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Weekend Link Roundup (February 8-9, 2014)

February 09, 2014

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

Fundraising

Interested in learning how to run a successful online fundraising campaign? Slava Rubin of Indiegogo tells you how in this animated video.

Governance

With foundations subject to more stringent tax laws and regulations than ever before, writes Virginia P. Sikes in the Nonprofit Quarterly, foundation boards and executives need to pay special attention to self-dealing, compensation for personal services, excess business holdings, and grants to charities that lobby -- "four areas from which complications and issues often arise."

Nonprofits

In a post on her blog, Beth Kanter draws a useful distinction between organizational cultures that are data-informed as opposed to data-driven. Among other things, writes Kanter, data-informed cultures

have the conscious use of assessment, revision, and learning built into the way they plan, manage, and operate. From leadership, to strategy, to decision-making, to meetings, to job descriptions -- a data-informed culture has continuous improvement embedded in the way it functions. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the specific quantifiable metrics that an organization agrees are necessary to achieve success. They are the mileposts that tell a data-informed organization whether they are making progress toward their goals....

Philanthropy

In a letter posted on the James Irvine Foundation Web site, Jim Canales, president of the foundation since 2003, says good-bye, as he gets ready to head east to the Boston-based Barr Foundations, to the visionaries, the truth-tellers, the optimists, the ego-less, and the merely curious who have been "essential to the progress that the Irvine Foundation has made and who have personally contributed to my growth and learning as CEO."

Nice Q&A on the Yale Philanthropy Conference site with La June Tabron Montgomery, the new president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, who notes that philanthropy has become "more sophisticated in understanding the impact of race and poverty on a host of outcomes for children and families, which is leading our foundation and others to focus on two-generation strategies -- targeting parents and children simultaneously -- to help break the entrenched cycle of poverty."

In a post on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Fay Twersky, director of the Effective Philanthropy Group at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, argues that whether one believes in the efficacy of "strategic philanthropy" or favors more "emergent" processes in philanthropic work, we all would do well "to challenge the certainty creeping into [the philanthropic] community."

On her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington chats with Daniel Stidt, a senior fellow at the Hewlett Foundation, about outcomes measurement and the role of philanthropy in nonprofit performance measurement.

Social Entrepreneurship

Danielle Batist, a London-based journalist who writes about social change, has a good post on Forbes about "co-creation" and social entrepreneurship. In it, Stephanie Schmidt, managing director at Ashoka Europe, argues that the “private sector has been the missing player in the evolution of social entrepreneurship. Its potential has largely been untapped. Philanthropy and CSR are really only a drop in the ocean when it comes to the actual potential a company has to change the world." Well, yes, but how can the sector unlock that potential? Inquiring minds want to know....

Transparency

And on her Philanthropy 2173, Lucy Bernholz offers a review of Opening Up: Demystifying Funder Transparency," a new guide from GrantCraft and Glasspockets (our Foundation Center sister sites) that offers "more than twelve steps for foundations trying to become more open about their processes, decisions, goals, accomplishments, and failures." While Bernholz doesn't think the guide will "change the minds" of foundation board members who aren't already disposed to "being more visible, more findable, more accessible," she does think "opening up more information is a good thing" and applauds the center for bringing the issue to the fore.

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....

-- Mitch Nauffts

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