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Weekend Link Roundup (April 10 - 11, 2010)

April 11, 2010

Chain-links Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Diversity

On the Philanthropy Potluck blog, Wendy Wehr, VP of Communications and Information Services at the Minnesota Council on Foundations, argues that "institutions and individuals must take joint responsibility for diversifying leadership" within the nonprofit sector.

Economy

"Nonprofit leaders need to take a bigger view of how their organizations and missions are financed," writes Nell Edgington at the Social Velocity blog. "It's not enough to manage money wisely," adds Edgington. "Nonprofit leaders need to create a comprehensive, fully integrated financial strategy for the social impact they want to achieve and then execute on it."

The dire situation of many cash-strapped nonprofits isn't solely due to the economic downturn, writes John Brothers of Cuidiu Consulting on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog. In too many cases, he says, it's the result of "problems that have grown and festered over time, even when resources were more plentiful." How can you tell whether a nonprofit is in or heading for trouble? Brothers shares "six...tell-tell signs."

On the the Business of Giving blog, Seattle Times reporter Kristi Heim interviews Judy Pigott, an heir to the Paccar fortune, about the advocacy efforts of Responsible Wealth, a project of United for a Fair Economy, a Boston-based nonprofit.

Fundraising

Frogloop blogger Allyson Kapin and Network for Good's Katya Andresen share some takeaways from a new fundraising benchmarks study conducted by solutions provider Convio.

Impact/Effectiveness

On the new Community Research Exchange blog, CRE managing director Louisa Hackett argues that it is incumbent on nonprofits groups "to take back...evaluation language and explain to funders [that] this is how we define and measure success." (Thanks for the tip, Caitlin!)

On the Good Ideas blog, Great Nonprofits CEO Perla Ni shares four ideas that could help nonprofits and the nonprofit sector:

  1. Provide tax deductions for volunteer time
  2. Donate vacant office space at a discounted rate to nonprofits
  3. Eliminate tax deductability for donations to religious congregations
  4. Create localized Web sites that make it easy for people to contribute to various community-based groups and projects

Philanthropy

In a new post, Charity Navigator president and CEO Ken Berger looks back at ten sector-related predictions he made in 2009 to see how they worked out -- and offers a few more for 2010.

Following the Corporation for National and Community Service's announcement of Paul Carttar as director of the Social Innovation Fund, Gift Hub blogger Phil Cubeta shares his reservations about the growing involvement of government in the nonprofit sector.

On the Smart Assets blog, Philanthropy New York senior fellow Charles Hamilton takes a long and thoughtful look at the 5 percent "minimum" payout rate for foundations. You may be surprised by some of his conclusions.

And on the Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz continues her musings on the disruptive impact of new technologies on philanthropy with a sharp post about cloud computing and the "infostructure."

Voluntarism

Last but not least, the Nonprofiteer is back with a bullet-point manifesto that addresses how organizations can make the most of their high-skill volunteers. "High-skill volunteers are...people with significant experience and leadership ability," she writes. "So the best way to deploy them is to give them an opportunity to lead."

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at rnm@foundationcenter.org. And have a great week!

-- Regina Mahone

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