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34 posts from October 2008

Quote of the Day (October 4, 2008)

October 04, 2008

Quotemarks"There is a growing realization among communications professionals at various foundations that message discipline -- once considered a fundamental element of any effective communication strategy -- has grown increasingly slippery as employees, grantees, researchers, fellow funders and other stakeholders who care about a foundation's issues are blogging, commenting and making and sharing videos and podcasts. Old fashioned, top-down, 'command and control' communication tactics are being rendered increasingly ineffective with each new wave of technology, as content in all its forms is cut, pasted, forwarded, blogged, tagged and aggregated, often without the knowledge, or consent, of the original messenger...."

-- David Brotherton and Cynthia Scheiderer, Come on In. The Water's Fine: An Exploration of Web 2.0 Technology and Its Emerging Impact on Foundation Communications

Hurricane Relief Efforts (#6)

October 02, 2008

We continue to track (see also here, here, here, here, and here) corporate and foundation support for hurricane relief and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. Here's the latest roundup of announcements....

As a part of its commitment to help Texas communities recover from Hurricane Ike, Reliant Energy is donating $1 million to the Gulf Coast Ike Relief Fund. In addition, Swift Energy Company has announced that it will donate $500,000 to the fund.

Visitors to the Animal Rescue Site donated more than $86,000 in September to help animal victims of hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

XTO Energy has announced a $25,000 gift and U.S. Energy Savings Corp. has donated $15,000 to support the American Red Cross's hurricane relief efforts. In addition, U.S. Energy Savings has agreed to match, dollar for dollar, donations made by any of its more than 650 employees to hurricane relief and recovery efforts.

The A+ Federal Credit Union will donate $10,000 to the Texas Credit Union Foundation to assist employees affected by Hurricane Ike. Smaller grants of $500 will be given to individuals with immediate financial needs such as out-of-pocket costs associated with evacuation. Larger grants ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 will be awarded to individuals with longer-term needs after other sources of relief assistance have been exhausted.

The Facebook Causes group Gulf Coast Hurricane Relief has raised $4,924 to date from 14,095 members. A check for that amount will be presented to Convoy of Hope, which is working to provide relief supplies to displaced persons in Texas and Louisiana.

And in response to the series of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms that pounded Cuba this summer, Bacardi Limited, the world's largest privately held spirits company, will contribute $100,000 to the Pan American Development Foundation for disaster relief efforts in that country.

Did we miss your gift or contribution? Let us know by leaving a comment or by e-mailing rnm@foundationcenter.org.

-- Regina Mahone

Wall Street's Most Generous

The deepening credit crisis and proposed bailout of Wall Street are on everyone's mind, for good reason. But how is the turmoil in the markets likely to affect your nonprofit?

Back in January, Portfolio, the Conde Nast-published high-net-worth lifestyle magazine, ran a feature by Duff McDonald and Jessica Liebman purporting to show the fifty most generous philanthropists on Wall Street. Topped by retired hedge fund manager Robert Wilson (who plans to give away 70 percent of his sizable fortune before he dies), the list includes the famous (George Soros, Charles Schwab), the familiar (Sandy Weill, Henry Kravis), and the infamous (Henry Paulson).

The package also includes a nifty interactive chart of the fifty most generous family foundations on Wall Street by industry:

(click for the Flash version)


In The Nonprofit Quarterly, Rick Cohen has a good piece on the likely impact of the financial sector meltdown on foundation grantmaking and nonprofit budgets. And if you think the only people opposed to the bailout are free-market purists, NRA members, and NASCAR dads, check out the lively conversation unfolding on the NPQ Web site ("Sound Off on the Bailout").

-- Mitch Nauffts

Quote of the Day (October 1, 2008)

October 01, 2008

Quotemarks"James Surowiecki writes that 'the commons leads to overuse and destruction; the anti-commons leads to underuse and waste' (The New Yorker, "The Financial Page," August 11 and 18). In fact, countless communities around the world sustainably manage natural resources -- fisheries, timber, fresh water, wildlife -- without succumbing to the tragedy of the commons'. On the Internet, too, communities from Wikipedia to open-source software to Flickr allow individuals to come together to cooperate and share without resorting to contracts, cash, or other market mechanisms. It's time for economists to shed their orthodoxies and wake up to the reality that the commons is a highly robust and growing sector for managing resources and creating value."

-- David Bollier, editor, OntheCommons.org (The New Yorker, "The Mail," Oct. 6, 2008)

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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