NewsBits: Around the Philanthropic World

new-website-icon-150x150from The New York Times:

Are Metrics Blinding Our Perception?

… Philanthropists were once satisfied with a fuzzy feeling and, in the United States at least, tax benefits. Increasingly, though, they insist on precise metrics of their “social return on investment.” They want to know how much money is funding vaccines and not staplers at the charity’s offices. And so the Rockefeller Foundation and other groups have created the new Impact Reporting and Investment Standards, a set of metrics that make causes rigorously comparable.

from Philanthropy News Digest:

Commentary & Opinion: Social Media Can Open Door to Philanthropy’s Future

… I realized I had about forty-five minutes to convince these people that social media is more than relevant to philanthropy. That it is core to our future. That social media can make us all better philanthropists. There I said it. Social media can make foundations more effective. I know that doesn’t go down easily, but here is an exercise: Forget about the tools for a minute and look at the core principles behind social media: collaboration, openness, transparency, timeliness, sharing work in progress, embracing and learning from failure. Then think about how we traditionally operate as foundations.

from Stanford Social Innovation Review:

Endowment for a Rainy Day

In recent decades, nonprofits have significantly increased the size of their endowments. Yet during the current economic crisis, they made scant use of their sizable holdings. Instead of drawing down their endowments to offset losses of income, nonprofits resorted to cutting programs and personnel, sometimes dramatically. To prepare for future financial downturns, nonprofits should treat endowments as rainy day funds, not cut programs to preserve the endowment.

from Guide to Nonprofits:

Align Mission, Competencies, and Resources for Better Fundraising

Are your fundraising, mission, and resources in separate silos? Do you have donors or investors? Is your strategic plan feasible in light of your resources? Is your board realistic about its responsibilities? Are your messages convincing?

These are key concerns for any nonprofit, but few deal with them in an integrated fashion.

from Nonprofit Technology Network:

Tapping into the Strengths of a Generation – The Millennials

With multiple generations in the workforce and fundraisers trying to reach all segments of the population, it’s necessary to tailor your fundraising and volunteer need requests to fit your audience. You can no longer use one sweeping cattle call of a request to drum up dollars and people. Generation Y, sometimes referred to as the Echo Boomers because of their huge numbers… has a reputation for being peer-oriented due, in part, to the reliance on instant communication technologies and the Internet, including email, IMs, texting and social media components like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

When targeting Generation Y’s… you need to give some thought as to who they are and what motivates them.

from ThirdSector (UK):

Digital Campaign of the Week: World Jewish Relief

A flash mob in a London shopping centre drew attention to the charity’s Operation Winter Survival campaign.