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Weekend Link Roundup (February 18-19, 2012)

February 19, 2012

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

African Americans

NCRP's Lisa Ranghelli points out that only 0.58 percent of grantmakers list "African Americans/Blacks" as a field of interest, even though African Americans comprise 13 percent of the U.S. population and have a 27 percent poverty rate (compared to the overall rate of 15 percent). Many foundations give to benefit African Americans, of course, but too often one has to read between the lines to learn who they are. And when "we have to read between the lines," writes Ranghelli, do we risk perpetuating "the funding of solutions that are poorly targeted and not explicitly designed to serve those we seek to help most?"

BlackGiveBack’s Tracey Webb chats with Association of Black Foundation Executives president/CEO Susan Taylor Batten about the state of black philanthropy and what the ABFE is doing to boost the visibility of black giving circles.

Communications/Marketing

On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Network for Good's Katya Andresen explains why nonprofit communications and marketing staff should pay close attention to the colors they use when putting together promotional materials.

Impact/Effectiveness

In a guest post on Joanne Fritz's About.com blog, Social Velocity president Nell Edgington discusses how philanthropic equity, "a one-time infusion of significant money that can be used to strengthen or grow a nonprofit organization," can be used to dramatically increase an organization's effectiveness.

Center for Effective Philanthropy president Phil Buchanan argues that if "we want to...inspire nonprofit leaders to use data more effectively to improve the impact of their work, we should look within the sector for examples."

In a new post on his Harvard Business Review blog, Uncharitable author Dan Pallotta argues that fundraising is the "smart investment" of the twenty-first century. "If you want to maximize the social effects of your donation," writes Pallotta, "why would you buy...$100,000 worth of great educational programming for inner city kids when the same $100,000 directed toward fundraising could generate enough money to buy $1 million worth of it?..."

Philanthropy

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Paul Brest, who will be stepping down as president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation this summer, reflects on the growing importance of strategic philanthropy and its prospects for the future.

On the Transparency Talk blog, Foundation Center vice president for research Larry McGill discusses the rather painful process of analyzing imperfect data. "[D]espite the limitations of [the center's] data," writes McGill, "we fully intend to keep publishing reports documenting and explaining the work of U.S. foundations. Even if what we produce sometimes comes back to bite us...."

Philanthropy 2173 blogger Lucy Bernholz shares the first two buzzwords of 2012: data and flash mob philanthropy.

Social Media

In a post on the Communications Network blog, PhilanthroMedia's Susan Herr chats with Nonprofit Technology Network executive director Holly Ross about the importance of strategy in social media use. In the video, Ross describes the evolution of NTEN's use of Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn over the past three years and notes that having a good strategy isn't enough: an organization also needs a culture that supports and is comfortable with the give-and-take that comes with engaging people online.

Nonprofit Tech 2.0's Heather Mansfield, author of Social Media for Social Good, offers a list of ten "must-follow" nonprofit organizations on Pinterest, a social networking site that allows users to create virtual "pinboards."

And Beth Kanter has some advice for organizations looking to engage more effectively with their fans on Facebook.

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

-- The Editors

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