« TED on Sunday: Katherine Fulton on the Future of Philanthropy | Main | Targeting Grant Dollars by Population Group: The Debate Continues »

Weekend Link Roundup (June 27 - 28, 2009)

June 28, 2009

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

Climate Change

Mark Tercek, president and CEO of the Nature Conservancy, explains why the American Clean Energy and Security Act, passed earlier this week by the House of Representatives, is an important milestone for conservation and climate change efforts in the U.S.


Nonprofits and foundations are invited to enter the 2009 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards competition. Submit your organization's tagline here.


The mortgage crisis left a large number of homes vacant in cities across the nation. The Weakonomist wonders why Habitat for Humanity -- a nonprofit organization whose mission is to build homes for people in need -- has not adapted its tactics to account for this reality. "The continuation of the program in [its] current form," writes the Weakonomist, "is a bit insensitive to the times." The head of HFH Los Angeles responded via Twitter, ensuring all that the organization has programs in place to address the needs of people who have lost homes in the economic downturn.

So-called innovation prizes like the X Prize were a big trend in 2008. This year, in contrast, writes Lucy Bernholz on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, we're seeing a lot more "charity challenges" that involve some form of matching grant. Surely another sign of these uncertain economic times.

Nonprofit Management

A recent National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy report concludes that many of the foundations which lost money in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme had fewer than five trustees on their boards. "Small [board] size or not," writes Mike Burns on his Nonprofit Board Crisis blog, "this failure by foundations was about systems and policies and due diligence -- none of which appear to have been in place enough to prevent this very ugly and sad outcome for all."

Social Innovation

On IssueLab's new Footnotes blog, Gabriela Fitz asks how social innovation will be funded over the next couple of years if budget-constrained foundations and philanthropists only support their existing grantees, and what sorts of innovative projects will simply disappear because they don't have the necessary funds to continue their work? Excellent questions, Gabriela.

Social Media

On the Buzz Machine, Jeff Jarvis offers his always sharp take on what the confluence of events in Iran and Michael Jackson's death tells us about media, social media, and the future of journalism.

The Case Foundation has published an assessment of the foundation's first-ever Giving Challenge. Allison Fine, co-author of the report (along with Beth Kanter) offers her take on the fifty-day event, which raised $1.8 million from more than 71,000 donors and benefited thousands of causes.


Does All for Good, an aggregation platform for volunteer opportunities in the U.S. built with support from the Craigslist Foundation and Google, compete with existing Web sites such as Social Actions? That's a question many people are debating on the Social Edge site, where Social Actions founder Peter Deitz is hosting a discussion about competition and collaboration in the social sector. It's an important conversation, and dozens of people have weighed in with comments.

The Obama administration's enthusiasm for community service has inched the country closer to embracing a culture of service, writes Rachel Chong, social entrepreneur, on the Huffington Post. However, there's more work to be done. Writes Chong:

We are still far from a world where every nonprofit can access pro bono services or where every professional can easily give his or her skills. Through the Web, we've brought volunteers and nonprofits together, but now we must figure how to get them work together in ways that consistently result in positive outcomes. The cultural gap between the nonprofit and for-profit worlds is vast. We need a scalable solution that helps nonprofit managers and for-profit professionals communicate effectively so that both parties get the most out of their volunteer experiences together. When we've accomplished this, not only will service be part of the fabric of American lives, but nonprofit and for-profit professionals will be finally speaking the same language....


In a recent PhilanTopic post, Christine Gumm, president and CEO of the Women's Funding Network, offered her take on a new report issued by the Foundation Center (in partnership with WFN)which spotlights the growing trend of giving by and for women. Gumm points out that women's funds have developed a democratic model of giving, "with donors and grantees sharing grantmaking decisions." On her Nonprofit Leadership 601 blog, Heather Carpenter says that's all well and good, but then asks, "Why is it that only women's philanthropy strives for mutuality?" Adds Carpenter, "If we are truly trying to change the world, wouldn't it be best if all of philanthropy strives for collaboration and mutuality?"

What did we miss? Use the comments section below to submit your favorite recent posts.

-- Regina Mahone

« Previous post    Next post »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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

Subscribe to PhilanTopic


Guest Contributors

  • Laura Cronin
  • Derrick Feldmann
  • Thaler Pekar
  • Kathryn Pyle
  • Nick Scott
  • Allison Shirk

Tweets from @PNDBLOG

Follow us »

Filter posts