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Weekend Link Roundup (June 20 - 21, 2009)

June 21, 2009

Chain-links This week's roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....


Joe Waters, director of cause marketing for a Boston-based nonprofit, defends his profession in this thoughtful post. (Be sure to check out the forty-two -- and counting -- comments. Good stuff.)


As he explains in this post, everything Donor Power Blogger Jeff Brooks knows about fundraising he learned from the Beatles.

Nonprofit Management

On the Creation in Common blog, Carlo Cuesta says that telling nonprofits to act more like for-profits merely reinforces negative stereotypes. The statement, writes Cuesta, "furthers the perception that if you do not operate with a profit motive you do not understand business. It says: 'for-profit expertise trumps nonprofit expertise.' It is one of the greatest barriers to deep collaboration among board and staff members, pitting the knowledgeable business leader against the knowledgeable community worker, money vs. mission...." (H/t: Allison Fine)

Guest blogging on the Tactical Philanthropy blog, Eric Kessler, founder of Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors, argues nonprofit mergers and alliances are more likely to work when "forward-thinking organizations put mission first and think strategically about how they can most effectively work together to achieve shared goals."


On the Nonprofit and Foundation Advocacy blog, Sue Hoechstetter argues that the most interesting news out of a recent Bradley Center discussion about the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy report Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best wasn't the discussion of the benchmarks themselves but the fact that "sector leaders across the political spectrum seem to agree that increasing multiyear, general support and increasing giving to marginalized populations are priority values that should guide grantmaking." Adds Hoechstetter:

For example, with much of the nonprofit sector experiencing economic crises and general support funding on the decrease, the Philanthropy Roundtable and Council on Foundations could together develop a strategic campaign to increase their members' general support grantmaking. If a joint project is not feasible, the groups could initiate separate campaigns encouraging increases and learn from each other's efforts. It would be refreshing and productive if the next round of seminars on Criteria could be devoted to "how" to immediately facilitate increased funding to the marginalized, rather than to whether or not foundations should be directed to do so.....

Social Entrepreneurship

Echoing Green, a New York-based nonprofit that provides seed funding to entrepreneurs with bold ideas for social change, has announced its 2009 class of fellows.

The creators of the Firefox Web browser, in partnership with Idealist, Social Actions, and many other organizations, have announced Mozilla Service Week, September 14-21, an initiative designed to encourage individuals to step up and use the World Wide Web to better their community.

For her innovative work as the co-head of the world's wealthiest foundation, Melinda French Gates has been named one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business (#2) by Fast Company magazine. (H/T: Charity Navigator blog)

In conjunction with World Refugee Day, Britt Bravo interviews Kjerstin Erickson, founder of FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment), a California-based nonprofit that works to empower refugees in Zambia and Botswana.

Social Media

As Nathaniel Whittemore (and others) have noted, Twitter has played a major role in disseminating news about the contested presidential election and subsequent mass protests in Iran. Indeed, the "Twitter Revolution" in Iran, says Tim Kane on the Kauffman Foundation's Growthology blog, is the first ever "geek-led revolution." Which should surprise no one, adds Kane, given that Iran boasts more bloggers per capita than any country in the world. Cool.

Communications Network executive director Bruce Trachtenberg shares what he has learned about social networks and networking in this post. (Love the accompanying graphic.)

And on the Harvard Business Review blog, Alexandra Samuel says that businesses can learn a lot from nonprofits and NGOs about how to use social media to deepen customer relationships, share knowledge, and strengthen teams.

That's it for now. Happy Father's Day!

-- Regina Mahone

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