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Weekend Link Roundup (May 14 - 15, 2011)

May 15, 2011

Mortar-board Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....


On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Katya Andresen explains why it's important for community foundations and (nonprofits with a broad mission) to use a "modular" approach to donor cultivation.

Kivi Leroux Miller shares a new video on her Nonprofit Communications blog in which the Foundation Center's social media manager Jereme Bivins explains how he helps the center maintain an active presence on various social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter.


On the Minnesota Council on Foundation's Philanthropy Potluck blog, Chris Murakami Noonan shares an interview with David Nicholson of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice in which Nicholson discusses what it takes be a leader on diversity and inclusivity issues. Among other things, says Nicholson, leaders should be humble, push themselves (and others) to have relationships with the "other," and "be interested in advancing systems thinking, to understand how things work in our society."

On her blog, Rosetta Thurman takes a look at The Voice of Nonprofit Talent: Perceptions of Diversity in the Workplace (17 pages, PDF), a new study from Commongood Careers and the Level Playing Field Institute. According to the study, there's "a significant disconnect...between the stated values and beliefs of nonprofit organizations regarding the importance of racial diversity, and their attempts to proactively increase diversity and inclusiveness within their organizations." This explains why "even if recruitment is successful, retention can be a challenge," writes Thurman. "Once people of color join the staff of a nonprofit, they need to feel included and supported within the organization -– or else they feel like they've been duped...."


At NCRP's Keeping a Close Eye blog, field director Sean Dobson suggests that the "Giving Pledgers" who met recently in Arizona to discuss their giving should adopt the "winning approach" that helped them build successful businesses in the first place. Writes Dobson:

Comparing notes with each other about effective strategy is a good first step. But the fact remains that many of the Giving Pledge billionaires are philanthropic rookies who have either just set up a foundation or are in the process of doing so. Thus, their next step should be to reach out beyond Giving Pledge members and learn from knowledgeable outsiders such as colleagues at older foundations and from best-practice research by groups such as NCRP, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Alliance for Justice, the Center for Effective Philanthropy, GrantCraft and others.

Social Innovation

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) at the Corporation for National and Community Service has published an excellent map/legend detailing its subgrantee initiatives by state, metro area, and funding area.

Social Media

"For the most part, foundations are using social media as a one-way communications tool about their programs, not for interaction with grantees," writes Beth Kanter, who appeared on a panel at last week's Center for Effective Philanthropy conference. "Grantees are reading about foundation's programs through social media channels, but not engaging with funders. A skeptic's view might be: why waste time? Another lens, ask why?"

Kanter's Zoetica colleague Geoff Livingston suggests on his blog that the echo-chamber quality of the blogosphere is creating a social ecosphere predicated on "an oral-based retelling of the same story." What's scary about that, writes Livingston, "is that the 'good referred stories' may not be grounded in reality. And that's when whole sectors are led by their digital bards off the proverbial cliff...."


In between tri to her next speaking gig, Philanthropy 2173's Lucy Bernholz shares some thoughts about how different kinds of institutions are crowdsourcing new ideas and creating tools and resources as part of the sharing economy.


On her About.com Nonprofit blog, Joanne Fritz recaps a recent Small Nonprofit Twitter Chat (#smNPchat) that explored nonprofit accountability. Among other things, the group agreed that "nonprofits owe their donors transparency, which is all about making it easy for a donor to look into the organization's finances and management, and what impact the organization is having on the problem it addresses." Fritz goes on to provide examples of how some nonprofits are demonstrating impact.

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 Geoff Livingston  |   May 20, 2011 at 05:48 AM

Thanks for including the oral tradition of blogging story. I appreciate the link love!

Posted by Renee Westmoreland  |   May 20, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Our pleasure, Geoff.

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