Author Archives: Peter Panepento
February 8, 2011, 4:26 pm
The group-buying Web site Groupon raised the hackles of many people in the nonprofit world with a pair of commercials that aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl.
To put the ads in context, we offer the following guest post from Joe Waters, director of cause and event marketing at Boston Medical Center, who writes the blog Selfish Giving and is co-author of the forthcoming book Cause Marketing for Dummies.
By Joe Waters
Enough people have registered their opinion to confirm this deal-breaker for everyone: Groupon’s Superbowl ads Sunday night were ill-conceived and offensive. Good will earned from this promotion: 0%.
Groupon should have apologized (it hasn’t), pulled the ads (saw one last night), fired its ad agency (standing shoulder to shoulder), and donated a boatload of money to the causes it…
July 8, 2010, 3:41 pm
Charity has gotten tangled into a controversy over ESPN’s decision to give an hour of its programming schedule on Thursday to LeBron James, the NBA star who used the network’s airwaves to announce that he will jion the Miami Heat next season.
As part of the deal, ESPN agreed to donate the proceeds of all of the advertising sales for the show to Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Many in the media world are decrying the event, saying that it hurts ESPN’s journalistic credibility.
Mitch Albom, who is also the author of Tuesdays With Morrie, is especially critical of the decision.
And Mr. Albom writes on a Detroit Free Press blog that the donation only adds to the absurdity of the event.
“A prime-time event? To announce a free-agent signing? And don’t point out that some proceeds go to charity. You want to give to charity, quietly write a check. Don’t get a network to do it for you so it gets…
June 30, 2010, 4:00 pm
At midnight tonight, the basketball star LeBron James will become one of the most sought-after athletes in history.
Mr. James, already a global superstar for the Cleveland Cavaliers, is expected to receive offers from NBA franchises in Chicago, Cleveland, Miami, New York and Los Angeles.
And much of the sports world is waiting anxiously to see where he chooses to play next season.
In the event that Mr. James’s decision is motivated not just by money, fame, or the prospect of winning an NBA title, a real-estate company is appealing to his sense of charity as he attempts to choose from an array of lucrative offers.
Halstead Property, a real-estate company in New York, has put together a slick video that offers Mr. James a sweetener should he choose to sign with the New York Knicks.
“We are so taken by LeBron’s philanthropic efforts and community outreach that we will donate our full…
June 30, 2010, 9:30 am
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of the social-networking site Facebook, has helped change the way people interact online. But can he change the world?
In a recent interview on the blog Inside Facebook, Mr. Zuckerberg explains why he believes companies like Facebook are better equipped to tackle society’s problems than nonprofit groups.
“I think building a company is the best way to change the world, because it’s the best way to align the interests of a lot of smart people and a lot of partners to build something that’s great and that serves people,” Mr. Zuckerberg said in the interview. “You can’t do that if you’re an individual because it’s just you and there’s no one to align, and you can’t do it if you’re a nonprofit because you have no resources and you’re constantly out trying to raise money instead of generating it and being self-sufficient.”
Another Facebook founder has been in the…
June 2, 2010, 1:00 pm
What book about social good is the first one you mention to new employees, colleagues, or donors?
We recently asked our readers and social-network followers that question as part of The Chronicle‘s effort to build what we’re calling the Ultimate Philanthropy bookshelf.
Later this summer, we’ll publish the results for everybody to see.
And, given the volume of nominations, selecting the final list will be a difficult process.
Give & Take readers have contributed to a discussion that has extended onto Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
It has also extended onto other Web sites. Sean Stannard-Stockton, The Chronicle columnist and author of the blog Tactical Philanthropy, recently outlined his personal list of favorites.
May 24, 2010, 6:47 pm
If you were to give one book to an aspiring nonprofit leader, board member, or donor, what would it be?
Ever since it was founded in 1988, The Chronicle has been publishing summaries of notable new books about the nonprofit world.
The sheer number of those book announcements would surprise even the best-read nonprofit leader.
So we’re asking for your help in wading through the stacks to find the very best—and we’re going to rely on social networks to help us do it.
We’ve started discussions on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to collect your nominations for what should be included in the ultimate philanthropy bookshelf. We’ll collect those submissions and from them, we’ll create a new Web feature that spotlights your favorites.
To follow the conversation on Twitter, simply search for the hashtag #philanthropybooks.
If you don’t want to limit your submissions to 140 characters, please…
February 11, 2010, 10:00 am
Celebrities such as Britney Spears, Kanye West, and 50 Cent have huge followings for their Twitter feeds and Facebook fan pages.
But followers shouldn’t expect that they’re hearing directly from these entertainers when they’re following their Tweets or reading their blogs because they’ve hired ghostwriters.
Many nonprofit leaders might be tempted to follow a similar course with their own Twitter feeds and blogs.
While a social-media presence is increasingly important for nonprofit groups that are looking to expand their reach, most nonprofit leaders have little time to Tweet or blog.
As a result, it would be easy to farm the task out to an eager intern or volunteer who is willing to channel a top executive’s thoughts in social networks.
But Beth Kanter, the chief executive of the marketing company Zoetica Media, advises nonprofit leaders to avoid ghostwriting on Beth’s Blog.
December 2, 2009, 11:00 am
- The nonprofit world needs a better way of classifying charities that use volunteers, designating them based on how often and how well they engage people who donate their time, writes Aaron Hurst, president of the Taproot Foundation, on the group’s blog.
- Several bloggers are commending Charity Navigator’s president Ken Berger for signing on to a press release along with GiveWell, GreatNonprofits, GuideStar, and Philanthropedia that describes the limitations of assessing charities based on how much they spend on overhead. Holden Karnofsky, of GiveWell, a group that evaluates charities, says Mr. Berger’s move is more than just “talk.” But if a new evaluation methodology that Charity Navigator is developing has lots of flaws, “you’ll hear about them,” writes Mr. Karnofsky.
- If you’re a “nonprofit nerd” who loves the charitable world and is a bit of an introvert, then the…
December 1, 2009, 12:04 pm
- Is a “stock exchange” for charities a viable idea? Robert Frank, a senior writer with The Wall Street Journal, raises this question and looks at the Social Impact Exchange, a new online forum that allows donors to support high-performing charities. Read The Chronicle’s article about the forum.
- On a Harvard Business blog, Dan Pallotta, author of Uncharitable, responds to criticisms of his ideas about how to improve the nonprofit world. Mr. Pallotta, a former fund raiser, says that charities are constrained by “irrational” rules that discourage risk-taking, high salaries, and large-scale marketing efforts. Read The Chronicle’s profile of Mr. Pallotta.
- While being a nonprofit board member is a rewarding experience, it is as demanding as any full-time job and requires some knowledge of charity finances, writes Don Reynolds, an investment adviser, in the Fort Worth Business…
November 24, 2009, 11:15 am
The economy has forced many nonprofit groups to cut expenses, lay off employees, or dip into their reserves.
But it hasn’t stopped many from feeling thankful this week.
In fact, quite a few charities are using Thanksgiving as an occasion to offer thanks to their supporters, volunteers, and donors.
The Chronicle has started the hashtag #nonprofitthanks on Twitter to help draw attention to the Thanksgiving messages being shared this week by nonprofit groups.
We invite you to jump into the conversation that is unfolding on Twitter — and to post your Thanksgiving thoughts in the comments area below.
And while we’re at it, we’d like to give thanks to all of you who take the time to follow this blog, subscribe to the Chronicle, and who spread the word about what we’re doing. We couldn’t do this without you.