NPQ’s Week in Review | August 22 – August 26, 2011

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NPQ’s Week in Review

Good Morning! At NPQ, what moves you is what moves us. The 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.

SOCIAL INVESTMENT: Real or mirage? The arguments never cease and may be a bit higher-profile due to the questions about what social investment looks like in a recession. Two writers debated whether social investing is a “crock” or legit.  A New York Times reporter slighted corporate social responsibility as “small gestures.” Then again, one might legitimately question the concept of social investment when Kellogg Co., the corporate parent (and primary investment vehicle) of the Kellogg Foundation threatened to sue a Mayan archaeological group for using a toucan in its logo, claiming that it infringed on Kellogg’s Froot Loops mascot Toucan Sam.

KHAZEI, KHAZEI, KHAZEI: There’s no reason why nonprofit leaders might not want to consider their nonprofit experience as useful training for public office, but City Year founder Alan Khazei, making his second run for the U.S. Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy, seems to have made a couple of missteps that the press hasn’t missed. The Boston Globe (which endorsed Khazei last time around) told him to “admit his mistake” of hiring of his brother for celebrity promotional work at Khazei’s new nonprofit, Be the Change. We had already mentioned other stumbles by Khazei earlier this month. Let’s hope that the learning curve is such that Khazei isn’t in next week’s leading NPQ Newswire stories as well.

PROPERTY TAX UNEXEMPT: Illinois is in the lead again, this time denying property tax exemptions to three nominally nonprofit hospitals, raising questions about what the hospitals were doing that was all that charitable and why they had for-profits in their ownership chains. And this is not only a question about nonprofit hospitals. A Norfolk, Virginia columnist asked a similar question about all nonprofits: do their activities really warrant a property-tax exemption?

NONPROFIT AND FOUNDATION TRANSPARENCY:  We wonder which foundations might have contributed to the healthy buyout package that paid for the resignation of Philadelphia’s controversial superintendent of schools. And: should the nonprofit association that represents New Jersey cities and towns be permitted to resist calls for disclosure of its donors and finances given its 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) confidentiality protections? We sense a growing public demand to reduce the ability of some nonprofit players—especially those associated with public-sector entities—to wrap themselves in the cloak of nonprofit confidentiality.

 Readers’ Pick: THE Hottest article OF THE WEEK

altDoing More with More: Putting Shared Leadership Into Practice

In a beautiful lived example of partnership in action, this article about the power and challenges of deepening your leadership bench strength surged this week after the TCC Group blasted it out to their list. (Susan Misra, one of the authors of the article, works at the TCC Group.) It is a must-read, offering an inside view of organizations creating shared leadership models. Misra is joined by co-authors Michael Allison and Elissa Perry.


 iconic (clueless) moment of the week

Excruciatingly Dumb Idea Dept.: Kellogg Co. Threatens to Sue Mayan Group for Use of Toucan in Logo

This was the most-read newswire of the week. We can only guess the many reasons why. Because people hate corporate bullying, or are interested in Froot Loops or . . . because the idea of expropriating a bird native to the land that Mayans have inhabited for eons for exclusive use as a sugary breakfast cereal logo seems, well, very wrong. In any case, we hope that the coverage of this situation has made Kellogg reconsider its strategy.


 Trending Tweets of the week


Thanks to all you tweeters out there! You help us spread the word and we’re grateful for your engagement. Whether you passed along our analysis of the Inspector General’s review of the Social Investment Fund, or new research showing how and why subtly judging people can make them tune out your message, or the battle waged by young leaders against obesity, or anything else that caught your eye, your tweets helped to spread the news. Thanks for sharing! And if you don’t already, follow us on Twitter: @npquarterly.

Nonprofit tweeters, join the #NPQ10k! The race is on to help NPQ reach 10,000 Twitter followers, and our most active retweeters will be rewarded with a free subscription to the magazine. The contest has really heated up, and we are still encouraging followers to join in before it’s too late. Just 300 followers to go—will you be our top tweeter?


eharrisondotorgAug 27, 11:15am via HootSuite

Great piece by @npquarterly editors – Nonprofit Quarterly reviews Social Innovation Fund grantmaking process #npq10k


vantagepntAug 26, 2:32pm via TweetDeck

Serious implications here, peeps! RT @npquarterly: Study shows when we feel judged by an org we tune out their message.


facilitationproAug 26, 1:11pm via Web

Back at you @npquarterly. IMHO y’all offer some of the most insightful #NPO sector commentary around. #nonprofits should follow #FF #NPQ10K


amandakelly4Aug 26, 11:04am via Web

LOVE this! #FoodCorps RT @npquarterly Young leaders wage a battle against food ignorance & obesity…


 NPQ’s Contributor of the week

Dr. R. Ruth Linden

Dr. R. Ruth Linden is the author of Making Stories Making Selves: Feminist Reflections on the Holocaust but she is also a regular commenter on NPQ’s site and her comments always add value. This week she commented on a story about the exiting superintendent of schools in Philadelphia. If you search for her name on our website, you will see why we so value her as a reader contributor.



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.