NPQ’s Week in Review | August 1 – August 5, 2011

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NPQ’s Week in Review

Good Morning! At NPQ, what moves you is what moves us. This Week in Review highlights what our readers nominate as their favorite content and what they share with us and the community in the form of tweets, comments, contributed articles, and newswires.

But first take a look at what you might have missed last week in some of the major news stories covered in NPQ.

FAITH-BASED ACTIVISM:  The past week’s Newswires came across a slew of faith-based groups providing services or taking advocacy positions:  a church-sponsored day camp for migrant families’ kids in Florida, changes in the ranching activities at the Assumption Abbey in North Dakota, the Catholic Church declaring Alabama’s new immigration law “unholy”, and the Detroit Archdiocese’s discount sale of the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington DC.  It all goes to show that a lot of “nonprofit” activity in the nation is faith-based activity, with local and national policy implications, even down to the level of municipal zoning decisions in Newport Village, New York.

POLITICAL ACTIVISM:  How could it be otherwise, as the debt ceiling debate slogs to an end, the stock market tumbles, and the nation remembers a bevy of candidates imagining themselves in the White House.  Americans Elect is trying to create a new nonpartisan path in national politics, but highly partisan SuperPACs and 501(c)(4)s are replicating like rabbits.  We took pains to note that both political parties are taking advantage of these new structures for special interest money in politics.  Like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert on TV, the best commentary on the nation’s political shenanigans seems to be found in The Onion

GOVERNMENTAL OVERSIGHT ACTIVISM:  What happens in New York State regarding nonprofit oversight and regulation doesn’t stay in New York.  Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of a state commission to review the salaries of nonprofit vendor staff is destined to reverberate around the nation.  Governor Cuomo was ticked to learn about the large and very large salaries paid to some senior administrators at various state-contractors in the field of services to the disabled.  Combined with Senator Grassley’s revived interest in regulating their off-shore investments, might this be a revival of  state governments and maybe federal as well emphasizing nonprofit probity?

Readers Pick. Hottest hitting article OF THE WEEK.

Stars fallingCoaching as a Capacity Building Tool: An Interview with Bill Ryan

This well-read interview with Bill Ryan, well known co-author of Governance as Leadership, zeros in on the practice and uses of coaching in developing your workforce at all levels. The interview draws on a study he did for the Haas, Jr. Fund and is a useful, practical and thought provoking description of what coaching is and how its use in the nonprofit world contrasts to its use in business. Re-tweeted many times and with some great comments, the article comes to you recommended by many thousands of NPQ readers.


ripple OF THE WEEK.

Where is Rural Philanthropy Heading and Where is the World are its Partners on the Journey?

Rick Cohen has written a good deal about rural philanthropy over the past decade or more. His most recent article summarizing the Conversation at the Council on Foundations Rural Philanthropy conference has been passed around a lot in every possible venue. Below see one example from the Michigan Rural Network:

Earlier this week, the Council on Foundations convened the third Rural Philanthropy Conference in Kansas City, Missouri.  While Michigan Rural Network was not able to attend in person, we have been following the conversations arising out of the conference.  But from those not currently involved in this field, I usually get the question “What is rural philanthropy and why should I care?”  Well, Rick Cohen just answered those questions in his recent piece for the Nonprofit Quarterly entitled “Where Is Rural Philanthropy Heading and Where in the World are its Partners on the Journey?”   It’s a terrific summary and I encourage you to take a few moments to read it.

This is quite timely for us in the Michigan Rural Network as we just launched a work group dedicated to rural philanthropy.  Over the past three months, we have been whittling away at an idea of how we envision rural philanthropy in Michigan.  You are invited to read our concept paper outlining those ideas.  We will be working in partnership with the Council of Michigan Foundations to examine how to best build capacity in Community Foundations.  We think that rural philanthropy can indeed be a tool for economic development in those communities who choose to utilize it.  How about you…what do you think?

Trending Tweets of the week.


Thanks for all you tweeters out there. You help us spread the word and we’re grateful for your engagement. From the 10 craziest state legislatures to the age-old question of whether nonprofits should charge for their services and more, your tweets helped to spread the news. Thanks for sharing! And if you don’t already, follow us on Twitter: @npquarterly.

ipearsonAug 03, 5:56pm via Web

@timfalconer @BrianBanks @npquarterly So they’re saying to the Farewell Foundation: “Curb Your Euthanasia”

buttsintheseatsAug 04, 3:14pm via Web

Start of precedent? RT @npquarterly NY’s nonprofit CEOs will be getting a gubernatorial performance and paycheck review

TonyMartignettiAug 03, 3:35pm via HootSuite

RT @npquarterly: Rogue rabbis, 196 nonprofits and money laundering all under one roof in Brooklyn? Something is fishy…

Philintell11:23am via HootSuite

“Philanthropy is my Fourth Child” says Indian billionaire investor. Pledges 25% to nonprofits via @npquarterly

NPQ’s Contributors of the week.

Richard Magat

Richard Magat is our contributor of the week with his “Sometimes an Offbeat Grant Request is Right on Target” contribution to our Voices in the field series. As is true with many of the contributions to this series, the article is a personal reflection, in this case about grant making and the need for both grantors and grantees to pay attention. Magat who has decades of experience as a funder says that it is often the oddest grant request that ends up being most interesting. From the editor in chief’s point of view, Richard Magat, now 84, is one of those sharply incisive but gentle souls that we are all blessed to meet from time to time in this work. The first time I met him it was at a fancy confab – he looked at my name tag and commented, “Wow! They let you in here?” We were pleased as punch to be inhabiting the same editorial space with him this past week.


Got a Tip for Us? We Need Your Voice Here

Did we miss something this week? What do you want to see us cover next week? Be our eyes and ears on the ground. Don’t hold back. Let us have it. And we’ll put it right here. Just let us know if you want it to be confidential.