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Weekend Link Roundup (March 5 - 6, 2011)

March 06, 2011

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

Corporate Philanthropy

In conjunction with International Corporate Philanthropy Day, Case Foundation CEO Jean Case suggests in a post on the Case Foundation blog that the corporate sector has yet to fully leverage its potential "to do well by doing good."


In the second part of a two-part series on the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog, Beth Kanter explains how foundations can use social networking tools to visualize their network. Kanter also discusses a few obstacles to sucessfully incorporating network-weaving tasks into your daily work and how they can be overcome.

On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Katya Andresen looks at six "truths" about giving.


At the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's Keeping a Close Eye blog, Meredith Brodbeck shares a few suggestions from Steve Mayer of the Effective Communities Project on how "to make the practice of evaluation -- and philanthropy -- better."


On Wednesday, the government of Bangladesh used the the country's mandatory retirement law as a pretext to order the dismissal of Muhammad Yunus as managing director of Grameen Bank. The Nobel laureate's many friends and supporters were quick to condemn the move. "There is a real danger that what is in effect an attempted takeover by the Bangladesh government will do serious damage to Grameen and the people it helps," write Philanthrocapitalism co-authors Matthew Bishop and Michael Green on their blog. "While there are certainly examples of for-profit microlenders harming the poor, we think the greater harm to the poor is often done by the politicians who purport to be on their side...."


On Thursday, Sean Stannard-Stockton sparked a lively debate with a post on his Tactical Philanthropy blog that looked at the differences between tactical and strategic philanthropy. According to Stannard-Stockton, the former involves grantmaking decisions "driven primarily by the questions 'In what enterprise?’ and 'On what terms is the commitment proposed?'" A strategic philanthropist, on the other hand, "sees themselves not as an investor, but as an entrepreneur. A strategic philanthropist believes that [he] can solve the world's problems. They are problem solvers, not investors."

Stannard-Stockton goes on to say:

The investment approach to philanthropy is wholly different from the problem solving approach to philanthropy. This recognition is critical because the two approaches require entirely different methods of implementation....

What do you think? Is Sean on to something? And is the distinction between "tactical" and "strategic" philanthropy helpful? Use the comments section to share your thoughts.

On the Deep Social Impact blog, Cynthia Gibson asks, "If funders and nonprofit leaders heading up organizations with huge budgets aren't willing to personally support what they're doing, why should anyone else?" Why, indeed...

Social Entrepreneurship

Lucy Bernholz takes a look at some of the "overlapping and somewhat exclusive uses" of the phrase social capital on her Philanthropy 2173 blog and wonders "what the rapidity of these definitional changes [say] about technology, finance, and social good."

Social Media

And in the most recent episode of her Social Good podcast, Allison Fine chats with Personal Democracy Forum co-founder Micah Sifry and Global Voices co-founder Ethan Zuckerman about "the role of social media [in] making protests inside of countries with dictatorial governments more visible to the world."

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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Posted by Brigid  |   March 08, 2011 at 02:04 PM

Thanks for sharing Cynthia Gibson's blog post. Inspired me to respond with one of my own:

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

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