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Weekend Link Roundup (April 9-10, 2011)

April 10, 2011

Forsythia2 Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Communications/Marketing

In a post on her redesigned blog, Katya Andresen offers a few tips to nonprofit marketers looking to convince colleagues they've made the right choices with their copy/design.

Environment

Writing in the Huffington Post, Nature Conservancy CEO Mark Tercek says that the "failure to fully engage minority and urban communities is not only bad for the environmental movement, it also gets in the way of minority communities having a direct say on the future of the lands and waters that provide people food, shelter and income."

Health

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's Yna C. Moore shares a video in which NCRP executive director Aaron Dorfman introduces the organization's latest report, Towards Transformative Change in Health Care: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy (52 pages, PDF).

Impact/Effectiveness

Minnesota Council on Foundation research manager Anne Bauers shares six recommendations from the recent TCC Group webinar "Research and Development: A New Form of Evaluation."

In a post on the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, CEP president Phil Buchanan cautions against believing that something is a trend just because a speaker at a conference or an "expert" blogger says it is. Writes Buchanan:

Our desire for something to be true, or to position ourselves as the chroniclers of a trend, does not make it true. It's a disservice to everyone in the sector when the media, consultants, or academics ignore the data to overstate a case -- or to create one out of whole cloth....

On his Full Contact Philanthropy bog, David Henderson suggests that "Social Impact Bonds and nonprofit market exchanges that mirror the world of finance dance around, rather than address, the core issues facing the social sector."

Leadership

"Once we accept the responsibility to do what we are called to do now...we will begin to see alternative ways in which we can change the world," writes Rosetta Thurman in a recent post on her blog about why she quit a PhD program and eventually started her own business. "We will realize that we do not need any external validation to give us permission to help others. And in the process of living out our own true purpose, we will, in turn, encourage others to do the same."

Philanthropy

Kris Putnam-Walkerly's Philanthropy411 blog is covering the Council on Foundation's 2011 annual conference in Philadelphia with the help of a star-studded blog team. The posts are coming fast and furious, and we'll be sharing some of them here at PhilanTopic over the next few days.

On his Tactical Philanthropy blog, Sean Stannard-Stockton examines a new white paper which "provides evidence that cause marketing results in lower charitable giving and lower happiness."

Philanthropy 2173 blogger Lucy Bernholz offers a thoughtful review of Tom Tierney and Joel Fleishman's new book Give Smart: Philanthropy That Gets Results. While Bernholz "found a lot to like" in the book, she also noticed a few instances where the authors' information fell short. Writes Bernholz:

The book makes no mention of peer networks -- online and off -- critical components of doing everything for just about everybody younger than a baby boomer. It makes no reference to the changing landscape of data on giving. It largely ignores the growth of tertiary products and services that donors navigate even before they begin giving. This is a funny oversight, since Tierney runs Bridgespan, a dominant firm in the advisory services industry....

Give Smart also makes short shrift of the selection process from investing to giving that more and more donors (and foundations) are integrating into their strategies. Whether you're a billionaire philanthropist or one of the 100s of millions of people who make up the long tail of the philanthropic revenue stream, you face daily choices about supporting causes by shopping, giving or investing...That's the new landscape -- and smart givers are navigating it with data, relationships, peer groups, giving circles, and professional advisers. Tierney and Fleishman's book will help them with one important piece of that puzzle. Now if only we had a similarly useful manual for guiding the bigger discussion about public responsibilities and this changing philanthropic landscape....

Social Media

In the latest installment of Allison Fine's Social Good podcast series on the Chronicle of Philanthropy site, Bernholz joins Joel Fleishman to discuss "how age and technology are affecting giving and which foundations have embraced social media."

Last but not least Beth Kanter, who co-authored the Networked Nonprofit with Fine, has some advice for nonprofit communicators interested in creating a social media policy.

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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