Tuesday, November 30, 2004
B2P, Microsoft developing tools for nonprofit accounting, donor-management.
By Todd Cohen
Chicago-based B2P Commerce has teamed up with Microsoft to develop a nonprofit application for new small-business-management solutions Microsoft is developing for its Microsoft Office software.
B2P also will integrate its software designed to let nonprofits manage contacts with donors into new contact-management software Microsoft is developing for small businesses.
The new applications will be available in fall 2005, targeted to small and mid-sized nonprofits and priced at about $1,500, said Jay Stocki, vice president of business development at B2P.
B2P, which previously teamed up with Intuit to develop a nonprofit application for its QuickBooks accounting software used by small businesses, will develop a similar application for Microsoft's new small-business accounting software that will be geared to the fund-accounting rules nonprofits must use, Stocki said.
The application will be designed to let nonprofits meet reporting requirements set by the Federal Accounting Standards Board, and also track grants, allocate expenses, handle budgeting and spending for programs, and manage general finances, he said.
B2P also will develop a nonprofit contact-management application for Microsoft's new small-business Outlook software that will be geared to nonprofits' needs to track and communicate with donors based on their donation history and charitable interests.
Monday, November 29, 2004
【明報專訊】水門案後對美國中情局活動的調查，揭露了中情局為伸張美國外交目標而在他國暗地從事 的政治活動詳情，包括秘密資助一些符合美國利益的個人、政黨和非政府組織，以及捐輸金錢去對抗一些被理解為反美的活動，卡特總統後來下令禁止中情局這類活 動。但列根上台後情又有變化。列根為加強海外情報活動能力而任命的顧問小組，建議重振在海外的秘密政治活動﹔由於國會和民意可能反對再重用中情局執行這 類任務，小組提出可交由與中情局沒表面關係的「非政府組織」負責，最後促成了全國民主基金會(NED)在1983年的誕生。
據 國會通過的法案，NED是個「非牟利、非政府、提供捐助的組織，以加強全球民主建制」，但它其實是個半官方機構，在94年前基本上全靠國會撥款﹔94年 後，它同時接受私人捐助作為國會撥款以外的「幫補」。NED的財政預算中，有三成是直接用於撥給外國組織，有關工夫主要透過4個「核心組織」執行，包括國 際共和黨機構(IRI)、全國民主黨國際事務機構(NDI)、國際私人企業中心(CIPE)和自由工會機構(FTUI)。
NED提供財力 和顧問支援，以多種方式支持外國政黨、競選團、工會、學生團體、媒體等，另NED也給美國FreedomHouse撥款「推動世界自由」。在亞洲，獲 NED資助的組織有20多個，約一半是針對中國。NED目前在中國的活動可分為兩類﹕一是獲中方接受的，如協助訓練村官員搞農村選舉等﹔一是被美國視為恰 當但被中方視為干涉內政的，包括支持異見人士和西藏流亡人士。首類活動主要靠跟NED有關甚至獲其資助的組織的員工進行，第二類則是藉NED離岸辦公室 從事。97年前NED在港設有這樣的辦公室，97後遷到澳洲。
90年代中有人質疑東歐變天後是 否還需要NED，保守智囊傳統基金會曾發表報告力撐﹕「NED是思想戰爭的一個重要武器，共產政權仍控制中國、北韓、越南、古巴，另一些前共產黨人也以民 族主義者的姿態繼續主宰前蘇聯成員國。NED可幫這些國家邁向民主。這些地方的政治活躍分子通常都較寧願從（美國）非政府組織接受援助，因來自美國政府機 構的援助，可能會削弱他們在國民面前的公信力。NED透過在世界重要戰略地區，協助與美國親善的民主政權發展起來，伸張了美國國家利益。美國不可放棄這一 有效的外交政策工具。」
但華盛頓外交政策專家孔里和前中情局官員麥吉都質疑NED的作為。孔 里曾說﹕「NED在外國常被視為美國干涉內政的工具而招來憎恨，特別是NED企圖欺騙外國人以為它所提供的『私人協助』。NED曾多次利用其所謂的私人機 構地位，去影響外國的選舉，美國其他能執行這種任務的，恐怕就只有中情局的秘密行動。」
Sunday, November 28, 2004
CHINESE ASSOCIATION OF STD & AIDS PREVENTION AND CONTROL
中国性病艾滋病防治协会(简称协会)是依法成立的全国性行业协会。是由性病艾滋病防治工作者和热心于性病艾滋病防治事业的各界人士组成的群众性社会团 体。中国性病艾滋病防治协会的英文译名是：CHINESE ASSOCIATION OF STD & AIDS PREVENTION AND CONTROL。
会 长： 王克安 中国预防医学科学院院长
副会长： 戴志澄 原卫生部疾病控制司司长
秘书长: 董永坤 中国预防医学科学院副院长
副秘书长： 沈 洁 卫生部疾病控制司传染病控制二处处长
电话：010-63034521 010-63178284 010-63186655转2703，2920，2428
Saturday, November 27, 2004
Friday, November 26, 2004
- 2000 / 03 資源增值 $ 2.85 億元 5% (over 3 years)
- 2003 / 04 節約措施 $ 1.30億元 1.8%
- 2004 / 05 資源削減 $ 1.63億元 2.5%
- 2004 / 05 服務重整 $ 0.41億元 0.6%
- 2005 / 06 資源削減 $ 0.62億元 1%
- 2005 / 06 服務重整 $1.08億元 1.5%
- 00/01-05/06 總數 接近8億元 (即12%)
政府於2004年11月26日公布一刀切再削減社會福利資源... 政府提出削資1%，但計及業界通過服務理順及轉型而節省的一億一千萬元，實際非政府機構要承擔的削資幅度是2.5％，超過一億七千萬元。由於過去幾年，社 福機構已承受削資六億元，連同今次建議的削幅，金額達八億元，即12%。
Sadly many people may still think that an accumulated cutback of 12% over 5 years is not a big deal... Can someone from the sector offer a convincing case on why a 12% cutback is totally unacceptable, and that the sector is trying to safeguard the interests of the disadvantaged and not the welfare agencies themselves?
Thursday, November 25, 2004
哲學夜話 – 現代人的輓歌－讀黃碧雲的【七宗罪】
但， 假設上帝不存在，罪是否還有意義？地獄又會否存在？這正是黃碧雲在其作品【七宗罪】中所要探討的問題。作者透過七個獨立的故事，為人的「罪」和「地獄」賦 予一個現代意義。她從新詮釋了中古時期基督教的七宗罪 －「饕餮」、「懶惰」、「忿怒」、「妒忌」、「貪婪」、「好欲」和「驕傲」，描繪出它們在香港這個現代社會中如何呈現。她的結論是：現代社會的人，根本就 是活在地獄之中，而且完全沒有出路。
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Big but Not Easy: As Donors Set Terms, Some Charities Resist
By STEPHANIE STROM
MORE than ever before, donors are tying strings to their gifts and pulling them hard to ensure that their dollars do exactly what they want them to do.
Thanks to the immense wealth created in the last decade, the country has a new generation of philanthropic lions, and, like their predecessors, these donors seek to invest not just their money but their ideas into the causes that are their passion.
Eli Broad's recent gift to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for example, gained him virtually exclusive control over the construction of a new building and strong influence over the art that will go into it. Michael and Susan Dell structure their contributions so they can measure the effects.
Like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, the founders of America's peculiar brand of capitalist compassion, this new breed of donors has an understanding of the power of money to produce results. The difference is that the earlier philanthropists built new institutions while many of today's donors are working through established groups — at a time when public confidence in charities is low. (Read "Big but Not Easy: As Donors Set Terms, Some Charities Resist")
1. Age of Criminal Responsibility in HK
2. Guardianship and Custody
3. Adopiton Ordinance
4. Children's Charter in Hospital
5. Prevention of Child Pornography
Just received the photos from the earlier trip with Adventure Ship (see earlier post here). A bit disappointed 'coz there ain't any photo of me and Ho Nam (my buddy) that can clearly show both of our faces...
Ho Nam, Captain Ming, and me...
Recently the RTHK TV program 鏗鏘集 has produced an episode called 生命拼圖 featuring Adventure Ship's buddy program. The activities described in the program are those we've undertaken during our trip. The episode can be watched online through this hyperlink.
非牟利組織「乘風航」為弱能人仕提供海上活動訓練，通過「伙伴計劃」安排弱能同學與健全義工以平等關係結成伙伴，在訓練船上完成各種活動，藉此拉近彼此距 離。 節目紀錄了他們的旅程，不單是一段為弱能同學安排「遊船河」的歡樂經驗，而是兩個生命的接觸，旅程當中，伙伴們看到另一個與自己有別的個體，對照自己的生命，究竟那一個的生命力更強？先入為主的印象是否真像？每多一次接觸，彼此認識多一點，就像慢慢完成一幅拼圖。
Sunday, November 21, 2004
- Mozilla Firefox 推出 1.0 版本全球慶祝派對
還網於民 Take Back the Web大行動
|地點：||新華 Linux 培訓中心 (地圖)
為加入 Mozilla Firefox 1.0 版本推出的全球慶祝派對，一向熱心推廣開放源碼軟件的OAKA協會，將於 2004 年 11 月 21 日在香港舉行 Firefox「還網於民」大行動。同類型的非牟利開放源碼軟件活動，在香港還是首次舉行。該活動目前全球已經有超過七十個國家宣佈會同時舉行，可謂IT 界的全球性盛事。大家可以到這網址看到全球參予這次盛事的用家名錄。
Mozilla Firefox 為開放源碼的瀏覽器，其安全性以及支援開放標準的優良品質，最近已經越來越為人熟悉，早前推出 1.0 預覽版在短短 3 天內已經錄得超過790,000人下載。美國國安部早前更為了保護國民免受病毒及惡意軟件影響，更建議用家放棄使用微軟公司的 Internet Explorer，改用支援開放標準的 Mozilla Firefox 以處理網上理財服務。(詳見 CNET的報導)
為了讓市民可以認識到開放源碼軟件的優秀，破除只有付錢的軟件才是最好的迷信，當日Party除了有一般的慶祝活動外，還會有專人介紹 Firefox 的獨特之處，使用心得等等，另外亦會有網站開發專家，講解為何支援公開標準的瀏覽器，對一般電腦用家使用網頁非常重要。慶祝會後我們還會有一個獨特的快閃 推廣活動！有心的參與者將會帶同自製的 Firefox 1.0 CD，聯群結隊到灣仔電腦城門口大派 Firefox CD，大叫 ”還網於民、Take Back the Web” 的口號！熱鬧高興之餘，亦能貫切開放源碼的分享無私精神。
“Firefox 還網於民” 慶祝會將會於2004年11月21日下午2:00假座於灣仔 eTech 中心3樓的新華理大培訓及研發中心舉行，歡迎大家到這網址報名，名額有限，先到先得。
快閃推廣活動則會於下午 4:30 由新華理大培訓及研發中心出發，到灣仔電腦城門口開始派發 Firefox 1.0 CD。
Saturday, November 20, 2004
本會成立後首個初階研究題目是「網絡政治 (E-politics)」。網絡的興起徹底改變了人類文化，到底互聯網會為政治帶來多少動力？網絡政治新世代的來臨，又對傳統政治架構有何衝擊？由香港 青年政策研究所舉辦維期三個月之「網絡政治研究計劃」將給予學員就個別研究題目統籌、設計及進行研究工作，包括問卷設計、訪問等和就數據進行分析等。學員 將有機會接受一連串之預備工作坊和講座，確保對研究題目有一定的認識後才進行研究工作。而計劃末期將要求每小組撰寫一分約12,500字的研究報告，研究 結果將會集結成書出版。
We need to learn more about new forms of social movements, and the underlying logic of collective action of Hong Kong's civil society, in order to make sense of our society's collective response towards events like SARS, July 1, etc. The Project's proposed research topics are indeed quite interesting.
Friday, November 19, 2004
The Chater Road Pedestrian Precinct will be turned into a colourful and fun-filled playground for cross-generation play activities on Sunday, 12 December this year when the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs and the Playright Children's Play Association (Playright) co-organise the PlayStreet ∞ 2004.
PlayStreet ∞ 2004 is a large scale charitable event open to members and affiliates of the Institute and Playright as well as the public. With the theme "Transmitted Play Ideas Across Generations", the event aims to promote the value and importance of play across generations to foster family relations and enrich the family lives of Hong Kong people. The event promises to be a jovial carnival with lots of creative play ideas, game booths, live performances and entertainment for the enjoyment of the whole family.
Please join this exciting and meaningful programme and support us with your donations or corporate sponsorships to raise fund for the HKICPA Charitable Fund and Playright. Please click the following links for details:
- Event brochure
- Sponsorship package
The Lamma-zine Blog is a good vehicle for nonprofit organisations working in Lamma Island to keep in touch with not only the Lamma community but other Hongkongers and tourists interested to learn more about Lamma and their activities. For example, I found the hyperlink to Lamma Animal Welfare Centre which is a nonprofit I'm not aware of previously...
This Lamma-zine Blog started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, events or photos.
Contact Lamma-Gung with anything relevant to Lamma that you'd like to see published on this home page!
Posts from all former months are stored in the Blog Archives, see below.
All photos, text & graphics by Lamma-Gung, if not otherwise credited.
At the end of each month, the best of this Lamma News Blog will be collected and published in the Lamma-zine, together with many other additional original contributions. Free subscriptions!
We always say development begins at home. However here in Hong Kong we don't have a lot of communities like Lamma that have a rich community life...
Did you read the Rough Guide to a Better World? Like it? Want to know more?
Department for International Development (DFID) produces a free quarterly magazine packed with compelling news and views about how development really works.
Over fifty thousand people already read Developments magazine. Are you next?
The latest issue asks whether cheap flights and bargain breaks are good for the poor. Subscribe to Developments magazine.
THE ROUGH GUIDE TO A BETTER WORLD is the essential guide to how the world can be a better place for everyone. Poverty in the developing world is well known, but less publicised are the efforts of those who combat hunger, disease and illiteracy. This guide shows how you can get involved.
"The book, which will be available free to the public, is an attempt to end British ignorance of the developing world at a time when the creeping globalisation of trade is bringing its four corners ever closer." Also, "as well as providing travel advice, it informs Britons at home how they can help the fight against world poverty: by buying fairtrade goods, doing voluntary work overseas and by becoming activists with British-based aid organisations."
Two million free copies of this book will be available at UK Post Offices from 29 November, 2004.
Thursday, November 18, 2004
Submissions are now being accepted for the Public and Nonprofit Division (PNP) portion of the program at the Academy of Management annual meeting, to be held 5-10 August 2005 in HONOLULU, HAWAII. The conference theme this year is A New Vision of Management In The 21st Century.
The deadline for submissions this year is 10 January, 2005.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES TO THE PNP DIVISION:
The PNP Division focuses on the application of management research to government agencies, the military, social services, cultural and educational institutions, membership and professional associations, advocacy organizations, and religious and other charitable organizations which have generated, and continue to shape, a large share of modern management thought. The Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management brings together scholars, managers, and students who continue this tradition by studying the public and nonprofit sectors, and the relationships among public, nonprofit, and private sector organizations. Our division pays special attention to how distinctive qualities of the public and nonprofit sectors influence management and organizational processes.
In applying the conference theme-A New Vision of Management for the 21st Century-we are especially interested in how our knowledge addresses the world of "stark contrasts" and "difficult tensions" that public and nonprofit organizations face in their efforts to be ethical, responsible, while also meeting complex goals and multiple bottom lines.
Submitters should FOLLOW the Academy's GENERAL GUIDELINES for all Submissions, which can be found on the Academy's web site (http://meetings.aomonline.org/2005/). AFTER submitting to the Academy submission web site, you should submit a SECOND COPY of your paper directly to the division at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please make sure that you follow the Academy's FORMAT for your submission.
In addition, in your submission e-mail to the division please indicate your PREFERENCE FOR PRESENTATION FORMAT. Four formats are available (Interactive Paper, Shared Interest Track, Paper Presentation, and Visual Presentation); please indicate your preference for all four with a 0 (no interest), 1 (willing to present in this format), or 2 (prefer this format). If you need further information regarding submissions to the PNP division, please check our division web site for the conference.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
The International Journal of Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Marketing is issuing a call for papers for a special issue on corporate philanthropy.
We are interested in all dimensions of this topic. Submissions on corporate donating practices; cause marketing; business sponsorship of charity events; corporate foundation support of charities, nonprofit organizations, and NGO's are welcome. Perspectives from the business manager's point of view as well as the charity's point of view are encouraged.
Book reviews of approximately 600 words on related topics are also encouraged.
Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2005
Submissions are to be delivered electronically. Submitted articles will undergo a blind review. The journal's style requirements must be followed. Information is available online at http://www.henrystewart.com/journals/nvsm/
Each email submission should attach two versions: one with author
information and the other without author information (for blind review).
Do NOT reply to me but to Walter Wymer, North American Editor IJNPVSM email@example.com
Community Business is a home-grown nonprofit organization promoting CSR in Hong Kong. Shalini Mahtani is the founder of the organization, and under her leadership CB is doing a good job in raising CSR awareness in Hong Kong. Shalini puts a lot of emphasis on research, and this upcoming event - Proving the Business Case for Employee Volunteering - is just another example of her effort to build up local research findings for making the case that CSR (employee volunteering in this particular project) actually creates values to all.
Community Business has measured the business benefits arising as a result of one specific employee volunteering programme - Race for Mentors. This programme has brought together the government sector, the private sector and the non-profit sector over a 6 month programme where corporate volunteers have mentored youth from a government school. The impact on all 3 parties has been measured and the case study proves that if undertaken strategically, there is a strong business case for employee volunteering.
# English Writing Effectively & Powerfully (PDF)
# Writings Within Your Organisation (PDF)
# Producing Your Own Media (PDF)
# Handling the Media (PDF)
# Promoting Your Organisation (PDF)
# Planning Overview (PDF)
# Action planning (PDF)
# Monitoring and Evaluation (PDF)
# Strategic Planning (PDF)
# Developing a Financing Strategy (PDF)
# Financial Controls and Accountability (PDF)
# Writing a Funding Proposal (PDF)
# Budgeting (in two parts): Part 1 (PDF) and Part 2 (PDF)
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Targeting burnout: Sabbatical program aims to give nonprofit leaders a break from stress
The program provides US$15,000 each to five or six nonprofit executives a year to take breaks of three to six months to pursue activities "totally unrelated" to work.
Succession planning: Nonprofits should prepare in advance for departure of chief executive
Nonprofits often experience serious disruptions in services, staff morale, fundraising efforts and other vital functions when the CEO or executive director of a nonprofit leaves the organization.
E-philanthropy consolidation: Network for Good acquires Direct Help
Network for Good is acquiring Direct Help, a nonprofit in Norwalk, Conn., that provide e-philanthropy tools nonprofits can use for managing data, relationships with donors and clients, email campaigns and websites.
Monday, November 15, 2004
Social entrepreneurs need to focus primarily on their social mission which is at the heart of their actions. All what is being done has to be measured against the advancement to realize a social goal. Business is only a tool to fuel, or to simplify, the accomplishment of a far-reaching social innovation. Yet when we are committed to a social mission we need to know how far and how well we are treading on this path. the degree to which a social goal has been fulifilled depends on the capacity to effectively allocate the scarce resources being available to the vast target population. In this matter, we are facing complex business-like problems such as logistics and organizational problems. That is why Social entrepreneurs need to be equipped with business skills. Nevertheless the vision to change the patterns of society stems from a global understanding of political and international relations, at least. This understanding should be confronted to the constraints and opportunities of the local reality. I think social entrepreneurs are visionary people, that's why a wide set of skills, not only business ones, are mandatory. (Posted by: Nayim Khemaies at September 2, 2004)
Saturday, November 13, 2004
Message from Faculty of Social Sciences
The Central Policy Unit of the Government of Hong Kong, Faculty of Social Sciences of The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Radio Television Hong Kong are pleased to invite you to attend 'Seminar on Public Policy Research' to be held on November 20, 2004 (Saturday). The speakers will consider the challenges and opportunities of the public policy of Hong Kong SAR Government. The Seminar will be conducted in Cantonese, please refer to the Chinese description for details.
Speaking of the Urban Institute, it has also developed the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy under its establishment which has an extensive research agenda to support NGOs and civil society development. Lots of downloadable research reports are also available for reference by policymakers and nonprofit practitioners alike, many of them relevant to Hong Kong also...
Friday, November 12, 2004
Message from Social Sciences Faculty
You are cordially invited to join a conference on “Strengthening Political Parties in Hong Kong”, the 5th part of “Constitutional Review and Democratic Development: The Way Forward” conference series on November 27, 2004 (Saturday) 9:00 am – 5:00 pm which will be held at the Council Chamber, 8/F, Meng Wah Complex, HKU. The local and international speakers will provide a comparative view of the law of political parties in Hong Kong and elsewhere, and examine how other jurisdictions have responded to the issues that Hong Kong political parties and groups contend with.
While usually not being regarded as typical NGOs, political parties also face similar problems like NGO does - e.g. the lack of a facilitative legal environment (law of political parties?) and difficulties to achieve financial independence and self-sufficiency (fundraising, accountability and monitoring?) - those are the two main themes of the conference...
Thursday, November 11, 2004
What is a Blog?
A blog is basically a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Postings on a blog are almost always arranged in cronological order with the most recent additions featured most prominantly.
Blogs and Nonprofits:
For potential use of weblogs (i.e. blogs) for nonprofits, check out the following articles - "An Introduction to Weblogs," "Weblogs: The Promise for Nonprofit Organizations," and "Weblogs and the Nonprofit Sector".
(Sources: CCSG e-newsletter September 2004; links of articles from Techsoup.org)
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Ho-Sum is a web-based volunteer matching web portal dedicated to involve people in volunteering and increase awareness of charities in Hong Kong. Charities and volunteers (individuals or corporate) can seperately register with the website and the system can help match volunteers with the available volunteering opportunities. Ho Sum today annouced the launch of its new interface and system:
Highlights of the new functions and features:-
1. Join Projects with Friends /Family Members/ Colleagues - You may register a Volunteer Group Account, and become the contact person of the volunteer group and sign up projects. A volunteer group can be just 2 of you, a family of 2 adults, 2 kids and 1 senior, or a team of staffs in the company. Please come and view the projects for your Corporate & Group.
2. Speak out corner - if you would like to share your thoughts and experience on volunteering, and your suggestions to Ho-Sum, please feel free to speak out in our bulletin board Volunteers Forum. This forum is implemented with content filtering feature which can filter indecent wordings.
3. Donate unwanted items - Give n Take is the section for items exchange. If you want to donate an unwanted item, simply post the information on 'Give Items' board. The charity who is interested to take will contact you directly. To protect your privacy, only registered Charity Members can view your contact information.
4. Do Good - Ho-Sum always promotes volunteerism through our campaigns. Please check out our Campaigns section to support us!!!
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Alliance Bulletin, a subscriber-only electronic publication, is published eight times a year. If you would like to read the full copy of Alliance Bulletin, you can subscribe at http://www.allavida.org/cgi-bin/click/click.cgi?id=53
This is the main source of many of the international NGO news posted here...
2004 年3月18日，中央人民政府頒佈了新的《基金會管理條例》，這是有關基金會的第一部行政法規，對促進基金 會的健康發展起到了重要作用。該條例反映中央政府對基金會發展的重視及致力改革其管理體制，同時也為國內基金會、乃至整個民間社會和公益慈善事業面臨帶來 新的發展機遇。
Lusina from the Faculty of Law at HKU (our expert on trust law in Hong Kong and China) will participate in this event...
GuideStar, the US-based national database of information about non-profits, has announced the creation of GuideStar International, which will make such information more accessible by setting up charitable databases and websites in countries outside the US. New activities will be launched in Germany and, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, in South Africa. This initiative follows the recent development of GuideStar UK. During its first year of operations, in addition to its activities in Germany and South Africa, GuideStar International will work with leaders in other countries to assess the feasibility of creating comprehensive non-profit sector information systems. The new organization’s chief offices will be in Williamsburg, Virginia, and London. Ultimately, the aim is that the new GuideStar agencies will form a collaborative network.
(Source: Alliance Bulletin Novermber 2004)
The International Fellows in Philanthropy Program at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies, Center for Civil Society Studies, will host up to eight fellows each year. Programme participants should be involved in studying or managing private, non-profit or philanthropic organizations outside the US, or serve as government or corporate liaisons to the non-profit sector. The programme also sponsors a fellows’ conference in a country overseas to encourage continuing interchange among fellows and to help broaden understanding of this sector at the international level. The deadline for applications is 25 February 2005.
When I last checked the list of past fellows of the JHU program I remembered there was at least one past participant coming from Hong Kong; however I have no idea who that person is...
(Source: Alliance Bulletin November 2004)
Synergos makes Three Ring Binder generally available
The Synergos Three Ring Binder is a compendium of knowledge on philanthropy, foundations, and social change. The three 'rings' are nuts and bolts (tools for building foundation capacity), hot topics (trends in philanthropy and foundation building) and innovations (ideas and perspectives that inform Synergos's work). The Binder was put together by Synergos Senior Fellows and was until recently password protected.
(Source: Alliance Bulletin October 2004)
Eight community foundations in the US supported Citizen Deliberations that took place on 16 October, three weeks before the US elections . The Deliberations brought together a random sample of citizens in 17 communities in the US in discussions on national security and American jobs in a global economy. The community foundations involved were those of Kansas City, Seattle, Miami, Charlottesville, Greater New Haven, Rochester, Cleveland and Detroit. They were providing funding and/or assistance in connecting with other organizations. For more information, see www.by-the-people.org.
(Source: Alliance Bulletin October 2004)
According to the annual Columbus Foundation survey issued in October, gifts, grants and assets of the community foundation field increased in 2003 in an improving economic climate. The 645 US community foundations surveyed received $3.8 billion in gifts last year, 17 per cent up on the previous year. They made grants totalling $2.6 billion, $47 million more than the previous year, while net assets also increased 17 per cent over the preceding year to $34.9 billion.
(Source: Alliance Bulletin November 2004)
United Way is transforming in an effort to remain vibrant and relevant in communities where other non-profits have multiplied, and where many businesses have opted out of United Way planned giving programmes. A spokesman for the organization estimated that 80 per cent of the country’s 1,400 United Way groups are increasingly targeting funds to effect long-term change rather than short-term ‘fixes’. This means that United Way is now more likely to fund groups that expand access to affordable housing than a homeless shelter. The national agency is also stressing United Way’s role as a community leader, collaborating with other organizations to prioritize a community's needs. In 2003, United Way of America approved tighter standards for transparency and accountability, now being adopted by member organizations. The changes are in part a response to a national decline in United Way campaign earnings of 6.1 per cent between 2001 and 2002.
(Source: Alliance Bulletin October 2004)
According to a new survey by the Brookings Institute, public confidence in charitable organizations stands 10 to 15 per cent lower today than it was in the summer of 2001. Reasons include: questions surrounding the disbursement of September 11 relief funds and conflict-of-interest and compensation controversies involving the Nature Conservancy and several private foundations. Only 11 per cent of respondents believe that charitable organizations do a very good job spending money wisely and only 31 per cent believe charities do a good job helping people.
Download the report here.
(Source: Alliance Bulletin October 2004)
Paul Bater, Frits Hondius and Penina Kessler Lieber (eds) Kluwer Law International
The 16 articles in this book seek to provide an overview of the diverse practical and theoretical issues concerning the tax environment of NGOs worldwide. The first section covers a wide range of geographic areas, including Scotland, the Caribbean, Spain, Russia, Germany, Austria, Nordic Region (Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland), the USA and South Africa. The second section presents international and comparative perspectives, examining themes such as theories of federal income tax exemption, a survey of available NGO tax preferences, perspectives on public benefit, and the role of NGOs in creating social capital.
Guidelines for Laws Affecting Civic Organizations
Leon Irish et al, Open Society Institute
Intended for all third sector organizations, this book provides a guide to framing laws for the protection of civil society, and covers areas such as fundraising, tax preferences, foreign partnerships and volunteerism. It also gives examples of such laws from several countries. (PDF document available)
Charity Financial Products: A new approach to giving
The Giving Campaign
A summary report on new techniques for encouraging philanthropy, produced by the Giving Campaign, an initiative supported by the voluntary sector and the UK government to increase the amount of money given to UK charities. The report concludes that there is great scope for charity financial products, where the financial services sector provides guidance to those who are willing to donate to charities but lack the knowledge of the fiscal regime to be able to do cost-effectively.
(PDF summary report) (PDF full report)
Lusina probably will be interested in these new publications...
Monday, November 08, 2004
Civic Exchange is currently undertaking a study of Tri-partite Partnerships in HK (i.e. partnerships between government, business and the Third Sector). The study has been comissioned by the Central Policy Unit of the Government. I realise you have done much research on the Third Sector in HK and was hoping to meet up with you to discuss your research especially areas which are relevant to this study.The study involves different parts, including: (a) a survey of government departments to find out what sort of TPPs they are involved in and what their positive and negative experiences have been; (b) selection of a number of case studies of TPPs, particularly those that have clear lessons to learn; and (c) focus groups with the various sectors.
Anthony of HKCSS passed me information on this upcoming conference to be held in Guangzhou in December.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
5. Effective nonprofits are more likely to use good management practices.
Several studies support this thesis, including some that show a link between strategic planning and organization effectiveness, but it is a mixed situation. We recently found that only board members’ assessment of organizational effectiveness was related to increased use of good management practices; neither funders’ nor senior managers’ assessments were related to increased use of good management practices. This leads us to be suspicious of the recent trend to identify “best practices” for NPOs.
6. The promise of “best practices” should be viewed with skepticism.
The concept of “best practices” has become something of a holy grail for those seeking to enhance NPO effectiveness, yet our work has found no legitimate basis to claim that particular practices are automatically best or even good. We prefer to talk in terms of “promising practices” to describe approaches that warrant consideration because, at best, one may claim only that they are worth consideration and must be judged in the context of the specific organization.
7. The concept of responsiveness may offer a solution to the problem of differing judgments of effectiveness by different stakeholder groups.
In spite of the fact that different stakeholder groups differed in their ratings of effectiveness for an organization, we have found, for all stakeholder groups, that the factor of responsiveness was positively linked to judgments of NPO effectiveness.
8. Since many NPOs operate as part of a network of service delivery, we need to start thinking more in terms of network effectiveness.
When an NPO operates as part of a larger network to deliver services, it is less relevant to assess individual NPO effectiveness than that of the entire set of organizations working together. Emphasis on the effectiveness of such NPOs as though separate and distinct can lead an observer to invalid conclusions.
While there is a plethora of articles and information about online volunteering, there has been very little research done on the subject. The UN Volunteers programme, which hosts and manages the Online Volunteering service, hopes to engage in research activities regarding OV in 2005. In addition to making plans for this research, UNV staff have also compiled a list of all research relating to OV that we know about. We hope these links to OV research will help those of you interested in learning about OV in depth.
The OV service staff is also interested in connecting with university-based researchers interested in including the OV service in their studies of any aspect of online volunteering. Our new OV research page also includes a list of suggestions for research about online volunteering that we hope researchers will undertake. Please contact us with complete details about your proposal (confirmation from the university of your studies will be requested if we approve your proposal). Send details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, November 05, 2004
- Development of a Nonprofit Management School (a future Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Program?)
- The Social Togetherness Program of HKSAR (research on social cohesion, embeddedness, recognition, trust and institutional trust, etc.; student internship programs in nonprofits and commercial entities)
- Baseline research on everything about civil society - its nature, constituents, and roles, and, in particular, the contribution that civil society can make towards good governance (the CPU third sector landscape study identified over than 9,000 civil society organizations scattered over 16 activity sub-fields in Hong Kong; programs shall be created to develop a nonprofit database and keep track of their developments)
- Research on governance mechanisms in specific policy domains involving nonprofit activities (e.g. arts and culture, environmental protection, social welfare, sports, AIDS services, anti-narcotics, human rights and equal opportunities, home owners associations, area committees, etc.)
- Philanthropy consultancy services (consulting on foundation establishment, estate planning, due diligence on individual nonprofits, and grantmaking)
- Social auditing does not necessarily contribute to improved fundraising of a particular charity 'cos there are many different ways a nonprofit can solicit donation and a average donor might base on other factors to make their giving choice (e.g. event fundraising)
- However it is useful for assisting new nonprofits and small nonprofits without popular brand name to entre the fundraising marketplace
- Two perspectives - inability (capacity building) or unwillingness (politics); need to have incentives for charities to participate
- Conformance verses performance - social auditing not a quality seal in most circumstances, except for initiatives like the elderly residential services which could improve institutional trust
- Contribution to internal board governance? Recognition on administration or service? Social auditing or donor education (or both)?
- Best practice and voluntary participation likely the best way to move forward
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The work of Sowers Action drew a lot of my attention lately.
Had lunch with Tom (Osgood) today, and he mentioned about a proposed trip to Guilin 桂林 to visit a school in December which has been rebuilt recently (5 hours drive from the city). This will be (at least) his third trip to the rural areas of China to visit the schools. After returning from his last trip to Yunnan 雲南, he passed me some great photos taken during the trip, and I knew he enjoyed those trips very much. He even brought back a local newspaper clipping (featuring his visit) and asked Juliana to help translate it into English. The news piece called him Uncle Tom (of course in Chinese translation) and the photo in the newspaper looked exactly like a kind senior coming over to try to offer help and with a lot of joy...
While taking bus with Juliana later the day, RoadShow also showed a clip on Taiwanese artist 任賢齊 visiting school children in a poor area of China on a Sowers Action trip - and of course with some very touching scenes.
Lately, there are also publicity materials everywhere in town publicizing the "Long March" charity program 「助學長征」organized by Sowers which is an amazing fundraising walk that would follow the route of the Communists Party's long march during the civil war. Eva (introduced to me by Tom during the time at CIF) must be very happy with all the good work she is doing.