Weekend Link Roundup (November 10-11, 2012)
November 11, 2012
In a guest post on the Communications Network blog, Philanthropy New York's Michael Hamill Remaley shares five lessons he learned from Superstorm Sandy about communications during and after a disaster:
- A little bit of forethought and planning can make a big difference to your organization's ability to keep communicating during a disaster, and once your team has been through a disaster like Sandy, it'll have a much better idea of what to expect next time.
- After disaster hits, be prepared to improvise. After the power grid for lower Manhattan went down, Remaley just started walking north from his apartment on the Lower East Side and kept walking until he was able to get a cell phone signal thirty-five blocks later.
- Make sure you have personal e-mail addresses for all staff and that they are cloud-based like Gmail addresses.
- To be an effective communicator during a crisis, you have to already have a loyal audience that follows you on a number of channels -- blogs, Web sites, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- When you have a great team of people who are determined to stay connected, you can find mechanisms to make it work. There are so many channels for communicating now that, unless there is absolutely no cell service at all, you can find ways of establishing two-way communication with your key audiences even amidst significant system disruptions.
On Blackbaud's new NPEngage blog, Steve MacLaughlin looks at how fundraising in support of Superstorm Sandy relief efforts compares to that of other recent natural disasters, from the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011. MacLaughlin says there are at least two aspects of Sandy giving to watch, including a rise in multi-screen fundraising and the long tail. "Giving to this and other disasters is going to continue for some time," writes MacLaughlin. "And very soon it will be important for organizations to start showing the impact these donations have had on those hit hardest by the storm."
On the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit co-author Beth Kanter discusses how online social networking tools such as LinkedIn Board Connect make it easier for nonprofits to find the right people for their boards. "On LinkedIn, you can see past first connections, and check out a potential candidate's knowledge and their network," writes Kanter. "If all board members add their networks, this produces a richer set of potential candidates. And, remember, you are not just adding a board member to your team -- you are also adding their network."
In time for Veterans Day, Matt Cifaldi, a community engagement associate at Idealist, gives a shoutout to a handful of nonprofits working to address the needs of veterans, from providing retirees with counseling and arts programs to matching them with a companion dog or cat.
In a post on her blog, Rosetta Thurman reminds us that regardless of who was elected president, it's up to each of us to address the collective challenges we face by being engaged members of society. "No president can or will dramatically change our communities," writes Thurman. "We have to do that ourselves. It is important to stay rooted in the reality that WE have to work for the change we want to see...."
On the Duck Call blog, Big Duck's Sarah Durham has some advice for underresourced nonprofits based on this year's presidential campaigns.
And on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz wonders who will be the Nate Silver of philanthropy and "put predictive analysis to the test in the social sector." Silver, of course, is the New York Times-employed "data scientist" whose election predictions based on an analysis of aggregated polling data turned out out to be uncannily accurate. Writes Bernholz:
Silver's analytic model relies on calculating the probability that each candidate will win based on the results of numerous state and national polls. The model is inherently dependent on the quality of each of those polls but it also benefits from the sheer number of polls done during a presidential election.
As individual foundations share more of their information in more userful ways, IssueLab catalogues and organizes the research that foundations and nonprofits do, independent analysts like GiveWell or users of the Nonprofit Finance Fund's FinancialSCAN tool, and local, state and federal agencies make more data available publicly we may be reaching the point where meta-analysis of others' research -- whether program evaluations, strategy plans, or needs assessments -- is possible and worth considering. We are slowly building the repository of raw material -- data that can be shared, compiled, compared and considered in the aggregate -- that makes such research feasible....
That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And have a great week!
-- The Editors