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Weekend Link Roundup (September 1-2, 2012)

September 02, 2012

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


Network for Good's Katya Andresen shares a letter from one of her blog readers, who urges development directors to "make sure your donors are really getting the prompt thanks they deserve."

International Development

On the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog, Ari Katz describes how public libraries are bolstering development efforts in impoverished communities. Among other things, Katz writes, libraries empower women, expand awareness of and solutions to public health problems, and help to bridge the education gap in many developing countries.

Nonprofit Management

On her blog, Beth Kanter announces the forthcoming publication of her second book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, which she co-authored with KD Paine. Among other things, the book presents "a framework called 'Crawl, Walk, Run, Fly' to help nonprofits figure out what...steps they need to take to get to the next level of networked nonprofit practice. It is designed to help them understand and measure the nature of the change process as they move through it." We're looking forward to reading the book and learning more.


In a post on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz argues that because foundations don't have nearly enough money to solve the problems laid at their doorsteps, the foundation application process is a mess. "From the outside looking in," writes Bernholz,

foundations appear to be making it as hard as possible to apply for funding. They all have their own forms. The language about what they seek to accomplish is jargon-riddled and as opaque as possible. Some won't take unsolicited proposals at all. Others require several steps of inquiry before agreeing to receive an application.

Wouldn't it be better, she adds, "[i]f foundation application procedures were designed to help them find the right projects and help applicants find the funding they need (even if it's not going to be from that foundation?) Or if applicants could get guidance and help to improve their proposals?" As an example of what that might look like, Bernholz points to American Public Media's Transom site, which leverages the interactive nature and global reach of the Internet to channel new work and voices to public radio.

Social Media

On the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog, Mike Painter, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, shares some of the thinking behind the foundation's community engagement efforts on Facebook. Among other things, the foundation has learned that, when it comes to social media, "it pays to experiment...to be bold" Writes Painter:

It turns out the risks were actually minimal and manageable -- and the upside was pretty big. Some of us may have had unfounded fears about losing some measure of control of the discussions we were promoting when we moved to Facebook. In our experience, we almost certainly gave away control, but in return we got a glimpse of something much more important and powerful -- energized and empowered collaborators willing to work and share with us toward some important common yet tough, big goals -- like, for instance, improving health care....


On the Minnesota Council on Foundations' Philanthropy Potluck blog, Anne Bauers shares some findings from Women Give 2012, a new study from the Women's Philanthropy Institute at the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University which found that "boomer and older women give 89 percent more to charity than their male counterparts."

And Forbes shares its list of 2012's "Most Powerful Women Philanthropists" -- a list that includes Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund, Helen Clark of the United Nations Development Program, Solina Chau of the Li Ka Shing Foundation, and Risa Lavizzo-Mourey of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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

-- The Editors

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