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nonprofit capital campaigns

10 Great Social Innovation Reads: June 2012

I’m a little late getting the June 10 Great Reads list out this month because I was on vacation. But June didn’t disappoint, with some great articles that make us think about things in new ways, from how philanthropists fund, to how “nonprofit” is defined, to how homelessness and food insecurity can be solved, to how Millennials give and much more.

Below are my ten picks of the best reads in social innovation in June, but please add what I missed in the comments. If you want to see more than just this list of 10, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest. And if you want to read 10 Great Reads lists from past months, go here.

  1. A new debate raged on the “old” topic of defining the nonprofit sector. Phil Buchanan at the Center for Effective Philanthropy started it off with this 6-part series on articulating the value of the nonprofit sector. And along the same lines, Mark Hecker at the UnSectored blog wrote this really thought-provoking piece about the language of social good.

  2. From The Atlantic comes a great article about the enormous opportunity of impact investment, “How Financial Innovation Can Save the World.”

  3. The on-going drumbeat to get nonprofits to advocate for their own sector in Congress gets louder with “Nonprofits Missing From Big Battles (in Congress)” and a united movement among San Francisco nonprofits to push for more city funding.

  4. David Henderson is easily one of the greatest thinkers in the social sector space and he takes issue with a new app designed to “solve” homelessness. His post really begs the question, “To What End?”

  5. Always at the ready with fantastic financial tools for the nonprofit sector, the Nonprofit Finance Fund releases a list of Top 10 Finance Essentials for nonprofits and, not to forget that the philanthropy that funds nonprofits also needs to change, they also have a list for nonprofit funders.

  6. In The Washington Post, Sarah Kliff explores new experiments and studies about how to solve urban food deserts.

  7. As a mother of two young boys I agree there is definitely something to emulating how kids play, as Philip Auerswald argues at the Harvard Business Review blog: To Innovate, Play with Pieces Off the Game Board

  8. The third annual Millennial Impact Report, about how the millennial generation connects with nonprofits, was released and lots of people had things to say about the data, including 3 New Truths About Millennials and How Millennials Connect, Involve and Give.

  9. At the Center for High Impact Philanthropy blog Jen Landres describes how philanthropists can have much greater impact by being “unsexy” in their giving.

  10. Decrying the over-emphasis on capital campaigns in the arts world, Rebecca Thomas and Rodney Christopher argue that “scores of organizations jeopardize the long-term vibrancy of their programs because they focus on getting the building built rather than having a healthy organization inside it.” Amen to that!

Photo Credit: Frank Starmer

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