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Weekend Link Roundup (December 6-7, 2014)

December 07, 2014

9626_Northern_Cardinal_02-10-2010_2Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the nonprofit sectorFor more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....


On Beth Kanter's blog, Jay Geneske of the Rockefeller Foundation announces the launch of Hatch, a digital platform that connects nonprofit practitioners with resources designed to help them "craft, curate and share impactful stories."


Writing in the Nonprofit Quarterly, Derwin Dubose, co-founder of New Majority Community Labs, a social venture that works to empower communities of color to identify and solve their own challenges, argues that the nonprofit sector has a "Ferguson problem" of its own: too few people of color in positions of leadership. As a result, writes Dubose, "people of color are relegated to being mere recipients of philanthropy rather than becoming active partners in their communities' success."


NPR, which seems to be doing a lot more reporting on the social sector of late, takes an in-depth look at Teach for America as the controversial organization celebrates its twenty-fifth year.


Nice piece by Peter Sims, co-founder of Fuse Corps, a social venture that gives up to twenty professionals a year the opportunity to help governors, mayors, and community leaders across the country bring about social change, on the origins and evolution of the #GivingTuesday movement. CauseWired president Tom Watson, who has been a "friendly skeptic" of #GivingTuesday in the past, also has some interesting thoughts about the success of the movement and how that success may portend a major shift in the way we give, volunteer, and organize around social causes.

No matter how you slice it, #GivingTuesday 2014 was a resounding success. If your nonprofit failed to capitalize on the buzz and good feeling surrounding the event, now is the time to start planning for #GivingTuesday 2015, writes Nancy Schwartz on her Getting Attention! blog.

What's driving next-gen giving? On the Forbes site, the Northwestern MutualVoice Team shares some findings from a 2013 survey conducted by 21/64, an organization that studies generational giving, and the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy.


On Nell Edgington's Social Velocity blog, Kathleen Enright, CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, shares her thoughts about GEO's latest field study, Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter? -- including the surpising finding that grantmaker support for collaboration appears to be in decline.

International Development

On the Science Insider site, data viz superstar Hans Rosling explains how a lack of public health services and extreme poverty in rural areas of West Africa were the catalysts for the Ebola outbreak in  the region.


Michael Zakaras, a writer and strategist who specializes in social entrepreneurship and public policy, says we all need to stop obssessing about overhead at nonprofits and offers five reasons to support his assertion:

  1. What you call overhead, others call talent.
  2. We need to make it easier for people to choose careers that allow them to work on social problems. 
  3. Overhead ratios are an outdated way to measure program quality.
  4. A focus on overhead spending as a critical performance metric invariably is an operational catch-22.
  5. Those who focus on overhead ratios as a key performance metric invariably believe nonprofits are sinkholes of mismanagement and wasteful spending. 


You definitely want to read David Callahan's excellent profile of Gara LaMarche on Inside Philanthropy. LaMarche, current president of the Democracy Alliance and a former president of Atlantic Philanthropies and director of U.S. programs at the Open Society Institute, may be "a general in the new progressive movement," writes Callahan, "but he's [also] a product of an earlier brand of postwar liberalism that valued asking hard questions, even if they were uncomfortable and yielded few clear answers." Callahan knows a thing or two about hard questions, and LaMarche answers most of them.

On the PD Now blog, Wesley Cate, co-founder of Collaborosity ("collaborative generosity"), considers the phenomenon of the generous poor and suggests that "by looking at a virtuous act in the midst of an adverse circumstance, we can get a better glimpse into the possibilities that generosity presents for individuals and communities to flourish."

Social Media

Have you been trying to figure out how to measure your social media ROI? On the Social Media Examiner site, Nichole Kelly shows you how to use Google Analytics "to collect and analyze the data you need to properly calculate how social media marketing impacts your business."

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....

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