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Weekend Link Roundup (November 8-9, 2014)

November 08, 2014

GOP_waveOur (slightly abbreviated) weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the nonprofit sector....

Civil Society

Pooja Gupta, a writer at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, reviews the findings of a 2014 study published in Psychological Science which found that Americans' trust in each other and their institutions (the military excepted) has hit all-time lows in recent years. According to the authors of the study, "Trust in others and confidence in institutions [are] key indicators of social capital," but that kind of "capital"

was lower in recent years than during the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s; the Iran hostage crisis and "national malaise" of the late 1970s and early 1980s; the height of the crime wave in the early 1990s; the Clinton impeachment of the late 1990s; the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and the financial crisis and recession of the late 2000s....

Climate Change

Not that the new Congress will have any interest, but here are ten facts about climate change from the UN's new climate report that should give everyone pause.


The host of this month's Nonprofit Blog Carnival, fundraising consultant Pamela Grow, has issued a call for submissions. As has been the case for the past few years, this month's roundup is looking for submissions that detail how nonprofit organizations around the world are creating an "attitude of gratitude" (i.e., celebrate the donors who make their work possible). Here's how to submit:

  1. Write a blog post, or choose a recent post that fits the theme.
  2. Submit the post via email to: nonprofitcarnival@gmail.com – be sure to include your name, your blog's name and the URL of the post (not your blog homepage).
  3. Get your post in by the end of day on Sunday, November 23. You can check back on Monday, November 24, to see if your post made the cut!

Global Health

The hysteria around Ebola in the U.S. may be fading, but the ignorance and misconceptions that fueled it in the first place are still very much with us, Angélique Kidjo, a singer and songwriter from Benin, reminds us in in an op-ed in the New York Times.

Global Philanthropy

Good update on the Markets for Good blog from Chad McEvoy, manager of the Basic Registry of Identified Global Entities (BRIDGE) project, an initiative of TechSoup Global, GuideStar, GlobalGiving, Foundation Center, and others to create a "system that assigns non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other entities in the social sector with a unique identifier, [or] 'numerical fingerprint'."


Good summary by Ariel Gilbert Knight, a senior content manager at Tech Soup, of a talk given by Charity Navigator president/CEO Ken Berger in October. Berger's main point, according to Knight, is that "most nonprofits can't prove their work has any real impact" -- and that fact matters, says Berger, because without an accurate accounting of the results nonprofits are (or aren't) generating, "donors, funders, and volunteers can't tell which organization is deserving of their money, time, or other support."

Net Neutrality

In Slate, Marvin Ammori reports that FCC chairmain Tom Wheeler "is floating a 'trial balloon' for his net neutrality rule" that would permit fast and slow lanes on the Internet based on "a new and exotic theory of legal authority that will almost certainly fail in court. "


Consulting firm Third Sector New England has launched a new survey on the state of nonprofit leadership in the New England region and invites executive directors and board members of nonprofits in the region to share information about their current challenges and what kind of supports are needed for their organizations to move forward. The survey will be open through the end of the month, and a full report and interactive database with information from leadership across the region will be available next spring.

One key factor in nonprofit success is an engaged and effective board. On her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington outlines four steps designed to help you recruit the kind of board you really need.


And on the Transparency Talk blog, Kristin Goerg, grants manager at the Colburn Foundation, a small family foundation that works to support and promote a healthy and vibrant classical music community, primarily in Southern California, discusses some of the steps the foundation took after the economic downturn in 2008 to openly discuss challenges with its grantees. 

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

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