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Weekend Link Roundup (February 20 - 21, 2010)

February 21, 2010

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


On the Audacious Ideas blog, A. Adar Ayira of Associated Black Charities suggests that its time to rethink how we celebrate Black History Month.


"With the recession vaporizing over one-fifth of the value of foundations' assets, foundations should be looking harder for additional strategies they can use to advance their charitable mission," writes Todd Cohen on his Inside Philanthropy blog. What do you think foundations should be doing in this tough economic climate to leverage their resources and advance their missions?


On his Future Fundraising Now blog, Jeff Brooks offers some advice on how to "romance your donors."


In a two-part series on the Health Beat blog, Century Foundation fellow Maggie Mahar wonders whether mortality rates are the best measure of a healthcare system. Writes Mahar:

Ultimately, when people ask "how many lives would be saved if we all had insurance?" I think they are posing the wrong question. A better question would be: "How many people suffer needlessly because they don't have access to care?"

Why should "mortalities" be the measure of how much good health insurance -- or medicine itself -- can do? Health care will not rescue us from the human condition. And as I explained in part 1, evidence shows that access to medical care is not the major factor that guards against premature death. Genes, social circumstances, and personal behavior all are far more important.

Despite our national obsession with longevity, and our belief that hi-tech medicine will rescue us, the truth is that very often, modern medicine cannot cure us -- but it can provide comfort and care. This is why health insurance is important....


On his Harvard Business Review blog, Uncharitable author Dan Pallotta argues against the use of focus groups. "There's a profound difference between asking people what they think of an idea in the abstract versus telling them, 'Here it is.'" writes Pallotta. "The former is following, the latter is leading. People respond to leadership...."


While there are any number of reasons to question the effectiveness of crowdsourced online giving contests, says About.com's Joanne Fritz, the Pespi Refresh Project is one such contest deserving of our attention.

According to the Minnesota Council on Foundation's Chris Murakami Noonan, "leverage" is fast becoming the philanthropy buzzword du jour.

In a new post on his White Courtesy Telephone blog, Greater New Orleans Foundation president and CEO Albert Ruesga suggests that "in many important domains of philanthropic activity, effectiveness requires attention to the social justice dimensions of a given problem."

Social Entrepreneurship

And on the Social Entrepreneurship blog, Nathaniel Whittemore takes a closer look at the revised application guidelines for the federal government's Social Innovation Fund (SIF) and declares them much improved.

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at [email protected].

-- Regina Mahone

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