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18 posts categorized "Knowledge Management"

Weekend Link Roundup (November 17-18, 2012)

November 18, 2012

Pumpkin-thanksgiving-wreathOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....


With the critical holiday fundraising season right around the corner, new reports from Charity Dynamics/NTEN and Blackbaud remind us that "Establishing emotional connections with donors remains paramount," writes Katya Andresen on her Non-Profit Marketing blog.

In a guest post on Beth Kanter's blog, Big Duck's Meghan Teich has some advice for nonprofit communications pros in the aftermath of a crisis or major natural disaster:

  • Make sure your staff is kept up to date on your communications plan and that they have a clear understanding of your messaging.
  • Strike while the iron's hot, but not so soon that it looks like you're capitalizing on the crisis.
  • Don't use the crisis as an opportunity to do general fundraising for your organization (unless you have a particularly relevant mission). Instead, create a specific fund or give donors a tangible item or event to which they can donate.
  • Reach out to other nonprofits, even those you view as "competitors," to explore how you might work together.
  • Keep your supporters and donors updated on the progress you're making in real time via e-mail and social media.

"I urge you to take the steps necessary to make sure you are engaging the right people in the right ways to reach your marketing goals," writes Nancy Schwartz on her Getting Attention blog. "And to start today." Sounds like good advice to us.

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Old Reports Are New Again

November 12, 2012

(Lisa Brooks is a co-founder of IssueLab and director of knowledge management systems at the Foundation Center.)

Old is the new NewOften when talking with folks who contribute content to IssueLab, we encourage -- indeed, urge -- them to share all their publications regardless of date published. More often than not, we get a response along the lines of "that report is so old we don't want to include it. It's not relevant anymore."

Well, reading the New York Times on a recent weekend, I came across an editorial titled "The Struggle to Cast a Vote: Wrongly Turning Away Ex-Offenders." A timely article, given that the 2012 elections were at that point only two days away. So, I started to read and what did I notice? A 2005 study by the Sentencing Project, an IssueLab contributing organization, was cited. I repeat: the editorial cited a 2005 study. Total word count of the piece? Four hundred and sixty-seven -- and more than a quarter of them were dedicated to a seven-year-old study. How's that for legs?

In that same issue of the Times, another editorial, "How Romney Would Treat Women," also zeroed in on a key issue in the election and mentioned a fact sheet published in August 2011 by the Guttmacher Institute, another IssueLab contributor. While that publication was of more recent vintage than the Sentencing Project report, I couldn't help but wonder whether it would still be available to the public a few years from now. Yes, the Times will archive its editorial in perpetuity. But will the link to the institute's fact sheet still be live in, say, 2019?

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From Open Data to Open Knowledge: Foundations, Nonprofits, and the Production of Ideas

November 08, 2012

(Bradford K. Smith is president of the Foundation Center. In his last post, he looked at what philanthropy can do to help underresourced communities in tough economic times.)

IssueLabIf you think foundations are only ATM machines and nonprofits just service providers, think again. With the launch of IssueLab, there is one place you can go to find more than eleven thousand knowledge products published, funded, produced, and/or generated by foundations and nonprofits in the U.S. and around the globe.

Last month, the Foundation Center announced the Reporting Commitment, an effort by fifteen of America's largest philanthropic foundations to make their grants data -- who they give money to, how much, where, and for what purpose -- available in an open, machine-readable format. Starting today, through IssueLab, the social sector can also access what it knows as a result of that funding. A service of the Foundation Center, IssueLab gathers, indexes, and shares the sector's collective intelligence on a free, open, and searchable platform, and encourages users to share, copy, distribute, and even adapt the work. It's a big step for philanthropy and "open knowledge."

What's in it for you? Read on.

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Quote of the Week

  • "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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