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Weekend Link Roundup (April 16-17, 2011)

April 17, 2011

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


Writing about his favorite topic, social media, Zoetica co-founder Geoff Livingston says he hopes that "amateur hour is over, and that unknowledgeable social media communicators go the way of the dodo bird...."

Disaster Relief

Last Monday marked the one-month anniversary of the massive 9.0 earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan, a calamity that claimed the lives of at least 13,000 people and has left more than 154,000 people homeless. On the GiveWell blog, Holden Karnofsky provides a thorough update on the philanthropic response to the disaster.


Nonprofit Quarterly correspondent Rick Cohen takes a closer look at a new report from Boston-based Commongood Careers and the Level Playing Institute which suggests that while nonprofits are perceived as valuing diversity and inclusiveness, they often fail to live up to those goals. While Cohen generally agrees with the report's findings, he also notes that "real diversity includes providing the opportunity for marginalized population groups to have a stake in the organizations, not just paychecks."


On the Deep Social Impact blog, Maureen O’Brien and Cynthia Gibson share findings from the 2011 Millennial Donor survey, which analyzed giving trends among nearly 3,000 respondents between the ages of 20 and 35. According to the survey, "Millennials don't actually prefer to donate through texts, mobile apps, Twitter or Facebook...[and] Millennials, who are commonly seen as following Hollywood trendsetters, are really not swayed to give by celebrity endorsements." Surprised? We didn't think so. But as O'Brien and Gibson note, "The data gleaned from this study are hard to interpret without comparable data from other generational cohorts."

"For the last hundred years Americans have given about 2% of income to charity," writes Sean Stannard-Stockton in a recent post on his Tactical Philanthropy blog. "This percentage has been remarkably consistent during good times and bad. Maybe the key to increasing the amount given to charity is to get away from the 'give because it is good for you' (good for your soul, good for others, something you 'should' do) approach and embrace a philanthropy as junk food mentality...." Read the rest of Sean's post to see what he means.

A number of philanthropic leaders who traveled to Philadelphia this week for the Council on Foundation's annual conference shared their thoughts and perspectives on Kris Putnam-Walkerly's Philanthropy 411 blog. We especially liked the posts by Levi Strauss Foundation social media fellow Jorge Cino, who in a three-part series provided a look at how the foundation communicates its work through stories; Draper Consulting Group president Lee Draper, who recapped a lecture on diversity and philanthropy by Ambassador James Joseph; and Horizons Foundation executive director Roger Doughty, who discussed the importance of investing in fundraising to increase overall giving.

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy field associate Christine Reeves shares her top ten themes and takeaways from the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy conference, which also was held last week in Philadelphia.

Social Entrepreneurship

Philanthropy Action's Tim Ogden commends the "Microfinance in Crisis?" panelists at this year's Global Philanthropy Forum for acknowledging that it's time for the industry to reflect on where it is and where it is going. But Ogden being Ogden, he goes on to criticize the panel and the industry at large for not digging deeper into "how microcredit clients are managing cash flows and the rest of their financial lives when they no longer have confidence in the availability of microcredit."


In conjunction with National Volunteer Week, Idealist's Amy Potthast shares three volunteering ideas "that even busy professionals -- including folks with families -- can try."

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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