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Weekend Link Roundup (February 26 - 27, 2011)

February 27, 2011

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

Corporate Philanthropy

On the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Stephanie Bluma -- SVP and creative director at Weber Shandwick, a NYC-based PR firm -- shares findings from a recent survey that looked at how corporations are using crowdsourcing to improve their philanthropic efforts. According to the survey, 44 percent of the two hundred executives interviewed use "crowdsourcing to provide ideas and help in decision-making. Among those executives, an overwhelming 95 percent reported that it was valuable to their organization's CSR programming."

Education

On the Century Foundation's Taking Note blog, Richard Kahlenberg shares his (mostly critical) take on The Bee Eater, Richard Whitmire's new biography of former District of Columbia Public Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Grantmaking

Guest blogging on the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog, Beth Kanter shares a few network-weaving techniques and tools for grantmakers.

Philanthropy

Sharon Schneider, philanthropic director at Foundation Source, a leading provider of support services for private foundations, suggests on her Philanthropic Family blog that most big-hearted individuals are doing "a terrible job of picking charities to receive [their] hard-earned money...."

"In the face of unprecedented social and global crises, and amidst the intolerance that now drives much of what passes for political discourse," writes Todd Cohen on the Inside Philanthropy blog, "we are fortunate indeed that philanthropy is stepping up to provide not only funding but also a marketplace in which people and groups with different perspectives can share ideas and work together to address critical problems that affect their entire community...."

Social Media

Guest blogging on the Tactical Philanthropy blog, American Red Cross director of social media Wendy Harman explains why she responded the way she did after an employee accidently tweeted about buying beer using the organization's Twitter account. Writes Harman,

If I were outside of the organization, I'd find this gaffe hilarious, not because I wish harm on the Red Cross or because I think their services were hindered, but for the same reason I might chuckle if a friend trips on a crack in the sidewalk. It's unexpected and therefore fundamentally funny to see a normally quite serious humanitarian organization tweet about craft beer using the lyrics to a popular song....

Every time I see a nonprofit or company using social tools, my brain reminds me that there’s no such being as nonprofits and companies –- there's only a network of people doing work under the same name with the same goals. Social media belongs to real humans doing a very human activity –- connecting with one another over shared interests. We’re honored that our mission can serve as a shared interest and that our community allows us to be part of their conversations and activities. In turn, our goal as an entity is to provide value and to empower people to get help and give help with these tools.

Philanthropy 2173's Lucy Bernholz interviews James Irvine Foundation CEO Jim Canales about why the foundation started using Twitter and what he hopes the foundation's social media efforts will accomplish.

Technology

And on the Harvard Business Review blog, Uncharitable author Dan Pallotta suggests that someone create an iTunes-style Web site for charities.

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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