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In the News … (Part 2)

Good morning, DC region! We dedicated yesterday to the proposed federal budget; so today, we’re featuring some choice non-budget non-profit news items! As always, do let us know if you have anything to share.

It’s Not Candid Camera, It’s Random Culture — We’re just a touch late on sharing this NY Times article, but it’s definitely worth checking out. Funded by a “major initiative undertaken by the Knight Arts Program,” over 160 arts organizations have performed pop-up “random acts of culture” in their local communities. Imagine shopping for shoes and suddenly, an opera company appears to serenade you and the entire shoe-browsing crowd. The concept is simple, but really moving — and a great reminder of how live performance can bring anyone and everyone together. Have you tried this?

Nature Conservancy and Partners Restore Important Bird Migration — Not too far from here, “the Nature Conservancy, together with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and private landowners, have begun work on 418 acres of wetland and habitat restoration projects.” In yesterday’s announcement, the Nature Conservancy states that the Eastern Shore project should “help millions of birds find the rest and food they need … increase the quantity and quality of the surface and groundwater, a contribution essential for sustaining our agriculture and aquaculture-based economies.” Interested in learning about improving wild-life habitats and water sources near you? Check out our Nature non-profits!

A Place for Government in Social Innovation? – Do hop over to Social Velocity for an interview with Laura Tomasko, manager of the Public-Philanthropic Partnerships at the Council on Foundations. In light of the ongoing budget debates (and possibly-shifting role of the federal government in non-profit finances and oversight), her ideas are quite interesting: “People, organizations, and sectors all have strengths and limitations. Partnering affords an opportunity to merge skills and areas of expertise for the purpose of achieving a common goal. Like any institution, there are ways that government could improve. But I don’t believe that government needs to be reinvented to be a helpful partner in social innovation.” Do you agree?

Re-Booting Valentine’s Day for Good — To leap back to heart-shaped/heart-themed Monday, how do you feel about re-branding February 14th as “Generosity Day?” This potential holiday (the brainchild of Sasha Dichter of the Acumen Fund) would celebrate saying “YES to everything: to anyone who asks for help in any way. Let’s seek out opportunities to be as open and generous as we can be, because today is supposed to be about love — not just romantic love, but love for everyone.” And the idea took off via social media. Thinking about marking your calendar for Generosity Day 2012?

Also! In hyper-local news, we have extended the deadline for applications to the 2012 Catalogue to February 25 due to Presidents’ Day. Feel free to send any questions this way …

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