Nonprofit Newswire | July 16, 2009

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Using prizes to spur innovation
Jul 16, 2009; McKinsey Quarterly | This study examines how to best use the carrot and stick when seeking specific innovations in philanthropy.  Registration is required to read the full survey.  —James David Morgan

Grant Will Support National Organization on Disability’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative
Jul 9, 1993 | Disabled World | Give credit to the Walmart Foundation and the National Organization on Disability for Walmart’s $500,000 grant to NOD’s Emergency Preparedness Initiative.  The purpose of the Initiative is to ensure that the needs of disabled people are built into emergency preparedness plans.  Walmart’s experience as an effective deliverer of emergency assistance during Hurricane Katrina puts the foundation in a good position to know which populations are typically included and which have been omitted in disaster preparation planning. But information from other sources justify the grant:  “In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security’s Nationwide Plan Review revealed that no state or large metropolitan area had emergency plans in place to adequately address the needs of people with disabilities. In its assessment of disability issues in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, EPI’s team found that 85.7 percent of community-based service providers for senior citizens and people with disabilities did not know how to access the emergency management system before the disaster.”  Equally as important however is the tepid foundation support for people with disabilities in general.  According to Foundation Center grantmaker statistics, [PDF] only 2.7 percent of the grant dollars awarded by the top 1,000 or so foundations in 2007 were designated for people with disabilities.  Compare that [PDF] to generally over 3 percent for most years since 1998 and 4 percent of grant dollars in 2001.  The Disability Funders Network notes that “An estimated 20 percent of the U.S. population has a disability, making this the largest minority group in the nation. People with disabilities have the highest rate of unemployment, the highest rate of poverty and the lowest level of education of any minority group in the United States.”  Foundations ought to be delivering more of their capital to this truly diverse recipient population.  Rick Cohen

The Next Open Source Movement
Jul 16, 2009; Inside Higher Ed Thanks to the Kuali Foundation, Colorado State University and San Joaquin Delta College are now using open source financial systems.  The schools, which previously had to pay millions of dollars for proprietary software licenses, are now saving money hand over fist (participating colleges pay membership fees on a budget-based sliding scale, and no individual fee is more than $25,000), and are part of a community of experts, (colleges pledge to help other members on projects, sharing expertise as appropriate) – they’re no longer beholden to the dreaded Help Line.  —James David Morgan

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