Brad Fondak is the Senior Manager for HQ Operations and Global Safety and Security at Search for Common Ground, the largest peace-building organization dedicated to conflict transformation worldwide. With offices in 26 countries and approximately 1,000 staff members, Search for Common Ground works in some of the most intransigent conflicts globally, trying to find collaborative approaches to foster positive change.
Join us as we discuss their experience of Humentum membership and the value of a community you can share with and learn from.
How did Search for Common Ground hear about Humentum?
We have been members of Humentum and, before that, InsideNGO since I started with Search for Common Ground 12 years ago. I’d never been in this realm before when I first joined, so InsideNGO was completely new to me. I attended an annual conference at George Washington University, which was my first exposure to Humentum. But the organization has been a member for many, many years.
What Humentum services or offerings appealed to Search for Common Ground?
It’s about being a member of a community of practice in this sphere and working on the operational side. We have a lot of partnerships on the programmatic side, but the operational and the “back office” is something we try to find best practices in. It’s very easy to only think of that within your unique bubble. And the ability to not have to maintain 1000 relationships is another big asset.
How does Search for Common Ground engage with other organizations in the Humentum community?
Many of our staff have attended the webinars and in-person annual conferences. In essence, it’s trying to gather those best practices throughout the organization. Quite frankly, we don’t have the resources to provide connections on all these different things. In terms of events, we have joined webinars related to operational startup processes as well as Humentum’s IT roundtables – to share a few examples.
There’s also the Humentum Connect space. For example, I’m working on a new travel policy for the organization. So, my first step is to go on Humentum Connect and see what conversations are going on or have happened in the past related to travel policies. Are there any samples that people have made available? Other resources, references, or things we haven’t considered that could offer support?
What can you find at Humentum that you can’t find elsewhere?
The real value-add for us is that there isn’t really another organization out there that specializes in helping people in my space. Finding those passionate about feeding people or saving the world is very easy. Whereas I’m looking for legal help – for example, when I’m trying to figure out the best insurance resources. To that end, finance people are trying to figure out how they can comply with USAID regulations. HR people might need an HR firm in Nigeria to do some work and are looking into how they can do that, etc.
What would you say to other organizations considering membership with Humentum?
It’s the central type of organization for this work. I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t join. For us, it’s always been a default; it’s the core link we have to the community. There hasn’t been any thought – we know we’re going to renew our membership yearly. It’s not really up for discussion; it’s something that we’ve continually found to be useful. To any other organization in a similar space, I would say that it’s a no-brainer. All Humentum can do is expand, grow, and continue to find ways to meet the niche.
With Humentum membership you can find answers, solutions, and resources. We connect you to a community of peers for problem-solving and best practices; discounts on trainings for individuals and teams; groundbreaking advocacy research and reports; trusted industry partners with services you need; and more. The Humentum Community is a network of relationships and membership is at the heart of Humentum’s ability to use the power of our sector-wide network.
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