Does business listen better than the social sector?

Beyond the rhetoric: Provocations on power, voice and listening Blagrave Trust and Lankelly Chase joined forces to curate a set of blogs discussing power, privilege and voice in our sector. Here’s the contribution to that series from our chief executive, David Bonbright. Does business listen better than the social sector?  David Bonbright, Co-founder and Chief[…]

Leading From Behind In Philanthropy

Keystone Chief Executive David Bonbright’s monthly blog with advice for philanthropists, Mutual Accountability, is published by Giving Compass, a leading US philanthropy support platform. Here’s a re-post of his May 2019 contribution. Leading From Behind In Philanthropy Nelson Mandel writes in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, that a good leader “… stays behind the flock,[…]

Feedback Is Having a Moment: Philanthropy Can Make It Permanent

Giving Compass Feedback Is Having a Moment: Philanthropy Can Make It Permanent Mutual Accountability for Social Change is a monthly series exploring feedback in philanthropy with practical steps for donors. It serves as a primer for the 2020 publication of David Bonbright’s (co-founder and chief executive, Keystone Accountability…  Continue reading..

Donors: Ask This, Not That

This is a cross-post from Mutual Accountability for Social Change is a monthly series exploring feedback in philanthropy with practical steps for donors.  By David Bonbright Have you asked (or considered asking) a nonprofit how your donation is making a difference? It’s a mistake. While it’s an important and natural question, it is not one[…]

Constituent Voice is a “slow idea”

I’m a slow learner. Over a decade into this work, it hit me that Constituent Voice is what New Yorker writer Atul Guwande dubbed a “slow idea”. In Guwande’s New Yorker article comparison of the historical uptake of anesthesia and antiseptics, he asks, why did one take off rapidly while the other languished? “First, one[…]

The real work – day four of the social lab in Malawi

The main objective of the fourth and final day of the Rumphi Social Lab design workshop was the formation of micro-action teams to take forward seven ‘big ideas’ to improve development in Rumphi.  The teams did indeed form (and merge down to five), and lists of ‘key assumptions that must be true if we are[…]

Can social labs save development?

Foreign aid in Malawi is as much as 50% of the national budget. This startling fact poses a paradox that haunts Malawi and all aid dependent countries. On the one hand, aid is desperately needed to finance essential services like health, education, and agriculture development. On the other hand, foreign aid has significant unintended negative[…]

A very bold alternative

“What is this feedback thing all about?” I‘m hearing this question more and more as the word about feedback in social change is spreading. I say that it is about transformational change, though it works incrementally. I say that it is about listening and connecting with people, that it amounts to a fundamental reorientation in[…]

Coming through denial

This month’s annual Feedback Summit in Washington DC has been chronicled by journalist Marc Gunther as the moment where we recognized that we have arrived, and asked first order questions.  In my blog post last week I said that I thought we had, collectively, set our intention for fundamental transformation of how we organize to[…]