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19 posts from June 2008

The YouTube Effect

June 04, 2008

As Nancy Schwartz (see below) reminds us, a well-crafted tagline is a crucial component of any nonprofit brand. But with the rapid emergence of YouTube, nonprofits increasingly need to think about where video fits into their communication strategy.

As you and your colleagues start to think about that, also keep in mind that there is video -- and then there's this brilliant, award-winning video crafted by the Zurich office of Euro RSCG Worldwide for the Zurich Chamber Orchestra.

Great emotions, indeed.

(Hat tip: The Very Short List, "a free, daily e-mail that points to excellent new, and sometimes vintage, entertainment and media that haven’t been hyped to within an inch of their lives.")

-- Mitch Nauffts

The Best Nonprofit Taglines of 2008?

Our friend Nancy Schwartz, the brains behind the Getting Attention! blog, wants to know what you think.

Place your vote today for the first Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards. The finalists in the competition have been culled from the more than 1,050 taglines submitted to the recent Getting Attention Tagline Survey. According to Nancy, the organizations behind the taglines have done a fantastic job of putting eight words or less to work building their brands. Now it's your turn to select the best.

Vote today -- it'll only take you five minutes. Polls close Friday, June 20.

-- Mitch Nauffts

Mobilizing Change: Ten Policy Proposals for the Social Sector

June 03, 2008

Aspen_3That's the title (more or less) of a new report released by the Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector and Philanthropy Program. As the report notes right up front:

The stature and importance of the social sector has grown considerably in recent decades, yet -- except for issues of oversight and accountability -- policymakers pay scant attention to nonprofit organizations. An enormous opportunity exists to develop public policies that enhance the sector's capacity to benefit our communities. This set of proposals, identified by the Aspen Institute, provides a starting point for a bipartisan commission to focus on maximizing the relationship between government and civil society....

The ten proposals run the gamut from the practical to the surprising. In the order in which they're presented, they are:

Idea #1: Generate growth capital for promising nonprofits by creating a Social Investment Fund Network

Idea #2: Promote the growth of enterprises that mix business practices with social missions by creating a special tax code designation for social-benefit enterprises

Idea #3: Increase donations by extending the deadline to April 15 for making tax-deductible charitable contributions

Idea #4: Increase the funds available to nonprofits by simplifying or reducing the excise tax for nonprofits

Idea #5: Improve the viability of smaller nonprofits by creating a Small Business Administration for nonprofits

Idea #6: Advance knowledge and improve the performance of nonprofits and philanthropy by creating a Strategic Nonprofit Research Collaborative to support independent analysis of nonprofit data, issues, and challenges

Idea #7: Improve disaster relief, especially for low-income and vulnerable people, by integrating local nonprofits and faith-based groups into official response systems

Idea #8: Ensure strong nonprofits by recruiting, training, and retaining the next generation of leaders for the nonprofit sector

Idea #9: Encourage public service by making a "Summer of Service" a rite of passage for every young person during the transition from middle school to high school

Idea #10:  Encourage the use of music as a development tool by creating a Music National Service Initiative, strengthening and expanding music-based public service

The report summarizes each proposal and explains how it would work, who would be affected, and the action required to make it happen. For each proposal, there are also links provided to reports and articles written by the author(s) of the proposal.

The complete report, Mobilizing Change: 10 Nonprofit Policy Proposals to Strengthen U.S. Communities (14 pages, PDF), is available as a free download at the Aspen Institute Web site.

-- Mitch Nauffts

Quote of the Day (June 2, 2008)

June 02, 2008

Quotemarks "Most of the good things that I have seen in foundations came out of the fact that there were some people at a given time and a given place who had an idea and some guts."

-- Homer C. Wadsworth, director, Cleveland Foundation (1974-1983)

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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