Nonprofit Newswire | August 5, 2009

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The ‘Red Tory’ Phillip Blond has a point about the decline of social cohesion
Jul 31, 2009; Third Sector UK | Do we have any “Red Republicans”?  Don’t think so.  But this Tory seems to be intent on a Teddy Roosevelt-kind of Attack on statitism, materialism, and monopoly capitalism.  According to a Third Sector editorialist, the Red Tory suggests “vertical lines” between the citizen and state have undone “horizontal lines” that once bound people and communities together.  He contends people look to the state when they used to turn to each other for assistance.  Red?  Libertarian?  But there may be something here for nonprofits in the U.S. to consider, whether the scrum to get federal support and, in the case of some programs, federal government imprimaturs, contain the seeds of undoing some of the non-governmental community-building roles of the nonprofit sector.  —Rick Cohen

This Ad Cost Nothing
Jul 22, 2009; Osocio | Local businesses in Portland, Maine, banded together to support a cost-free ad campaign for the Salvation Army.  The message – that the organization spends money on their programs, not ads – was linked to a website where they collected donations.  Are you leveraging in-kind donations of this variety for your organization?  —James David Morgan

Student group, nonprofit part ways
Aug 3, 2009; The Wichita Eagle | Who provides support to public school kids organizing to protect their interests (like issues of protections and programs for kids regardless of sexual orientation or policies governing police or guards’ use of tasers, etc.)?  In Wichita, KS, it is a group called Students United which had been the youth advocacy arm of Hope Street Youth Development.  But Hope Street is short on capital and has decided to separate from Students United in order to focus on strengthening its educational programming and services.  A local neighborhood advocacy group, Sunflower Community Action, has agreed to pick up and absorb Students United.  This story is interesting in a couple of ways.  One is that it reminds us that kids in schools have rights and interests that sometimes benefit from organizing and advocacy (this author was once fired from his position as a youth organizer in a public school system in Massachusetts—the day before he officially started work—because he thought high school students shouldn’t have been excluded from a school board hearing discussing certain school issues the kids were concerned about).  The other interesting thing is that both Hope Street and Sunflower are members of National People’s Action, an organizing network that we haven’t discussed much (at all?) in the pages of the Quarterly.  The National People’s Action website lists the network members, including Organizing Neighborhood Equity in DC (which was profiled in the pages of the Quarterly some issue ago) and other well known and effective organizing groups such as the Northwest Bronx Community Clergy Coalition, Good Old Lower East Side, and the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group.  NPA is affiliated with the National Training and Information Center (NTIC), which many of us remember for having been founded by the indomitable Gail Cincotta, whose pioneering work fighting to give poor people and minorities access to mortgages led many to credit her for being the “mother of the Community Reinvestment Act”.  Currently on the NTIC board are the co-founder of the organization, Shel Trapp, longtime reinvestment researcher and advocate Cal Bradford, one of the top Neighborhood Housing Services directors in the nation, Bruce Gottschalk, and asset-based community development theorist John McKnight, among others.  —Rick Cohen

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