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Weekend Link Roundup (November 21 - 22, 2009)

November 22, 2009

Chain-links Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Communications/Marketing

On the Philanthropy Potluck blog, Cary Lenore Walski says that it only takes "five seconds for a new visitor to decide whether or not they will stay on your website." And if in those five seconds the visitor clicks "play" on a video, Walski adds, they are more likely to stick around.

Community Improvement/Development

What's it like to live in an abandoned building -- a house that is not a home? On the Second Line blog, Mike Miller, director of supportive housing placement at UNITY of Greater New Orleans, imagines what it might be like for the 63,000 people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Leadership

Are young bloggers guilty of "ageism" when they focus on the aspirations, challenges, and triumphs of a particular demographic cohort such as Gen Y? asks Rosetta Thurman on her blog.

Microfinance

Last week Nathaniel Whittemore argued on the Social Entrepreneurship blog that it was time to lay the Kiva controversy to rest. Not so fast, says Holden Karnofsky on the GiveWell blog. "The time to 'move on' should not be based on Kiva’s 'handling' the situation or our growing tired of it," writes Karnofsky, "it should be based on Kiva's supporters, by and large, understanding how Kiva works."

Philanthropy

Does the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation need a new $500 million, 900,000-square-foot headquarters campus? Wall Street Journal Wealth Report blogger Robert Frank has his doubts.

Blueprint Research Design (Lucy Bernholz' shop) has created a new area on its Web site called Conversations, which it hopes will be "a real hub for discussion -- part digital water cooler, part wisdom of the crowds." To get the ball rolling, Lucy and her colleague Tony Wang have started a conversation around the topic of What Capital When? and over the next few months will be "thinking out loud" about the different forms and uses of philanthropic capital to drive impact. Looking forward to it.

On the NetSquared blog, Amy Sample Ward interviews Avi Kaplan of Epic Change about the upcoming TweetsGiving campaign, November 24-26.

Tactical Philanthropy's Sean Stannard-Stockton shares excerpts from a recent e-mail debate between Paul Shoemaker, executive director of Social Venture Partners-Seattle, and Paul Brest, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, on "the merits, or lack thereof, of general operating support grants."

Social Media

What does the decision by Causes, the online fundraising application, to abandon MySpace and the shutting of ideablob, a competition and promotion platform for entrepreneurs, mean for nonprofits? Guest blogging on Tactical Philanthropy, Amy Sample Ward considers the implications.

After sharing three recent examples of "place-based charitable giving hubs" (GiveMN, I Live Here, I Give Here, and Chase Community Giving on Facebook), Beth Kanter wonders whether these kinds of campaign will make a difference in a difficult economy or just add to the noise.

"It is way too early to declare" the death of e-mail, writes Joanne Fritz on the Nonprofit Charitable Orgs blog at About.com. "Don't get rid of your email," adds Fritz. "Just make it as effective as possible."

And on the Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz confesses to wondering whether the use of social media platforms such as Twitter to crowd-source "top trend" lists has jumped the shark. "As we approach December and the list making frenzy of 'top 10s,'" writes Bernholz, "let us all take a deep breath and perhaps even do some [original] thinking."

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at rnm@foundationcenter.org. And have a great week!

-- Regina Mahone

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