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Weekend Link Roundup (December 11 - 12, 2010)

December 12, 2010

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


On the GiveWell blog, Holden Karnofsky asks readers to help tell the story of VillageReach -- the most effective charity, according to GiveWell's rating system, in "the sector of health systems logistics." As Karnofsky notes, "[F]undraising seems to work best when you can connect a person's gift to a tangible, emotional impact." In the case of VillageReach, however, forging that type of connection has been a bit of a challenge.

In response to Karnofsky's post, Network for Good's Katya Andresen shares a few ideas on her Non-Profit Marketing blog.


The Giving Pledge campaign started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates earlier this year made headlines again this week with the news that seventeen more families had taken the pledge. (Read PND's writeup here.) Philanthrocapitalism co-authors Matthew Bishop and Michael Green, vocal supporters of the campaign, write on their blog:

The recruitment phase seems to have built up a considerable momentum, and many more billionaires are likely to sign the Giving Pledge in the coming year. There are two big unknowns. First, will there be progress on the appropriate behaviour front? Currently, all that is asked of those signing up to the Giving Pledge is the promise to give away half their wealth. But the essence of the approach to giving taken by Mr. Gates and other leading philanthrocapitalists is that giving should be thoughtful and make a real difference. The hope is that once a billionaire has committed to the Giving Pledge, the conversation will soon turn to how that giving is being done and whether it is effective or can be made so. The sooner that conversation begins, the better.

Second, will the effort to take the Giving Pledge global succeed? When Messrs. Buffett and Gates visited China recently, they received a decidedly mixed reception, with many of the country's new wealthy making themselves scarce. In March, the two billionaire missionaries of philanthrocapitalism will go to India, where thanks to the country's more established philanthropic traditions they expect to receive a more enthusiastic reception. Indeed, Mr. Gates believes that India could soon be the world’s second most philanthropic country, after America. Well, that is something to wish for in 2011....

On Idea exChange blog, Ashoka's Evagelia Tavoulareas identifies some of the trends made evident by the recent Giving Pledge announcement and suggests, somewhat hopefully, that the initiative may lead to "serious conversations regarding wealth, philanthropy, and development -- and the intersection of all three."

On her About.com blog, Joanne Fritz shares her list of the year's best books for nonprofits. The list includes Sarah Durham's Brandraising: How Nonprofits Raise Visibility and Money Through Smart Communications; Kivi Leroux Miller Nonprofit Marketing Guide: High-Impact, Low-Cost Ways to Build Support for Your Good Cause; The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change, by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith; and Beth Kanter and Allison Fine's The Networked Nonprofit: Connecting with Social Media to Drive Change.

Social Media

Guest blogging at Beth Kanter's blog, interactive media strategist Jeff Achen explains how GiveMN, an online giving platform, "harnessed the power of [its] networks" to raise more than $10 million for Minnesota nonprofits in a single day.

In the latest installment of her Social Good podcast series, Allison Fine chats with TechSoup Global community development manager Amy Sample Ward and Big Love Little Hearts founder and executive directory Estrella Rosenberg about how nonprofits are using the social networking site LinkedIn.


On the new Glasspockets blog, Transparency Talk, Janet Camarena, director of the Foundation Center's San Francisco office, shares a new podcast featuring Philanthropy 2173 blogger Lucy Bernholz on the topic of "how technology is transforming the ways in which foundations communicate and share knowledge."

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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