Early bird tickets on sale today through midnight for our Event coming up this Thursday (10/6). Tickets include complimentary Nepali food from Sherpa House in Golden, free beer and wine, child care, and great keynote presentation (6pm) from @sgalpin (Shannon Galpin). Doors open at 5pm for the event at The Summit Church in the RiNo Arts District — (3300 Larimer St). See you there! More info and tickets: https://2016edgeof7.eventbrite.com
Ok, so we’re doing a pretty cool thing. It started with a bunch of folks inside the Posner Center doing the exact same work, getting ready for a bunch of different events. “You’re doing that? We’re doing that. You’re doing that too?” The idea took hold that cooperating might get them more than all being on their own.
So the cool thing grew into the idea that all these groups putting on fundraisers could support each other by collaborating through interns. The Posner Center (www.posnercenter.org) supported them with an International Collaboration Fund Grant: The “Fundraising Event Support Test,” or FEST.
Essentially the nine Posner tenants who are all putting on events are sharing two interns over a 6-month period to do two simple things. One, solicit sponsors and two, to solicit in-kind gifts to auction off at their events.
Aside from the $23,000 worth of in-kind gifts collected so far, the effort has also yielded a unique and interesting sponsor. The key sponsor is Conscious Real Estate and OTUBNS who are dedicated to utilizing their business for the benefit of nonprofits at the Posner Center.
The partners will donate 10% of the commission plus $500 for each sale coming from the events’ attendees back to the customers’ NGO’s of choice. The FEST group gets a sponsor, plus additional donations, CRE gets to attend events and win new customers and collectively we’re practicing collaboration with the corporate world. That kind of win-win-win is an important part of our test.
In the international development space a hot topic is collective impact, or how we can move from isolated interventions to greater cross-sector coalitions and efforts (SSIR: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/embracing_emergence_how_collective_impact_addresses_complexity). The idea of utilizing a realty company and a mortgage broker in this way inside a coalition of nonprofits is a micro-example of embracing collective impact and creating an environment where impact emerges from within a simple system.
(Women at a work-site to rebuild a school in Salleri, Nepal – photo courtesy Edge of Seven)
So this test of how to support events is not only about sharing an intern or raising money, but rather about how to start to rethink sponsors and their relationship to organizations. Sure it’s great that there is financial support. But perhaps the biggest win so far is building a relationship in which both partners win and are supported. This is the part of FEST that seems to have the biggest replication upside.
Thanks to the Posner Center for funding this FEST test.
For a list of the nine organizations involved and an overview of the sponsor options please see this webpage and the overview PDF. http://www.posnerfest.org
Peter Mason, Executive Director, Edge of Seven
Principal Investigator, FEST
Great Granddaughters: An Edge of Seven event
Edge of Seven excited to announce our Event for 2016 is titled: Great Granddaughters. Join us on October 6th at the Posner Center for International Development (1031 33rd St, Denver, CO 80205) for a great evening of celebration. DETAILS HERE. Continue reading
Edge of Seven and our partners at The Small World in Nepal have a hope. We hope for the breakdown of the barriers to girls’ education. We hope to do more than just build schools. We strive to learn from our friends in the rural communities we work in. We strive to support and inspire. We help build Hope.
Thus, in celebration of the hopes we have and have created, we present a Hike for Hope.
Hike Mt. Bierstadt
Mt Bierstadt is one of Colorado’s favorite fourteeners. Join us in a challenging but doable hike for all ages for a common purpose. As part of this Hike for Hope, we will include giving the ceremonial and traditional Khatta to all participants. We also include another Edge of Seven item included as a thanks for participatign in our hike.
Speak with our Executive Director and learn about Nepal, the people we are hiking for, and our global intitatives. Other members of the Edge of Seven team will also be hiking and happy to speak more about Edge of Seven and our goals.
So join us. Hike for a Purpose. Hike for our Initiatives in Nepal. Hike for Hope.
- Where? Mt. Bierstadt (one of the most popular 14’ers in Colorado!) Meet at Guanella Pass Trailhead Parking Lot
- When? 6am on July 24th (An early start but ensures all our friends summit before the summer thunder storms role in!)
- Why? Hike for Hope. In other words, we want you to hike for a purpose. Whether its for our initiatives or your own personal goals, join us in a time to summit Mt. Bierstadt for an initiative, a person, a dream, or a hope.
Add One More – rebuild Nepal
A special Campaign from April 25 – May 12 to match ALL DONATIONS 100%
In 2015 two earthquakes hit Nepal hard. They devastated the country’s infrastructure. In the Solukhumbu region where Eo7 works, 1074 classrooms were destroyed or damaged. We helped build 14 temporary classrooms last year. We’re working on 14 permanent classrooms right now. GIVE TODAY AT http://www.edgeofseven.org/nepal
CLASSROOM FOR GIRLS’ EDUCATION
From April 25th to May 12th we’re running a special campaign to “Add One More – rebuild Nepal.” Let’s raise enough for another classroom in a school where we’re already working. During this period any donation you make to Edge of Seven through Global Giving will be matched 100%. Your $10 donation becomes $20. $100 turns into $200 or $500 becomes $1000. To give to this targeted campaign scan the QR code, go to Edgeof7.org/nepal or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to help us #ADDONEMORE classroom during this special one-year anniversary campaign.
GIVE TODAY AT http://www.edgeofseven.org/nepal
Monday April 25th, 2016 — 6pm
Remembering Nepal – One Year Later
Posner Center for international Development
1031 33rd St, Denver, CO 80205
Please join us for appetizers, drinks, discussion, and a remembrance ceremony on Monday April 25th at The Posner Center for International Development to support Nepal on the one year anniversary of one of the two devastating earthquakes in 2015.
During the event, Colorado Coalition for Nepal (comprised of Edge of Seven, Namlo International, Colorado Nepal Alliance, Project Cure, EmBOLDen Alliances, and Developing Hands) will be joining together to host a panel of speakers to discuss not only the successes, but also the challenges faced by the nonprofit community while helping to rebuild Nepal, and how to effectively and efficiently move forward from the devastation that occurred.
We will be following the panel with a remembrance ceremony commemorating those whose lives were lost and those affected by the earthquakes.
Nepalese food and drinks will be served. Free to the public although donations to the collective effort of these organizations is suggested.
- Edge of Seven — www.edgeofseven.org
- Namlo International — www.namlo.org
- Colorado Nepal Alliance — www.ColoradoNepalAlliance.org
- Project CURE — www.projectcure.org
- Embolden Alliances — www.emboldenalliances.org
- Developing Hands — www.developinghands.org
RSVP @ Remembernepal.eventbrite.com
- Location: Posner Center For International Development 1031 33rd Street, Denver, CO 80205
- Date: Monday April 25, 2016
- Time: 5pm – 8:15pm
- Cost: Free & Open to public (suggested donation for food/cash bar)
- Parking: Lot and street
- Expected Attendance: 125
- 5:00 pm – Doors open
- 5:00 pm – Food and Drinks
- Suggested donation for food ($7)
- Cash bar, Tea and water complementary
- 6:00-7:00 pm – Panel Discussion “Successes and Challenges post-earthquake in Nepal”
- 7:15-7:30 pm – Remembrance Ceremony
- 8:15 pm – Event concludes
RSVP @ Remembernepal.eventbrite.com
In a recent article on The Guardian the question was posed: “Do International NGO’s have the right to exist?” The question was really about the responsibility of NGO’s to prove their worth versus having real direct impacts on what they say they are doing. Simplistically the question is posed, ‘would you rather spend $100 on reporting or $100 on a farmer in a field?’ The answer is that they are not mutually exclusive.
You can read the article here (http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2016/mar/13/do-international-ngos-still-have-the-right-to-exist) and see what you think of the question.
But the real question is ‘how you can do both?’ — have impact and prove your outcomes (or impact). In Edge of Seven terms our “outputs” are the classrooms we build (right), our “outcomes” are that girls barriers to education are broken down, and the “impacts” are that communities poverty is diminished because of that.
To get that “Philosophy of Change” we believe in Seven Principles. They are crucial to not only what we believe, but how we act. We believe that like a flock of birds that operates on three simple rules so that they don’t crash into the ground, OUR rules allow us to achieve the emergent outcomes that are above in our change model (philosophy of change, change model, theory of change, logic model, etc.).
Our Seven Principles are:
- Build Capacity
- Transfer Power
- Play on Strengths
- Focus on Generations
What much of the article deals with is the importance of doing one important thing (INGOs giving up power). Now we don’t believe in saying/believing/doing only one thing. As you can see we have SEVEN things that we believe in and act on. But the thing that the article emphasizes is, “to give up power.”
Ironic, yes? But we’re arguing that they are only getting #2 of our principles. There are six more to go…
FROM THE ARTICLE: “Prof Robert Chambers in his book, Development: Whose Reality Counts? Putting the First Last, reflects on the view that listening and participation isn’t enough: the whole idea of empowerment means development institutions need to disempower themselves too. The book is about the urban/rural and north/south bias, but his overall thesis resonates far more widely: much of the challenge of development, he argues, is to give up power. [emphasis added] It could be argued that over the past two decades, many have done little more than pay lip service to the sentiment.”
While we agree that the principle of “transfer power” is a primary principle in creating the emergent outcome of “Empowerment” in the communities where we work, it is the overall system of belief AND action that creates the outomes sought after. We believe that this is similar to baking. Try to bake with only flour and see how you do. It may take eggs, flour, milk, butter, leavening, sugar and chocolate chips — plus you mix it in a certain way, use a certain process and a certain temperature for a specific time and you MAY get chocolate chip cookies. International Development is even more complex as a system. So to only look at one ingredient is a bit simplistic.
For example, our principle isn’t just “Transfer Power” – what you will see is that we work toward, “2 Transfer Power: Push power to others. Give it away. Reinforce. Take it back only when necessary. Repeat” (http://www.edgeofseven.org/our-approach-2/our-model/). This ingredient has complexity just inside that one. AND we have to combine this principle with #7 “Learn” to truly make this work. And “learn” may be more than what you think it is at first as well. Then those two (and all the others) operate together.
So the question in the Guardian Article is “Do INGO’s have the right to exist?” but in reality the question should be rephrased “What do INGO’s have to do to prove their worth?” In our opinion the answer comes in seven little words that indicate a complex system is at work and that the outcomes have a better chance of success with than rather than without them. We’re not perfect but in our opinion, we’re on a principled and powerful track.
We hope that you’ll join us — Executive Director, Peter Mason