Best Links: Oxfam and the 1%, Volunteers, Reporting Results

Chart showing results of the latest Oxfam study about income inequality.
Infographic from Oxfam's recent report about income inequality. Oxfam

Best Links is back! I come across so much information each day about the nonprofit sector, and I cannot find enough ways to use it all. So, Best Links rounds up some of the most interesting tidbits and serves them up in this haphazardly scheduled list. 

Can’t Miss Nonprofit News

Oxfam Strikes Again!

Oxfam, the leading charity in the fight against global poverty, chose the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and the run-up to the meeting of world leaders in Davos, to release its newest poverty report.

And it is a whopper. 

Oxfam, using data from Credit Suisse, calculates that the wealthiest 62 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population.

This is a fascinating report and one that does not let many of us off the hook. We may not be in the 1%, but we could easily be in the top 10%. The fact is that wealth is increasingly concentrated at the top while the many at the bottom continue to lose ground.  

This story is everywhere, but I particularly liked the one on BBC News. Also, see the Oxfam Press Release and the full report,  An Economy for the 1%  For the opposing view, check out Forbes We've Already Solved Oxfam's Little Inequality Problem.

Charity Navigator Pauses March to Requiring Nonprofits to Show Impact

Charity Navigator ran into fierce backlash from the nonprofits it evaluates when it decided to launch CN 3.0.

The new system was to add results to its system for rating charities.

Then the org’s longtime CEO left, a new hire was made, and now the project is on hold.  The reason?  Because most charities just don’t have that information.

The fact is that measuring results in the nonprofit arena is hard. Moreover, there isn’t yet a standardized system for that measurement and reporting.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has an excellent article about CN and its plans

The Latest on Volunteering

Is it time for doctors to prescribe volunteering? That is what an article from the Guardian asked when it reported on some research out of the Harvard School of Public Health. That research backs up our hunch that volunteers are just healthier. 

For instance, people who volunteer spend 38% less time in the hospital and they participate in more health screenings. Plus mortality rates for volunteers are lower by 24-47% than for people who do not volunteer. All of these stats apply to Americans over the age of 50.

Brains may benefit from volunteering too, reports the Alzheimer's Prevention BulletinA study by the  Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on older adults working in a tutoring program (ExperienceCorps) in Baltimore schools found that “memory centers” in volunteers’ brains maintained or grew larger after two years in the program.

However, other research suggests that one’s motive for volunteering is important and could cancel out health benefits.

In an article in The Atlantic, one researcher “found that people who volunteered for ‘self-oriented’ motives like ‘I need to get away from my problems’ had a mortality risk that was similar to non-volunteers...Only the people who were doing it for more outward reasons–compassion for others–had reduced rates of mortality.”

Another survey, Giving and Getting Back: Volunteering in America found that volunteering is great for one’s social life. You could say that it is the Match.com of the nonprofit world. 

A press release about the survey (by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society) said, “…80 percent of those who have volunteered in the past year would be more willing to date a person they met volunteering than through an online dating site…”

Communications and Fundraising

You do not want to miss the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report from the Nonprofit Communications Guide.  The report reveals all, from what channels nonprofits are using to what excites and worries them the most.  An excellent way to compare your own practices with the rest of the field.

Jeff Brooks makes the case for “blatant, corny, and soupy” fundraising copy in Why is your fundraising so unemotional?

Bloomerang suggests you steward your donors with these 6 Quick, Cheap and Easy Ways to Delight Your Donors

A Free Webinar

Network for Good will host Derrick Feldmann on Feb 3rd to discuss his new book, Social Movements for Good: How Companies and Causes Create Viral Change. If you are feeling a little behind the times, sign up for this webinar. It promises much info about how to reach a “new generation” of supporters. Here's the info