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Weekend Link Roundup (July7-8, 2012)

July 08, 2012

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

Civic Engagement

On the Knight Blog, Elizabeth Miller looks at the report The Civic Tripod for Mobile and Games: Activism, Art and Learning, which explores the three dimensions of mobile games that focus on art or neighborhood civics: civic learning, performance/art, and social change. "Learning is inherent in games, since their engagement depends on providing challenges that are just barely possible," the report's authors note. "And when games are tied to physical space,

their action ties to learning about our own neighborhoods -- how to move through them, and to change them. The art of such games is often the physical world itself, with better sounds and graphics than any screen! And the digital side of games draws in the civic, if only because it is so easy to link to more information on how to take action, or how to learn more. In other words, the experiential nature of games pulls mobile experiences on civics into being a mix of art and learning....

Disaster Relief

On her Nonprofit Charitable Orgs blog, Joanne Fritz offers tips on how to help those affected by the wildfires raging in Colorado and elsewhere out West.

Fundraising

Fundraising is a valuable skill that nonprofits cannot afford to underinvest in, argues Joe Garecht on the Fundraising Authority blog. It is also a marketable skill that a good fundraiser can take to another organization if, as the title of his post suggests, "You Aren't Paying Your Development Staff Enough." Writes Garecht:

If your organization's executive director is making $150,000 per year and the top development staff member is making $60,000 per year, your nonprofit is in trouble. Likewise, if your organization is raising $5,000,000 per year and you only have one full-time development person, your nonprofit is in trouble. Under either scenario, you will never raise what you really could and should raise, and

never do all of the good that you really could do, simply because you aren't making a big enough investment in your development [function]....

"It seems that the Great Recession is similar to the Great Depression in one more way -- the drastic drop in large charitable gifts," writes Joanne Fritz in another post on her Nonprofit Charitable Orgs blog. Citing the Chronicle of Philanthropy's  Holly Hall, who found that the decline in large charitable gifts between 2007-10 mirrors a similarly precipitous drop between 1931-45, Fritz writes: "I have trouble with the idea that our tough economic times have been a match for the Great Depression, or that the decline in large charitable gifts will last as long. But I do think that large, monolithic fundraising campaigns of any kind are doomed...."

Governance

Gene Takagi has an excellent post on the Nonprofit Law blog, which he co-authors with Emily Chan, about the roles and duties of nonprofit board members.

Innovation

On the Forbes site, contributor Lori Kozlowski chats with Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin about the meaning of philanthropic innovation in 2012.

Social Media

"Although we often focus our discussion on how organizations can use social media for marketing and fundraising, the best reason for nonprofits and foundations to be on social media is to practice thought leadership," writes Rosetta Thurman in a post on her eponymous blog. "When it comes to foundations in particular, this opportunity can be even more impactful, as they are often seen as conveners, curators and catalysts for change within the nonprofit community." Thurman goes on to single out the Geraldine Dodge Foundation, the Rasmuson Foundation, and the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region for blogging "not just to share information, but to influence public opinion and community collaboration."

And on the First Giving blog, Taylor Corrado highlights six nonprofit branding lessons from the book Made to Stick, by Dan and Chip Heath:

  1. Keep it simple -- Don't dumb it down, but get straight to the point.
  2. Embrace the unexpected -- In other words, create curiosity.
  3. Be concrete -- Provide details, examples, and facts.
  4. Be credible -- Testimonials from beneficiaries are more effective than those from board members.
  5. Don't shy away from emotion -- Humans respond better to emotions than statistics.
  6. Think "story" -- Good stories are unexpected, filled with concrete details, and should always be emotional.

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

-- The Editors

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