere:

  • So this is what I’m up against in the philanthropy job market? How very, very sad. It’s hard to tell whether the writer of the column (who prefers to remain anonymous) is just feeling sour grapes or actually speaking truth to power, but I’m inclined to believe the latter. If true, it highlights the need for parties that work with multiple foundations (such as philanthropic advisors, community foundations, and executive search firms) to take more of a leadership role on behalf of the field. The 2008 SOM Philanthropy Conference, which I’m spending much of my time right now planning, will seek to address these issues in depth. (h/t Tactical Philanthropy)
  • Around the same time as discovering the link above, I saw this post on Philanthromedia entitled “Overcoming Board Inertia” as well as a Philanthropy News Digest piece reporting that “a significant number of CEOs at midsize nonprofits are dissatisfied with the performance of their boards.” My rant last week defending the nonprofit sector notwithstanding, board dysfunction is one of the huge factors holding nonprofits back from their true potential. This difficulty is not surprising given that most nonprofits tend to identify extremely busy people with their own projects and priorities as prime board candidates. I would be curious to find out if any countries have explored non-board-based governance schemes for their equivalent of nonprofit organizations.
  • Fractured Atlas wants to pick your brain. I find this project interesting, not so much for the idea itself (several arts service orgs are already developing this type of content), but for the way in which FA has gone about pursuing it. Specifically, I love the fact that they’ve issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the content. Most nonprofits I know of would have simply chosen a content provider based on reputation alone, or at the most invited a small group of organizations with established track records to submit bids privately. By opening up the process to the public, Fractured Atlas casts its net a lot wider, with potentially much more to show for it. (I also like the idea of giving providers a cut of the profits for advanced courses–way to align incentives there!) The compensation levels, interestingly, are significantly below what a typical consulting firm would charge to create an interactive course, but significant enough that a freelancer or interested amateur would no doubt consider it. I expect we’ll see a lot more of this kind of “semi-pro” pricing/compensation structure in content creation fields in the future. More about that later this week.