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Weekend Link Roundup (August 21 - 22, 2010)

August 22, 2010

Magnifying-glass1 Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Corporate Philanthropy

According to a survey by USA Today and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Walmart was the nation's biggest corporate donor in 2009. "But at what cost to...the communities where all the Walmart products are made?" asks Nonprofit Board Crisis blogger Mike Burns in a recent post.

Disaster Relief

On the Foreign Policy Web site, Pakistani journalist Mosharraf Zaidi asks, Why doesn't the world care about Pakistan?

As the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, the Greater New Orleans Foundation shares the stories of five nonprofit leaders who have "marshaled armies of volunteers to help rebuild the fabric of [the] city."


In response to a Fox 5 News segment about Generation Y, Rosetta Thurman, who was interviewed for the clip along with Mobilize.org's Maya Enista, highlights some of the problems with the too-common media tactic of pitting older generations against Millennials.

On the Black Gives Back blog, Tracey Webb announces the launch of Nonprofit Insider, a new blog sponsored by the BlackEnterpise.com site that's "geared towards those who work for, donate to, and run nonprofit organizations." In the first post, Webb shares four tips for starting a nonprofit.


In a recent post on the Harvard Business Review blog, Uncharitable author Dan Pallotta urges his readers to "rethink what it means to work and to be productive."

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Phil Buchanan defends the use of the term "nonprofit" to describe the work of our sector. Buchanan further suggests that people "spend less time debating semantics and more time focusing on making the organizations in our sector -- whatever we call them -- as effective as they can be."

Social Innovation

It hasn't been a good couple of weeks for the Corporation for National and Community Service's Social Innovation Fund (SIF). A week or so after the fund announced one- and two-year grants totaling $49.2 million to eleven intermediaries working to "address urgent needs in three key issue areas -- economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development and school support," the Nonprofit Quarterly published a lengthy editorial questioning certain transparency practices at the fund. Then, in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Paul Light, a professor of public service at NYU Wagner who helped review applications to SIF during its initial funding round, weighed in with his own concerns. Light's op-ed prompted a pointed response from fellow reviewer and Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets author Steve Goldberg (in the comments and, in much greater detail, here). In the last day or so, New Profit Inc., one of the intermediaries to receive a grant and the subject of some sharp questioning owing to the fact that one of its former executives, Paul Carttar, is now executive director of SIF, posted its unredacted application to the fund on the Web; and the New York Times' Stephanie Strom reported that the fund had agreed to release the ratings of its review panels. Is the controversy over transparency at SIF a tempest in a teapot or symptomatic of deeper problems at what Tactical Philanthropy blogger Sean Stannard-Stockton calls "one of the most important experiments in building a functioning philanthropic capital market" this country has seen? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


On the Case Foundation blog, Joshua Tabb, a project coordinator at the foundation, identifies three practices that helped catalyze the Web 2.0 revolution in hopes that the tenets behind the "techvolution" in information sharing and communications can be translated from the online world to ossified offline industries.

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

-- Regina Mahone and Mitch Nauffts


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