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Weekend Link Roundup (April 18-19, 2015)

April 19, 2015

National-cherry-blossom-festivalOur weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Data

How can nonprofits use data to create a culture of continuous improvement. Beth Kanter explains.

Evaluation/Effectiveness

In a post on her Giving Evidence site, Caroline Fiennes suggests that charities are being asked to do too much evaluation -- and presents some evidence to support her argument.

Writing on the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Nancy Baughman Csuti, director of research, evaluation and strategic learning at the Colorado Trust, says that funders can and should

engage in deeper conversations with grantees to understand their needs regarding evaluation, continue to provide general operating support, and, with that, encourage time to review results, reflect, and adapt. We can encourage grantees to share what they have learned and provide resources and assistance for them to do so, and do the same ourselves. As funders, we should jump on the opportunities to encourage our grantees to embrace a culture of evaluation and learning that results in seeing problems and solutions differently. And always, we must do ourselves what we ask of grantees....

Human/Civil Rights

Civil society and human rights groups find themselves in a new world characterized by "multiplicity," public disillusionment, and growing non-institutional activism, writes Lucia Nader on the Transformation  blog. And if they want to remain relevant, she adds, they'll need to find a balance "between preserving what has already been achieved, and deconstructing, innovating, reinventing and transforming [themselves]."

Journalism/Media

Is the nonprofit news model sustainable? Based on his reading of Gaining Ground, How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability, a new report from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Inside Philanthropy's Paul M.J. Sucheki has his doubts.

Nonprofits

$23.07/hr. That's Independent Sector's latest estimate of the value of volunteer time. More here

Philanthropy

A family foundation set up to exist in perpetuity may not be around for a long if the kids have no interest in running it. Wall Street Journal reporter Veronica Dagher shares five things that family foundations can do to empower the next generation to carry the family legacy forward.

On the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Mulago Foundation director Kevin Starr shares the seven commandments of effective funding.

Exponent Philanthropy has compiled a nice list of resources for "foundations, giving circle members, donor advised fund holders, and individual donors [who] are intentionally keeping their operations lean and their ears to the ground."

Social Good

On Thursday, online crafts bazaar Etsy became only the second B Corps to go public. The question now, writes The New York Times' Hiroko Tabuchi, is whether "Wall Street will embrace a company that puts doing social and environmental good on the same pedestal with, if not ahead of, maximizing profits."

There is more money in the world than at any point in human history, so why doesn't it reach the places that need it most? Writing on the Transformation blog, Fran Boait, executive director of Positive Money, explains.

In a short essay adapted from his new book, The Road to Character, New York Times columnist David Brooks reminds us that "people on the road to inner light do not find their vocations by asking, what do I want from life? They ask, what is life asking of me? How can I match my intrinsic talent with one of the world's deep needs?" 

Social Media

Does your nonprofit have an Instagram strategy? Are you and your colleagues unsure why you need one? Kivi Leroux Miller shares 50+ nonprofit Instagram accounts that might change your mind.

That's it for now. What have you been reading/watching/listening to? Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org or via the comments box below....

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  • "They were careless people. They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made...."

    The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)

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