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Weekend Link Roundup (July 2-3, 2011)

July 03, 2011

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


GuideStar president and CEO Bob Ottenhoff wonders whether there are too many nonprofit classifications, especially for nonprofit sports organizations. "I think there are," writes Ottenhoff. "It confuses the public and makes it harder for charities to develop the trust and support they need from stakeholders."


On the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Thaler Pekar tells nonprofits interested in eliciting and sharing stories from and with their various audiences to keep in mind "what people physically and emotionally need in order to share their stories" and to avoid sending the message "that only certain stories are acceptable, welcome, and valued."

Guest blogging at Beth's Blog, Petri Darby, director of brand marketing and digital strategy at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, outlines the organization's approach to creating a Web site that enables two-way communication.


On the heels of the release of this year's Giving USA report, which found that total estimated giving in 2010 was up 3.8 percent (2.1 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars), Future Fundraising Now blogger Jeff Brooks cautions nonprofit fundraisers not to "use the data to chart your own course."


In the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Rick Moyers, director of the D.C.-based Meyer Foundation's Nonprofit Sector Fund, wonders whether we have reached the point where we expect too much from nonprofit board members -- the majority of whom, as Moyers points out, are volunteers and "serve with little or no training or orientation."

Nonprofit Management

On the the Nonprofit Finance Fund blog, Philip Rosenbloom takes a look at "two competing pressures nonprofit leaders face: an external pressure to comply with funding requirements and an internal need to pursue financial stability...."

Rosetta Thurman explains why most nonprofit job descriptions fail to deliver the goods and offers a few suggestions on how to improve them. "Get feedback on your nonprofit job descriptions before posting them," writes Thurman. "Add some humanity. Lead with the benefits of working for your organization, NOT the myriad...duties. And for the love of everything that makes sense, please list the salary range! It's one of the most important steps your organization can take to attract great talent -- and keep it."


On the Tactical Philanthropy blog, Susan Wolf Ditkoff, a partner at the Bridgespan Group, suggests that it is becoming ever-more difficult for foundations "to justify planning that is overly linear and time-consuming." Writes Ditkoff:

The world we live in now demands a more adaptive approach to strategy. More rapid prototyping of ideas and their execution. More mistakes when they're still quick and cheap. More calculated risks and contingencies. Less cumbersome cycle-times for decision-making. Less argument about "who holds the pen" when writing the strategy (the philanthropist or the nonprofit) and more real-time adaptation and collaboration by all parties....

On her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz shares a new buzzword for 2011: social impact bonds. "Keep an eye on these," writes Bernholz, "We've reached a point in the development of the social economy that this kind of financial product innovation is going to take off. Especially as the relationships between state governments and charities becomes increasingly...difficult."


Last but not least, on the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog, The TCC Group's Paul Connolly looks at how the Packard Foundation invited stakeholders and other interested parties to provide input on its Organizational Effectiveness program via a wiki and various social media venues.

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at rnm@foundationcenter.org. And have a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

-- Regina Mahone

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