You’re looking for the gift that keeps on giving, right? I’ve got just the thing for you. Pick up a copy of Beth Kanter and Allison Fine’s book The Networked Nonprofit. A fun read with great stories and case studies, this book will help any nonprofit leader better understand the impact and opportunities of working in a networked world. THEN SIGN UP FOR OUR ONLINE BOOK GROUP! That’s right. Starting in January, we’ll be hosting a free online book group to discuss the concepts and their application to our work in the Jewish community. Bonus: experience the joys of the new Facebook Groups feature while you’re at it. You can join the book group now, and we’ll kick off discussion in January. That gives you just enough time to get copies for your co-workers, plus one for yourself, and read it in mid-December while everyone else is still scrambling for that other holiday, or by a cozy fire, or on the beach in Hawaii or where ever you might take a winter vacation… Have you read the book yet? What are you interested in discussing? What ideas grabbed your attention?
As part of our 10th Birthday Celebration, Darim is thrilled to announce our new book club! Following on the success of our recent webinar with Allison Fine, we are starting a book group to dive more deeply into The Networked Nonprofit and what it means for transforming Jewish organizations.
Darim is excited to launch our very first book club to deepen our understanding of "networked nonprofits," and to help each other adopt these approaches into our work. Starting January 10th we’ll be discussing a chapter of The Networked Nonprofit each week.
Step this way to the Darim Online Book Club!. Just click on "request to join" and we’ll add you to the group. The book club will take advantage of Facebook’s new "Groups" (note that this is different than the previous "group" structure; extra bonus – in addition to great conversation, you’ll become more familiar with this new Facebook feature.)
In January we’ll start posting questions to guide our discussion. Share your thoughts and questions as we learn from each other!
Please note: there is no cost to participate, but you will need to login to Facebook to join the group. Join us – and get reading! You can buy The Networked Nonprofit by Allison Fine and Beth Kanter here.
This post is part of Jewels of Elul which celebrates the Jewish tradition to dedicate the 29 days of the month of Elul to growth and discovery in preparation for the coming high holy days. This year the program is benefiting Beit T’shuvah, a residential addiction treatment center in Los Angeles. You can subscribe on Jewels of Elul to receive inspirational reflections from public figures each day of the month. You don’t have to be on the blog tour to write a blog post on “The Art of Beginning… Again”. We invite everyone to post this month (August 11th – September 8th) with Jewels of Elul to grow and learn. This is the age of perpetual beta. New features, tools and applications are being developed at such a rapid pace, that it’s more efficient to adopt a rapid & agile approach to development and implementation than to try to perfect it before going live. You might notice that Gmail and Flickr are still noted as "beta". Today things move quickly, and being agile and nimble is more important than being perfect. The consequence, however, is that without a defined end point or beginning, we might forget to pause and reflect, or to fully embrace a new beginning. When we’re constantly evolving, and continually focused on what’s next, do we lose the opportunity to get the most out of this moment, and what we’ve accomplished? It’s always hard to carve out the time for reflection, but every time I do it, I am reminded that it’s worth its weight in gold. Looking backwards in an age of constant innovation might seem counter-intuitive, but it is critical for future success, happiness and improvement. This is true whether it’s a new release of some widget or gadget, or a birthday, or Rosh Hashanah. The cycle of the Jewish year is important not only for giving us reason to stop and reflect, but also for giving us a reference point for that reflection. I often remember my thoughts, feelings, regrets, hopes and thankfulness of last year, or the year before at Rosh Hashanah. The intensity of the holidays, the unique feeling of walking into the synagogue on that day, and even the words and tunes of the prayers evoke those memories that were etched into my being a year, or two, or three ago. The power of the day is not in what I’m thinking or feel at that moment, but how much has changed over time. I once read a book, Managing Transitions, about how organizations and people navigate change. The take-home message for me was that change is situational, like a light switch. You close a factory, you require your staff to use a new database system, or the calendar tips from 5770 to 5771. But transition is psychological, and is a process. If we only see the change, and don’t engage in the transition, has anything really changed? If we are truly going to embark on a new beginning, we must take the time to close one chapter before we can transition into the next phase. I’ve always been fascinated by the word "beginning". Seemingly a noun, the "ing" gives it this little boost of a verb’s energy. Maybe it’s just a noun in perpetual beta.
RedWriteWeb, one of the most popular blogs on web technology news, is running a series of posts this week on how religious organizations are using technology. Today they focused on the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, pluralistic research and training institute that trains and ordains rabbis as well as runs high schools in Jerusalem, among other things.
As their work attracts and serves a very diverse (and worldwide) audience, so too must their online strategy. Beyond information about the organization and programs via their web site, the Institute incorporates extensive video and slide sharing throughout the site to share their value and make their work (and their extraordinary teachers) come alive. Further, they are developing a Facebook strategy, working their Wikipedia entries, venturing into podcasting, blogging, using video-based distance learning, and experimenting with Twitter.
Alan Abbey, the organization’s web site manager, is turning theory into practice, experimenting, and measuring his success. More than dabbling in this and that, he is creating an internet strategy for his organization, and is implementing the multiple facets of that strategy. Alan knows that the age of focusing only on your web site ended in 2007, and he’s integrating multiple tools and approaches. He understands it may take time for each venture to get rooted and attract and audience. And for his audience to mature and start to use these tools as well. And perhaps, in the coming year or two, he’ll weed his garden and pursue a smaller number of approaches that have the greatest returns for his mission. Or maybe he’ll find great success in all of his approaches. Learn about his work at ReadWriteWeb. And check out the other religion postings this week too.
- Andrea Useem writes about religious life and web 2.0 on the Religion Writer blog.
- See3.net offers wisdom on using online video for non profit causes on their blog, See What’s Out There.
- Short video tutorials on a number of social media tools, such as social bookmarking, Twitter and others from Common Craft.