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The DonorEdge Learning Community’s Next Lesson: Funk and Jazz


I’ve come to expect that I will learn something new every time I meet with folks from GuideStar’s DonorEdge Community Foundations.

After all, that’s what a learning community is all about.

From many of the group’s presidents, I’ve learned about how community foundations are re-inventing their business models, focusing less on transactional donations and more on “intentional” giving. From other community foundation presidents I’ve learned about the importance of becoming a “knowledge center,” a reservoir of information about nonprofit organizations and their programs and metrics.

From my friend Roxie Jerde, senior vice president of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, and her husband Mike, I learned how to gather the courage and determination to ride my bike 100 miles in one hot and windy day at Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) in central Iowa.

From our friends at the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee I have learned about how an organization can become a vital knowledge and a financial resource center in times of terrible floods and community hurt. As our partner KIMBIA puts it in their case statement: “In the first week of May 2010, heavy rains fell on the Middle Tennessee region, flooding much of the metro Nashville area. Powered by the combined efforts of KIMBIA and GuideStar’s DonorEdge platform, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee responded immediately with a custom online fundraising campaign. In all, the DonorEdge widgets have raised well over a million dollars in relief funds.”

And as a side benefit from my last trip to Nashville, I learned about all the fabulous music that Nashville has to offer.

And while I’m on the topic of music, at the suggestion of Doug Kridler, president and CEO of the Columbus Foundation, a man who has also had a successful career finding successful musical acts, I dragged along my trusting but unsuspecting wife and two friends to see Trombone Shorty at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, not long ago. It was a high energy night with a capital E! Trombone Shorty─his real name is Troy Andrews─is a part of the musical Andrews family and grew up in New Orleans’ Treme neighborhood. He has appeared in four episodes of the 2010 HBO series Treme. His current group is called Orleans Avenue and they play a mix of funk/hip-hop/jazz and blues. I would call his music amazing and lots of fun.

So thanks, Doug, for the tip about the great music. I never would have gone if it hadn’t been for you. And thanks DonorEdge for being such a great learning community that is always teaching me something new.

Bob.jpgThe preceding is a guest post by Bob Ottenhoff,  Chief Executive of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. With an entrepreneurial spirit, strong technology focus, and a quest to make an impact in the world, Bob has the ability to take an organization and lead it into strong performance, sustainability, and industry leadership.

Topics: Just Because GuideStar Nonprofit