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Weekend Link Roundup (June 25-26, 2011)

June 26, 2011

Summer-solstice Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Capacity Building

Based on his organization's success in creating a viable business model, Guidestar president and CEO Bob Ottenhoff shares some best practices -- including being patient and realistic -- related to organizational sustainablity.

Impact/Effectiveness

Social media guru Beth Kanter has a few suggestions for folks interested in making measurement more fun.

On the Tactical Philanthropy blog, Center for Effective Philanthropy president Phil Buchanan suggests that passion is a prerequisite to "doing philanthropy in a strategic, analytical, data-driven way." Writes Buchanan:

Good decision-making is hard in life. But in philanthropy, data-driven decision-making is even tougher still, because the challenges we're working to address are deep-seated, complex, and interdependent -- and because the data is often harder to come by and more open to alternate interpretations than in other domains. The work is also more emotionally intense than it often is in business or in the lab, making the lure of decision-making that is unmoored from the data all the stronger.

But, while passion and emotion are often the problem because they can lead us astray, they're also the solution. For it is only a passionate commitment to really getting it right -- to seeing results -- that can provide the will and discipline necessary to do the hard work of data-gathering, strategy formulating, assessing, and analyzing....

Philanthropy

Last week, the Case Foundation hosted a Millennial Donor Summit, a one-day virtual conference focused on ideas presented in the Millennial Donors Report (19 pages, PDF). Among the bloggers covering the conference was Katya Andresen, who shared some takeaways from a presentation by Matt Britton on the art of engaging millennial donors; Kivi Leroux Miller, who offered a few micro-volunteering how-tos from a session featuring Jacob Colker of Sparked.com; and NTEN's Amy Sample Ward, who shared a transcript of a discussion on generational differences in the workplace featuring the American Red Cross' Wendy Harman and Suzy DeFrancis and David Smith and Michael Weiser of the National Conference on Citizenship.

For a complete list of summit-related posts, visit the Social Citizens blog.

On the White Courtesy Telephone blog, Greater New Orleans Foundation president and CEO Albert Ruesga takes issue with Kauffman Foundation president Carl Schramm, who wrote in a recent Forbes article that "[t]he true purpose of private grant-making foundations is to sustain, refine and advance the very system of democratic capitalism that gave birth to them." "If propping up capitalism really is the true purpose of private grant-making foundations," writes Ruesga, "could there possibly be a better reason for dismantling the private foundation as an institution? The logic of betting on the horse that has already won the race is unassailable. But encouraging private foundations to invest in capitalism is a little like inviting Amy Winehouse to take another drink...."

Regulation/Oversight

Should we be worried about 275,000 losing their tax-exempt status? Not really, argues Jack Siegel at the Charity Governance blog.

Technology

In a post on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz shares some examples of how various organizations, including DataWithoutBorders and the FBI, are using data as "a platform for change."

Transparency

And on the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog, Michael Remaley shares some results from a recent Communications Network survey related to foundation communicators' attitudes toward transparency and the willingness of foundations to talk about failure.

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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