[COMM-ORG] Joan Roberts summer newletter

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Sat Aug 13 11:02:57 CDT 2011

From: "Joan Roberts" <joan at joanroberts.com>

  Summer Newsletter 2011
What's Inside?


1.      Update

2.      New Resources

3.      Interesting Research

4.       Joan Roberts Consulting Online

5.      Collaborative Story




The spring and early summer of 2011 was very busy, finishing existing
projects, delivering training workshops and facilitating planning sessions.
I have been working with two local immigration partnerships as well as many
non-profit organizations.  This summer is absolutely glorious in terms of
weather in my part of the world so I making the best of it going to
different places and taking in the sun (of course with sunscreen on!).  And
when back to work catching up with all those projects that got back burnered
when I was busy.


I am looking forward to a Fall season filled with the development and
delivery of new workshops and facilitation services.  


One of my passions is training for non-profit organizations. Over the years
I have developed and delivered many training sessions.  Attached to this
email is a brochure with descriptions of one-day and half-day workshops that
can be customized for your staff and board. If you are interested in having
a workshop delivered on your site, please contact me for a quote.



New Resources


Although I am in the business of professional development I like to point
out that there are many opportunities for professional development that do
not involve formal training.  And when resources are limited, you need to be
more creative to find learning opportunities. A great article from the
Philanthropy Journal can help you with some ideas on how you can
do-it-yourself professional development. Check out


If you support a board or a collaborative you might find that unexpected
issues pop up that need a motion passed at the board or decision maker
level.  One solution people are adopting  is taking a board vote via email.
Check this link out for good a discussion on how to take an email vote with
proper documentation.
http://www.blueavocado.org/content/can-nonprofit-boards-vote-email. This is
an American link but in Ontario the law governing non-profits the
Not-for-Profit Corporations Act, 2010 was recently changed and now permits
email voting. Here is what it says:

Participation by electronic, etc., means

#ys34s6> (6)  Unless the by-laws provide otherwise, a director may, if all
the directors of the corporation consent, participate in a meeting of the
directors or of a committee of directors by telephonic or electronic means
that permits all participants to communicate adequately with each other
during the meeting. A director so participating in a meeting is deemed for
the purposes of this Act to be present at the meeting.  2010, c. 15, s. 34


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Be sure to check out your own provincial or state legislation to ensure
email voting is permitted.


Interesting Research


I subscribe to many different newsletters and listserves to be able to
identify and follow trends that might impact on your work and mine. One of
the newsletters I get is is Strategy + Business  put out by Booz and
Company.  I found this article called The Power of the Post-Recession
Consumer <http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00054?gko=340d6>
<http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00054?pg=5#authors> by John
Gerzema and Michael D'Antonio very interesting because is speaks to a value
shift that is happening in the US. The author's market research has found
that there is a movement of people towards a "spend shift mentality".  This
mentality is focused on spending less money on things while investing more
in experiences and community.  According to their data, 55 percent of all
Americans are part of this movement but they also consider it to be a global
trend as 53 % of French consumers 45 % of German and Italian consumers fall
into this segment too. Most likely Canadians are in the same range as well
although they don't provide any data.


Gerzma and D'Antonio say:


What unites all these Spend Shifters is a common sense of optimism and
newfound purpose. As the shock of economic loss wears off for many people,
they are redefining what it means to be successful and happy. They are
living with less and yet feeling greater satisfaction. Seventy-eight percent
of those surveyed reported they are happier with a more back-to-basics
lifestyle. Eighty-eight percent reported they buy less-expensive brands than
they used to.

Instead of seeking status through acquisition, many people, we discovered,
are seeking ways to experience a sense of competence, self-sufficiency, and
accomplishment. Look, for example, at Etsy.com, a craft and vintage item
website that serves as a retail and trading marketplace for millions.
Beginning in 2005, Etsy founder Rob Kalin and his partners began developing
an online place where any artisan could display work and sell to any buyer
in the world. Within five years, Etsy had 300,000 vendors - the majority
were women in their 20s and 30s - the site was visited by millions of
shoppers every month, and the company grew to be worth an estimated $300
million in 2010. Etsy's mission resonates in today's marketplace: "to enable
people to make a living making things." If you have an idea for helping
people learn new skills and connect with others, your business has a good
chance of success.


Aren't these values -to experience a sense of competence, self-sufficiency,
and accomplishment in line with the values of the non-profit sector?   After
all, the non-profit and voluntary sector provides a mechanism for connection
and community. It could mean that a broader fundraising base may be emerging
as well as a volunteer base.

It could also mean that even more for profit companies will be looking for
partnering opportunities with non-profit partners in order to reach with the
spend shifters  market  "The vanguard companies understand that showing
kindness and humanity is now a competitive advantage."

As with all trends worth watching additional evidence is needed, but I hope
you can keep an eye open and see if spend shifting is indeed a trend.

Joan Roberts Online

Are you looking for more information on Joan Roberts before making a
purchasing decision? There are a lot of resources and information posted


First stop should be my website at  <http://www.joanroberts.com>
www.joanroberts.com. The front page includes a blog on which I post a short
article every now and then.


I now have an Amazon author page and links to my two books at

<http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KIQTOW> http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KIQTOW.


You can find the following articles on Charity Village:

.          <http://www.charityvillage.com/cv/research/rbod38.html> Ten
mistakes that sink collaborations!

.          <http://www.charityvillage.com/cv/research/rpart8.html> Is an
alliance, coalition or partnership the right strategy for your problem?

.         There is also a book review of my first book:
<http://www.charityvillage.com/cv/books/bkrev125.html> Alliances, Coalitions
and Partnerships: Building Collaborative Organizations.

.         Look for a new article: "How Can Inter-Organizational
Collaboratives Build Trust?" coming to Charity Village this fall!


One of the listserves I belong to called comm-org  and it has this paper


.          <http://comm-org.wisc.edu/papers2005/roberts.htm> A Six-Step
Development Framework to Build Successful Alliances, Coalitions and


I also have a profile on the social media site  <http://www.linkedin.com>
Linked In that includes a resume.


Collaboration Story

The Tao Way of Journeying


Tao means 'the way' A short Tao story reflects the truth.

A young man who wanted to take a look at the statue of Lao Tzu, the Tao
master, set out one night on his embarkation. The statue was atop a hill, a
hundred kilometers away and the path to it was rugged and risky to embark in
the night. Hence after having gone a few kilometers he decided to wait until
day break to pursue with his journey.

As the young man sat by the roadside, an old man came by and made enquiries.
He then persuaded the young man to go along with him, to the hill, promising
rest whenever he wanted to.
The young man agreed and the two set off on the journey. The path was
beautiful and the old man readily agreed to rest whenever the young man
wanted to. The two then reached the hilltop where the statue of Lao Tzu
stood. A sense of utter fulfillment brimmed the young man's heart on his
mission being met.

The old man stoked, "Get up. What are you resting for? The journey is not
over. It does not end with this. The path is beautiful. You will have to
pursue it. There is nothing called the goal, but only the path!"


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Hmmm.  Isn't collaboration rather like a journey rather than a goal?


Enjoy the summer!



Joan Roberts

Joan Roberts Consulting


joan at joanroberts.com


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