« [Infographic] A Simple Guide to Great Giving | Main | Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (November 2014) »

Weekend Link Roundup (November 29-30, 2014)

November 30, 2014

Advent_wreath2Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the nonprofit sector....

Civil Society

On her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz asks some important questions about the purpose of civil society -- that peculiar space which "stands alongside, interdependent with the private and public sectors" -- in a democracy, and provides some answers of her own.


The December Nonprofit Blog Carnival, which is being hosted by Joe Garecht at the Fundraising Authority, is open for submissions. This month's roundup is dedicated to getting nonprofits (and the people who run and govern them) to think bigger about fundraising. To have your post considered for inclusion, it must be submitted by the end of the day on December 29. Good luck to all!

Writing on the Huffington Post's Impact blog, Ritu Sharma, CEO of Social Media for Nonprofits, argues (unsurprisingly, perhaps) that social media "has democratized fundraising so that deep pockets are no longer required. Anyone with five dollars and a smartphone can be a philanthropist."

With #GivingTuesday right around the corner, it may be too late to take advantage of the fundraising advice Hilary Doe, a vice president at NationBuilder, shares on the Huffington Post, but, as she makes clear in her post, truly effective fundraising is all about year-round engagement with your supporters.

International Affairs/Development

How much of the money pledged by donor governments for Ebola relief efforts has been delivered to date? The answer, according to a report by Abby Haglage on The Daily Beast, is "not much."

A text message about a commercial jetliner hitting a water buffalo on takeoff is the point of departure for Zia Khan, vice president for strategy and evaluation at the Rockefeller Foundation, to reflect on India's past, present, and future.


Most of us sense it: Power, in the economy and society, is shifting. It's a shift, write Jeremy Heimans, co-founder and CEO of social business Purpose, and Henry Timms, executive director of the 92nd Street Y, in the Harvard Business Review, from "old power" models, which are closed, inaccessible, leader-driven, and focused on consumption, to "new power" norms, which are open, participatory, peer-driven, and place special emphasis on collaboration. What's more, "Among those heavily engaged with new power — particularly people under 30 (more than half the world’s population) — a common assumption is emerging: We all have an inalienable right to participate...to actively shape or create many aspects of their lives." And that means old-power organizations "that want to develop new power capacity must engage in three essential tasks: (1) assess their place in a shifting power environment; (2) channel their harshest critic; and (3) develop a mobilization capacity." Good stuff.


Here on PhilanTopic, Foundation Center president Brad Smith asks whether foundations are doing enough to address the longstanding issues that have created so much frustration and anger in Ferguson, Missouri. 


Good news for all those concerned about the steady erosion of privacy on the Internet. In partnership with  Akamai, Mozilla, Cisco, iDenTrust, and the University of Michigan, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has announced that it is launching a nonprofit organization, Let's Encrypt, to cut the time it takes to enable encryption on a web server from 2-3 hours to 20-30 seconds.

Social Innovation

And a good recap by Martha Dilley on Triple Pundit of the recent Social Innovation Summit 2014 in Silicon Valley in which Dilley draws a distinction between social innovation "natives" — enterprises like Kiva, Code for America, and DonorsChoose.org — and "re-modelers," companies, foundations and philanthropists who are "drawn to identify with social innovation for a variety of curious reasons."

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

« Previous post    Next post »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

Subscribe to PhilanTopic


Guest Contributors

  • Laura Cronin
  • Derrick Feldmann
  • Thaler Pekar
  • Kathryn Pyle
  • Nick Scott
  • Allison Shirk

Tweets from @PNDBLOG

Follow us »

Filter posts