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Weekend Link Roundup (July 30 - 31, 2011)

July 31, 2011

Dog-days Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Advocacy

On the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s Keeping a Close Eye blog, Aaron Dorfman looks at the largest grants awarded in recent years for advocacy and organizing efforts and wonders whether (and how) we should be keeping score.

Corporate Philanthropy

Writing on Forbes's CSR Blog, James Epstein-Reeves explains the difference between corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. "You see, CSR is much broader than philanthropy," writes Epstein-Reeves. "CSR looks to change business operations in a way that maximizes a company's benefits to society and minimizes the risks and costs to society -- all while keeping the company focused on creating business and brand value. The idea that a company can be socially responsible while only and exclusively focusing on philanthropy is as old-fashioned as my grandmother serving me Ovaltine while we huddle around waiting for the latest news from the telegraph...."

Microfinance

On her Good Intentions Are Not Enough blog, Saudra Schimmelpfennig has some advice for donors interested in supporting microfinance projects.

Nonprofit Management

Hosting this month's Nonprofit Blog Carnival, Britt Bravo shares a selection of blog posts chock-full of time-management tips.

Philanthropy

In a recent post on the Deep Social Impact blog, Ellen Remmer makes a case for why passion "can play a critical role in achieving deep social impact" in philanthropy.

Sean Stannard-Stockton argues in a Tactical Philanthropy blog post that foundations should "subject themselves to external accountability as a tactic to achieve better results." Writes Stannard-Stockton:

I think foundations should be free to run their programs in any way they like within the bounds of the law. But for foundations that strive to be effective in their giving, some sort of "pre-registration" of new programs could be very helpful in keeping them focused and motivated.

Self-discipline is critical for success in every domain of human endeavors. But self-discipline is hard. One savvy way to stay on track towards the results you seek is to voluntarily create systems that maintain pressure on you to perform. We all face moments when we're tired and can’t keep up. Or moments of judgment when we need to grade ourselves but go too easy and choose not to face hard facts. Creating a system of external accountability can help us accomplish our goals, whether those goals are getting in shape or running effective philanthropic programs.

Technology

On her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz wonders how "the choices we make organizationally reflect our view of who is a stakeholder in an issue? And how is this changing with technology?"

"Technology makes it possible for a charity of any size to deliver a far better experience at very little cost," writes Katya Andresen on her Non-Profit Marketing blog. "We have no excuse not to do better, and it's dangerous not to improve our engagement drastically...."

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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