56 posts categorized "Other"

[Infographic] 'America's Nonprofit Sector'

August 04, 2012

Nice infographic from the folks at the Center for Civil Studies at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies based on the new, fully revised third edition of America's Nonprofit Sector: A Primer (Foundation Center), by Lester R. Salamon.


To order America's Nonprofit Sector, click here.

Weekend Link Roundup (July 28-29, 2012)

July 29, 2012

2012_OlympicsOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....


"If no one can understand us, if we can't even understand ourselves, how are we going to help communities become more informed and engaged?" asks the Knight Foundation's Eric Newton on the Knight blog. What's more, writing more readable press releases doesn't mean issues need to be dumbed down, says Newton. "You have to be smart to convey difficult subjects in clear, understandable prose. If you can do it, your work will be more effective...."


The Fundraising Detective shares some lessons about what the Olympics can teach nonprofits about volunteering, marketing, and fundraising, including how to give volunteers recognition, how to pass the torch, and how to do more than you ever thought possible.


On the Philanthropy UK blog, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors CEO Melissa Berman argues that distinctions "between 'mainstream/traditional' (i.e., white) philanthropy and 'other' philanthropy, that is, the kind of giving practiced by racial, ethnic and tribal communities," are steadily giving way to a new reality, as African-American, Arab- and Asian-American, Latino, and Native American populations become "an increasingly potent force in American philanthropy." Berman then highlights a few observations and themes to buttress her argument:

  • The philanthropic sector faces increasing scrutiny, both from government and activist groups, to demonstrate its responsiveness and accountability to racial and ethnic groups. A legislative proposal in California that would have mandated certain race-based benchmarks and grantmaking ratios, for example, was only narrowly defeated after foundations in the state voluntarily agreed to do more. If the field does not do a better job of addressing these complex issues on its own, writes Berman, it risks being forced to do so by others.
  • The growth of philanthropy in communities of color has paralleled major social movements driven by and affecting those communities. The civil rights movement of the 1960s, for example, was accompanied by a proliferation of African American funds; the Native Peoples movement of the 1970s led to new tribal giving structures; the women's and LGBTQ movements had a similar effect. Indeed, says Berman, one could make the case that any important social agenda must be accompanied by philanthropic activity if it hopes to get traction.
  • There will most certainly be a greater democratization of philanthropy as a result of the growth of giving vehicles formed by donors from various racial and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Communities of color increasingly command the resources and have the capacity to do their own giving -- i.e., philanthropy is becoming something everyone can (and does) do.
  • As a result, philanthropy is emerging as a critical expression of a community's own self-determination. We are finally realizing that solutions, as well as the resources to implement them, are to be found within communities themselves.

Professional Development

Rosetta Thurman -- she of the many hats, including nonprofit career coach -- has some advice for young nonprofit professionals wondering whether they are on the right career path.

Social Media

In an era of niche social networks, Geoff Livingston, author of Welcome to the Fifth Estate: How to Create and Sustain a Winning Social Media Strategy, has some advice about how and which social networking sites to integrate into your life "for professional success and personal enjoyment."


The term "resilience" is popping up everywhere these days, writes Lucy Bernholz on her Philanthropy 2173 blog. But with all the change happening in the world and the uncertainty that comes with it, focusing on adaptability and being able to bounce back "are the keys to evolution and survival."

In a post on his blog, digital marketing and communications guru Seth Godin cuts right to the chase: "strategy matters more than ever" -- and not "changing your strategy merely because you're used to the one you have now is a lousy strategy."


Last but not least, the Packard Foundation is using the blog of visiting scholar Beth Kanter to solicit feedback on its Organizational Effectiveness program. In fact, the foundation has been conducting an extensive review of its OE strategy for some months now and has been sharing information about the process and some of the feedback it has received at a dedicate Web site. Now it is asking for comments on a draft "that outlines key elements of our refreshed strategy." For more information and to share your thoughts/concerns, visit the OE strategy refresh planning site.

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

-- The Editors

Infographic: What is GrantSpace?

July 16, 2012

(This post originally appeared on the Foundation Center's Philanthropy Front and Center - Cleveland blog.)

Just how well do you know GrantSpace, the Foundation Center's online learning community for nonprofits? Did you know, for instance, that over 100,000 people visit per month, from over 200 countries? But don't let the numbers alone do the talking. Check out our new infographic to get the full perspective on what you can do at GrantSpace.

(Click the image to view in full size)


[Infographic] Understanding Social Enterprise

June 23, 2012

For a nice overview of the social enterprise universe, check out this infographic from the folks at GOOD and FedEx (h/t Jed Emerson/@BlendedValue).



Yearly U.S. Charity Checkup

June 16, 2012

In conjunction with the recent release of the 2012 Metro Market Survey, our friends at Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator, have created their first infographic.


Charity Navigator Metro Market Infographic


Pretty cool...

Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (November 2011)

December 01, 2011

After a very busy October, November -- Thanksgiving and all -- turned out to be another busy month at PhilanTopic. In descending order, here are the five most popular posts for the month.

What were you reading/watching/listening to last month?

OWS By the Numbers

November 10, 2011

Another great infographic. Patience -- it's a big file....

(Click on graphic for complete uncropped image)

(H/t Visual Economics via the Big Picture blog.)

Most Popular Posts (October 2011)

November 01, 2011

After a good September, October was the third busiest month at PhilanTopic since we started the blog in the fall of 2007. What were folks reading? Here's a short list of the most popular posts for the month.

What's the best thing you read/watched/heard in October?

[Infographic] How the Top 50 Nonprofits Do Social Media

October 17, 2011

We love a good infographic -- especially when it relates to things that interest us, like nonprofits and social media. This one, from craigslist founder Craig Newmark and the folks at craigconnects, kept us busy for a while.

Based on an informal audit conducted in August and September, the infographic is intended to answer questions like: Do the highest-earning nonprofits use social media more effectively than nonprofits that earn less? Are those same nonprofits the most "engaging"? How are people using social media to respond to and interact with large nonprofits?

Here are a few key findings:

  • 92 percent of the top 50 nonprofits promote at least one social media presence on their homepage;
  • PBS has the most followers (840,653) on Twitter;
  • The American Cancer Society follows the most people/orgs (200,522) on Twitter;
  • Food for the Poor is the most "talkative" nonprofit on Facebook, with 220 posts over the two-month survey period;
  • The nonprofit with the highest net income, the YMCA, only posted 19 times to Facebook over the two-month survey period but has more than 24,000 fans.

(Click for larger image)


Notice anything that surprises you? Confirms your hopes (or fears)? In general, what do you think of infographics as a way to present this kind of data? We'd love to hear your thoughts....

Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (September)

October 01, 2011

Long tail, short tail --- these were the most popular posts on PhilanTopic in September. Enjoy.

What's the best thing you've read/watched/heard this month?


Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (August)

September 01, 2011

As is our custom at the end of the month, we've pulled together a short list of the most popular PhilanTopic posts in August. Enjoy.

What's the best thing you've read/watched/heard this month?

America in 1961

August 04, 2011

Barack Obama turns fifty today. To mark the occasion, Tech Ticker's Aaron Task chatted with Karlyn Bowman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, about a new AEI report (10 pages, PDF) that looks (among other things) at Gallup Poll results from fifty years ago to see what Americans cared about when the president was born in 1961.

The report found that the majority of Americans:

  • thought President Kennedy should navigate a political course "halfway" between the right and the left
  • approved of an increase in the Social Security payroll tax to pay for "old-age medical insurance"
  • opposed buying or selling products to Cuba "so long as Castro was in power"
  • were opposed to women wearing shorts in public but were okay with them wearing slacks
  • were against of increasing the price of a stamp to 5 cents

As Bowman tells Task, "[Americans] were worried about prices but they felt pretty good about government as a whole. Interestingly, at that point, we were much more worried about big labor. Big labor was seen as the biggest threat to the country followed by big business and hardly anyone thought big government would be a threat."

She also notes that as the baby boomers age, they are becoming more conservative -- and that's likely to be an important factor in the next two or three election cycles.

Fascinating stuff.

Message to New Nonprofit Fellows: Tips and Reflections

July 29, 2011

(Today is the last day of Reilly Kiernan's year-long Project 55 Fellowship at the Foundation Center. In her last post, she looked at how Millennials are changing the face of philanthropy.)

Good_luck It's hard to believe a year has passed and my fellowship at the Foundation Center is at an end. Over the past twelve months I've learned a tremendous amount about philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. But before I embark on the next stage of my career in public service, I'd like to share a few tips with new nonprofit fellows looking to get as much as possible out of their fellowship experience:

1. Recognize that you have a lot to learn. As a fellow, you're probably just starting out in a field where your experience is relatively limited. Don't be afraid to ask questions and acknowledge the limitations of your experience. When I started my fellowship at the Foundation Center, I knew very little about the world of organized philanthropy. I was eager, however, to soak up as much knowledge as I could, and I knew that being honest about my own ignorance would pay off in the end. I was also lucky to be assigned to the Educational Services unit here. By being involved in the events and classes the center offers, I was exposed to and absorbed much of the content we teach to grantseekers. What's more, the lessons I learned weren't restricted to course content. I also gained experience working in a large, established nonprofit and grew to appreciate some of the dynamics of that kind of environment.

2. Recognize what you have to offer. Even though you may be new to an organization and unfamiliar with its work and culture, you still have plenty to offer. Indeed, your insights can be invaluable -- especially if you approach the work with fresh eyes. Don't be afraid to speak up, share your opinions, and engage with co-workers. I know my colleagues here at the center will attest to the fact I had few reservations about speaking up during meetings. Thankfully, I quickly learned that the organization welcomed my opinions and ideas. For instance, I was more social media-savvy than many of my colleagues, and so it made sense for me to assume responsibility for coordinating the social media efforts of the center's New York library.

3. Do whatever you're asked to do...with gusto. In the early days and weeks of your fellowship, you probably won't be given the most interesting tasks. It's hard, at any organization, to find work for a new employee that doesn't require certain specialized skills and experience. That doesn't mean your initial contributions won't be valuable or appreciated. If you're asked to populate a spreadsheet, proofread a letter, or even stuff envelopes, do so enthusiastically. Recognize that until you get your feet under you and are fully up to speed with the organization's work and culture, it takes work for your supervisor to provide you with work. And even if you're eager and prepared to help in more substantial ways, he/she simply may not have the time to train you on specific tasks right away. Jumping up and volunteering to take on any task is a great way to demonstrate that you care about the organization and are serious about its mission and your ability to contribute to that mission.

4. Don't be afraid to show initiative. Although it's important to do whatever you're asked to do -- however mundane it may be -- it's also important to to show initiative and find projects for yourself that are both worthwhile and fulfilling. I know, this can be a challenge. But having an honest discussion with your supervisor is a great first step in making sure you get assigned to tasks that are challenging, take advantage of your particular skill set, and allow you to contribute in truly meaningful ways to the broader work of the organization. My job over the past twelve months has involved a nice mix of recurring tasks (like helping out with classes and events), short-term tasks (proofreading materials, writing blog posts, editing video), and longer-term projects (planning my own event to introduce the "next generation" to the Foundation Center, coming up with a social media strategy for the NYC office, working with a colleague to develop a series of videos featuring user testimonials and class content). By making sure to balance my various responsibilities, I was able to stay busy and, more importantly, take ownership of my daily and weekly schedules.

5. Don't forget about the future. Time flies so quickly that if you don't take the time to think about the work you're doing, the things you're learning, and how your future plans are materializing, it's quite possible that twelve months will pass before you've had a chance to take stock of your fellowship experience. I've been fortunate to have been embedded within the center's professional development infrastructure, which facilitates this kind of reflection on an ongoing basis. For one thing, I've been able to contribute to this blog! I've also had regular structured meetings and performance evaluations with my supervisor, was assigned an unofficial "mentor" who shared great advice and served as a supportive sounding board for ideas, and was able to participate in the center's professional development group, which brings together entry- and mid-level employees from across the organization to talk about their work and hear senior managers speak about their own career paths. I'm incredibly grateful the center provided these avenues for me, and appreciate more than ever how valuable this kind of reflection can be.

It's been a pleasure to contribute to PhilanTopic, and I'll continue to follow it as I forge a career in public service. Until we meet again, thanks for reading.

-- Reilly Kiernan

Briefly Noted: 'The Idea of America'

July 23, 2011

From the July 25 issue of The New Yorker:

"The Americans revolted [against the British] not out of actual suffering but out of reasoned principle," [Gordon S.] Wood argues in a set of probing essays which explore how the principles of these revolutionaries became distorted by events outside of their control. Many of the Founders imagined republicanism as an antidote to the private pursuit of wealth, and hoped that America's politicians would be disinterested guardians of the public good, drawn from a self-sacrificing elite. When the emergence of rampant commercialism and partisan politics undermined such hopes, Federalists used the Constitution to introduce into our democracy a monarchical element, which has become increasingly pronounced. Such contradictions, Wood says, help explain our perpetual grapple with the Founders' ideas, "our despairing effort to make them one with us, to close that terrifying gap that always seems to exist between them and us."

Happy Fourth of July!

July 04, 2011

"This is essentially a People's contest. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men -- to lift artificial weights from all shoulders -- to clear the paths of laudable pursuits for all -- to afford all an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life. Yielding to partial, and temporary departures, from necessity, this is the leading object of the government for whose existence we contend...."

-- Abraham Lincoln, "Message to Congress in Special Session," July 4, 1861

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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