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The DonorEdge Learning Community: Transforming Institutions into Resilient Philanthropic Leadership


GuideStar enjoyed co-hosting the 2013 DonorEdge Learning Community Annual Conference last week with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. The conference was filled with thought provoking guest speakers; engaging, open conversations about problems and solutions for community foundations and community philanthropy, and the future of GuideStar and GuideStar DonorEdge. Thank you to our guest speakers:

The content presented from speakers and emerging, group conversations were diverse with a couple of highlights described below:

  • Examples of successful collaborations and communication strategies:
    • Leadership alignment
    • Willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture
  • Data, information, and knowledge:
    • The importance of visualization and design for meaning and sense-making
    • Using information and knowledge to facilitate evidenced-based (data) impact and positive social change
  • Sustainable strategies and tactics proven effective by the DonorEdge Learning Community to:
    • Become philanthropic leaders and knowledge experts in their communities
    • Strengthen relationships with donors and prospective donors
    • Build nonprofit capacity
    • Transform their community foundations into adaptable, resilient organizations

Two simple, but profound, expressions were stated at the conference that were memorable:

  • Philanthropy defines community.
  • The remarkable gets remarked about.

Each member of the DonorEdge Learning Community is defining philanthropy in its community by nontraditional collaborations and their willingness to experiment and learn from mistakes that may occur along the way. Each member of the DonorEdge Learning Community is remarkable and gets remarked about because of this same willingness and nontraditional culture and leadership. These community foundations are adapting to the rapidly changing, innovative, and disruptive world in which we live.

Stay tuned for my next blog post about how DonorEdge can help connections with millennials and how the DonorEdge Learning Community is creating evidenced-based stories of organizational effectiveness and positive social change, through data, information, and knowledge.

If you are interested in learning more about DonorEdge or the DonorEdge Learning Community, please contact Lori Larson, senior director GuideStar DonorEdge,

Lori Larson Lori Larson

Lori Larson is senior director of GuideStar DonorEdge and is responsible for GuideStar’s market and product strategy for DonorEdge, and growth of and customer relations of the DonorEdge Learning Community. Prior to joining GuideStar, Lori worked for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, leading teams including knowledge development, nonprofit outreach, and donor relations. Previous to her foundation work, Lori was the operations manager of a multi-entity oil and gas corporation in Houston, Texas, and was assistant publisher of a software company in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Lori holds a B.A. in Economics, With Distinction, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and an MBA in Finance from Baker College Center for Graduate Studies. Lori holds a Ph.D (ABD) in Leadership and Organizational Change at Walden University. Her dissertation, “Adaptive Business Models for Community Foundation Resilience,” is in progress with expected full doctorate graduation December 2013. You may reach Lori directly at

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