Monday Clippings | June 24, 2013

Each Monday, we'll bring you the latest headlines and trending topics that inform your work as a nonprofit professional. Check back with us every week and equip yourself with what you need to know for the week ahead!

This week, we digest a week's worth of insight from the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Forbes, Stanford Social Innovation Review, what's taking place under the domes in Atlanta and Washington, and more!



Giving USA released their Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2012 on Tuesday. Highlights singled out by Reuters: donations are up 3.5% overall; corporate gifts are up 12.2%; and giving to environmental and arts organizations is on the rise. A deeper dive by Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ), however, points out that “giving overall is still down 8% in inflation-adjusted dollars” since 2007, and that “we appear to be setting a record for slowest recovery.” NPQ also looks at the effect of church foreclosures on religious giving, which remained flat in 2012.

In their own study of online giving, The Chronicle of Philanthropy (CoP) found that online donations were up 14%, and some nonprofits, like The American Lung Association, are getting nearly 30% of their gifts online.

CoP also reports that three major charity-monitoring groups—GuideStar, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Navigator—are collaborating on an effort to end “the overhead myth,” and convince donors that results are what matter when judging nonprofit strength.  (For more, see the official project site, and check out one ED’s tale of overhead myth horror, “Confessions of a Do-Gooder Who Starved an Organization.”)

Also in overhead news: Oregon sets a new spending standard for charities. 

The Tampa Bay Times continues to mine its investigation into America’s Worst Nonprofits with a look at the family ties linking a number of the nonprofit world’s biggest offenders

Transparency activist Carl Malamud is suing the IRS to make nonprofits easier for the public to scrutinize. The Washington Post’s Lydia DePillis explains the problems with, and proposals for, making 990s an effective tool for spotting fraud and abuse in the nonprofit sector. 

And in Congress: NPQ has highlights from a new Senate Finance Committee report listing potential changes in nonprofit regulation, and news on the latest emerging threat to the Community Development Block Grant program


Funding & Operations

The Guardian’s Voluntary Sector Network got expert recommendations for nonprofits looking to “get the most out of big and open data.” 

Philanthropy Journal hosts a blog post by the founder of The Pollination Project on their unique method of funding nonprofitsgiving away $1,000 a day, every day, to “individual social change visionaries.”

Stanford Social Innovation Review has a lively reality-check regarding the hard work of social enterprise, picking up the slack for conferences (like last October’s Social Enterprise World Forum in Brazil) that downplay the grind in favor of cheerleading and a kind of “collective hypnosis.”



The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute looks at changes in state unemployment insurance set to take effect July 1: the reasons for them, and the probable fallout for Georgia’s fragile economic recovery. 


Marketing & Communications

Nonprofit marketing expert (and friend of GCN) Kivi Leroux Miller has seven tips for crafting “real time” content drawn from her new book Content Marketing for Nonprofits.

Facebook finally introduces hashtags, long familiar to anyone who with a Twitter account, and easily the most #ubiquitous (and #addictive) #tagging #scheme in #social #media. John Haydon, aka The Nonprofit Facebook Guy, provides a primer on how nonprofits can take advantage

Forbes lets you in on what a hugely successful organ donor experiment on Facebook means for nonprofits on social media.

Future Fundraising Now shares a simple tool for ensuring that your fundraising copy is easy-to-read.



Kicking off a new weekly blog feature, “Findings Friday,” we looked at a new report from the Corporation for National & Community Service, Volunteering as a Path to Employment

Three ways to recap Nonprofit Summit 2013, GCN’s annual gathering of cause community professionals: in Tweets, photos, and front-line reporting.

The new issue of GCN’s member-exclusive magazine Georgia Nonprofit NOW is fresh off the presses—but you can already read the entire issue online, cover to cover, before it begins arriving in mailboxes across the state.


What nonprofit news item caught your eye last week? Share your links in the comments.

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