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Weekend Link Roundup (April 30 - May 1, 2011)

May 02, 2011

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

Corporate Philanthropy

Network for Good's Katya Andresen recaps an event held nearly two weeks ago on cross-sector collaboration, which, she writes, is "experiencing a renaissance and replacing antiquated [corporate social responsibility] paradigms."

Allison Fine shares a few takeaways from Wired Workforce (29 pages, PDF), a new white paper written by Howard Greenstein of NYU's Heyman Center on Philanthropy and Tom Watson of CauseWired that looks at corporate social responsibility in a digital world. "What I found most interesting about this report is what the authors call the rise of 'citizen employees,'" writes Fine, "[e]mployees using their passion, voices, votes, dollars to not only support causes but push their companies to be engaged and philanthropic...."

Disaster Relief

Joanne Fritz offers some tips on helping survivors of last week's violent tornadoes and thunderstorms, which killed nearly three hundred people and caused severe property damage in Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, and other parts of the South.


On his Future Fundraising Now blog, Jeff Brooks explains why "the path to [fundraising] success is not imitating disaster fundraising."

International Development

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the Central Asia Institute -- the charity founded by Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson -- Philanthropy Action's Laura Starita weighs in on the challenges of international development work. Writes Starita:

Since its inception, development has thrived on Big Ideas, those major actions or programs that, in theory, will bring wholesale change for people living in poverty. Poor countries lack infrastructure, so let's build a national network of roads. The poor need education, so let’s build schoolhouses.

Billions have been spent on such large-scale projects, but quite often, when their creators go back, they do not see major changes in income from market access, or major improvements in education levels for having that building (regardless of who built it). That is because Big Ideas often fail to account for the small changes in behavior necessary from the human beings that live near the roads or the schools. The roads are useless if they do not lead to buyers and the schoolhouses are not much good if the teacher never shows up. But would Three Cups of Tea and the Central Asia Institute Greg Mortenson runs have inspired so many devoted readers, and donors if they had imagined their money would be used on an idea as small as getting teachers to show up (an act that most westerners take for granted -- it's their job, after all) rather than on one as large, solid and tangible as building a school...?


On his Tactical Philanthropy blog, Sean Stannard-Stockton takes a look at how philanthropy is being moved "from the 'should' category (you 'should' work out, eat healthy, call your mom and give to charity) to the 'want' category (you 'want' to have fun, feel good about yourself, eat yummy food)."

Social Innovation

In his new Public Measures blog on the Chronicle of Philanthropy site, Patrick Lester, senior vice president for public policy at the Alliance for Children and Families and United Neighborhood Centers of America, takes a closer look at how the eleven organizations that won a total of $50 million in the first round of grants awarded by the federal government's Social Innovation Fund, have been distributing the money.

Social Media

In a recent post, Beth Kanter explains how to write an elevator pitch that can be used for your organization's Twitter bio. Among other things, she suggests following this template:


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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