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Weekend Link Roundup (May 21 - 22, 2011)

May 22, 2011

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

Communications/Marketing

On his Harvard Business Review blog, Uncharitable author Dan Pallotta announces the launch of a new advertising firm, Advertising for Humanity, that hopes to market "benevolence as brilliantly as Budweiser markets beer."

Impact/Effectiveness

Back from the Center for Effective Philanthropy's annual conference, the Wallace Foundation's Ed Pauly reminds grantmakers that a "passion for results is what's behind every grant, every initiative, and every philanthropic foundation." To that end, when a tool (e.g., strategy, feedback from grantees, performance assessment) fails to deliver impressive results, it's time to "recognize that it didn't work -- and get the facts to build a better strategy." Writes Pauly:

When your first foundation performance assessment doesn't illuminate anything, recognize that the lights are still off -– and put a brighter flood lamp on the facts. When your grantee feedback is awful, zero in on the bleakest spots and the facts that will help you work with your grantee partners more effectively.

Our passion needs facts about our results. Are we making a difference yet? Have we learned how to work successfully with our grantee partners? Are we reducing poverty yet? Try a solution, and then get the facts to find out what happened....

International Affairs/Development

On Thursday, Bill Easterly and Laura Freschi announced that, after two years and four months, they were ending their Aid Watch blog to "free up...time for writing longer and more substantive pieces, both academic and non-academic, on development."

On the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Jessica Majno of Bridging the Divide responds to Kelly Kleinman's May 3 op-ed in which Kleinman advised nonprofits to steer clear of initiatives that attempt to reinvent the nonprofit model. Contrary to Kleinman's advice, writes Majno, "in the field of foreign assistance, it is exactly the failure to reinvent and adapt to changes in technology and the social landscape that is diminishing nonprofits' ability to serve their intended beneficiaries and that is threatening to render them irrelevant...."

Journalism/Media

In the third in a series of posts on the Knight Foundation blog, Elise Hu, digital editor of the Impact of Government project at NPR, shares eight things nonprofit news organizations are doing to boost their revenue.

Philanthropy

On NCRP's Keeping a Close Eye blog, Christine Reeves recaps a recent Hudson Institute event in which the panelists shared their views on likely changes in the global philanthropic landscape over the next decade. GlobalGiving co-founder Dennis Whittle, one of the panelists, said that "the practice of affluent Westerners with power (grantmakers) determining how to frame and approach philanthropic problems, solutions, funding strategies and evaluation metrics will be supplanted by the practice of voices and ideas of people affected by problems and solutions (the beneficiaries of grants)."

Regulation/Oversight

The Nonprofiteer's Kelly Kleinman wonders whether we're asking the right question in the charitable deduction debate. "The tax code is designed to provide the government with resources to do its job," writes Kleinman. "Its job, among other things, is to provide essential services to citizens who cannot provide those services for themselves; and the more money it collects, the more services it can provide. What's important is that those services get provided, not that they get provided by the sector that happens to employ the Nonprofiteer...."

Writing on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz considers some of the ways in which the regulatory landscape for nonprofits is shifting and sees in them a potential set of "new rules for a new social economy."

Social Media

NTEN's Amy Sample Ward explains the difference between crowdsourcing and community-sourcing and why both can be "valuable for the success of your campaign or call to action."

And at the Chronicle of Philanthropy's Social Philanthropy blog, Derek Lieu discusses the Rasmuson Foundation's foray into Second Life, the Internet-based virtual world where it has created a floating digital museum that displays works created by Rasmuson-funded artists.

That's all 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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