There is a wealth of expertise in community philanthropy across Washington State. There are 26 community foundations, as well as a number of private philanthropies, intermediaries and TA providers who are helping build community philanthropy capacity statewide. Many of these leaders are connecting with each other, sharing information, and coordinating their work. At the same time, there are opportunities to strengthen relationships among leaders in community philanthropy and thereby strengthen philanthropic effectiveness in Washington.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with the Monitor Institute, is leading an effort to map relationships among leaders in community philanthropy across the state. The mapping effort aims to help community philanthropy leaders--in particular community foundations--visualize existing relationships and identify opportunities for strengthening networks.

Network mapping technologies allow us to visualize the relationships at work across groups of individuals and organizations, making previously invisible connections visible. The social network maps that are produced can be used to help us to understand the relationships between different actors, to identify strong linkages and disconnects between groups, to build and strengthen the network of people and organizations working on an issue, and to assess the development of the network over time.

The following survey will provide the data for the mapping effort. It asks questions about you, your organization, and who you interact with. The information will be used to create social network maps that will be distributed via email to all who respond to this survey. The maps will also be shared and discussed at a convening of community foundations in Bellingham in early August.

A Note on the Term 'Network'

A network is any collection of things--data, people, technologies, organizations--that are connected together. A social network is a collection of people connected by relationships. When focusing on the network, the emphasis is on the relationships between the people, not just the individuals (or objects) themselves. Understanding networks means understanding the nature of the ties between people, which may be strong or weak, connected in-person or online. To learn more about social networks and their potential for social change, read the Monitor Institute's recent paper "Working Wikily," published in this summer's Stanford Social Innovation Review.

This survey must be completed by July 29, 2020

 

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