74 posts categorized "author-Regina Mahone"

Weekend Link Roundup (February 9-10, 2013)

February 10, 2013

Storm-nemoOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Fundraising

Guest blogging on the GuideStar blog, Big Duck founder Sarah Durham shares three fundraising trends that gained traction in 2012 -- more sophisticated data collection and analysis, greater use of social media by nonprofit executives to engage with constituents, and more effective use of online technologies -- and suggests three things that nonprofits should add to their to-do lists in 2013: collect AND analyze data, "open up," and act fast when a crisis strikes.

Impact/Effectiveness

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Ellie Buteau discusses the organization's new Room for Improvement report, which found that funders often request performance information that is more useful for them than it is for their grantees. "More than half the nonprofit leaders we surveyed agreed that funders care more about performance information that is useful to the foundations than information that is useful to the grantees. Only 28 percent of nonprofit leaders disagree with this sentiment," writes Buteau. "Not surprisingly, the more strongly nonprofits believe funders are prioritizing their own data needs over nonprofits', the less helpful they find their funders to be to their organizations’ ability to assess its progress."

Steve Lohr has an interesting post on the New York Times' Bits blog about the etymological origins of the term "big data."

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On 'Race, History, and Obama's Second Term'

February 05, 2013

Wordmapmlk 2On January 25, Washington Monthly, in partnership with the New America Foundation, marked the publication of its January/February issue by hosting a two-hour panel discussion on "Race, History, and Obama's Second Term." Led by WM editor-in-chief Paul Glastris, the panel sought to do something "that doesn't much happen in Washington...[that is,] talk frankly about questions of race."

First, though, a factoid, courtesy of political scientist Daniel Q. Gillion: President Obama -- who was sworn in to office for a second four-year term on January 21, a hundred and fifty years after Abraham Lincoln formally issued the Emancipation Proclamation during the American Civil War -- mentioned race fewer times in his first two years in office than any other Democratic president since 1961.

The panelists -- Douglas Blackmon, author of Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans From the Civil War to World War II and a contributing editor at the Washington Post; Elijah Anderson, author of the Cosmopolitan Canopy: Race and Civility in Everyday Life and William K. Lanman Jr. Professor of Sociology at Yale University; Taylor Branch, an award-winning author and historian; and Dr. Gail Christopher, vice president for program strategy at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation -- engaged in a conversation on race in America while answering a series of questions posed by Glastris: What is the state of race relations in America a century and a half after Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation? Have we progressed as much as we like to think we have? Why are people of color in America still subject to disparities in health, wealth, education, and incarceration? What might President Obama do in his second term to narrow these disparities? And, at a time of reduced social and economic mobility, what policies that help minorities can also benefit the majority?

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Weekend Link Roundup (February 2-3, 2013)

February 03, 2013

Super_bowl2013Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Diversity

Writing on the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's Keeping a Close Eye blog, Owen Dunn shares highlights from remarks made by Karen Kelley-Ariwoola at a meeting of the Association of Black Foundation Executives in April 2012. In her remarks, Kelley-Ariwoola, a former vice president of community philanthropy at the Minneapolis Foundaton, describes her work with community groups to address racial equity issues in a region where many white people thrive while "low-income people of color suffer from disparities on every indicator."

In celebration of Black History Month, Center for High Impact Philanthropy program manager Autumn Walden chats with Sherrie Deans, executive director of the Admiral Center, about philanthropy in the African-American community, which, argues Deans, is an "important yet overlooked part of black history."

Gun Violence

Getting Attention's Nancy Schwartz suggests that nonprofit communicators can learn a thing or two from former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Giffords, who was critically wounded by a deranged gunmen at a public event two years ago and has been fighting to recover from her injuries, slowly but clearly articulated her message that the time has come to address gun violence in America. "We must do something," Giffords told committee members. "It will be hard, but...[y]ou must act. Be bold. Be courageous, Americans are counting on you."

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Weekend Link Roundup (January 26-27, 2013)

January 27, 2013

Mosby-cold-snapOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Diversity

On the Tides Foundation's What's Possible blog, Toby Thompkins asks some thought-provoking questions about African Americans and U.S. history to remind us that "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not just a day for or about black Americans; it is a day for and about all Americans."

Governance

On her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington shares five questions to get your board "moving." They include: Why do you serve? What do you bring to our organization? And what do you want to contribute financially?

Impact/Effectiveness

Are we on the threshold of a new economic movement "that will result in all investors -- individual and institutional -- committing at least some portion of their investable assets to social impact"? Lisa Hall, president and CEO of the Calvert Foundation, believes we are, and in an essay in GreenMoney she explains how impact investing is driving that paradigm shift.

In a guest post on the Forbes blog, Kayleigh O'Keefe, associate director at the Corporate Executive Board, shares a "three-step method for "converting passive support into lasting partners":

  1. For each of your key stakeholder groups, define a specific desired behavior.
  2. If a certain stakeholder group is not doing what you’d like them to, determine why.
  3. Focus your efforts o n removing the barrier to the desired behavior change.

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Weekend Link Roundup (January 19-20, 2013)

January 20, 2013

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

Advocacy

MLK_2013Writing on the Chronicle of Philanthropy's Government and Politics Watch blog, Cody Switzer shares a video in which the NAACP's Benjamin Jealous explains how his century-old organization engages young activists: "Listen to them first, find out what they are really angry about, and then say, 'This is how we turn it outward, and we actually overcome that issue.'"

Communications/Marketing

On the Huffington Post's Impact blog, Katya Andresen shares an infographic from the Georgetown Center for Social Impact Communication that illustrates four different categories of potential cause influencers: Mainstreeter, Minimalist, Moderate, and Maximizer.

Nonprofits

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, CEP president Phil Buchanan suggests that nonprofits have a "dependency" problem -- and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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Weekend Link Roundup (January 13-14, 2013)

January 13, 2013

Haiti-earthquake-anniversaryOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Disaster Relief/Recovery

It's been three years since Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, was devastated by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. In the weeks and months following the disaster, individuals and the international donor community stepped up with more than $5 billion in cash and commitments for relief and recovery efforts. So where do things stand today? Mark Leon Goldberg, managing editor of UN Dispatch, provides some basic facts and figures.

Nonprofits

Marie Deatherage, director of communications and learning at the Meyer Memorial Trust, curates a nice list of 2013 predictions for nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, and the social economy. Her list includes Lucy Bernholz's Philanthropy and the New Social Economy: Blueprint 2013, which is available as a free download from the Foundation Center's GrantCraft site; Pantheon president Mark Tobias ((@PanthTech) on "Ten Technology Trends to Watch in 2013"; and Nonprofit Revolution Now's "missing" predictions.

Philanthropy

Writing in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Nick Penniman and Ian Simmons take philanthropy to task for its "chronic" underinvestment in political reform at a time when the "special interests that finance and influence the political process have amassed unprecedented power." What would be an appropriate amount? ask Penniman and Simmons. Their answer? One percent, or as they write:

Some $300 billion is donated annually to charitable causes. So, $3 billion for reform. Yes, $3 billion sounds like a lot of money. But 1 percent of philanthropy is not excessive -- especially not for a purpose as important as maintaining a government of, by, and for the people. We spend magnitudes more than that funding the arts and humanities, fighting infectious diseases, providing the poor and needy with the services they need, and trying to improve our educational institutions. Committing a sliver of philanthropy to making sure Washington and the state capitals are free of corruption -- both legal and illegal -- seems like a smart investment. Doing so should not be seen as merely advancing an abstract concept of “good government,” but as a concrete and necessary step in advancing solutions to the great challenges of our time -- solutions that the philanthropic sector often invests in but never sees actualized....

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO and president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest healthcare philanthropy, is named one of New Jersey's most fascinating people and is profiled in depth by the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

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Weekend Link Roundup (December 29-30, 2012)

December 30, 2012

Happy_new_yearTo help mark the end of another eventful year, we've rounded up a dozen or so of our favorite "best of" and nonprofit trendspotting pieces. Have a list you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments section below.

Communications/Marketing

On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Katya Andresen shares Trendwatching's list of consumer trends to keep an eye on and weighs in on what each could mean for nonprofits in 2013.

And in a two-part series on her Getting Attention blog (here and here), Nancy Schwartz lists the nonprofit marketing trends that are "must-dos" for your organization in 2013.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Kula CEO Gerrit McGowan looks back at some of the CSR high- and lowlights of 2012 -- and tells us what companies looking to take their CSR programs to the next level will be doing in 2013.

Innovation/Leadership

As it has it has for many years, Foreign Policy magazine closes out 2012 with an eclectic list of the top global thinkers -- a list that includes Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros, Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, novelists Haruki Murakami and Chinua Achebe, and Russian environmentalist Yevgenia Chirikova.

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Weekend Link Roundup (December 22-23, 2012)

December 21, 2012

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

Giving

Philanthropy 2173's Lucy Bernholz wants to know which would have a greater effect on charitable giving: "[G]etting rid of the tax deduction or removing the ability to give anonymously." Cast your vote here.

In the most recent installment of her Social Good podcast series, Allison Fine chats with Giving Tuesday creator Henry Timms, deputy director of the 92nd Street Y, about "the phenomenally successful first year of the event."

"The day took on a life of its own," Fine says on her blog. "Organizations broadened the original concept to include volunteerism as part of the 'donations' for the day and it became [part of] a larger conversation about creating what Henry called Opening Day for the giving season."

Impact/Effectiveness

As part of its annual awards program, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy is asking people to help choose the three grantmaking institutions that "embody philanthropy at its best."

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Newsmaker: Shawn Dove, Campaign Manager, Campaign for Black Male Achievement, Open Society Foundations

December 17, 2012

Headshot_Shawn Dove_In October, the Open Society Foundations and the Foundation Center released a report, Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys  (40 pages, PDF), which found, among other things, that philanthropic support for African-American men and boys has risen steadily over the past decade, from $10 million in 2003 to $29 million in 2010. At a time when nearly every major indicator of economic, social, and physical well-being shows that African-American males do not have access to the opportunities they need to thrive, the philanthropic sector is working to address this critical need on two fronts: by supporting organizations in the "black male achievement field" and by spotlighting the fact that more needs to be done to tackle racial and economic inequality in America.

In the foreward to the report, Shawn Dove, manager of the OSF-based Campaign for Black Male Achievement, noted that former Open Society board member Lani Guinier has long argued that African-American males are not unlike "canaries in the coalmine," in that their socioeconomic plight foreshadows many negative trends that eventually will affect the broader society. That explains why, for many, the well-being of African-American men and boys is not a "black issue." It is, as Dove said when we spoke to him recently, "an American issue." Moreover, he added, "[g]rantmakers should not enter th[e] field with the expectation that they can parachute in and save the day....We need to look at what's working, and to spread the word about what success looks like."

After more than twenty years working in the fields of youth development, education, and community building, including stints as a director of a Beacon School in Harlem, as creative communities director for the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, and as vice president for MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Dove joined OSF in 2008. PND spoke with him in November, shortly after the release of the report.

Philanthropy News Digest: We've been told that America in 2012 is a post-racial society. Is it?

Shawn Dove: I guess that depends on one's definition and interpretation of "post-racial." If one's definition is a society in which there are no racial disparities when it comes to opportunity, access, and equity, I would say, "Not so much." In 2012, America aspires to be post-racial. But judging by the wealth gap, ethnic and racial disparities in access to high-quality education, and the number of people of color in the House and Senate, I'd say we still have some work to do.

PND: Countless studies and papers have outlined the many root causes of racial inequality in America. If the causes are clear, why do large portions of the African-American community continue to be adversely affected by disparities in education, health care, and employment?

SD: You know, that is the billion-dollar question. Two of our grantee partners, the American Values Institute and the Opportunity Agenda, have done extensive research on implicit bias in America, and what their research revealed was that far too many people hold unconscious racial prejudices that affect their decision making when interacting with races other than their own. So while retail sales managers, for example, will say they don't have racist attitudes or are not prejudiced, they'll also resist putting people of color, specifically African-American males, in roles that have direct contact with customers.

Americans of all ethnicities still have an exceedingly difficult time having honest conversations about race. There are a number of organizations and leaders who are organizing people to have discussions about racial disparities in our society, but a lot of work still needs to be done to change the behaviors that perpetuate inequality in this country.

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Weekend Link Roundup (December 15-16, 2012)

December 16, 2012

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

Advocacy

On the Keeping a Close Eye blog, Sean Dobson of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy shares some takeaways for grantmakers from Steven Spielberg's new film Lincoln. "Many, if not most, foundations work on issues -- education, health care, environment -- that cry out for systemic solutions that only government can provide," writes Dobson. "But as Spielberg's [movie] shows once again, enacting systemic solutions into law is very difficult in this country. That of course does not mean grantmakers should shy away from the challenge. In fact, if they are serious about achieving their missions, recognition of the challenge should prompt them to fight harder than ever for systemic solutions."

Dobson goes on to identify the different types of grantmaking that would help to meet said challenge:

  • Investing in those who are most in need;
  • Investing in systemic change, not band aids; and
  • Investing for the long haul.

Communications/Marketing

"If you're bad at direct mail, don't think you'll find a refuge from your shortcomings by focusing on social media marketing," writes Jeff Brooks in a post on his Future Fundraising Now blog. "In fact, if your direct mail is ineffective, your social media will likely fail even more spectacularly than your mail does...."

On her Non-Profit Marketing blog, Katya Andresen shares findings from three new reports from Network for Good and partners that all came to the same conclusion: "Online giving is significantly up this year."

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Improving Your Online Engagement: A 'Flip' Chat With Chris Tuttle

December 14, 2012

(The video below was recorded as part of our "Flip" chat series of conversations with thought leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. You can check out other videos in the series here, including our previous chat with Beth Kanter, co-author of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World.) 

At 501 Tech NYC's final event of the year, marketing/communications strategist Chris Tuttle shared twenty-five things that nonprofits can do in the next year to better engage their constituents online. (A "storified" recap of the event can be found here.) Best of all, most of the items on Tuttle's list can be implemented without the help of a Web designer or developer. 

A former Blackbaud consultant who established his own consulting firm in 1999, Tuttle currently works for the Arcus Foundation, a New York City-based philanthropy that seeks to advance LGBT equality and conserve and protect the great apes. 

PND spoke with Tuttle right after Thanksgiving about his work in the nonprofit communications field and the importance of analytics for nonprofits. During our chat, he also explained why social media usage by nonprofits has not peaked and mentioned a few social media tools and sites that nonprofits should pay attention to in 2013. 

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Weekend Link Roundup (December 8-9, 2012)

December 09, 2012

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

Arts and Culture

On its Web site, the James Irvine Foundation unveils a snazzy new infographic format to share what it has learned about arts and arts organizations in California through the work of its Arts Innovation Fund.

Climate Change

In an impassioned post on the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's Keeping A Close Eye blog, Lisa Ranghelli urges foundation leaders to get involved in the fight against a warming planet.

Fundraising

On his Future Fundraising Now blog, Jeff Brooks, author of the Fundraiser's Guide to Irresistible Communications, provides a timely reminder to fundraisers to "keep calm."

Impact/Effectiveness

On the Philanthropy Potluck blog, Minnesota Council on Foundations research manager Anne Bauers shares findings from NTEN's The State of Nonprofit Data report, which found that a lack of expertise, issues of time and prioritization, and challenges with technology, among other things, are holding many organizations back from tracking and using data more effectively.

To help organizations looking to close their data skills gap, Beth Kanter, co-author (with KD Paine) of Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, shares some data visualization resources that she's come across recently.

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Weekend Link Roundup (December 1-2, 2012)

December 02, 2012

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

Communications

On the Big Duck blog, Jenna Silverman shares some social media tips for maximizing exposure for an article, blog post, newsletter feature, or report:

  1. Don't be afraid to state your conclusion right away;
  2. Use jargon-free and audience-centric language; and
  3. Use include images if it's posted to Facebook, and hashtags if shared via Twitter.

"Just remember," adds Silverman, "that your followers on Twitter are expecting something different from the people that like you on Facebook. Facebook users don't want to see hashtags and your Twitter followers don't want you to waste space with full URLs. Instead of auto-feeding those updates across all platforms, write new messages for each one. You'll see a difference."

Giving

Last week saw the debut of Giving Tuesday, a national movement to boost support for nonprofit organizations at the start of the annual holiday season. Despite all the hoopla surrounding the event, not everyone was a convert. Writing on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Timothy Ogden, managing director of the Financial Access Initiative at New York University and executive partner at Sona Partners, said he wasn't convinced the campaign would "materially affect giving in any positive way." The United States, writes Ogden,

has a deserved reputation for generosity when it comes to charity. According to GivingUSA, total annual giving now tops $300 billion. What many don't realize, given that the GivingUSA numbers change each year (usually in a positive direction), is how static the giving behavior of Americans is. Americans on average give about 2 percent of their income. When they earn more, they give more. When they earn less, they cut back. Over the last 10 years the percentage of national income given away (according to GivingUSA's totals) has varied from 2.1 to 2.2 percent. The only thing that has changed that percentage in the last 40 years, according to the Minneapolis Fed, is a tax law change that led to many wealthy people starting foundations at the end of 1986....

Ogden goes on to say that "while Giving Tuesday may make Americans' giving more visible, there's no reason to believe...it will affect how much they give." More likely, he writes, is that it will "shift more giving to the week of Thanksgiving from other times of year." We're not sure whether that's a good or bad thing. What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Weekend Link Roundup (November 17-18, 2012)

November 18, 2012

Pumpkin-thanksgiving-wreathOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Communications/Marketing

With the critical holiday fundraising season right around the corner, new reports from Charity Dynamics/NTEN and Blackbaud remind us that "Establishing emotional connections with donors remains paramount," writes Katya Andresen on her Non-Profit Marketing blog.

In a guest post on Beth Kanter's blog, Big Duck's Meghan Teich has some advice for nonprofit communications pros in the aftermath of a crisis or major natural disaster:

  • Make sure your staff is kept up to date on your communications plan and that they have a clear understanding of your messaging.
  • Strike while the iron's hot, but not so soon that it looks like you're capitalizing on the crisis.
  • Don't use the crisis as an opportunity to do general fundraising for your organization (unless you have a particularly relevant mission). Instead, create a specific fund or give donors a tangible item or event to which they can donate.
  • Reach out to other nonprofits, even those you view as "competitors," to explore how you might work together.
  • Keep your supporters and donors updated on the progress you're making in real time via e-mail and social media.

"I urge you to take the steps necessary to make sure you are engaging the right people in the right ways to reach your marketing goals," writes Nancy Schwartz on her Getting Attention blog. "And to start today." Sounds like good advice to us.

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Weekend Link Roundup (November 10-11, 2012)

November 11, 2012

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

Communications

In a guest post on the Communications Network blog, Philanthropy New York's Michael Hamill Remaley shares five lessons he learned from Superstorm Sandy about communications during and after a disaster:

  1. A little bit of forethought and planning can make a big difference to your organization's ability to keep communicating during a disaster, and once your team has been through a disaster like Sandy, it'll have a much better idea of what to expect next time.
  2. After disaster hits, be prepared to improvise. After the power grid for lower Manhattan went down, Remaley just started walking north from his apartment on the Lower East Side and kept walking until he was able to get a cell phone signal thirty-five blocks later.
  3. Make sure you have personal e-mail addresses for all staff and that they are cloud-based like Gmail addresses.
  4. To be an effective communicator during a crisis, you have to already have a loyal audience that follows you on a number of channels -- blogs, Web sites, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
  5. When you have a great team of people who are determined to stay connected, you can find mechanisms to make it work. There are so many channels for communicating now that, unless there is absolutely no cell service at all, you can find ways of establishing two-way communication with your key audiences even amidst significant system disruptions.

Disaster Relief

On Blackbaud's new NPEngage blog, Steve MacLaughlin looks at how fundraising in support of Superstorm Sandy relief efforts compares to that of other recent natural disasters, from the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011. MacLaughlin says there are at least two aspects of Sandy giving to watch, including a rise in multi-screen fundraising and the long tail. "Giving to this and other disasters is going to continue for some time," writes MacLaughlin. "And very soon it will be important for organizations to start showing the impact these donations have had on those hit hardest by the storm."

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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

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