What We’re Thinking

Heartwired

Despite the protests of generations of economists, recent neurological and psychological research shows that human decisions come from our heart, not from our head. In small decisions, like which jam to buy, and large ones, like whom to marry, we are more often swayed by our psycho-social circuitry than by rational thought. For social changemakers,…

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Nonprofits, Leadership, and Race

This past year, we were proud to join the Annie E. Casey Foundation and an anonymous fund in supporting the Building Movement Project’s Nonprofits, Leadership, and Race survey. The initial results from the survey were recently released in a report called Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap. The report provides an unprecedented look…

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Saying Goodbye Gracefully: Five Capacity Building Lessons from a Time-Limited Investment

From 2009-2016, the Packard Foundation engaged in an intensive effort to improve summer learning in California. Over seven years, we helped to support 12 high-quality demonstration programs with multiple sites, assemble a network of technical assistance providers for summer programs, and advocate for increased support for summer learning at the state and local levels Highlights…

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Reflections on Development of the Digital Impact Toolkit

From July 2013 to December 2014, I was a Visiting Scholar at the Packard Foundation, focused on how nonprofits and foundations deal with the implications of digital data. During my time at the Foundation, I led a cohort of colleagues through several learning lunches (with hundreds of sticky notes), conducted a data inventory, and interviewed…

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Supporting Cybersecurity for Nonprofits

Early in my career I taught a series of classes for UNIX system administrators, including a course in computer security. I guided people through password management, taught them about viruses and worms and showed them how to set-up a firewall. This was back in the days of the “world-wide-web” when the underground world of hackers…

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