Mapping the Mappers: Sharing Data for a Better World

For organizations using mapping as a tool to understand ecosystems, stakeholders, and resources to identify gaps, root causes, and leverage points to create positive impact in the world.

We are hosting this event in Minneapolis Minnesota to build greater connection between regional, national, and global mapping efforts. The Bush Foundation supported the creation of the Twin Cities Impact Investing Map, which represents a learning opportunity for other efforts to understand key players and resources leveraged for positive change in the world.

Hour long monthly calls and once a year 2 hour in-person meetings are no longer sufficient for the group to take the next step to build the infrastructure the field needs to be more effective.

The overarching goals of the Mapping the Mappers event are to:

  • Create a taxonomic standard that can be shared with all organizations working to build databases relating to the impact ecosystem.
  • Share that standard through a variety of media outlets to engage organizations beyond our participants.
  • Integrate the latest advancements in technology to make our efforts more efficient and effective.
  • Gain adoption by large key players like IRIS and the Sustainable Accounting Standards Board.

As a participant in Mapping the Mappers you will contribute to creating an industry wide standard AND benefit from individual professional development on skills ranging from incorporating machine learning and open source frameworks to data visualization and collection and cleanup methodologies. Most importantly you will have a voice in our "unconference" to raise and disucuss the topics of greatest relevance and interest to you.

Learn more and register here.

CONVENING17: Sourcing Innovations for SDG4


This month we will discuss the Convening17 initiative to drive collaboration around SDG4 and the impact on uprooted children and communities grappling with forced displacement. This call is an opportunity to connect with participants from previous conversations at Opportunity Collaboration and Nexus and to learn more about engaging in our upcoming sessions at Skoll World Forum, Global Philanthropy Forum, OC US, and Katapult Future Festival. Part of our focus will be on sourcing innovators who can participate in a session with investors at Katapult Future Festival in Oslo this May.

You can learn more at and register here.

CONVENERS.ORG: What the #MeToo Effect Means for Social Impact Convenings


A conversation for senior leadership.

As social impact practitioners, each of us works every day to create an equal and just world. And yet we know that we live in a world where gender-based violence, racism, and systems of oppression and inequality still persist, and our vision is not yet a reality. As conveners, we have the unique opportunity to create an environment that emulates the world we are working toward. To do so, we must be intentional about combatting systems that perpetuate harmful dynamics, and establishing a new expectation for how we interact and connect.

Join us in conversation with Amy Paulson and Ayla Schlosser, who worked with the leadership team at Opportunity Collaboration to create an Anti-Harassment Policy and framework to proactively combat harm and harassment, for a roundtable conversation about how to prevent harm in our communities and foster safe environments that model our shared values of equity, respect, and dignity. If you are not a Member, though are an impact convener and would like to join the conversation, please email us at info (at)

Webinar Recap: Top 5 Elements to Build Effective Partnerships

Building Effective Partnerships

Has this happened to you? You’ve been deeply engaged in a series of discussions with a great new potential partner. All is going incredibly well: competitive advantages have been clearly articulated; the mutual benefit to collaboration is obvious to both parties; all lights are green and you are eager to move on past talk and into action. Then, you realize you will have to capture the complexities of your marathon conversations into written form to jumpstart the official partnership and set you up operationally for success -- but, you don’t know the best way to get started.

We at encourage peer sharing of tips and best practices of this sort, and last month hosted a webinar to provide the space for conveners to share their partnership success stories and challenges, and to learn from one another how to more effectively engage partners. During the call, the following were identified as the five foundational elements needed to structure effective partnerships from the start:

  • Time: One best practice is to agree on the timeline for collaboration; articulate due dates for specific deliverables, and which organization is responsible for the deliverable.  Gantt Charts and similar project management tools can help visualize the timeline.
  • Money: Confirm how much funding will be required of each partner and how much money, if any, each partner is contributing. This includes in-kind donations and venue contributions.
  • Talent: Discuss if a specific expertise is required to fulfill the partnership. This can include graphic design, software development, accounting, legal services, or other special expertise. Understand whether a very specific staff member will be required to dedicate time to the partnership.
  • Brand Association: Identify how each partner will use the other partner’s brand. This is especially relevant with the use of brand logos for events and event promotion. Try to discuss this in advance of an actual event.
  • Exposure and Community Outreach: Agree to what, if any, community outreach or media exposure is included in the partnership. It can be critical that you get the word out to enough people about a particular event; setting up these parameters ahead of time will save you time in the long run.

In addition to these tips to kick off an effective partnership, the group collaboratively produced a partnership agreement template (MOU) that can be used as a starting point by anyone in the community to guide effective collaborations between organizations. The end result will also be freely accessible through creative commons.

Do you have tips on how to best set up a new partnership?  Let us know by posting below.

Image Credit: Professor Ruiz via Flickr