Harnessing the Power of Technology

June 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

There is hardly any aspect of life today that is not impacted by advances in mobile and internet technology – from the way we do our banking and shopping, to how we educate our children or care for the sick. Recent events in the Middle East are powerful examples of the influence of social media. Contemporary Thomas Paines now use handheld mobile devices to communicate their message, much to the chagrin of long established, and now often former, leaders.

Organized philanthropy has been understandably slow to adopt these new forms of technology to their daily operations. Generally conservative in nature, foundations are reluctant to make changes unless clear benefits can be demonstrated. Yet, technology’s impact on contemporary life is so pervasive that few foundations are still immune to their effects. Nowadays most have websites; many encourage online submission of grant proposals and reports; and increasing numbers boast Facebook pages and leaders who can be followed on Twitter.

Yet as dramatic as these changes are when compared to the way foundations operated 20 years ago, they are mere shadows of what is yet to come. Instead of looking at digital technologies as optional business equipment, philanthropy now sees them as essential tools in the service of social change and impact. By harnessing the power of these new technologies, foundations are dramatically increasing the impact they can have on local communities. The possibilities for information gathering and strategy development are greatly enhanced, while demands for greater transparency and accountability can be accommodated much more easily. For example, does not the fact that two-thirds of the people in the world today have access to mobile phones change the way foundations plan programs or evaluate the projects they fund? When instant feedback is available through the cell phones of the target population, focus groups and online surveys can serve very different purposes and mid-course program adjustments can be more informed, effective and timely than ever before.

In the coming months, OGF will offer webinars, workshops and other resources on the impact that technology is having on foundations today and how you can use these tools more effectively in your work. Special sessions are also planned for this year’s Annual Conference in Columbus, October 24-26. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to learn more about how philanthropy is meeting the challenge of a new day.

Thank you for your interest and support.

George Espy
President, Ohio Grantmakers Forum

Advertisements

Entry filed under: Annual Conference 2011, Communications.

Good Reads Nonprofit Revocations in Ohio Top 10,000

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Visit Our Website

Get Your Philanthropy Ohio News First

Reader Subscription

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 87 other followers

Categories


%d bloggers like this: