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Weekend Link Roundup (August 27 - 28, 2011)

August 28, 2011

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

Disaster Relief

In conjunction with the sixth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the folks at the Greater New Orleans Foundation explain why "the notion that the inequities surfaced by Katrina were endemic to the South and that it took a disaster like Katrina to expose them…is wrong on both counts." The post continues:

What happened was that a category 5 hurricane blew ashore and laid bare what was already in plain sight not only in New Orleans, but in many cities across the United States and indeed across the world. All we had to do was look and see.

Despite all the investments in the Gulf South since Katrina, despite all our hand-wringing and breast-beating, these inequities persist to this day.

Many New Orleanians are rightly committed to rebuilding "better than before." But what does this mean when it comes to our commitment to our most vulnerable neighbors?

Education

On his Rock the Schoolhouse blog, Jim Stergios says the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education should launch a competition similar to the X Prize that "would allow those in the [education] field to figure out how to [boost student achievement]." Writes Stergios:

People in power don't have to be scared to say they don't have all the answers -- or at least answers that hold true for every inch of our intricate tapestry of cultures. And the nice thing about competitions is that you can focus on key issues, like STEM preparedness or whatever is viewed as an important national interest...."

Fundraising 

On her About.com blog, Joanne Fritz looks at a new study from the Dunham Company which found that nearly 7 in 10 Americans (68 percent) say they "will give more sparingly" to charity in the coming months."

In an interview with Philanthropy Journal's Todd Cohen, National Philanthropic Trust president and CEO Eileen Heisman offers some advice to nonprofit fundraisers: "The key to raising money in a tough economy...is to keep in touch with donors, make a clear and compelling case for support, enlist at least a third of the board to cultivate prospects, and make sure the executive director devotes at least a fourth of her or his time to fundraising."

Impact/Effectiveness

Anne Bauers, research manager at the Minnesota Council on Foundations, shares key findings from a new California Endowment paper that offers guidelines for grantmakers and nonprofits interested in forming effective coalitions.

Leadership

On the Social Citizens blog, Emily Yu shares "the five Cs to success," as proffered by PepsiCo Worldwide CEO Indra Nooyi at this year's BlogHer conference:

  1. Be curious;
  2. Have courage and confidence;
  3. Refine your communication skills;
  4. Be consistent;
  5. Never lose your moral compass.

Philanthropy

Guest blogging on the Tactical Philanthropy blog, Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets author Steve Goldberg explains what is needed to make social impact bonds -- which "raise funds from private investors, which are then used as working capital by nonprofit organizations providing prevention programs that can reduce the need for costly government remediation and safety net responses" -- as a catalyst for "the impact investing movement and bring other forms of private capital to the table."

Social Media

On Beth Kanter's blog, George Weiner, chief technology officer at DoSomething.org, explains how nonprofits can make data-driven decisions, turning tweets into action.

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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