ICYMI: Last Week's NP News, Today | August 26

What's the latest news with the charitable tax deduction?  Which Georgia locality took arts funding cuts off of their budget chopping block?  And how do Generations X and Y, Baby Boomers and Matures approach philanthropy differently?  


The Future of the Charitable Deduction (Economix / New York Times)
Author Bruce Bartlett, former advisor to presidents and congressmen, has a stat-filled opinion column on the Times website looking at some reasons why the charitable deduction works much better for wealthy donors than for the nonprofits it’s meant to benefit, and at least one way to fix it: convert the deduction to a tax credit.

The Possible Philanthropic Response to Trayvon Martin (Nonprofit Quarterly)
Rick Cohen examines the responsibility and opportunity of nonprofits and philanthropies to address the issues of racial justice, and the challenges faced by boys and men of color, in the wake of the Zimmerman verdict and a recent call-to-action (“Hoodies Up for Trayvon”) by the president of The California Endowment.

Zuckerberg Announces Internet.org: A Scheme to Connect the Other Two-Thirds of the Globe (Nonprofit Quarterly)
On Monday, the CEO of Facebook announced a charitable-sounding new venture to wire the entire planet for internet access—potentially increasing the online population by 5 billion—complete with a .org domain and the claim that Web access is a “human right”. Reaction so far is mixed: Stanford Social Innovation Review takes a look at the “shared value” scheme of Facebook and Google (which has its own global-access initiative) and declares, “it’s complicated,” while tech news site The Verge goes so far as to call the project, co-sponsored by telecomm/tech giants like Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung, “business dressed up as charity.”

Kinnaird seeks community based groups to support voter rights effort (Philanthropy Journal)
In a stunning indictment of the system, North Carolina State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird has quit the general assembly, after 17 years, to work with nonprofits and other community-based organizations. The progressive lawmaker resigned over the Republican-controlled legislature’s push for restrictive new voting regulations, saying she’ll have a greater impact working outside the system to help eligible voters navigate the new requirements.  



Fulton County unanimously rejects proposal to cut arts funding (Creative Loafing)
Some rare good news coming out of local government budget negotiations: cash-strapped Fulton County, the state’s largest government funder of the arts, voted down a plan to slash arts funding by almost a third.



How Different Generations Approach Philanthropy (Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog / Nonprofit Marketing Guide)
Kivi Leroux-Miller reproduces a helpful infographic from Blackbaud (with links to its nifty interactive counterpart) based on the latest edition of their Next Generation of American Giving study, looking at giving trends among four different age groups: “Gen Y,” “Gen X,” “Baby Boomers,” and “Matures.” Getting practical, Blackbaud’s npENGAGE blog weighs in with five fundraising ideas inspired by that study.

Google Survey Reveals Patterns of How We Donate Money Online (Co.Exist / Fast Company)
Five practical takeaways from a Google study released this week examining giving patterns online, including the facts that “people start thinking about donations before the holiday season” and “donors are comparison shoppers.”

Could the Future of Fundraising be Social? (Associations Now)
Based on recently-released data from Blackbaud and customer relations firm Avectra, social media has become a critical place for discovery and dissemination by donors and the organizations they support—and a promising arena for making “the ask.” Nonprofit Quarterly insists that it isn’t just your nonprofit that needs an online presence—your C-suite should be engaged with social media too.

The Most Important Question to Ask a New Donor (Inspiring Generosity / Razoo)
John Haydon gives you a simple but easy-to-overlook question that will help you understand new donors’ motivation, start developing a donor profile, and design better fundraising campaigns. The “Nonprofit Facebook Guy” even has a refreshingly old-fashioned method for making sure they answer: by asking them over the phone.

Strangers Share a Meal, Give to Charity (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
In an intriguing new “friendraising” program, one Pennsylvania nonprofit is piloting something akin to a dinner-party pyramind scheme: a group of virtual strangers gather for a meal, in which each diner gives a dollar donation to the host, who passes it along to the nonprofit. Afterwards, each diner is expected to host a meal of his or her own, in which the giving scheme continues.



Charity Raters Part II: Managing Your Rating (Blue Avocado)
A clear-eyed look at what charity-rating sites like GuideStar and Charity Navigator measure and why you should pay attention to them, including the weaknesses inherent in those measures and six tips for managing your rating. Incidentally, Philanthropy News Digest reports, Guidestar has just introduced a new service called Charting Impact that lets nonprofits share stories of impact on their Guidestar profile page.

Want to Deepen Your “Culture of Philanthropy?” Add Social Information (Bloomerang)
You want to thank your donors in an email to your entire list—which includes many who are not donors. How do you make that thanks genuine—targeted to the people who actually gave—while hinting at the rest to step up? Use “social information”—that is, ”what we notice other people doing.”

Five Ways to Ensure Your Event Makes Headline News (npENGAGE / Blackbaud)
Your events deserve attention—and there’s a great deal of it directed at the local newsmedia. Blackbaud’s Kathryn Hall has some practical tips, with examples, for getting the media on your case.



Excited Altruism (GiveWell)
Reminding us that doing nonprofit work well does not mean self-sacrifice or prizing “intellect over emotion,” this post examines an often-overlooked aspect of effective altruism: the thrill of it.

Extreme Board Makeover (Blue Avocado)
A few reasons why you might want to upgrade your board, and some strategies for making that happen sooner rather than later.



Need a Job? Try Volunteering First (Joanne Fritz / About.com)
More on the benefits of volunteering: a new study from Deloitte finds more than 80% of HR executives find volunteer experience valuable in a new hire, but that fewer than 50% of college grads and veterans consider the option—making those who do volunteer stand out even more.



Retired Army Colonel Calls for More Focused Veterans Services (GCN)
In a nationally syndicated article, retired Army Colonel David Sutherland cites and corroborates GCN's Metro Atlanta Veterans Service Report and calls for more focused methods in serving our returning veterans.

Findings Friday: 3 Steps for Building Capacity Through Collaboration (GCN)
New research from The University of Texas at Arlington presents three ways to overcome common barriers that nonprofits face when building capacity to address community needs.

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