7 posts categorized "Giving Carnival"

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.

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Weekend Link Roundup (February 4-5, 2012)

February 05, 2012

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

African Americans

BlackGivesBack's Tracey Webb gives a shout out to The Root, which earlier this week unveiled its 2012 list of Young Futurists -- African Americans under the age of 22 who are "not only achievers but also innovators in the worlds of green innovation, science and technology, arts and culture, social activism, and business enterprise."

Civil Society

"[Is there] a textbook definition of the common good?" asks Steven Fajon, a Case Foundation intern, in a guest post on the Social Citizens blog. The question occurred to Fajon after panelist Ai-Jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, in an Independent Sector webinar titled "What the Heck Is the Common Good Anyway?" explained that the purpose of the question was to initiate a dialogue between communities in need. For his part, Fajon remains unconvinced. "[I]n the end," he writes, "the idea of the common good doesn't need to be an exact science –- it simply has to strike up a debate, just like it did in my mind."


Has any public charity had a worse week, communcations-wise, than the one Komen for the Cure had this week? For a complete rundown of the missteps made by the Dallas-based organization as it tried to explain its decision to de-fund grantee Planned Parenthood, badly fumbled its response when the Internet erupted in outrage, then reversed itself a day later, see Kivi Leroux Miller's post on the "accidental rebranding" of Komen.

Global Health

On his Humanosphere blog, Tom Paulson shares a Twitter map made by Marc Smith, founder of the Social Media Research Foundation, that seems to show the global health community -- at least the portion of it "active" on Twitter -- to be fairly insular and uncommunicative. "It's mostly just an echoing of the Gates Foundation," says Smith. "There's not a lot of response, or engagement. Basically, it looks like people preaching to the choir." For his part, Paulson suggests the problem isn't so much Twitter or social media as it is "the passive...and sometimes simplistic nature of the narrative within the global health and development community itself. This is a community," Paulson adds,

devoted to -- and advertising itself as -- doing good. Humanitarians, in my experience, are exceptionally uncomfortable when forced to talk about things going bad. It also doesn't help with fund-raising, of course. But it's reality, and reality makes for better stories.


In a post on the Breast Cancer Action blog, BCA executive director Karuna Jaggar writes: "The sad truth is that Komen’s willingness to restore funding to Planned Parenthood, while a victory for women who rely on those resources, will not end the epidemic....Not while Komen overemphasizes the value of mammography -- mammography will never stop cancer before it starts. Not while pinkwashing remains the status quo, and not while Komen allows companies to put pink ribbons on their carcinogenic products. Not while metastatic disease, which is what kills women, gets only 2% of research dollars in this country...."

Higher Education

The Nonprofit Quarterly's Rick Cohen takes a closer look at the tax-exempt sector's "1 percent" -- elite universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford whose endowments, on average, racked up gains of 19 percent in fiscal year 2011.

International Aid/Development

In the first two installments of a four-part series here on PhilanTopic, Demos senior fellow Michael Edwards uses the paper he wrote on the Rockefeller Foundation-sponsored Bellagio Initiative to explore the relevance of "well-being" as a lens in development work and some of the lessons philanthropy can learn from that work. Coming up next: the role of metrics in that conversation.

On the White Courtesy Telephone blog, Greater New Orleans Foundation president and CEO Albert Ruesga weighs in on a disturbing article in the New York Times that exposed the unsafe working conditions at an Apple supplier in China. "It's not a given that being poor means having to work extremely hard in unsafe conditions to make very little,” writes Ruesga. “Fixing this in your supply chain needs to take priority over an on-time delivery of iPhones to eager consumers....”

Nonprofit Blogosphere

Hosting this month's Nonprofit Blog Carnival, Getting Attention's Nancy Schwartz shares a selection of posts that highlight the dreams of our fellow nonprofit bloggers.


In a video reposted on the Humanosphere blog, Melinda Gates explains the purpose of the Gates Foundation's new visitor center in Seattle.

In the text of a speech reprinted on the Philanthropy Daily site, William Schambra, the director of the Hudson Institute's Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal, offers a typically provocative take on the difference between liberal and conservative philanthropy. "Granted, every progressive foundation has in mind a particular social ill or injustice it seeks to remedy, whether environmental degradation or poverty or racial inequity," writes Schambra. "But what do all these add up to?

Very seldom do liberal foundations tell us explicitly what their overriding political philosophy is, or how they understand the basic character of the American political order, and what’s worth preserving and what needs changing.

Instead, if you add up the range of specific problems on the agenda of liberal philanthropy, we’re left with a pretty depressing view of America -- an America beset by a wide range of social ills and injustices that desperately require philanthropic interventions of all sorts.

By contrast, conservative philanthropy tends to see beneath the problems America may be experiencing -- many of which are of course quite serious -- [and sees] a profoundly decent and good political order.

And the vision is to understand and preserve that order, the American regime of liberal democracy, in the face of powerful intellectual forces that have pulled us away from that commitment....

Social Enterprise

Is the social enterprise bubble about to burst? In an attempt to answer that question, the folks at GOOD asked half a dozen social entrepreneurs working in Africa what they think is driving the hype, where the sector is going, and what advice they have for those just starting off.

Social Media

And in a guest post on Beth’s Blog, Levi Strauss Foundation executive director Daniel Jae-Won Lee looks at how some human rights organizations are using social media to engage underserved communities on the issues that affect them. For example, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California developed MiACLU.org, an online Spanish-language platform that's designed to educate and engage Latinos in the region about immigration issues.

That's it for this week. What did we miss? Drop us a line at rnm@foundationcenter.org!

-- The Editors

Quick Hits (Jan. 21, 2008)

January 21, 2008

Interesting comments/dialogue over at Gift Hub in response to Phil's comment about Rich Polt's post here at PhilanTopic about communicating impact.

The January Giving Carnival is in full swing at Trista Harris' New Voices of Philanthropy, where the topic is, What will the foundation of the future look like?

In New York magazine, Jennifer Senior wonders whether the explosion of wealth in America is creating a generation of Paris Hiltons.

Allison Fine has started a conversation on her blog about evaluating the value of social networks.

Lucy Bernholz asks what transparency really looks like in a foundation context and wonders whether we're there yet.

Michele Martin at the Bamboo Project has a nice post on the nine lessons she learned from running her first webinar.

Eduwonkette, our favorite education blogger, has a snazzy new home at the Education Week web site.

And the anonymous blogger who blogs at Don't Tell the Donor.org celebrates a milestone -- his/her 500th post. Congrats!

-- Mitch Nauffts

Quick Hits (Dec. 1, 2007)

December 01, 2007

With a nod to recent articles by New York Times' reporters Stephanie Strom and David Cay Johnston, the folks at Beyond Philanthropy argue that "there is a lot of ‘unproductive’ philanthropic capital out there," much if it "either frozen in untouchable endowments, or spread out in small amounts over hundreds of thousands of tiny organizations, many of which overlap in mission and approach, and are too numerous for the government to monitor properly." 

The anonymous blogger known as Don't Tell the Donor wrestles with whether he/she should reveal the identity of the other party in the Mark Everson "sex scandal."

Nancy Schwartz, at Getting Attention!, grades the Red Cross on its communications reponse to the Everson scandal.

The November Giving Carnival has arrived at Maya Norton's New Jew: Blogging Jewish Philanthropy, with posts from Phil Cubeta (Gift Hub), Dahna Goldstein (Philantech), Marc Pitman (Fundraising Coach), Christopher Scott (Nonprofit Leadership, Innovation, and Change), Arlene Spencer (Grant Plant), and Rosetta Thurman (Perspectives From the Pipeline).

The Nonprofiteer has some questions about a recent grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, a major supporter of the arts in the U.S., to the Nonprofit Finance Fund for a new national initiative, Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence.

BusinessWeek reports that the "Ivy Plus" schools (the seven Ivy League schools plus Stanford and MIT) are solidifiying their position atop the higher education heap by using their deep pockets to recruit top-notch faculty, shrink class sizes, increase financial aid for lower-income students, and expand their central role in research. "The gilding of the Ivies," says BusinessWeek, "offers a striking manifestation of the contemporary American tendency of the rich to get much richer."

And Albert Reusga asks, Why is it so difficult to marry art with advocacy?

-- Mitch Nauffts

Announcement: November Giving Carnival

November 02, 2007

I've been away for much of the last week and just learned that the November Giving Carnival will be hosted by Maya Norton, author of The New Jew blog. (Hat tip to Sean at Tactical Philanthropy.)

This topic of this month's carnival is: What business practices should nonprofits adopt to maximize their resources? (Don't know what a Giving Carnival is? This post explains it.)

To participate, e-mail your response to mnorton@thenewjew.org and be sure to include:

  • your name
  • the name of your blog
  • the title of your article/post
  • a link

-- Mitch Nauffts

The Giving Carnival Has Landed

October 19, 2007

The October Giving Carnival is now online. Arlene Spencer, author of the Seeking Grant Money Today blog, hosted this month's carnival, the topic of which was, Are relationships "everything" in philanthropy?

(Don't know what a Giving Carnival is? This post explains it.)

The carnival generated thirteen responses, including posts from Phil Cubeta (author of the GiftHub blog), Gayle Roberts, (author of the Fundraising for Nonprofits blog), Holden Karnofsky (co-author of the GiveWell blog), Jeff Brooks (author of the Donor Power blog), Trista Harris (a program officer at the Saint Paul Foundation and author of the New Voices of Philanthropy blog), Andrea Learned (author of the Learned on Women blog), Carrie Rothburd (a principal at Grant Central Station), and Richard Marker (author of the Wise Philanthropy blog). Congrats to all on a job well done.

The nonprofit blog community is still looking for a host for the November Giving Carnival. If you're interested, contact Arlene.

October 2007 Giving Carnival

September 17, 2007

PhilanTopic has learned that the question for the October Giving Carnival blog event, to be hosted by Arlene Spencer's Seeking Grant Money Today blog, is, "Are relationships everything in philanthropy today?"

What, pray tell, is a Giving Carnival? As Holden Karnofsky at the GiveWell blog explains, it's

a horrible name for [an exercise in which] the host chooses a topic, anyone who wants to writes/submits a post on that topic, and the host posts links to the ones he wants to.... It’s like a periodical, but with the advantage that it’s much more of a pain in the neck to read....

The concept was launched in January by Sean Stannard-Stockton's Tactical Philanthropy blog with a discussion of the debate surrounding the LA Times' coverage of the Gates Foundation investment policy. After a brief hiatus, it returned in July on GiveWell (“What charitable cause are you personally most passionate about?”) and moved in September to Gayle Robert's Fundraising for Nonprofits blog ("Predicting the Future of Fundraising").

Now it's Arlene's turn, and she's posted some questions to get us all thinking: If philanthropic relationships are not everything, what is critical to the success of modern philanthropy? How are relationships in philanthropy today different than in the past? How do modern relationships in philanthropy begin, and how are they maintained? Who or what do they matter for? What effect, if any, do philanthropic relationships have on the causes they serve? Are there situations in which funders or grantseekers should recuse themselves from a relationship? etc. etc.

Feel free to pose and answer your own questions. To be included in the group event, all responses must be e-mailed to Arlene by October 15, 2007.

Arlene is also looking for a volunteer(s) to host the November Giving Carnival. E-mail Arlene if you'd like to take it on (you must have a blog in order to host a carnival).

-- Mitch Nauffts

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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