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News & Events | 3 December 2012 | Holiday Reading, Overhead Ratios, and #GivingTuesday

December 3, 2012

Using Failure

The Power of Failure: This week’s Fixes piece focuses on the fascinating and important question of how non-profits and philanthropists can best learn from their own and one another’s failures.  Building a culture where admission of failure is encouraged rather than punished is itself a major challenge.

Holiday Reading List

Post-Secondary Access and Success: Two additions to our holiday reading wishlist on post-secondary access and success are Penn Graduate School of Education Laura Perna’s Preparing Today’s Students for Tomorrow’s Jobs in Metropolitan America and Mandy Savich-Romer and Suzanne Bouffard’s book, Ready, Willing and Able:  A developmental approach to College Access and Success, noted in recent Edweek article on the importance of “soft skills” and resilience in college persistence.

Evaluating Nonprofits

Commercial Charity Fundraisers and the Bite They Take: Nonprofit Quarterly takes issue with an LA Times oped expressing concern over charities using for profit third-party companies for fundraising. NPQ points out something we at the Center have observed as well: that while there is certainly a need for transparency in nonprofit reporting, measures such as overhead ratios do not tell the whole story.


A Day to Give, not Spend: Wharton professors who look at individual giving and effective marketing strategy as well as the Center’s executive director comment on “the antidote to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.”

Harnessing the Generosity of the American People: The State Department’s Global Philanthropy Working Group (of which the Center is a member) marked #GivingTuesday by celebrating the long tradition of American generosity in supporting communities at home and abroad.

More Charities Report Fundraising Boost From #GivingTuesday: The Chronicle of Philanthropy blog takes a look at how charities fared during the inaugural #GivingTuesday last week, and initial reports include many success stories with Blackbaud and Network for Good reporting more than 50% increases in donations.

Interview with Susan Wolf Ditkoff on “Conversations with Remarkable People”: Our program manager Autumn Walden talks with Susan Wolf Ditkoff of The Bridgespan Group about their exciting new video project “Conversations with Remarkable Givers,” which provides an inside look at philanthropists’ journeys and was launched on #GivingTuesday.

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