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Weekend Link Roundup (January11-12, 2014)

January 12, 2014

Calendar01_JanuaryOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector.

Communications/Marketing

Kivi Leroux Miller has a nice infographic on her Nonprofit Communications Blog illustrating key findings from her 2014 Nonprofit Communications Trend Report.

Interesting post on the Open Democracy blog by Janey Stephenson, an activist and filmmaker, about the language of activism and how word choices subtly shape the way activists position themselves with respct to contentious social issues.

Data

The Markets for Good team has announced the launch of its first reader-proposed theme, "Beyond Data Silos," which was suggested by Andrew Means, founder of Data Analysts For Social Good. Means frames the conversation, which is open to contributions from all comers, thusly:

[W]hether they hold grain or information, silos are stores of value. Recognizing that, and without parsing this metaphor to death, we can ask new questions. Chief among them is how to get the most value from data that lies in different parts of an organization and from data that could be shared for greater good between organizations. Also, how can we ensure faster communication of key information across an organization, across the sector?

Looking forward to reading what others have to say about these and related questions over the next three weeks or so.

Governance

Nonprofit leaders who complain about how hard it is to diversify their boards just aren't trying hard enough, writes Frances Sheehan, president and CEO of the Brandywine Health Foundation, on the D5 blog. Modeling her approach on a lesson learned from Bank on Brooklyn, which in the 1970s "taught a structured method of mobilizing neighborhoods to ensure that the [Community Reinvestment Act] was implemented fairly," Sheehan lays it out:

If you want to find one board member, you need to find 10 volunteers; if you want to find 10 volunteers, you need to meet 100 people. And you need to tell those 100 people your story. If you want to find one major donor, you need to find 10 donors, which means you need to find 100 people to tell your story to.

It's not complicated. If you need more young people on your board, you need to get out there and meet -- and tell your story to -- 100 young people. And I do mean meet -- we're not talking here about broadcast messaging through radio or TV, we're talking about face-to-face conversation....

Impact/Effectiveness

Reflecting on the fiftieth anniversary of LBJ's "war on poverty," David Bornstein, author of How to Change the World and a principal contributor (along with Tina Rosenberg) to the New York Times' Fixes blog, identifies three ways in which nonprofits may be getting smarter:

  1. Getting real about what works and what doesn't.
  2. Paying for success (and prevention).
  3. Getting change into the "water supply."

Philanthropy

On her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington chats with Denise Zeman, president/CEO of the St. Luke's Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio, about the foundation's commitment to leadership development, outcomes measurement, and building the capacity of its grantees.

NCRP's Niki Jagpal shares seven things that foundations can do to support cross-issue efforts and maximize their impact in 2014 and beyond.

And Center for Effective Philanthropy president Phil Buchanan weighs in with his own "wishes" for institutional philanthropy in 2014, including his hope that false dichotomies are rejected for what they are; that governance gets the attention it deserves; and that foundations "default" to transparency.

Social Enterprise

On the Nonprofits Assistance Fund blog, Stephanie Jacobs, a "self-proclaimed nonprofit nerd," has some words of advice for nonprofits looking to start an enterprise as a way to generate income. "[S]tarting a social enterprise is a great way to generate earned income," writes Jacobs, "but only if you have a solid understanding of your value proposition, market, and competition. Without knowing these things, you'll just end up with a warehouse full of widgets."

Social Media

Is it time to take a more disciplined look at generational conversations, especially as they play out on social media? Jamie Notter, vice president of organizational effectiveness at Management Solutions Plus and a member of the SocialFish team, thinks so.

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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