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Weekend Link Roundup (January 7-8, 2012)

January 08, 2012

Happy-new-year2012Happy New Year, everyone! This week's roundup includes two weeks' worth of noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....


Network for Good's Katya Andresen shares a recent Harvard Business Review blog post in which strategy consultant Dorie Clark offers a list of five things we should all stop doing in 2012.

Author, trainer, consultant, and blogger Kivi Leroux Miller has published her 2012 Nonprofit Communications Trend Report, which includes a look at the "Big 6" communication tools for nonprofits and the one thing that both excites and scares nonprofit communicators.


On his Inside Philanthropy blog, Todd Cohen picks up where Blue Avocado editor Jan Masaoka left off and takes a hard look at what Masaoka called the Philanthropic-Consultant Industrial Complex. "Nonprofits buy what mediocre consultants are selling," writes Cohen,

because, strained to the breaking point in our damaged economy, and struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising demand for services and of shrinking resources, they need help and want to believe the consultants can provide it.

The icing on the cake is that consultants are neither regulated nor accountable for whether their advice actually makes a difference.

The hard work of turning that advice into results remains with the nonprofits....

International Affairs/Development

On the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog, Amie Newman takes a look at what famine relief efforts could look like in 2012. Encouraged by President Obama's pledge of $113 million in emergency relief funds for the Horn of Africa and USAID head Rajiv Shah's recent emphasis on "resiliency," Newman suggests that short-term relief efforts in 2012 will be merged with long-term development assistance to create more sustainable solutions to chronic food insecurity and lagging agricultural development in the region.

Elsewhere on the blog, Joe Cerrell, the foundation's European office director, offers five reasons to be hopeful about international development in 2012. Cerrell notes that in the past ten years, the number of people receiving treatment for AIDS has soared, malaria deaths are down 25 percent, and child survival rates have climbed steadily. At the same time, technological advances have brought the global community closer to developing vaccines for several diseases, while China, Brazil, India, and South Korea have emerged as important players on the development scene. So even though negative stories tend to dominate international development headlines, writes Cerrell, it's important to remember that by most measures, things are getting better.


Calling it "a voice of reason amid the sound and fury of the mircofinance debate," the UK-based Guardian gives a thumbs up to Due Diligence: An Impertinent Inquiry Into Microfinance, a new book by the Centre for Global Development's David Roodman.


The folks at the BlackGivesBack blog have released their fifth annual list of the top ten black celebrity philantropists. Heading the list is Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington, who was honored for his $2.25 million donation to his alma mater, Fordham University, followed by entertainer Steve Harvey, recording artists John Legend, Mary J. Blige, Usher, and Alicia Keys, NBA stars Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, and hip hop stars Antwan "Big Boi" Patton and Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter.

On The Philanthropic Initiative blog, TPI president and CEO Ellen Remmer looks at the development of the donor as stages in a continuum. The post is the second in a series of posts by Remmer on the topic of strategic philanthropy.

Philanthrocapitalism authors Matthew Bishop and Michael Green gaze into their "philanthrocrystal ball" and offer a list of ten predictions for philanthropy around the world in the new year. Among other things, the duo foresee a jump in giving from the estate of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, a "big year" for impact investing, and a tough year for many nonprofits.

Social Media

In a guest post on the Communications Network blog, PhilanthroMedia's Susan Herr writes about the difficulty all content producers face getting readers to engage via social media. Based on the network’s experiment with a “Gorilla Engagement” squad at its annual conference, Herr offers a number of lessons, including pursuing those already active in the social networking sphere, spotlighting new voices, and acknowledging guest bloggers and commenters early and often.

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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Posted by Bruce Trachtenberg  |   January 09, 2012 at 12:18 PM

The reference to Susan Herr's post about the challenges of engaging people in social media is just another reminder of the mantra you can't repeat enough times: "Don't assume just because you build it, they will come!"

Posted by Dania Miwa  |   January 10, 2012 at 12:12 AM

So true, building it is a great first step, but social media like anything else is a tool, not the strategy itself.

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