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Weekend Link Roundup (January 14-15, 2012)

January 14, 2012

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

Disaster Relief

On the two-year anniversary of the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and left over a million Haitians homeless, the Chronicle of Philanthropy has an updated look at how sixty aid groups spent the money they raised for relief and recovery efforts. (Requires subscription.)

And Sandra Miniutti advises those who donated to relief and recovery efforts to "check back" with the organization(s) to which they gave. "Find out what the charity been able to accomplish. If you like what you hear and the charity says it has ongoing needs, then consider making a follow-up donation to support those ongoing efforts."


A recent post on the Give2Asia blog profiles the Afghan Institute of Learning, a Give2Asia grantee, and its founding executive director, Dr. Sakena Yacoobi. Established surreptitiously during the early days of Taliban rule, AIL organized and operated a network of eighty underground schools that educated three thousand girls across the country. Today, Yacoobi's organization operates in the open and has touched more than 8 million Afghans through its network of schools, teacher and nurse training programs, and healthcare services.


Using findings from the Ford Foundation-sponsored report Transactions, Transformations, Translations: Metrics That Matter for Building, Scaling and Funding Social Movements, Beth Kanter considers the opportunities and challenges involved in measuring the impact of social change movements and networks.


The Bridgespan Group's Alison Powell reviews a recent Foundation Center report that examined the center's own grantseeking processes as a way to highlight some of the costs of capital that donors impose on all grantseekers.

On the Philanthropy Potluck blog, Naomi Pesky, director of marketing and communications at Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, shares a recent video created by the organization as part of its ongoing efforts to make its grantmaking processes more transparent.

In a post on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz looks at at a handful of recent reports on giving, including one from the Pew Center for the Internet & American Life and Harvard's Berkman Center that looks at mobile giving in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. According to the report, the majority of people who used their cell phones to give to relief and recovery efforts made a spur-of-the-moment decision to do so and then told their family and friends to donate via text message as well. In her post, Bernholz wonders how this type of "tech-enabled" giving might change how and why philanthropic research is conducted.

About.com's Joanne Fritz shares a new infographic from Frugal Dad that highlights the impact of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates's philanthropic work.

Center for Effective Philanthropy president Phil Buchanan takes a close look at Oliver Zunz's new book Philanthropy in America and uncovers "seven examples of things [in philanthropy] that are often portrayed as new -- or not done -- despite the fact that this is not, historically, the case."

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's Kevin Laskowski shares his new year’s resolution for philanthropy: increase funding for community organizing among lower-income communities and "Emerging Majority" communities. Writes Laskowski:

I’m sure you're shocked to hear this from someone here at NCRP. However, one thing we saw in 2011 and we will likely continue to see in 2012 is the robust participation of some philanthropists in important public policy debates. Bill Gates, Eli Broad and others have played a large role in shaping the discussions about education reform efforts. A number of conservative philanthropies, such as the Koch brothers and the Bradley Foundation, have had an outsized influence on national debates for some time. Some see this involvement as a pernicious force in our democracy, but my concern is not that the wealthy participate in politics. My concern is that they're increasingly the only ones who do or can....


And on the Credit Writedowns site, Rick Bookstaber looks at the role computers and technology are playing in the destruction of the middle class.

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at rnm@foundationcenter.org. And have a great week!

-- The Editors

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