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Weekend Link Roundup (February 27 - 28, 2010)

February 28, 2010

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

Disaster Relief

About.com's Joanne Fritz has posted a good list of links and resources for folks looking for information about the nonprofit response to the 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile.


On the Tactical Philanthropy blog, guest contributor Steve Goldberg (Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets: Why Philanthropy Doesn’t Advance Social Progress) suggests that the "emerging discipline of 'moving money'...holds out hope for reducing [the nonprofit sector's] over-reliance on fundraising. Writes Goldberg:

Fundraising relies on building relationships with prospective donors and telling engaging stories about the nonprofit’s work.It represents the personal connection of philanthropy, one that’s inherently time-consuming and labor-intensive. Moving money is data-driven: it depends on creating new value from market intelligence.

Fundraising is useful for even small donations, but spending time and effort to move money around only makes sense for sizable, usually aggregated funding looking for investment opportunities that individual donors can’t find on their own. If nonprofit capital markets became more adept at moving money, it could reduce the need to repeatedly raise new money in small amounts....


Nonprofit consultant Marion Conway provides highlights from and her own commentary on Grant Thornton's 2009 National Board Governance Survey for Not-for-Profit Organizations.


The Center for Effective Philanthropy's Ellie Buteau writes that funders should see the advent of the Social Innovation Fund as an opportunity to step up and share responsibility for the development of more rigorous nonprofit performance data.

Tactical Philanthropy's Sean Stannard-Stockton argues that the social sector is uniquely positioned to "embrace rampant information sharing" -- and gets some pushback from his readers.

Social Entrepreneurship

Allison Fine calls the new database of social entrepreneurs put together by Social Edge a "great" idea. "Enabling social entrepreneurs to connect with one another by geography or issue area," adds Fine, "is an important step in the creation of a more cohesive field."

Social Media

The New York City-based, Open Society Institute, which works "to improve the lives of the world's most vulnerable people and to promote human rights, justice, and accountability," has launched a blog to highlight its work and give OSI experts and grantees "a platform to sharpen their thinking and bring underreported issues to light."

On her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz takes a closer look at mobile technology and concludes:

I've come to think that the question should not be "to text or not" but "what matters about mobile?" From the point of view of nonprofits, mobile gives them the opportunity to add a new location. Essentially, every organization in the world just got the opportunity to expand their footprint to include their current location and every mobile phone.

It may be like winning the location lottery. An organization can be where they are now and also on everyone's mobile phones.* That might be through a text short code. It might be through an app. It might be by being on FourSquare or other geolocation services. Maybe NPOs should start tagging their service delivery areas on Google Maps? The possibilities are many -- far more than "just" a question of getting text donation enabled. Of course, like winning the lottery, organizations now have to make choices they never had to worry about before....

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

-- Regina Mahone and Mitch Nauffts

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