Category Archives: Storytelling

An Idea That Spreads: Intercontinental Ballistic Microfinance

I’ve written a number of times about the tension between logic and empathy. I think it is critical that the effective philanthropy movement recognize that while data is an important input to good decision making, it can also dampen the very emotions that drive giving. That’s why I think it is critical that high performing […]

GOOD Buys Jumo, Seeks Social Connective Tissue

Jumo is supposed to be Facebook for nonprofits. Founded by Facebook co-founder and chief digital organizer of the Obama 2008 campaign, Chris Hughes, Jumo launched with great fanfare and grant funding from the Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network and Knight Foundation. GOOD is a publishing and marketing company “for people who want to live well and […]

The “Power & Influence” of Social Media in Philanthropy

(Update: The Nonprofit Times emailed me to point out that I should have disclosed that I write for the Chronicle of Philanthropy when I wrote this post. They’re right, I should have. I write a monthly column for the Chronicle of Philanthropy.) The Nonprofit Times has released their annual Power & Influence Top 50 list […]

The Language of Philanthropy

I’m a self taught writer. I never wrote anything of note before launching this blog. I’d like to think that I’ve improved and I’m pleased that my brother, an award winning journalist for many years, grudgingly thinks I’ve learned a thing or two. I’m always appalled at the number of typos that end up in […]

What Can Junk Food Teach Philanthropy?

Recently I came across a fascinating article about an effort to brand baby carrots as “junk food”. From Fast Company Magazine: “Bolthouse Farms sells nearly a billion pounds of carrots a year… The company has been around for nearly a century now, but it boomed in the 1990s, with a breakthrough product… baby carrots were […]

Good Intentions vs. Good Results Part II

Saundra commented on my post about her anti-TOMS Shoes video from Friday: “I may occasionally put things too harshly, but it’s often because I’m one of the few people out there making noise. I’ve seen some extremely questionable donor advice out there and myths and misconceptions are commonly reinforced by the people that donors turn […]

Communicating Evidence to Drive Social Change

Many people tend to have a sense that things were better in the past. Yet most all data of social welfare show a strong positive trend over time. Take crime rates. Most of us tend to feel that the world is a more dangerous place than it use to be. But actual crime statistic show […]

VolunteerMatch Launches Cool Annual Report

You don’t often see the words “cool” and “annual report” in the same sentence. For the most part nonprofit annual reports are either “compliance documents” or highly polished brochures that donors flip through and then put in the recycling. But a few nonprofits have been playing with new formats for annual reports that help donors […]

All Donors Care About Impact

In my post on Tuesday, I discussed a study that seemed to suggest that donors are not interested in information about whether nonprofits are any good at what they do. My conclusion was that donors are interested in this sort of information, but only if it is presented in an engaging way. In other words, […]

Jacob Harold on Whether Donors Care

Jacob Harold is the program officer at the Hewlett Foundation who manages the foundation’s philanthropy program along with president Paul Brest. The program is one of the very few foundation funded efforts to support the field of philanthropy. The goals of the program are to: Increase and improve information available to donors about nonprofit performance […]