The Weekly Balance Sheet: August 16

A list of the great articles I’ve read and tweeted from August 2 – August 15, 2010. This week’s topics include: Governance & Strategy; Trends in Philanthropy; Fundraising; Social Media & Internet; Jewish & Israel (Nonprofit) News; Economics & Finance; and Potpourri.

This week’s a doozy — a double because I didn’t post last week.  My parents, whom I only see four times a year, were visiting me from 6,000 miles away.  More family time, less blogging.

Tizku Lemitzvot,


Governance & Strategy

"Courtroom Detail" by darrenjsylvester“Nonprofit Law Jargon Buster – Ultra Vires Acts”
Author: Ellis Carter
Site: Charity Lawyer Blog
Comments: More great advice: Adhere to your by-laws or suffer the consequences.  It’s your best defense against a lawsuit.


  • “Five Internal Controls for the Very Small Nonprofit” on Blue Avocado.  FYI, Israel banks CAN enforce two signature rules. Link: (via @NonprofitSRQ)
  • “Watchdog: No Correlation Discernible between Exec Pay and Performance” Another proof of an already proven concept (ex: Jim Collens, “Good to Great”). Link:
  • “Using Contests to Drive Radical Innovation” When are contests the perfect tool for innovation? Exploring the X Prize. Link: (via @poptech @lblumenthal@mattsinclair@pndblog)
  • “Cut Your Losses from Programs to Generate Non-Dues Revenues” 11 things for a nonprofit to consider when signing endorsement/affinity arrangements. Link:

Trends in Philanthropy

“With Squeeze on Credit, Microlending Blossoms”
Author: Kristina Shevory
Site: New York Times
Comments: Taking a succesful program to a new market: Microlending blossoms in USA because of the recent credit squeeze


  • “The Rich Are Different from You and Me” Interesting experiment shows that it is the poor, not the rich, who are inclined to give charity. Link:


“Six Critical Things to Look For in a Foundation’s 990 For Successful Grant Funding!”
Author: Pamela Grow (@PamelaGrow)
Site: Pamela’s Grant Writing Blog
Via: Debra Beck (@npmaven)
Comments: By analyzing a foundation’s 990, a grantee can gleam helpful insights that will help them prepare the grant applications.


  • “Working with a Fundraising Firm” on eJewish Philanthropy. Hiring a fundraising firm? Better clarify your expectations. Link:
  • “Defining Our terms: Restricted” When is a donation considered restricted for specific purpose? A concise and helpful answer. Link: (via @NAFund)
  • “The Real Costs of Online Fundraising” The author says it best: “Come on, you know there’s no such thing as a free donation” Link: (via @eJPhil)
  • “Who Wants to Be a Billionare? I Don’t” Britain’s self-made rich are more philanthropy-focused than their inherited-wealth peers. Link: (via @eJPhil)
  • “Failing Wisely This Fundraising Season” A Pep rally blog post for the upcoming fundraising season. Link:

Social Media & Internet

“What Makes a Killer Social Media Press Release”
Author: Debra Askanase (@askdebra)
Site: Community Organizer 2.0
Comments: Whoa! Ton of great info, tips & thought on a successful Social Media Press Release.


  • “How the Jewish Agency Uses Twitter to Connect Meaningfully” The added value of Twitter over other social media platforms to connect to constituents. Link:
  • “4 “Ugly” Sites that Make Millions (and What We Can Learn from Them)” 4 great examples of the K-I-S-S Principle (Keep It Simple Stupid). Link: (via @CharlieKalech @GilR)
  • “Designing Social Media Engagement” by Debra Askanase. Simply uploading is not enough! Link:
  • “Twitter Cluelessness” by Guy Kawasaki. It’s always good to get back to the basics. 11 down-to-earth Twitter guidelines. Link:
  • “Lines Blur for Students in Digital Age” Very interesting: Kids growing up in the Internet-Free-Info age don’t comprehend intellectual property & plagiarism. Link:
  • “The Web’s New Goldmine: Your Secrets” When you visit the nation’s top 50 websites, an average of 64 trackers are installed on your computer. Link: (via @dovemerson @NoahWolfe @WSJ)

Jewish & Israel (Nonprofit) News

“Israeli Government Grants: The Broken Promised Land”
Author: Shuey Fogel
Site: The Nonprofit Banker
Comments: A look at the budgetary challenges that arise because grant monies from the Israeli Government are dispersed only after expenses are incurred.


  • “Investing in real estate more risky than stocks, study finds” Quite interesting as it is very contrary to popular belief. Link:
  • “Rabbi Rules Against Overdrawing Money” Rabbi rules against overdraft: Shouldn’t trample our moral values of charity and interest prohibition. Link:
  • “Can the Housing Crisis be Solved in Three Rooms?” Interesting analysis on Israeli housing market: Are 2 bedroom apartments too small 4 young couples? Link:
  • “The Story that the Bank of Israel Doesn’t Want Told” Israel banks won’t lower fees without true reform & that’s not going happen. Here’s why. Link:
  • “Wait for the Last Week of August and Save on Your Vacation” Avoid the Summer Rush: Israeli save 30% on tickets/hotels by vacationing late, btwn Aug 29 to Sep 2. Link:
  • “Mortgage Drops to Record Lows” In Israel, mortgage interest drops to record lows inticing investors to choose real estate. Link:
  • “Watchdog: Using Facebook Puts Banks and Clients At Risk” Bank watchdog warns banks & credit card companies that social networks involve potential dangers. Is the article evidence that this government official doesn’t get social media? Link:

Economics & Finance

"Harry" by Thomas Hawk“Double Dip? A Tipping Point May Be Near”
Author: Jeff Somer
Site: New York Times
Comments: Is America heading into another recession? Good analysis if the much-feared “Double-dip Recession” is on its way.


“6 Standout Job Interview Tips From A Professional Interviewer”
Author: Nettie Feldman
Site: JobMob
Via: @mominisrael @jacobshare
Comments: 6 tips that can make the difference between a “blah” and an “ah” interview.


  • “From the NYPD to JetBlue” The Right People vs Experience: Why JetBlue hires retired police & firefighters as flight attendants. Link: (via @vosizneias)
  • “A Hierarchy of Failure Worth Following” When is it ok to fail? Seth Godin gives 5 rules to live by. Link:
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