The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations E-News
ISSUE #43, April 2008
1. Hauser Conversations: Rob Sampson on Nonprofit "Density"; Peter Gelb on "Fostering New Audiences for Opera"
2. Upcoming Seminars: "Worker Protection" and "NGOs Changing World Politics"
3. Hauserites in Action: Dave Brown in Berlin, Martha Chen at UN
4. In the News: Marshall Ganz as "Master Activist"; Peter Dobkin Hall on Nonprofit Mixed-Base Revenue
5. New Doctoral Research Grants: Immigrants, Tax Policy, Urban vs. Suburban Nonprofits
1. HAUSER CONVERSATIONS
The Future of the Nonprofit Sector Panel Series
As part of the launch of the second decade, the Hauser Center is hosting a series of panel discussions in which scholars and practitioners explore together questions crucial to the future of the sector.
In March, Peter Gelb, General Manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera, presented on "The Future of the Metropolitan Opera" and V. Kasturi Rangan, Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing, Harvard Business School, provided respondent comments. Among the highlights of that presentation were: 1) the unique business strategy of using high-definition broadcasts of Met performances into movie theaters around the globe; 2) the double focus on building a new young audience for opera, and expanding the older audience to include people who currently limit their patronage to the theatre; and, 3) the acknowledgement of a critical connection between attracting young people to sing, direct, compose, and otherwise participate in opera, and building a truly young audience for opera. The panel was co-sponsored by the Office for the Arts at Harvard.
Bill Baker, President Emeritus, Thirteen/WNET, presented on "The Future of Nonprofit Journalism" and Thomas Patterson, Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press, Harvard Kennedy School, provided respondent comments. Some of the most critical questions raised during the presentation and the dynamic discussion that followed were these: 1) What would be gained by a conversion of various media outlets into public charities? Would there be opportunities to better align governance with the role they play in the modern news media? 2) What can we learn from the small number of nonprofit newspapers about the potential which is largely dormant in this form of ownership? 3) How can nonprofit news organizations create roles for the contemporary citizen journalist and the growing blogosphere which are consistent with maintaining professional standards of journalism? The event was co-sponsored by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
The panel discussion "Transnational Philanthropy and Poverty Reduction" held on April 14th examined the distinctive contributions of transnational philanthropies in reducing poverty in development countries. Panelists included Barry Gabermen, chair, BoardSource and former senior vice president, The Ford Foundation; Sheela Patel, founder and executive director, SPARC in Mumbai, India; and Lant Pritchett, professor of the Practice of Economic Development, Harvard Kennedy School. Among the key observations offered by the panel were: 1) foundations had in the immediate post-independence era worked in close alignment with developing country governments and other donors in supporting development of new national institutions; 2) beginning in the 1970's, foundations shifted their funding to nonprofit organizations, which were seen as innovators in their approaches to poverty reduction (and in other aspects of civic life, including human rights advocacy) and which in some countries formed the foundations of new civil societies; and, 3) despite many important contributions over past decades, it is not clear that foundations are taking full advantage of their flexibility and freedom as donors to support innovative and sometimes risky approaches to development that are essential to the kinds of breakthroughs needed to reduce poverty on a large scale. Panel moderator Steven Lawry, Senior Research Fellow, is co-leader of a new Hauser Center project on transnational philanthropy and poverty reduction that will be working in Brazil, South Africa and India in collaboration with national research institutions in each country. The panel was co-sponsored by the Center for International Development and the South Asia Initiative at Harvard.
Problems and Prospects in Nonprofit Governance Seminar Series
The Nonprofit Governance and Accountability Project and The Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative have been organizing a 2007-2008 Seminar Series "Problems and Prospects in Nonprofit Governance," as part of the Nonprofit Governance and Accountability Project, a joint initiative of the Hauser Center and Harvard Law School.
At a February seminar, Marshall Ganz presented "Challenges of Leadership and Authority in Federated Volunteer Organizations: Case of the Sierra Club," a summary of findings from an action research project undertaken in partnership with the national environmental association. In the first phase of their work, Ganz and his research partners identified a number of factors inhibiting effective leadership among the elected governors and grass-roots volunteers of state and local Sierra Club chapters. (Many members, for example, envisioned leadership as the 'heroic' work of lone individuals, rather than the relational work of teams.) Guided by the research findings, Ganz turned in the second phase of the project to designing and delivering a comprehensive leadership development program suited to the distinctive character of a civic association like the Sierra Club. It helps members build a variety of skills -- from tapping their core values and moral commitments as a source of motivation to defining measurable actions they can use to hold themselves and each other accountable.
Robert Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences and Chair of the Department of Sociology, focuses not on the formal, institutional aspects of nonprofit governance but on the relationship of nonprofits to informal community networks. He presented findings from his ongoing research on community problem-solving at a February seminar entitled "Social Networks, Nonprofit Organizations, and the New Civil Society." By documenting incidents of notable collective action – ranging from protests to community meetings – as reported in newspaper articles, and then mapping the location of nonprofit community organizations against these events, Sampson has discovered that the density of these organizations is a predictor of collective action; the more community nonprofits, the more collective action. Seminar participants debated the significance of one interesting exception: churches do not predict collective action, leading some to hypothesize that church participation focuses members inward, away from community concerns, and others to wonder if church members might engage in community problem-solving, but not in forms that attract the notice of reporters.
2. UPCOMING SEMINARS
The Future of the Nonprofit Sector Panel Series
Upcoming events in this series include:
- Date: April 29, 2008; 6pm
Location: JFK Forum, Harvard Kennedy School, Littauer 1st Floor
Title: "Worker Protection in Global Value Chains: The Role of Government, Business, and Civil Society"
Panelists: Martha Chen (moderator), Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Coordinator, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO); Mary Robinson, Chair, Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002), President of Ireland (1990-1997); John Ruggie, Weil Director, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government Kirkpatrick Professor of International Affairs; Richard Freeman, Herbert S. Ascherman Professor of Economics, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Co-sponsors: The Institute of Politics, the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, and the Harvard University Committee on Human Rights Studies.
- Date: May 14, 2008; 12-2pm
Location: Fainsod Room, Harvard Kennedy School, Littauer 3rd Floor
Title: "The Future of Nonprofit Organizations in China"
Panelists: L. David Brown (moderator), Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Associate Director for International Programs, Hauser Center; Ailing Zhuang, NPO Development Centre; William Alford, Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, Director of East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School; Peter Geithner, Adviser to the Asia Center, Harvard University, Former Ford Foundation Representative, China.
Co-sponsor: East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School.
RSVP required as lunch will be available and capacity is limited. RSVP to Maryann Leach at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: May 21, 2008; 4-6pm
Location: Nye C, Harvard Kennedy School, Taubman 5th Floor
Title: "Are NGO's Changing World Politics?"
Panelists: J. Bryan Hehir (moderator), Parker Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life, Harvard Kennedy School; Peter Bell, Senior Research Fellow, Hauser Center and Chair of the facilitation group of the NGO Leaders Forum; Jackie Smith, Associate Professor of Sociology and Peace Studies, The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame; Robert Paarlberg, Betty Freyhof Johnson Class of 1944 Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College and Visiting Professor of Government, Harvard University; Associate of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
Co-sponsor: The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.
3. HAUSERITES IN ACTION
Martha Chen made a presentation entitled The Informal Economy in India: Understanding the Employment Challenge as part of the "Governance Challenges for India" Mid-Career Programme for IAS Officers in India. Chen's presentation generated discussion around current policy initiatives of the Indian government and proposed policy responses for the informal economy. The NGO Committee for Social Development of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs held a Civil Society Forum at the UN headquarters in New York City on February 5th, at which Chen was one of the panelists who addressed "Policies for Creating an Enabling Environment for Full Employment and Decent Work." Also while in New York, Chen participated in a consultation and led a discussion focused on Labor and Business Rights convened at the UNDP. For this event a special group of commentators were brought together by the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and the World Conference of "Religions for Peace" to address the Role of Religions in Advancing Legal Empowerment of the Poor.
Both Martha Chen and Dave Brown taught sessions in the Pakistan Executive Leadership Development Program in mid-February. Brown taught on cross-sector partnerships and Chen taught on "The Informal Economy in Pakistan: A Comparative Perspective." The analysis she presented suggests that even without a favorable policy environment in Pakistan, the informal economy contributes to growth, employment and provides a safety net. Brown presented a case on civil society movements to influence large dams and the evolution of the World Commission on Dams at the Conference on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness in Ottawa, Canada February 3-7th. He also delivered a talk on "Challenges to Good Governance in International NGOs" at the Conference on Good Governance in Voluntary Organizations at the Berlin Civil Society Center in Germany from February 28-29th and gave a talk to the Multi-Governed Organizations and Accountability and Governance Seminar on "Governing International Advocacy NGOs and Networks: Architecture, Performance and Accountability."
Alnoor Ebrahim led a workshop on "Building a Theory of Change" at the annual Harvard Kennedy School Bridge-Builders conference, a group of young NGO innovators from around the world, on February 28th. Ebrahim also presented his research on "The World Bank and Democratic Accountability" at the Center for International Development on February 8th and as part of the faculty seminar series at the Harvard Kennedy School on February 27th.
The organizing curriculum that Marshall Ganz developed has now been taught by faculty, all of whom are former teaching fellows, at five area colleges: Wellesley, Holy Cross, UMass-Amherst, Providence College, and Stonehill College. Students from the courses at Holy Cross, UMass-Amherst, and Providence College joined the students at Harvard for a Saturday Skills Session on February 9th for training students in building relationships, motivating civic engagement, creative strategizing, and effective action. Ganz also led an organizing training for World Vision on February 29th, which focused on lessons drawn from the story of David and Goliath for creative strategizing and grassroots mobilization. The core set of participants in the training were young people working on college campuses and with evangelical Christian groups on global AIDS and the ONE campaign. Additionally, Ganz gave a talk entitled "Leadership Conversation: The New Generation of Leadership" at the 8th Annual Public Policy and Leadership Conference (PPLC), which is directed at undergraduate students from historically under-served communities with an interest in careers in public policy.
Gabriele Bammer presented "Enhancing Cross-Disciplinary Problem-Based Biosecurity Research" to a conference on Biosecurity Challenges for Australia and its Region, organized by the National Centre for Biosecurity at The Australian National University from February 11-12th.
4. IN THE NEWS
In the February 24th Boston Globe article "Taking to the streets is homework from master activist," Marshall Ganz is profiled for his history and work as an organizer. The course on organizing which Ganz teaches to undergraduates is profiled in The Yard article "Social Studies Students Practice Democracy." Ganz was also quoted on his involvement as an activist in the civil rights movements of the 1960's in the April 7th Harvard Crimson article "Reliving a historic legacy" about the anniversary of the 1968 civil rights demonstrations.
Peggy Levitt is quoted in the February 4th New York Times article "A Tiny Staff, Tracking People Across the Globe," about the Migration Information Service which tracks immigration and migration trends.
The January 31st Boston Globe article "Perkins School to acquire for-profit firm" includes a quote from Peter Dobkin Hall about the positives of having a mixed-revenue base.
Hauser Doctoral Fellow Warigia Bowman wrote the January 6th Boston Globe op-ed piece "Moving forward in Kenya," reflecting on the chaotic outcome of the Kenyan presidential elections.
5. NEW DOCTORAL RESEARCH GRANTS
We are pleased to announce the recipients of the Hauser Center Research Fund for Pre-doctoral Students Awards. Students within the United States with a research interest in the nonprofit sector were encouraged to apply. The following 4 students received grants for their research.
Alexandra Murphy, Sociology, Princeton University.
Research title: "Gaining Entrance Into New High-Poverty Spatial Markets: The Urban vs. Suburban Political Economy of Providing Services to the Poor"
Andras Tilcsik, Organizational Behavior, Harvard University.
Research title: "Building Civil Society Through Tax Law? The Effect of Percentage Laws on the Nonprofit Sector"
Van Tran and Corina Graif, Sociology and Social Policy, Harvard University.
Research title: "The Role of Nonprofits in the Lives of Urban Dwellers-A Qualitative Exploration"
Abigail Williamson, Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.
Research title: "Beyond the Passage of Time: Immigrant Political Incorporation in New Destinations"
The Hauser Center E-News provides updates of Hauser Center research, events, activities, people and publications. The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations is a University-wide research center based at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The Center is not a degree granting institution. Please e-mail Laura Ax at email@example.com with E-News questions and feedback.
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