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In The News…

Arts Nonprofit Launches Crowdfunding Website For Local Projects (Bethesda Now) – The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) launched a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding platform last Wednesday in a campaign to gain more donors who will actively be able to see the difference that they are making. The site, called, features 21 community-based programs that are seeking up to $7,000 in funding. “This is an opportunity for us to find people who really can’t give that much,” said Erin Gifford, an Imagination Stage marketing associate. “This is a very big thing on social media and we find there’s a lot of younger people on social media who probably don’t have as much accessible income to give us.” With this effort, every dollars counts, and like Kickstarter, donors can enjoy certain prizes and benefits based on the amount of their gift.

The Overhead Myth (The Nonprofit Quarterly) – A recently published letter by Art Taylor of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Jacob Harold of GuideStar, and Ken Berger of Charity Navigator is drawing a lot of attention in the philanthropic community. Entitled “The Overhead Myth,” the letter urges donors to not just analyze a nonprofit’s “overhead”- or charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costs- when deciding where to donate. The letter argues that while for some organizations, this ratio of donations to administrative costs can be used as reasoning to not donate (the recent Susan G. Komen scandal comes to mind), for most charities, these overhead costs are crucial to nonprofit improvement, advancement, and sustainability. The Nonprofit Quarterly, one of the many philanthropic journals featuring the letter, said in an editor’s note, “The NPQ is proud to highlight this important letter from GuideStar, Charity Navigator and the Wise Giving Alliance calling for an end to the obsession many have had with nonprofit overhead costs as a proxy for measuring effectiveness BUT for the letter to be effective it is important that people share it in every way they can.”

Fannie Mae’s Rosie Allen-Herring tapped to lead United Way of the National Capital Area (Washington Business Journal) Rosie Allen-Herring, Fannie Mae veteran employee, has recently been selected to lead the UWNCA with the upcoming retirement of Bill Hanbury, current CEO. Ted Davies, incoming Chair of the United Way of the National Capital Area Board of Directors, said the Allen-Herring was “extremely passionate about the success of the organization, but in a confident, humble way.” This news comes the same week that Diana Leon Taylor, founder of SageGroup-DC Consulting, LLC and special adviser on Haitian affairs to the State Department and White House, was selected out a national search to become the new president and CEO of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. Both women bring with them business savvy and commitment to the local community. This could be the beginning of a new trend in the nonprofit sphere according to a report by the Nonprofit Center; while more than 70% of nonprofit employees are women, a majority of men still hold leadership positions.

New Ownership

Last week, we linked to several lessons on philanthropic work offered up by Katie Couric of ABC News and Ann Friedman of the SEED Foundation (among other women leaders) in The Atlantic. This week, MSNBC reports that “Women exert new influence on philanthropy:”

“Women are taking ownership,” said Andrea Pactor, associate director of the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University, which has found that female-headed households are more likely to give to charity than male-headed households; and that in nearly all income groups women give more than men.

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