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Weekend Link Roundup (May 1 - 2, 2010)

May 02, 2010

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

Communications/Marketing

On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Katya Andresen looks at a new eBenchmark study which found that nonprofits with smaller e-mailing lists (under 100,000 e-mail addresses) had better success than those with bigger lists (over 500,000 addresses). "Small groups are getting greater ROI from their online outreach," notes Andresen, because "[a] higher percentage of their lists are people who came to them, signed up on their website, or otherwise signaled interest in the organization."

Fundraising

On the Social Philanthropy blog, Chronicle of Philanthropy reporter Peter Panepento shares findings from a recent Chronicle survey which concluded "that the nation's largest charities aren't yet [realizing] big rewards from" their social networking efforts.

Impact/Effectiveness

Allison Fine shares some thoughts offered by Harwood Institute founder Rich Harwood on the connection between relevance and accountability and explains how "the next few years will be dangerous...for organizations that refuse to...[make the connection] between how authentic and effective they are and how relevant they are in their ecosystem...."

Nonprofit Management

Jeff Brooks, this month's Nonprofit Blog Carnival host, offers a selection of posts "that show the lighter (maybe even wacko) side of our profession...."

On the Social Entrepreneurship blog, Social Velocity founder Nell Edgington explains how bad decisions can cost nonprofits money, time, and staff resources.

Philanthropy

BlackGivesBack blogger Tracey Webb lists the top ten black celebrity philanthropists, including a few to keep your eye on.

Social Citizens blogger Kari Dunn Saratovsky wonders whether philanthropy needs to be re-branded as something more than "a bunch of rich people writing checks." Writes Saratovsky, "After all, the power of micro-donations is making each of us philanthropists -- and individual donors typically account for three-fourths of charitable giving each year. Yet...very few of us consider ourselves to be such –- we don't like that word or we don't think it applies to what we're doing...."

All last week, philanthropic leaders attending the Council on Foundations conference shared their thoughts and perspectives on Kris Putnam-Walkerly's Philanthropy 411 blog. We especially liked the posts by Mary Galeti of the Tecovas Foundation, who wondered what happens when "the personal brand collides with the institutional brand"; Rebecca Arno of the Denver Foundation, who recapped a session on "the myth of a post-racial society"; Kristin Ivie of the Case Foundation, who explored the "freedom" and "responsibility" of foundations; and Crystal Hayling, former president and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation and winner of the 2010 James A Joseph Award from the Association of Black Foundation Executives, who reminded us of Five Things We Know, But Keep Forgetting.

Also on the Philanthropy 411 blog, Lee Draper of the Draper Consulting Group makes the case for artists who weren't invited to contribute to COF conference topics, including social innovation, social change, and social justice. "Let us embrace the arts as more than expendable entertainment or a program area that some grantmakers focus on," writes Draper. "I am not talking about having a children's choir sing over breakfast. I am suggesting that we integrate...professional [artists] into the core of the annual conference agenda...."

Social Media

Beth Kanter explains how collecting and analyzing social media data is like trying to improve one's physical condition: "It [is] much easier to collect, analyze, and take action with your data when you do a little bit each month or every other week."

Technology

Citing the remarks by Crystal Hayling mentioned above, Lucy Bernholz reminds us that while "technology is just a tool...it's a power tool. From the Silk Road to interstate highways, from radio to television, from the Internet to smart phones, technology changes how we connect and with whom....And, in doing so, it changes who is inside and who is outside...."

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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