Thursday, September 14, 2006

Wheat from Chaff

Convergent responders who self-organize to meet a civic problem at the local level are often very effective but unconnected to philanthropic sources. Many are not even incorporated as non-profits. The regional and national organizations, networks, and individuals that support, nurture, and empower them, are, unfortunately, sorely neglected by foundations.

One way to turn things around, is for philanthropy networks to do research on who the effective activists are--regardless of organizational structure--and find ways to help them, rather than ignore them because they are too busy doing the important work to spend time formalizing and applying for grants. An alternative way of obtaining that data is to simply ask the regional mentors and national advisors what's going on, allowing serious funders to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

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