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Weekend Link Roundup (January 24-25, 2015)

January 25, 2015

DeflatedFootball1Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sectorFor more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Climate Change

How concerned are global CEOs about climate change? Apparently, not much. According to an article in The Guardian, an annual survey of global CEOs by professional services group PricewaterhouseCoopers didn't include a single question about climate change, after only 10 percent of CEOs registered concern about the issue in the previous year's survey.


On her Getting Attention! blog, Nancy Schwartz shares a four-step process designed to close the marketing-fundraising divide in your organization.


In Philanthropy Daily, Georgetown University graduate student Alexander Podkul updates readers on a U.S. District Court hearing earlier this month regarding access to public data contained in the annual tax form nonprofits file with the IRS. "The issue up for debate," writes Podkul, "is that [Public.Resource.Org founder Carl] Malamud has requested Form 990 data in a modernized electronic file (or other machine-readable format) but has only received the raw data in image format....Although th[e] issue appears to be...specific to Malamud and his organization," adds Podkul,

a ruling in favor of Public.Resource would greatly affect many who participate in and study the nonprofit sector. In September 2013, for example, the Aspen Institute's Philanthropy & Social Innovation released the second edition of their report "Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data," which focused exclusively on the importance of this very issue. Their argument in favor of opening electronic data, i.e., making it "truly open," is threefold: open data would 1) make it easier for authorities to detect fraud, 2) "spur innovation in the nonprofit sector," and 3) help make more sense of 990 data....

Global Health

Nice post by Ned Breslin detailing some of the ways mobile apps are being used to combat the Ebola virus.

International Development

Bill and Melinda Gates released their annual letter earlier this week, and Humanosphere blogger Tom Paulson suggests the Gateses' belief in technology "as the primary means for reducing global poverty and inequity" is misplaced. Indeed, argues Paulson, "[t]here’s plenty of evidence...to suggest that technologies are better viewed as potentially powerful but inert tools for change that will only succeed if supported by more fundamental political, economic, cultural and social advances...."


On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, CEP president Phil Buchanan responds to critics who argue that nonprofits should be run like a business or start-up — "advice," writes Buchanan, that "is as ubiquitous as it is nonsensical."

Maybe the debate about overhead and overhead ratios is missing the point, writes Brady Josephson on the Huffington Post's Impact blog. The fact of the matter, says Jospephson,  is that donors "care more about how they feel when they give than how organizations spend their money. Or put another way, they care more about how impactful THEIR donation is as opposed to how impactful THE organization is."

And in a post on her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington argues that while the debate about overhead ratios is long overdue, it's unlikely to lead to meaningful change so long as nonprofit leaders are unwilling to fund the full costs of their programs.

Social Innovation

On Arabella Advisor's Greater Good blog, Gwen Walden and Lauren Marra highlight four approaches that are helping to redefine the way philanthropy is practiced.

And on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Heather Grady, senior fellow for global philanthropy at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, reports on a recent gathering of foundation leaders, policy makers, academics, entrepreneurs, and experts who met to discuss the development of the "fourth sector"— for-benefit organizations that primarily pursue social or environmental aims while raising a substantial proportion of their revenue through earned income or commercial activities.

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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