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August 2011 (5 posts)

Jumo-GOOD Rundown
August 23, 2011

Jumo Last week on the Philanthropy News Digest blog PhilanTopic, President Bradford K. Smith posed a question about a social networking nonprofit portal: 

Jumo — a nonprofit portal built with grant funds from some of America's largest philanthropic foundations — is being acquired by GOOD, which despite its altruistic-sounding name and mission is a for-profit company. Is this what grants are for? 

Brad goes on to pose some interesting questions about the relationship between non- and for-profits, and whether philanthropies — and their grant agreements in particular — are keeping up with the times. 

Read: Jumo: Get Grant, Do Good, Sell

Brad's article sparked a Twitter debate, summarized in another PhilanTopic post:

Read: Jumo and Some GOOD Unanswered Questions

Finally, Antony Bugg-Levine, a managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, approached the debate in a follow-up post:

Read: Jumo-GOOD: The Future Is Now

Giving USA 2011
August 16, 2011

Robert Bruno from the Foundation Center's Nonprofit Literature Blog summarizes the just-released Giving USA report:

The full report of Giving USA was released last week, and it continues to provide valuable data on giving by individuals, foundations, estates (bequests) and corporations.  The latest findings of Giving USA 2011: the Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2010 published by the Giving USA Foundation include:

  • Total estimated charitable giving in the U.S. rose 3.8 percent in 2010, reflecting the modest economic recovery achieved that year
  • Giving by individuals rose an estimated 2.7 percent   
  • Foundation giving remained steady, falling 0.2 percent. Family foundations provided approximately 48 percent of all grants by independent, community, and operating foundations
  • Giving to international affairs rose an estimated 15.3 percent, the largest percentage increase of any subsector, in part due to various global political and humanitarian crises, specifically the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Read the full post»

Visit Giving USA to get the report»

Philanthropy Front and Center: What to Consider When You're Contemplating a Merger
August 11, 2011

Tracy Kaufman writes on Philanthropy Front and Center - New York today about the complicated topic of nonprofit mergers. As part of a longer series on nonprofit collaboration, Tracy tackles the merger issue with answers to questions such as: Why do nonprofits merge? What types of obstacles might come up? What can be done to facilitate the process? The post concludes with a list of resources for further reading to learn more about mergers.

The post follows from a Foundation Center seminar held on July 27, Nonprofit Collaborations: Focus on Mergers:

Our expert panel was moderated by Sandra Lamb, president and CEO of Lamb Advisors, and featured Ethan Kahn, audit manager at MBAF-ERE CPAs, LLC; Linda S. Manley, legal director at the Lawyers Alliance for New York; and Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, executive director at the Cancer Research Institute. The presenters stressed that while a merger can be extremely beneficial for your organization's financial well-being and your mission, it is also a complicated, costly legal undertaking, fraught with obstacles along the way. Below are a few of the things they recommend that you think about when considering a merger, and ideas on what can make the process more successful.

Read the full post on the New York blog.

If you're interested in learning even more, Grantspace offers several resources on the topic. Here's a selection:

An earlier version of this post credited the Philanthropy Front and Center post to Ines Sucre; the post was written by Tracy Kaufman.

Christopher Doyle, Colleague and Friend, 1982-2011
August 07, 2011

We at the Foundation Center lost a dear friend and former colleague last week, Christopher Doyle, who died in a bicycle accident near his home in Brooklyn. Regina Mahone remembers Chris in a PhilanTopic post, which you can read in its entirety here. Regina writes of Chris:

[He helped] to redesign or create from scratch various Foundation Center Web pages, blogs [...], and portals, including the 2010 Global Philanthropy Forum annual conference site. Although he eventually moved on to freelance full-time for a number of organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, before settling down at the New School eight months ago, Chris stayed in close contact with his former colleagues, many of whom he frequently bumped into near Union Square Park or in the lobby/elevator at 79 Fifth Avenue. 

I worked with Chris for a few years in the Center's web services department. What I'll remember about Chris, besides the fact that it was good to have a fellow southerner around, is that he was everything you'd want in a work friend: an easygoing manner, intelligence, a sense of humor, an ability to put the day-to-day in its proper perspective.

I was always happy to see him at the occasional happy hour, and thrilled at the lucky coincidence that he ended up working back in the same building once he joined the New School.

As a talented web developer and programmer, Chris helped bring the Foundation Center up to speed with the latest technologies and web practices. But we'll miss him most as a good guy, wry and loyal, friendly and unpretentious. You can't ask for more out of anybody.

Social Media at Your Nonprofit
August 04, 2011

Twitter logoLast week, two of the Foundation Center's regional blogs highlighted ways that nonprofits can use social media to their advantage.

Follow the links to see what Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can do for you.

Twitter for Nonprofits: Getting Started
from Philanthropy Front and Center - Washington DC

Everyone is on Twitter these days, right? Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber each have more Twitter followers than the entire population of Sweden. (Check out this super-cool video with more eye-opening stats about the impact of social media.) But it's not just celebrities who are using this platform to connect with an audience. Nonprofits are getting in on the act too. So how — and why — would your nonprofit get started on Twitter?

Read the whole post »

12 Ways to Put Social Media to Work for Your Nonprofit
from Philanthropy Front and Center - Atlanta

Last Wednesday, fundraising and research specialist Jay Frost paid a visit to the Foundation Center to present The Horse's Mouth: Social Media as a Window on the Prospects of the Future. It was a great class, with a ton of practical tips and great examples for making the "big three" (Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) work for your nonprofit, helping with everything from finding prospects and potential board members to boosting attendance at your next event. The best part? Jay's advice is super easy to implement, providing a quick boost to the value of your organization's existing social media efforts.

Read the whole post »