Introducing MAVA’s blogNovember 10, 2017
By Lynda Mansson, Director General, MAVA
Heads down… or chins up?
Like many people who work in the non-profit sector, MAVA staff tend to be busy, work long hours and go above and beyond the call of duty. This is driven by our passion for the work and a desire to make an impact. This passion drives us to achieve conservation outcomes together with our partners, and result in net benefits for the cause. The less beneficial effect is that all too often this keeps us busy, with our heads down, concentrated on keeping abreast of our portfolio of grants, putting out the latest fire or meeting the next deadline.
At MAVA, we have learned to be adept at adaptive, rapid learning. For example, when we rolled out our new strategy via a series of workshops that convened key actors around a defined theme, with each successive workshop, we shared notes internally so that we all learned and improved how we ran these workshops – learning from our colleagues’ successes and pitfalls, rather than having to experience them all ourselves individually.
However, though excellent at internal learning, as well as learning from the experiences of others, what we have historically been less good at is taking a step back to examine what we have learned inside the foundation that could be useful to share with others outside the foundation. I am often struck by the interest we get from others about new approaches we have tried, or our work in a particular region, or our thinking on an issue. This is also the case in relation to the end of our grant-making in 2022. We often forget that what we have a unique perspective in our field – both as conservationists and as philanthropists, with lessons that can serve others in their own journeys.
With the launch of our new website, we are taking a step in the direction of improving on sharing our knowledge outside of the foundation. We have created a blog that will provide one way of sharing what we’re learning with short articles by MAVA staff, board and partners.
We hope you enjoy engaging with MAVA in this learning journey. Feel free to send any feedback so we can improve as we go along!