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New report studies the changing nature of grantmaking

March 19, 2012

Grantmakers that have strategies in place for listening to and learning with grantees, are more likely to provide the types of support that grantmakers and grantees agree are essential to boosting nonprofit success, according to a new field study of grantmaker practices commissioned by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?: A National Study of Philanthropic Practice found a connection between stakeholder engagement practices and grantmakers making smarter decisions about what to do with their funds to better support grantees. Grantmakers that engaged their grantees and other stakeholders were more likely to offer multiyear, general operating and capacity-building support, the kinds of support that enable nonprofits to address the deep-rooted problems in their communities. For more information, and to read the full report, visit www.geofunders.org.



YWCA Canada releases bulletin exploring female homelessness

March 19, 2012

Warning that women and girls face increased risk of homelessness YWCA Canada has released a new bulletin called When There's No Place Like Home: A Snapshot of Women's Homelessness in Canada. The report paints a devastating portrait of the rise of women's homelessness in Canada and the reasons why women and girls find themselves without a safe place to live. Teenage girls make up one-third to half of homeless youth in urban centres and as many as 60% of homeless girls have been sexually abused. For more information, and for the full report, visit ywcacanada.ca. (PDF)



Fast Fact: Pinterest referral traffic eclipses Twitter for first time

March 19, 2012

If your organization isn't already on Pinterest, this just might make you reconsider: in February, referral traffic from Pinterest was higher than traffic from Twitter. Facebook is still at the top of the social media site referrals with 6.38%, followed by StumbleUpon at 1.29%, Pinterest at 1.05%, and Twitter at .82%. — Shareaholic



Lack of sleep makes Canadian workers less productive and impatient

March 15, 2012

According to a recent survey conducted by Leger Marketing, 84% of Canadians who lose sleep due to aches and pains say this makes them less productive and more easily distracted the next day. The survey also revealed that more than half (52%) say they can't concentrate as well, and nearly half (48%) admit to being less patient the next day. For more information visit: officeteam.rhi.mediaroom.com.



Cover letters still valuable in the hiring process, executives say

March 15, 2012

Think cover letters are passé when applying for a position? Think again, a new OfficeTeam survey suggests. More than three in four (78%) executives polled said cover letters are valuable when evaluating job candidates. In addition, 79% respondents indicated it's common to receive cover letters even when applicants submit resumes electronically. For more information visit: officeteam.rhi.mediaroom.com.



Most workers see playing office politics as necessary for getting ahead

March 15, 2012

Whether you're running for office or just working in one, it pays to be a good politician, a new Robert Half survey suggests as 71% of workers interviewed said involvement in office politics is at least somewhat necessary to get ahead. Only 9% of those interviewed didn't think office politics were at all necessary for moving up the ladder. For more information visit: rh-us.mediaroom.com.



Only three in ten Canadians expect to be fully retired by age 66

March 15, 2012

The retirement landscape in Canada is changing with only three in ten Canadians planning to be fully retired at age 66, according to Sun Life Financial's annual Canadian Unretirement™ Index. The index also found a growing trend of 48% of Canadians planning to phase in their retirement by working part-time or freelance, as concerns about having enough savings grow in today's economic climate. Among Canadians who expect to work past the traditional retirement age of 65, 61% say they are working because they need to and only 39% it is because they want to. For more information visit: www.sunlife.ca.



British Columbia introduces act allowing social enterprise companies

March 12, 2012

Changes to the British Columbia Business Corporations Act would allow for a new hybrid type of company, a community contribution company, that combines socially beneficial purposes with a restricted ability to distribute profits to shareholders. The changes were introduced in the legislature on March 5. Community contribution companies would be structured to combine both benefits to the community and limited investor returns within the context of a traditional for-profit company. These companies would allow an alternative business model not currently available through a regular business, whose primary focus is making money for shareholders, or a nonprofit society. For more information, visit www2.news.gov.bc.ca.



SickKids Foundation receives $40-million donation

March 12, 2012

A transformational gift of $40 million donated by philanthropist and business leader Peter Gilgan, founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes, was announced last week at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). The gift, which is the single largest private donation ever made to a children’s hospital in Canada, will support the construction and ongoing operating costs of the SickKids Centre for Research and Learning. For more information visit www.sickkidsfoundation.com.



Post-recession charitable pledges to hospitals slow

March 12, 2012

As the United States and Canada emerged from the recent recession, charitable pledges to nonprofit healthcare organizations slowed in fiscal year 2010. This and other findings were contained in two reports recently published by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) based on its survey of fundraising activities in both countries. The survey indicated that in the wake of the recession, health care philanthropy increased its reliance on cash-based fundraising. Besides annual giving and public support programs, there was an increase in donations coming from an array of special events such as golf tournaments, community runs or walks, fashion shows and dinners. For more information visit www.ahp.org.



Fast Fact: Mobile traffic jumps to 10.55% of all web traffic

March 12, 2012

A recent US report studying internet traffic during the last week of February 2012 found that mobile traffic represented an average of 10.55% of all web traffic over the one week period, a growth of 34.44% over levels measured in July of 2011. Breaking down mobile and personal computer (PC) web traffic patterns by the hour reveals further interesting behavioral patterns. Web traffic from mobile devices sees a sharp drop off overnight, and then gradually grows over waking hours in the US, finally peaking at the end of the EST day, generally between 8 and 10 p.m. The study saw an 18.33% share of mobile web use at the highest point in the study. PC web usage plays a distinct counterpart to its mobile partner, maxing out in an almost opposite time frame in the early hours of the morning, and at the most extreme making up almost 95% of all web use. — Chitika Insights



New report suggests charities need freedom to engage in business

March 12, 2012

Canadian law should permit charities to raise some funds for their missions through business income from both related and unrelated businesses, according to a report released today by the C.D. Howe Institute. In At the Crossroads: New Ideas for Charity Finance in Canada, authors Adam Aptowitzer and Benjamin Dachis find that, in the face of financing challenges, charities need the flexibility to finance their nonprofit activities through businesses governed by separate, arm's-length boards. For more information, and to read the full report, visit www.cdhowe.org.



Nonprofits struggling with limited resources for email marketing

March 12, 2012

Sage North America announced the results of its Sage Nonprofit Insights, Q4 2011, survey of US and Canadian nonprofit organizations, which focused on questions related to nonprofits' email marketing goals and objectives and use of email marketing tools. According to the survey, the most significant email marketing challenges for nonprofit organizations are growing and retaining contacts (38% of respondents), integrating email with other systems (38%), and integrating email with other tactics (38%). By far, the main barriers to overcoming email marketing challenges are inadequate resources and expertise (71% of respondents). For more information, and for the full results, visit www.sagenorthamerica.com. (PDF)



Report shows data breaches often result of human error or carelessness

March 12, 2012

Employee carelessness or malevolence is often the root cause of many data breaches, according to a new report, The Human Factor in Data Protection, from the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Trend Micro Inc. More than 78% of respondents blame employee behaviors, both intentional and accidental, for at least one data breach within their organizations over the past two years. The top three root causes of these data breaches are loss of a laptop or other mobile data-bearing devices (35%); third-party mishaps or flubs (32%); and system glitches (29%). For more information, and to view the full report, visit www.trendmicro.com.



Fast Fact: Volunteer rate rises in US in 2011

March 12, 2012

The volunteer rate rose by 0.5 percentage point to 26.8% for the year ending in September 2011, according to a recent report. The volunteer rate for women increased to 29.9%, while the volunteer rate for men, at 23.5%, changed little. By age, 35- to 44-year-olds and 45- to 54-year-olds were the most likely to volunteer (31.8 and 30.6%, respectively). As in earlier years, married persons volunteered at a higher rate (32.3%) in 2011 than did those who had never married (20.9%) and those with other marital statuses (21.5%). The volunteer rate of parents with children under age 18 (33.7%) remained higher than the rate for persons without children (24.1%). — US Bureau of Labor Statistics



Imagine Canada releases new report from National Summit

March 5, 2012

Imagine Canada has released a new report from the National Summit held late last year that includes outcomes and next steps for each of the priority areas covered at the event. Some work is already underway and the report also highlights ways that you can continue to be involved. Participants created more than 250 pages of raw data in the priority area sessions and more than 40 pages of comments from the evaluations, which was condensed into this 19-page document. For more information, and to read the full report, visit www.imaginecanada.ca. (PDF)



Volunteer Canada releases suite of tools to promote youth engagement

March 5, 2012

Canadian youth feel discriminated against because of their age while seeking and being assigned volunteer responsibilities, according to a voluntary sector research study. These core findings about youth, 15-24, were identified in Bridging the Gap, a report produced by Volunteer Canada in collaboration with Manulife Financial. The two partners teamed up with the Volunteer Action Centre of Kitchener-Waterloo to produce a suite of tools designed to support organizations in their efforts to effectively engage today's youth volunteers, as well as young Canadians seeking meaningful community involvement. The Youth Involvement Model is one of the main products and is intended for use by community-based volunteer centres. The model outlines the key relationships needed to develop a robust youth engagement program. For more information visit www.getvolunteering.ca.



Complete a survey on social finance

March 5, 2012

If you are keen to scale up your programs, increase impact, and access new forms of capital, you’ll want to know about the emerging world of social finance, an approach to capital markets investing that will expand the world of traditional support for nonprofits. Give Green Canada and SEE Change Magazine have created a survey that takes only minutes to complete and will help to gauge the level of awareness about these market-based solutions. Everyone who completes the survey will have a chance to win a copy of Impact Investing: Transforming How We Make Money by Making a Difference by Jed Emerson and Antony Bugg-Levine. For more information, and to complete the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com.



Fast Fact: US environmental grantmaking ignores grassroots, study finds

March 5, 2012

A new US study found that in environmental grantmaking, only 15% of funds go to poor communities, while just 11% supports grassroots groups and advocacy. Although US foundations give half of their environmental grantmaking dollars to organizations with budgets of $5 million or more, these organizations only make up 2% of the country's environmental nonprofits. — National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy



New website offers free board evaluation surveys and reports

March 5, 2012

A new website has launched as part of a university research initiative exploring what nonprofit board members see as the biggest challenges to board effectiveness. The Board Checkup website provides a free board performance self assessment instrument that can be sent to all of an organization's board members. Once members have filled out the survey, the organization receives two automatically generated instant feedback reports on how the board collectively sees itself. One report shows the score on nine key dimensions of board effectiveness and the other shows their responses for each of the 66 issues covered. Boards can complete the assessment up to three times so they can track their progress over time. For more information visit www.boardcheckup.com.