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The Business of Justice at Craigslist Nonprofit Boot Camp

"Running the business of this thing called 'Justice' is extremely difficult," proclaimed Lateefah Simon, Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights during her panel discussion at the Craigslist Nonprofit Boot Camp this past Saturday. I had the opportunity – as did many local nonprofit supporters, professionals, and entrepreneurs – to see her and a mixture of other social justice and community leaders at this convening. The day was themed around "Empowering Communities." I went to get a pulse on what these leaders and our communities are working on, talking about and thinking about. From the people I engaged with and the workshops I attended, I concluded that the buzz words of the day were: community building, social media, and collaboration.

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View from Across the Pond: Nonprofit Space and Infrastructure in the UK

I was asked by the conference organizers to talk about fiscal sponsorship in the context of other infrastructure services provided by Tides. Attendees included heads of federations of nonprofits; representatives of women- or people of color-led organizations; senior leaders of the U.K. equivalent of Independent Sector and the Council on Foundations; and groups providing services on the county and local levels. Although, in fact, fiscal sponsorship does exist in the U.K. on an informal level (as it does in the U.S.), there are no organizations providing comprehensive fiscal sponsorship programs like Tides and Third Sector New England provide in the U.S. Indeed, many attendees had never heard of the concept. So my presentation was well received and my workshops well attended. I'm looking forward to follow up from attendees with Tides and Tides Canada on the viability of this smart, efficient, cost-effective model for the U.K.

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Why Does Infrastructure Matter?

I am excited to announce the launch of What's Possible: the Tides Blog – written by and for people interested in creating strong infrastructure for the social change sector. In this sector, what we do (the mission work that gets us up every morning for a vision of a just and equitable world) is interwoven with how we do it (the organizations we create to implement our vision). If we don’t pay attention to the infrastructure we are putting in place to support the work necessary to implement our visions, the lack of strong organizational practices and efforts will ultimately cause us distraction from our work, at best, and at worse, result in the dissolution of the very organizations we have created to do the work.

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Shared Services Guide: Collaborative Solutions

As doing more with less has become the new normal for nonprofits of all shapes and sizes, budget-savvy nonprofits are wisely teaming up to share resources and services through innovative “shared services” programs. Sharing workspaces, IT resources, administrative functions like accounting and human resources and other services through a shared services arrangement is a relatively easy—yet highly effective—way for nonprofits to increase their operational efficiencies, lower their operating costs and focus more energy on advancing their core mission and less on back office functions.

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