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Weekend Link Roundup (May 29 - 30, 2010)

May 31, 2010

Memorialday_bunting Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Environment

As the Deepwater Horizon disaster drags on, Geoff Livingston names BP the "worst corporate citizen of the year," adding that "it will be hard for anyone to beat them in the year's remaining seven months (much less the decade)."

In response to a Washington Post article that examined the Nature Conservancy's ties to BP, Katya Andresen asks on her Non-Profit Marketing blog, "If you were head of PR for [a green charity] happily accepting grants from BP these past years, what would you do now?" Getting Attention's Nancy Schwartz responds with a few "guidelines for guarding [your] brand and developing the right partnerships."

Fundraising

On the Future Fundraising Now blog, Jeff Brooks suggests that fundraisers should think about creating direct mail that generates controversy because it is more likely to "bring home the bacon" than messaging that avoids the unpopular or controversial. Writes Brooks, "Our job as fundraisers is not to create a restful, tasteful, vaguely pleasant experience. It's to make a noise that startles donors to action."

Impact/Effectiveness

On the Philanthropy Potluck blog, Cary Lenore Walski examines a new survey from the John Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies which found that two-thirds of the nonprofits surveyed have been unable to launch an innovative program or service over the last two years due to a lack of resources.

"In both sectors," writes Kristin Ivie at the Social Citizens blog, "the organizations that are having significant impact, and that have employees and constituents that are thrilled to be a part of what they're doing, are the ones that maintain a balance between pragmatism and idealism...."

International Affairs/Development

Philanthrocapitalism authors Matthew Bishop and Michael Green take a look at the final DATA report from the One Campaign,the advocacy organization co-founded by U2 frontman Bono. While the report is generally upbeat about what the major donor countries have done, in terms of international aid, since the G8 Gleneagles summit five years ago, it warns that "a new debt crisis" could derail progress on a range of issues. "The public debt...has spiraled during the current economic crisis," write Bishop and Green, "and with taxpayers on a fiscal crash diet it's hard to see even current levels of generosity to the needy abroad being sustained." Add Bishop and Green:

The tragic irony, of course, is that evidence is filtering through that the aid splurge of the past five years may have started to achieve something. Like it or not, we have to find new ways of making the aid money go further and find new ways of financing development that do not depend on the political will of a few rich countries. Philanthrocapitalism, by tapping the expertise, creativity, money and other resources of the private sector, has to be central to a new development strategy. First, to pilot and test ideas to make aid smarter and more effective. Second, to leverage more private capital -- full for-profit, ethical investment and donations -- to fill the gap....

Immigration

In response to the harsh new immigration law recently passed by the state of Arizona, Julia Craig, research associate at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, issues a call for national funders "to step up to the plate and support their nonprofit partners in [advocating for repeal]."

Philanthropy

On her Philanthropy 411 blog, Kris Putnam-Walkerly lists ten attributes shared by many grantmaking initiatives.

Social Media

Last but not least, social media expert Beth Kanter suggests that nonprofits use Twitter "to see what other...nonprofits are doing in social media spaces and [to] get new ideas."

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at rnm@foundationcenter.org and enjoy the long weekend!

-- Regina Mahone

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    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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