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Weekend Link Roundup (October 30 - 31, 2010)

October 31, 2010

Halloween-pumpkin-2 Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....


On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Katya Andresen lists a few characteristics of what Clay Shirky, in his book Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, calls "The People Formerly Known as the Audience."


In honor of Halloween, Future Fudraising Now blogger Jeff Brooks shares "some things that should scare the heck out of fundraisers," including cuts to their acquisition budget, branding experts (the "brain-eating zombies of the fundraising world"), and the boss who loves your work.


Back from the Council on Foundation's Next Generation Task Force sessions, Jillian Vukusich of the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties lists some of the benefits and opportunities for Gen Y leaders on Kris Putnam-Walkerly's Philanthropy 411 blog.

On the Deep Social Impact blog, Cynthia Gibson looks at a new study from the University of Michigan which found that "college students today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were in 1979." Gibson explains how the findings are likely to effect "young people who DO care about 'making the world a better place'."


"Just because you have data doesn't mean you know anything," writes Lucy Berhnolz in a new post on her Philanthropy 2173 blog. "Just because you have a map doesn't mean you're an explorer. And just because you have data and cool visualization tools doesn't mean you'll make better decisions or be a more effective grantmaker." Adds Bernholz:

For donors and foundation program officers, data and data visualizations have to meet an even higher threshold -- they are going to have to make it easier to know something than to not know it. Right now, most of the structural incentives in philanthropy make it OK to not know what everyone else in your field is doing. Plus, it's hard to find out. Those two factors -- making it necessary to know and making it easy to know -- are big barriers to adopting these tools or changing the way foundations make decisions. Technology can make it easier to access data and easier to show the data in new ways. But unless the incentives for knowing and doing the work change, we'll have a lot of very cool tools that few will use....

In a two-part series on his White Courtesy Telephone blog (here and here), Greater New Orleans Foundation president and CEO Albert Ruesga takes issue with a Stanford Social Innovation Review article in which William and Flora Hewlett Foundation president Paul Brest disagrees with funders who "think it would be intrusive" to demand that their grantees be able to articulate a theory of change.


On the Social Citizens blog, Emily Yu wonders whether downloading a Facebook app for a nonprofit or tagging photos online for a cause constitute "service," and, if so, how that type of service should "be weighted when it comes to evaluation metrics."


The Nonprofiteer offers her take on a new study which found "that at all income levels women give more than men -- both more frequently and more generously when controlled for income." "If we're lucky," she writes, "the study will help eliminate the prejudice afflicting most professional fundraisers: that women are timid askers and chintzy givers who never donate without asking someone's permission...."

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

-- Regina Mahone

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