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Weekend Link Roundup (January 18-19, 2014)

January 19, 2014

Mlk_B&WOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector.

Communications/Marketing

Nancy Schwartz has a good post on her Getting Attention! blog laying out three steps to get data working for your nonprofit marketing efforts: catalogue the useful data you already have; set up systems, roles, and responsibilities to harvest, share, and analyze these data points; and make the changes -- in marketing content, format, and/or channel -- as indicated.

Education Reform

Despite the fact that they have been "relentlessly marketed to the American populace as a silver bullet for 'failed' public schools, especially in poor urban communities of African-American and Latino/a students," charter schools are creating as many problems as they are solving, writes Jeff Bryant, director of the Education Opportunity Network, in Salon.

Environment

What ended up scuttling the much-publicized merger of the Nature Conservancy and grassroots enviromental organization Rare? Arabella Advisors' Bruce Boyd shares his thoughts.

Giving

Writing in Roll Call, William Daroff, vice president for public policy at the Jewish Federations of North America, argues that should "the charitable contribution deduction be cut, capped or limited, the results could be catastrophic for those who need it the most."

Impact/Effectiveness

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Ken Thompson, a program officer in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Pacific Northwest Initiative, shares his thoughts about collective impact and whether funders are -- or could be -- playing roles that lead to wider adoption of a collective impact approach.

Philanthropy

Describing it as "a one-of-a-kind chance to make an investment that is true to all of our values and our giving priorities and that embodies the kind of flexible, creative, and transformative philanthropy we believe in," the Knight Foundation's Alberto Ibargüen, the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan's Mariam Noland, the Kresge Foundation's Rip Rapson, and the Ford Foundation's Darren Walker explain in the Chronicle of Philanthropy why they, along with others, have agreed to invest $330 million in a plan "that would help Detroit honor its commitment to retired government workers while protecting the remarkable collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts."

Starting with "no" and getting to "yes" has been the traditional grantmaking approach to philanthropy, writes Richard Marker on his Wise Philanthopy blog. But things are changing:

[[F]unders in [this] new era start with a self-imposed mandate to address and redress...problems. They start with a commitment to use their resources -- the challenge, albeit not a small one, is to determine how to use the full quiver of resources to begin to make a lasting difference that matters. The motivation of the new philanthropy is not the noblesse oblige of a prior era -- "I made it, I need to give back." Rather the motivation is "the world is screwed up. I have an obligation to not just provide palliatives, nor just help enable cures, but to change underlying conditions which allow suffering to take place"....

The Philanthropy Roundtable has posted a nice digital edition of the Winter 2014 issue of Philanthropy magazine.

Social Entrepreneurship

Writing in Forbes, CauseWired author Tom Watson argues that the decision by a federal appeals court to strike down most of the FCC's 2010 Open Internet Order is likely to "close down easy digital innovation for small grant-supported or crowdsourced startups" and will have "a chilling effect across the nonprofit spectrum as causes suffer in the inevitable struggle with well-heeled corporate communications efforts."

Social Good

And we'll leave you with this question: Should the world community jettison gross domestic product as a measure of success in favor of a broader, more nuanced measure such as social progress? Check out this animated video and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

That's it for this week. What have you been reading/watching/listening to? Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org or via the comments box below....

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