Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Funder's guide offers understanding of how to harness the power of networks

Oct. 20, 2011, 11:12 a.m., Posted by Elizabeth R. Miller

http://networksguide.wikispaces.com/A new guide examines why funders need to understand networks and explores what it takes for grantmakers to create a network mindset.

The guide, “Catalyzing Networks for Social Change,” was released this week by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Monitor Institute.

The guide offers five approaches that may help grantmakers and social change makers use the power of networks, including: weaving social ties, assessing new and diverse topics, openly building and sharing knowledge, creating infrastructure for widespread engagement and coordinating resources and action.

Stephanie Bell-Rose

Download: Connected Citizens

The report continues to explore the themes from Connected Citizens, a Knight Foundation and Monitor Institute report published earlier this year that explores how social networks - on and offline - affect the way people push for social change.

The full guide is available online and also at networksguide.wikispaces.com. Written by Diana Scearce, it includes input from a set of network practitioners including Knight Foundation’s Jeff Coates, national program associate, and Mayur Patel, vp/strategy and assessment. Knight Foundation also provided additional support to produce the guide.

Earlier this week, over 500 grantmakers dedicated to smarter grantmaking and better results participated in a conference to look at growing social impact in a networked world. During the conference’s opening session, foundation leaders shared their experiences embracing a network mindset and investing in network learning. Participants received the guide in advance, to help inform the discussions.

Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and Monitor Institute hosted the conference in San Francisco, CA.

To participate in a conversation around networks and funders on Twitter, follow the hashtag #netfunders.