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Weekend Link Roundup (February 2-3, 2013)

February 03, 2013

Super_bowl2013Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....


Writing on the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's Keeping a Close Eye blog, Owen Dunn shares highlights from remarks made by Karen Kelley-Ariwoola at a meeting of the Association of Black Foundation Executives in April 2012. In her remarks, Kelley-Ariwoola, a former vice president of community philanthropy at the Minneapolis Foundaton, describes her work with community groups to address racial equity issues in a region where many white people thrive while "low-income people of color suffer from disparities on every indicator."

In celebration of Black History Month, Center for High Impact Philanthropy program manager Autumn Walden chats with Sherrie Deans, executive director of the Admiral Center, about philanthropy in the African-American community, which, argues Deans, is an "important yet overlooked part of black history."

Gun Violence

Getting Attention's Nancy Schwartz suggests that nonprofit communicators can learn a thing or two from former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Giffords, who was critically wounded by a deranged gunmen at a public event two years ago and has been fighting to recover from her injuries, slowly but clearly articulated her message that the time has come to address gun violence in America. "We must do something," Giffords told committee members. "It will be hard, but...[y]ou must act. Be bold. Be courageous, Americans are counting on you."


In a post republished on Beth Kanter's blog, Beth Noveck, former U.S. deputy chief technology officer for open government, discusses findings from Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data, a recently published report she co-authored with Daniel Goroff, program director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. In the report, Noveck and Goroff argue that Form 990 data should be made available to the general public at no charge and in a format that lends itself to "doing aggregate analytics, creating visualizations and building analytic tools." In turn, writes Noveck, that "will enable more innovators, researchers, and entrepreneurs to use the data to benefit the sector."

To learn more about open data, the report, and the Aspen Institute's Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, which commissioned the report, check out this video of a recent panel discussion featuring the authors; Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the White House's Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation; and Aspen's Jane Wales and Cinthia Schuman Ottinger. (Running time: 1:46:04)


On her Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Katya Andresen shares findings from a recent report on "nex-gen" donors issued by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University and 21/64, a nonprofit consulting firm. Among other things, the report, Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy (80 pages, PDF), found that high-net-worth Gen X and Geny Y (Millennial) individuals "care about impact and want to feel personally tied to the causes they support. Family heavily influences their choices of causes....[And they are serious]...about making real change and how heavily they use technology to engage with causes."

On the Council on Foundation's What Matters Now blog, Michael Bzdak, director of corporate contributions for Johnson & Johnson, applauds Bill Gates' call for a more thoughtful and holistic approach to measurement. "Implicit in Gates' essay," writes Bzdak,

is the fact that funders and grantees require the capacity and proficiency to set clear goals and design the means to measure progress. This shared responsibility creates an opportunity for meaningful dialogue and collaboration and could deliver the innovations in measurement that Gates suggests. Although measurement can be very complex and difficult, grantmakers have a responsibility to make it one of their core competencies....

For more on the emerging field of data-driven philanthropy, check out the remarks by self-described data wonk Lucy Bernholz at a recent Girl Geek Dinner. (Running time: 19:10)

Social Entrepreneurship/Innovation

Jane Chen, the CEO and co-founder of Embrace Innovations, a social enterprise that has developed a low-cost infant warmer that regulates the temperature of vulnerable newborns without the need for constant electricity, explains on the Harvard Business Review blog network why she decided to split the enterprise into two organizations: a nonprofit arm that would own the intellectual property for the technology, take philanthropic contributions, and build an ecosystem around which Chen and her colleagues could help promote newborn health; and a for-profit arm that would raise money from venture capitalists.

In her monthly "10 Great Social Innovation Reads" post, Social Velocity's Nell Edgington shares links to four different sets of predictions for the coming year, an article by Matthew Forti and Colin Murphy in the Stanford Social Innovation Review about what President Obama's successful reelection campaign can teach nonprofits about measurement, and a post by Foundation Center president Brad Smith about the unique freedom of foundations "not to forget" those whom society has forgotten.


On the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog, Jacqueline Ackerman, project coordinator for the Million Dollar List at Indiana University's School of Philanthropy, explains why the list is useful to high-net-worth donors, nonprofits, the media, and the general public. "Perhaps the most significant benefit of the [list] is that it promotes transparency in philanthropy," she writes. What's more,

Donors have provided their own information to the [list] in order to help provide a clearer picture of patterns and trends in million-dollar gifts. At the same time, the [list's] transparency offers donors the opportunity to leverage and coordinate their giving in supporting particular organizations or causes....

Women and Girls

Finally, on the Impatient Optimists' blog, Melinda Gates looks beyond the 2015 target date for achieving the Millennium Development Goals to share the different hopes and visions of prominent activists in the space for 2030.

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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