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Weekend Link Roundup (January 28-29, 2012)

January 29, 2012

Thinkspeakcreate1Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Civil Society

Writing on the White Courtesy Telephone blog, Greater New Orleans Foundation president Albert Ruesga urges grantmakers to invest less money in white papers and candidates' forums this election season and more on "helping advocates introduce democracy to the United States." Writes Ruesga: "While foundations might not have the resources to shift the political discourse in this country [in] the coming year, they can at least help liberate us from the illusion of free and fair elections...."


In a post on the Communications Network blog, Commnetwork board chair Mitch Hurst suggests that grantmaking organizations need to do a better job of monitoring social networks, blogs, and the mainstream media if they hope to understand "how their issues are being influenced in online conversations."

Corporate Social Responsibility

In a post on the Harvard Business Review blog, Rosabeth Moss Kanter argues that great companies are about more than a single-minded focus on the bottom line. Truly great companies, writes Kanter,

believe that business is an intrinsic part of society, and they acknowledge that, like family, government, and religion, it has been one of society's pillars since the dawn of the industrial era. Great companies work to make money, of course, but in their choices of how to do so, they think about building enduring institutions. They invest in the future while being aware of the need to build people and society....


Philanthrocapitalism authors Matthew Bishop and Michael Green argue against the idea, suggested last week by former British prime minister Gordon Brown, of a Global Fund for Education to help address education funding cuts and boost the number of young people globally who attend and graduate from high school. Unlike fighting malaria -- which, write Bishop and Green, is "a finite task that can be achieved even where governments are weak" -- "educating the children of the world will need sustained investment indefinitely...."


Future Fundraising Now blogger Jeff Brooks explains why it's important to "keep your eye on the ball" in fundraising -- and life in general.


The Nonprofit Quarterly has published a fascinating exchange between the Hudson Institute's William Schambra and Wallace Foundation president Will Miller on the use of metrics in "the development and dispersion of knowledge" as a driver of the foundation's grantmaking. A must read for anyone who works in the sector.


On the Impatient Optimists blog, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Deborah Jacobs considers how the surge in tablet and e-book reader ownership presents "huge opportunities in an increasingly digitized society where information access plays a critical role in building knowledge and skills," as well as a challenge, in that the trend threatens "to exacerbate the digital divide that is already perpetuated across the U.S."


On the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog, Meyer Memorial Trust communications director Marie Deatherage discusses the foundation's "road to transparency," a decade-long journey that included the early and active embrace of the Web and other online communications channels.


Last but not least, CauseShift managing director Scott Henderson offers a few ideas for folks interested in changing the world one good deed at a time.

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at [email protected]. And have a great week!

-- The Editors

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