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Weekend Link Roundup (January 29 - 30, 2011)

January 30, 2011

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

Communications/Marketing

On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Katya Andresen has some suggestions for nonprofits looking to change how people perceive their organization.

Getting Attention's Nancy Schwartz announces the first-ever Guide to Nonprofit Marketing Wisdom, which features 127 marketing lessons-learned from professionals working in the field.

Global Health

Last week, the Associated Press caused a ruckus when it reported that two-thirds of the grant dollars awarded by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for an AIDS program in Mauritania had been tainted by corruption, while a third of the funds earmarked for a TB and malaria program in Mali had suffered the same fate. Responding to the news, the Global Fund issued a statement saying it not only knew about the problems but had been the first to report them.

Others rushed to fund's defense. They included Humanosphere blogger Tom Paulson, who noted, based on a back-of-the-envelope calculation, that the amount in question totaled about 0.003, or 0.3 percent, of the fund's grants portfolio; Bobby Shriver and Bono -- co-founders of (Product) RED, a Global Fund donor -- who labeled the AP story "good news," as it spotlighted the fund's aggressive anti-fraud tactics; and GiveWell's Holden Karnofsky, who applauded the fund for its "outstanding transparency."

Governance

On the Nonprofit Quarterly site, veteran fundraising consultant Kim Klein argues that it's time to replace the charitable giving deduction, which, Klein says, subsidizes wealthy itemizers, with "a tax credit available to all taxpayers, regardless of whether they itemize deductions on their returns." Not so fast, writes Dan Froomkin, senior Washington correspondent for the Huffington Post. "[W]ith nothing remotely like a second stimulus bill in the cards, the best hope for goosing the economy, creating jobs and providing relief for the needy could lie in a Washington economist's ingenious scheme to get a chunk of that money put into circulation right now" -- i.e., by temporarily doubling the charitable deduction, "a move that would serve as a powerful incentive for the rich to significantly increase -- or at least accelerate -- their contributions to nonprofit organizations."

Impact/Effectiveness

In a recent post on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz suggests that someone needs to develop "mission insurance" for social sector organizations to ensure that services delivered to customers are "designed and delivered with a measurable, enforceable commitment to bettering lives and communities."

Nonprofit Management

On her Nonprofit Blog at About.com, Joanne Fritz looks at some of the common mistakes made by nonprofit startups, including lack of a credible business plan, realistic budget, and/or effective board.

Philanthropy

In the winter issue of the Nonprofit Quarterly, Steve Boland, a loan officer at the Minneapolis-based Nonprofits Assistance Fund, argues that the future of online giving "may be less revolution and more evolution."

On his Tactical Philanthropy Advisors blog, Sean Stannard-Stockton shares a comment from Energy Foundation chief information officer Jason Ricci in which Ricci explains how his organization is able to "make grants seven times faster than the average grantmaker."

Social Media

The popular uprising in Egypt this week has made for absolutely riveting television. The mass protests calling for an end to the Mubarak regime, along with even-larger street protests against the authoritarian government of Tunisia earlier this month, have also re-ignited the debate over the role of social media in recent upheavals in the region. On GigaOm, Matthew Ingram argues that while social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have not been the "trigger" for the uprisings, they have "played a key role in getting the word out, and in helping organizers plan their protests." Be sure to read the comments thread.

And on the GrantWatch blog, Hope Leman commends the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for mastering the art of social media. "Unlike some funders that create Twitter accounts but then tweet infrequently and boringly, primarily about their own programs," writes Leman, "the tweets of the RWJF are intellectually engaging, and they excel at outreach to those in the health field." Leman goes on to offer a few lessons for foundations eager to learn from RWJF's example.

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

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