Zac RussellMaking Conference Connections

By: Zac Russell In: 2012 Family Philanthropy Conference| Family Philanthropy| Social Networking

9 Feb 2012

If you’ve ever come to one of the Council’s wonderful conferences, you already know that connections happen in the elevators and spaces around the panels. It’s easy to get lost in the well-crafted, engaging panels and formalities of a conference, but real connections are made when there is space to breathe and let the ideas settle. That’s where we realize the ideas, passions, and intentions we are all here to share.

I feel bombarded by the term networking. It’s a buzzword that has taken the power out of those hallway connections. We are here to meet each other and take a small piece of this experience into our organizations and families. Our generation knows this. We have grown up doing it everywhere, not just in brick and motor landscapes. We have set fire to the likes of Facebook, been involved in +1′d  Google’s success, and been the #vanguard in changing how we connect and communicate our passions and lives. Philanthropy needs the types of communication our generation has brought forth. In the current political and economic climate, we need openness and accessibility at every level, from board member to grantee, to expose everything that philanthropy accomplishes, including the lessons learned and the changes made.

Now is the time for the next generation (really all of us) to convey our passion for our organizations and the lessons we have learned, to find the overlaps while we are in the elevators and hallways that connect us all together. If we can be open with each other at the conference, then we’ll learn how to be open with those we work with in the community. And that means the whole community will benefit.

Zac Russell Is a marketing associate at Philippe Investment Management and a third-generation member of the Russell Family Foundation, a member of the Council on Foundations.

1 Response to Making Conference Connections

Sam Stern

February 10th, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Zac - You make a great point about philanthropy needing the types of communication the younger generation has brought forth. Engaging in these new channels is a scary thought for many of the older generation. At The Patterson Foundation we talk about building connective tissue to create new realities. In order to effectively connect and parter, we believe that foundations must lead the way and bring more that a check, We must invest time and resources to build effective strategic communication capabilities.

Sam Stern, Strategic Communications Partner
The Patterson Foundation

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