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Weekend Link Roundup (July 6-7, 2013)

July 07, 2013

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

Corporate Philanthropy

Triple Pundit's Andrea Newell chats with Michelle Crozier Yates of Adobe about the company's sustainability program, which focuses on green building. Over the last ten years, says Yates, Adobe has "implemented more than 100 sustainability projects across our real estate portfolio,...from conservation strategies, [to] renewable energy investments...[and] carbon reduction projects, [to] employee education and engagement programs...."

Writing on Google's blog, Zanoon Nissar recaps the search giant's 2013 GoogleServe program, which saw 8,500 employees from more than 75 Google offices participate in some 500 community projects. "Over the past six years, GoogleServe has transformed from a single week of service into a week of celebration and inspiration for ongoing giving," writes Nissar. "Googlers also give back year-round through our GooglersGive programs, which include 20 hours of work time annually to volunteer with an approved charitable organization."


Future Fundraising Now blogger Jeff Brooks shares a list of e-mail copy mistakes to avoid, including forgetting to make your case and writing like a robot.

Nonprofit Management

With lots of people still talking about The Overhead Myth, an initiative launched by GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and the BBB Wise Giving Alliance to get people to move beyond "overhead" -- the percentage of its budget that any charity spends on administrative costs -- as the most important measure of organizational performance, the Nonprofits Assistance Fund's Kate Barr argues that the real issue isn't overhead at all -- "it’s about stewardship." And good stewards "invest appropriately in [their] organizations....Maybe," Barr adds, "we need...new terminology to bust the 'overhead' term along with the myth.


Our colleagues at GrantCraft highlight a group video from a recent Reinvent Philanthropy Roundtable discussion hosted by the Reinventors Network that touched on "the opportunity for fundamental reinvention in the field of philanthropy, and the five major forces -- New Rules, New Resources, New Metrics, New Technologies and New Data -- that could come together in an extraordinary alignment to create a distinctive, more effective form of 21st-century giving." (On her Philanthropy 2173 blog, roundtable participant Lucy Bernholz offers a clip from the discussion about "the system of philanthropy -- individual and institutional, [and] the digital infrastructure on which it now stands."

On the Huffington Post, Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, founder of the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, shares two lessons about giving illustrated by her father John Arrillaga 's recent nine-figure gift to Stanford: "First, always give as much as you possibly can. And second, give equally from among your resources -- your time, your mind and your capital." Writes Arrillaga-Andreessen:

As my father's example so compellingly demonstrates, what we do for others defines who we are. And because the way we express our generosity is among the few things in life we can control, we must think carefully about how to write the giving chapter of our lives. We have the ability to shape our legacy from start to finish and work, as my father has done, to combine all our resources to maximize their impact. We must always give to our greatest potential.

Social Good

Writing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Charity Navigator's Ken Berger and Jeremy Kohomban, president and CEO of The Children's Village, argue that while lots of people see business and business practices as "the panacea for all that ails nonprofits,” the interplay between the two sectors is more nuanced than that. "Business practices help nonprofits," write Berger and Kohomban,

and the values of nonprofit management and operations positively influence how businesses conduct their work. We call this "the nonprofitization of business" -- the infusion of nonprofit qualities and practices into business....[and we] are confident that [it] can truly make our world a better place while still providing shareholder value....

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

--The Editors

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