On My Radar 4/30/09: Give Our Money Back, Arlen

* Specter Donors Want Money Back
* Facebook CFO Runs For Office 
* Fresh vs. Lame 100 Day Reporting


Here are the stories that interest me this morning, along with my take on why I think they may be of interest to nonprofit and philanthropy leaders.

  • Arlen Specter fallout continued.
    Arlen Specter from CBS News
    Arlen Specter from CBS News

    Allaying fears (mine included) over “fillibuster proof” majorities, newly-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter voted against the Obama administration’s budget on his first day with his new party. Meanwhile, his erstwhile party continues to hate him. Donors are lining up to demand their money back and Specter is giving it back when asked. (Republicans asking for their money back include colleagues Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and Bob Corker.)

    • My take: Political fundraising is ‘wayyy different than nonprofit fundraising but the issues of donor intent and givebacks play out in each arena. This is something nonprofits ought to have a policy on, and be upfront about it.
  • The Chief Privacy Officer of Facebook is running for California Attorney General. Chris Kelly launched his campaign yesterday (actually, an “exploratory committee”) with a Facebook page and a standalone site
    • My take: It will be interesting to see how the Kelly campaign values the Facebook page, and how they handle the in-kind donations aspect of it. Will he need to part ways from the company? His Facebook page has a vanity url — do all candidates get that? What is it worth? 
  • Amid the 100 Days Of Obama hoopla, and its tiresome reporting, there were some standouts. The Politico’s Eamon Javers has a good roundup of some of the better insights generated by the ordinarily cliche-filled 100-days meme.
    • My take: It’s hard to be in the journalism business. People expect stories pegged to arbitrary (and sometimes inane) events — then complain when they seem thin. Gotta have a thick skin! 

Thanks for reading,


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