Around the Institute

Love, Hate, and Community Organizing

July 10, 2015  • Institute Contributor

Die, buzzword, die!

We APEP-pers are typically nonviolent, mostly. But we agree with some recent choice words about trends in the communications industry and nonprofit sector. Paul Sutton pulls no punches in this post on the 5 Words That Need to Die in PR (look out, Engagement and Storytelling – Paul’s coming for you). And Vu Le at Nonprofit With Balls lays into 9 annoying nonprofit trends that need to die (“innovative solutions” and “ignite presentations” are on the hit list). But lest we dwell too long on the mortally negative – here are 9 awesome nonprofit trends we should all celebrate with unicorn cookies.


Meet your new learning buddy

Grantmakers who actively engage grantees and other partners in shared learning – sounds lovely, doesn’t it? According to a recent GEO report, it doesn’t happen as much as it might. The report provides some useful case studies of “what it takes to learn together effectively with grantees and other partners.” These are timely insights for funders to digest – less than half of those who evaluate their grantmaking said they use the data to report to their grantees/stakeholders or share the findings with other grantmakers; and nearly 70% of nonprofits reported that their funders rarely or never cover the cost of measuring outputs and outcomes. Tsk.


Liberté, egalité, communauté!

Last call for advance sign up for APEP’s upcoming July 14th breakfast – 8:15 to 9:45 AM, campers. In honor of Bastille Day, we’ll be serving café et croissants and discussing community organizing capacity. Speakers Sue Hoechstetter from Alliance for Justice and David Haiman from Movement Matters will be showing us PowerCheck, a free capacity assessment tool for nonprofits, foundations, and evaluators. Walk-in’s are always welcome, but advance sign-up speeds you past security downstairs at One Dupont Circle NW. And dallying downstairs may cost you a croissant. Quelle horreur! 

The Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program helps leading foundations and nonprofit organizations plan, assess and learn from their efforts to promote changes in  knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and policies in the US and internationally.  To learn more about our tools and services, visit