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Weekend Link Roundup (July 17 - 18, 2010)

July 18, 2010

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


Getting Attention's Nancy Schwartz takes a closer look at why the YMCA got rid of three letters and downsized its name to the "Y."

Philanthrocapitalism co-authors Matthew Bishop and Michael Green take a closer look at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's most recent grantee perception report -- a survey product developed by the Center for Effective Philanthropy to "get those receiving money from a foundation to disclose (confidentially at the individual level) what they think of a donor and its processes" -- and conclude that the "damning verdict certainly tallies with many negative comments we have heard about the way the Gates Foundation operates in its dealings with outsiders...."


On the Foundation Center's Philanthropy Front and Center - San Francisco blog, assistant librarian Natasha Isajlovic-Terry wonders whether the Gates Foundation's outsized giving in support of education reform -- almost $1 billion in 2009 alone -- gives the foundation too much say in that vitally important area.


In response to a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy chat in which Do Something CEO Nancy Lublin tells an MPA grad student to transfer to an MBA program, Heather Carpenter argues on her blog that that's bad advice.


On the Philanthropy Potluck blog, Wendy Wehr, VP of Communications and Information Services at the Minnesota Council on Foundations, weighs in on this year's "Great American Think-Off," an amateur debate competition held annually in New York Mills, Minnesota, which this year took up the question of whether the wealthy are obligated to give to the poor.

On the Tactical Philanthropy blog, Sean Stannard-Stockton shares an e-mail from Unitus board chair Joseph Grenny in which Grenny explains why the organization has decided to exit its microfinance business.

Social Media

The Case Foundation has published an assessment of the foundation's 2009 Giving Challenge, which raised more than $2.1 million from over 105,000 donors in just 30 days. On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Katya Andresen shares some highlights from the report, which was written by social media experts Beth Kanter and Allison Fine.

In a recent Fast Company article, Adam Penenberg explains that the brain reacts to connections on social networking sites in the same way that it reacts to face-to-face interactions. Responding to Penenberg's article, Rosetta Thurman writes on her blog that the finding is "even more incentive [for nonprofits] to become networked."

"For almost every organization, social media is an evolutionary process that not only organically builds it's community on the outside," writes Geoff Livingston on his eponymously named blog, "but also changes its culture over time."


Last but not least, Beth Kanter hosts a virtual book event for author/thinker Clay Shirky, whose new book, Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in A Connected Age, will be published later this month.

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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