Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Recommended Reading

Information for Impact

The possibilities for change that opening 990 data would unleash. This in-depth report from The Aspen Institute, written by Beth Noveck and Danny Goroff, puts forth numerous possibilities if we had machine-readable, open access to 990 data. It moves the social sector out of its old discussion about the shortcomings of the 990 and puts the sector in the middle of the more interesting reality of open data, new behaviors, data mashups, and the hidden information that is already being collected (investment information, board members). It ties in nicely with discussions about transparency and oversight, while also raising important questions about what the IRS can and cannot do well, how these efforts might help State Attorneys General, and what the public can do with this information.

Trendwatching 2013 - Center for the Future of Museums

What do 3D printing, demographic changes, and MOOCs have in common? They all matter to the future of museums. This is the second annual Trendwatching report from the Center and is well worth a read. The key trends matter to nonprofit organizations beyond museums, and the writing is quick, adept and easily transferable to other settings.

Democracy and Philanthropy

Philanthropy and the Regeneration of Community Democracy tells the story of one foundation's role, over decades, in several key local challenges. This is more than a foundation funding civic engagement or hosting neutral gatherings. It's a point of view about the meaning and purpose of both philanthropy and communities. Written by Peter Pennekamp and Anne Focke, and sponsored by The Kettering Foundation, this report offers a perspective that deserves careful consideration by many kinds of community organizations, not just community foundations.

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