#Advocacy: Nonprofits Expand Influence Via Growth In Documentaries

Americans spend weeks vetting and prognosticating before Oscar Night. We then spend days celebrating, lamenting, or lampooning the winners. After the really big show last night, we wanted to call attention to the growing influence and funding for independent documentary films, many of which include influential grass-roots movements to call attention to the issues raised in these films.


| Category Advocacy, Climate Change, Community, Environment, Fundraising, Greening, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit | | Comments Off

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Social Media: Newspaper Abandons Newsprint. Uses Facebook Instead.

Facebook + Media LogoMuch has been in the news about the role of social media to spark and sustain the revolutions going across the north African/Arabian region. A small irony amidst the bloodshed and tragedy of a tyrant killing his own people is that most Libyans had to revert to overseas 1990s dialup to wield the power of 2010s social media.

Once connected – IF one could connect – Facebook became as much a means to disseminate news to the larger world as it was to reach out to like-minded local activists. In fact, over the last year or so Facebook’s programmers have been developing tools to clarify and simplify the ways Facebook can become a news source. How as FB developed itself to act as a medium to disseminate real news?


| Category Communications, eNewsletter, Facebook, Geo-Location, Local/Maryland, News and Current Affairs, Publications, Social Media, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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Aging: The Graying of Chicago

Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago...

Image via Wikipedia

This article slipped through the cracks but we’re sure glad we spotted a reference to it on the Senior Housing News’ website: it’s a Crain’s Special Report asking whether an aging population affects a city’s economic future.

It is a great question and Crain’s Chicago Business ran an in-depth story (Feb 7) examining how Chicago’s senior population will impact business opportunities for the next 20-30 years.  The article, according to Senior Housing News, is “a great example of how cities may want to look at the future profile of their city.”

| Category Adult Kids, Assisted Living, Grandparents, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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#Interview: Galina Madjaroff & Kevin Heffner, The Erickson School

Galina Madjaroff, Lecturer At The Erickson School, UMBCAs the Baby Boomer generation moves toward retirement, with people living longer and stronger, the perspective of aging in America must change. A unique graduate program at The Erickson School at the University of Maryland in Baltimore County (UMBC) goes beyond academics to reach its goal of educating a community of leaders who will improve society by enhancing the lives of older adults.

Galina Madjaroff (Lecturer) and Kevin Heffner (Director of External Relations) of the Erickson School are two of those people.


| Category Aging, Assisted Living, Community, Healthcare, Independent Living, Interview, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Technology, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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#SocialNetworks: Great Tools & Advice SM Integration & Cross-Posting

Nine Social-Media Icons

From Wasilla Washington to Washington DC and around the globe in Cairo, people are inspired to rant, plan, organize, raise funds, and/or protest through social media. Philanthropic groups are largely expected to have a social-media presence to entice people to their causes and to help drive fundraising. We at MKCREATIVE have often touted the many benefits, and some possible dangers, of social media for nonprofits.

But maintaining such a presence for your organization is not quite as ‘free’ as the software’s cost might suggest: someone needs to sign up accounts, post media, update status, and announce calls-to-action. What tools exist to help streamline that process to improve efficiency?


| Category Campaigns, Communications, Dashboards, Desktop Apps, eNewsletter, Facebook, Fundraising, iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Measurement, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Social Media, Software Review, Twitter | | Comments Off

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Aging: Playtime helps bind generations

A new study has confirmed an old adage: A family that plays together stays together. Researchers from Concordia University and Wilfrid Laurier University examined the ways grandparents can maintain close ties with their adult grandchildren. True to the old maxim, recreation emerged as the glue sealing intergenerational bonds.

Here’s a link to an article about the study and to the study itself.

| Category Adult Kids, Aging, Assisted Living, Grandparents, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life, Study | | Comments Off

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Enviro: Effects of BP Oil Spill Won’t Be Clear For 10 Years

While many of us were reminded this weekend that winter is not over, we also got some stark reminders that the effects of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are not over either. Unfortunately, the debates about the effects of the spill, which began in April 2010 and was not capped until September, fall along rather obvious lines, with BP arguing the recovery is well under way.  And on the surface, it seems to be. But what is out of sight/out of mind? (more…)

| Category Environment, News and Current Affairs, Politics, Revitalization | | Comments Off

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Tech: Apple Moves Into Subscription-Service Business, & Only Apple Seems Impressed

"The Sporting News" on the iPadThe iPad has been on the market for a year now, and we’ve had a chance to see how it is being used in the market. Certainly games and videos are doing extremely well. Unfortunately, as it turns out, early optimism about the iPad saving the publishing industry, especially publishers of magazines and periodicals, has not panned out. Instead, early booms in purchase of such publications proved to be mere bubbles of one-off purchases.

Apple’s claims to saving the periodicals industry were initially revivified over the last few days as the technology company announced opportunity for iPad users to subscribe to e-periodicals, rather than buy each edition separately. Thus far, only The Daily, published by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp, has signed up. Will others follow?


| Category Apple, iDevice, iPad/Tablet, Marketing, Media Review, News and Current Affairs, printing, Research, Technology, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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Aging: Trials Exclude Patients Who May Benefit

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The New York Times has reported that older adults use a disproportionate share of medical services, yet one in five clinical trials examined in a study excluded patients because of their age, and almost half of the remaining trials used criteria likely to exclude older adults.

The study, in The Journal of General Internal Medicine, analyzed 109 studies whose results were published in 2007 in The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Circulation and BMJ, among others, according to the NYT reporter, Roni Caryn Rabin.

Rabin also reports that, “the average age of participants in the trials was 61. Many trials excluded participants who lived in nursing homes or had physical disabilities or existing medical conditions, all of which disproportionately affect older people.”

Rabin also states that, “fewer than 40 percent of the studies broke the results down by age subgroups, a type of analysis that suggests whether a treatment is as effective for older patients as for younger ones.”

She goes on to write that, “although including older patients with complicated conditions in clinical trials may make them more expensive and difficult to carry out, “the population in a clinical trial should reflect the population that will be treated in the real world,” said Dr. Donna M. Zulman, the paper’s lead author.”

Otherwise, she said, “we’re conducting large, expensive trials, and we can’t be certain whether the results apply to typical older patients, who are some of our most vulnerable and complicated patients.”

| Category Adult Kids, Aging, Assisted Living, Independent Living, News and Current Affairs, Newspaper Article, Nursing Home, Publications, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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Social Media: Arab Revolutions. Your Nonprofit’s Outreach: Possible Connections

Discussion of Iranian Social Media Avatars After 2010 Protests

A Discussion of Iranian Twitter avatars used in the 2010 election protests

Tunisia and Egypt have removed their long-entrenched autocratic rulers. Yemen is in upheaval, Libya has erupted only in the last 24 hours, and even Iran’s theocratic oligarchy is being threatened again by protests. The political, economic, and religious dimensions of these revolutions is beyond the expertise of our humble blog, but the revivified debate over the role of social media continues to intrigue.

The debate as to whether social media sites like Twitter have the ability to spur serious political change moved into public consciousness with the oft-cited article by Malcom Gladwell in The New Yorker last fall. In a nutshell: he found social media to be too vague and genteel a conduit to inspire people to make real effort for serious political change.

Do the events of the last few weeks across the Arab world disprove his argument?


| Category Development, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Politics, Social Media | | Comments Off

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#Aging: Will the Social Security Earnings Penalty Affect Me?

AARP published a useful Q&A as part of a series on tax-issue for those approaching retirement age. This particular article helps the reader identify which payments are classified as “Special Payments” under the current tax code and how they must be reported to the IRS.

Here’s a definition of “Special Payments” from AARP:

Special payments are payments you receive after you retire — for work you did while you were still employed. Usually, those payments will not affect your Social Security benefit. Such payments include severance pay, bonuses, accumulated sick pay, back pay or vacation pay, sales commissions, or other forms of compensation earned before you retired.

If you receive special payments, you should notify Social Security so that the agency will not count those payments as postretirement earnings. Otherwise, you may run into the earnings limit and temporarily lose some of your benefits. Or you may receive a letter from Social Security asking you to repay money you’ve received.

It is a good idea, when you retire, to ask your employer for a letter stating the various payments you are receiving for work previously done or benefits accumulated while you were employed. The letter should go to Social Security as proof of your special payments.

Click here to read article (and associated series).

| Category Adult Kids, Aging, Assisted Living, Banking & Finance, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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#PublicPolicy: Battle Over Federal Budget Puts Nonprofits In Firing Line

Book of the 2011 Federal Budget (not passed by Congress)We have not seen much love in Washington DC recently, and the presentation of President Obama’s budget for 2012 is not likely to be taken as a gesture of friendship. As soon as the dust settled after last November’s midterm elections, both political parties and numerous commissions began to draw up agendas to discuss the possibilities of making serious cuts to the federal government’s budget. President Obama’s so-called ‘Debt Commission’ developed plans to trim the trillion-dollar-plus deficit. One of the ideas floated by the commission was to trim the 100% tax write-off available to high-dollar donors – a plan that could seriously hamper nonprofits’ courting of big donors.

With the president presenting his 2012 federal budget proposal this week, the struggle is to find a way to reduce deficits without stalling an economy that is moving forward, if sputteringly so. Jacob Lew, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, has recently published in The New York Times an explanation of the difficult choices that have to be made. Unfortunately, environmental and community-based efforts are high on the list of cuts.


| Category Environment, Fundraising, Grants, Grants and Funding, National/International, News and Current Affairs, Nonprofit, Opinion, Politics | | Comments Off

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Social Media: Software Informs You Of Developments On Facebook

A logo for Facebook's email service, MessagesPerhaps traditional email is going the way of the fax machine, as we all become more dependent of the instant communication of text messages and tweets. Certainly Facebook’s engineers are counting on that evolution as they roll out Messages.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of computer users continue to use ‘traditional’ email services and software, even as they keep up with their personal and professional Facebook sites. Yet the folks at Facebook have not offered any means to have the one medium keep track of the other.

Fortunately for all of us, Ching Ya, an enthusiastic blogger on all things social-media, has found some free-to-inexpensive ways to get email notifications of postings, comments, and ‘Likes’ brought to your organization’s Facebook page.


| Category Dashboards, Facebook, Fundraising, Nonprofit, Site Administration, Social Media, Software Review, Technology, Twitter, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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2011 NIC Regional Symposium Dates

The playing field has changed for the seniors housing industry, and strategies must also change if organizations are to score future success. At the 2011 NIC Regional Symposium in March, attendees will gather with other private-pay operators and investors with locally—or regionally—focused portfolios to learn how they can adapt their playbook to position their organizations to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

According to the organizers, these are the folks who should consider attending:

  • Owners, Operators and Developers of seniors housing properties
  • Lenders and Investors
    • Institutional Investors
    • Pension Fund Managers and Advisors
    • Real Estate Managers and Advisors
    • Commercial Finance Companies
    • Venture Capitalists
    • REITs
    • Regional and Community Banks
    • HUD/FHA Lenders
    • Other Debt and Equity Financiers
  • Financial Intermediaries
    • Brokers
    • Investment Banks
    • Loan Servicers
  • Securities Analysts and Research Professionals
  • Association/Industry Groups

Click here to download the full 2011 program.

Registration information can be found here.

| Category Adult Kids, Assisted Living, Conference/Congress, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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Team Up With YouTube To Win 2010 Do-Gooder Video Award

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

We have often commented on this blog about opportunities for the nonprofit community to enjoy mutually beneficial relationships with the business world. Here is an example that can not only enrich such a symbiosis, but can also fire up your organization’s creative spark while also reaching an international audience without (necessarily) embarking on a long and expensive messaging campaign.

YouTube and See3 of Chicago are co-sponsoring the 2011 “DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards,” and submissions are open until Wednesday, March 2nd. Submissions will be posted at YouTube’s Nonprofits channel, and your video could win cash  prizes and any number of ‘views’ on YouTube’s homepage!


| Category Advertising, Advocacy, Campaigns, Communications, Development, Fundraising, Major Gifts, Marketing, Nonprofit, Public Relations, Social Media, Technology, Web and Print | | Comments Off

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Best Nursing Homes: The U.S. News Honor Roll

U.S.News & World Report published it’s 2011 rankings for the best nursing homes in the US yesterday.

More than 3.2 million Americans will spend at least part of 2011 in one of the nation’s 16,000-plus nursing homes.

The 2011 Honor Roll lists 18 homes that received perfect ratings for four consecutive quarters:

Alzheimer’s Resource Center of Connecticut Plantsville, Conn.
Bethany Skilled Nursing Facility Framingham, Mass.
Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital Greenville, Maine
Dakota  Alpha Mandan, N.D.
Jeanne Jugan Residence Newark, Del.
Lourdes Health Care Center Wilton, Conn.
Mary Health of the Sick Convalescent and Nursing Hospital Newbury Park, Calif.
Matulaitis Nursing Home Putnam, Conn.
Miners’ Colfax Medical Center Raton, N.M.
Orzac Center for Extended Care and Rehabilitation Valley Stream, N.Y.
Peconic Landing at Southold Greenport, N.Y.
Rady Children’s Hospital Bernardy Center San Diego, Calif.
Riverview Lutheran Care Center Spokane, Wash.
South Mountain Restoration Center South Mountain, Pa.
SSM Depaul Health Center Bridgeton, Mo.
Westchester Meadows Valhalla, N.Y.
Westview Nursing Care and Rehabilitation Dayville, Conn.
Wibaux County Nursing Home Wibaux, Mont.

| Category Adult Kids, Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Home, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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It’s Not Too Late to Master Message Targeting

Image by National Library of Scotland via Flickr

You can stop kicking yourself about missing my wonderful workshop last week on “Making Your Messages Matter to Multiple Audiences.”  In response to icy conditions, the workshop is opening two weeks late. So yes! you have a second chance! The rescheduled workshop is now happening (weather permitting) Tuesday, February 15, 9 a.m. to noon, at the Baltimore office of Maryland Nonprofits, 190 West Ostend Street, Suite 201. Registration fee is $50 for Maryland Nonprofit members, $100 for non-members.  Do sign up on the Maryland Nonprofits website, or call them at 410-727-6367.

Guest blogger Don Akchin writes frequently about marketing and philanthropy at

| Category Communications, E-Mail, eNewsletter, Newsletter, Seminar, Writing | | Comments Off

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Which Cities Were Most Generous Giving Online In 2010?

Lists keep us organized at the store, doing our chores, getting through our work, and letting us know we have capped off one year and moved into the next one. The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently reported on the list of the Top 10 cities giving money online to charities and nonprofits in 2010.

For those who followed the list last year, the top three are no surprise as they were league champions in 2009 as well: Alexandria, Virginia – Cambridge, Massachusetts – and Arlington, Virginia. What might be surprising, though, is that online charitable giving outpaced overall giving and overall expectations about economic growth.


| Category Communications, Development, Donor Acquisition, Fundraising, Marketing, Measurement, Nonprofit, Social Media, Sustainability | | Comments Off

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News: Latest Surveys Provide Fascinating Glimpses at The Online Crowd and How Nonprofits Approach Them

Research is a beautiful thing. Whenever frustrated marketers begin to wonder just who is really out there to talk to (or at), they can rest easy knowing that somewhere in America, a think tank is already at work on the answer. This month we have a bumper crop of useful (and free) studies:

  • Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project reveals the startling finding that internet users are more likely than others to be active a voluntary group or organization, and social media users are even more likely. The report also notes that certain key internet activities – including donating – are being accepted more uniformly across all age groups. There’s also data on what role the internet played in achieving organizational goals.
  • Harris Interactive poll on Americans’ charitable giving habits and plans found nearly half (48%) make a small contribution of time or money to organizations and causes they believe in, while 9% are “extremely involved” and 24% “give generously.” The percentage who feel they have a personal responsibility to make the world better has declined since 2007 from 31% to 24%.
  • The 2011 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report provides a look at what your nonprofit peers are doing in the realm of communications and marketing. How often they send email, which social media they rate as important, what excites them, what frightens them, and a host of other issues are gathered by consultant Kivi Leroux Miller.
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Tablet Market Ready For Next (Small) Shakeup: iPad 2

Mockup of a white iPad 2

Will iPad 2 be white? Like the iPhone? No, wait...

A year ago, the iPad was announced by Steve Jobs, and our earliest blog postings covered the event and the product. The iPad received a roasting for its name and a cautiously optimistic welcome from most hands-on reviewers. MKCREATIVE focused especially on how the idea of a tablet/pad/portable computing device (iPad or the many others that have followed) will reconfigure the ways we work, reach out to donors, and share our visions with our constituents.

The chatter at the moment, though, is dedicated to prognosticating what features the (inevitable) iPad 2 will have, what it will look like, when it will be announced, and whether it even can ‘change the game’ in ways the iPad did.


| Category Apple, Communications, Hardware Review, iDevice, iPad/Tablet, Opinion, Public Relations, Reviews, Social Media, Technology | | Comments Off

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Over 1 Million Households Pay More Than 50% of Their Income For Rent

Seal of the United States Department of Housin...

Image via Wikipedia

Senior Housing News reports that the supply of affordable rental housing appears to be dropping at a rapid pace during the past 2 years according to new research released this week from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The study, Worst Case Housing Needs 2009: A Report to Congress, measures the scale of critical housing problems facing low-income un-assisted American renting households and finds that the found that “worst case housing needs” grew by nearly 1.2 million households, or more than 20 percent, from 2007 to 2009 and by 42 percent since 2001.

For the full report, visit:

| Category Low-Income, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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Far More Developers Than Users of Location-Based Social Media

iPhone location test in downtown Denver

(Photo credit: ebatty)

We shared with you last week a story published by The Wall Street Journal about how mobile applications draw our personal data from our devices in ways few of us understand. We would expect our social-media apps to do such (Facebook, our myriad of Twitter-based software, FourSquare, etc.), but The WSJ found that information-based apps and websites often share even more of our personal data than do social media.

One of aspects of our personal data that we seem less willing to share is our personal space – or at least where our personal space is at any given moment. Location-based services are growing, if FourSquare’s numbers are any indication. But their numbers are still small in relation to the buzz about their potential.


| Category Advertising, Facebook, Geo-Location, iDevice, iPad Apps, iPhone Apps, Marketing, Social Media, Technology | | Comments Off

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Top Ten Senior Housing Trends For 2011

Senior Housing News published their long-awaited report of housing trends in the senior housing market a couple of days ago.

An underlying trend highlighted by the report suggests that “value” is near the top of everybody’s list — developers, facilities managers, and potential residents alike.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the report’s main focus areas:

  1. Economics 101 – Supply Decreases, Demand Increases….News Flash: Prices will go up for Independent Living, Assisted Living and Nursing Care
  2. 3 – R’s of Senior Housing – Rehab, Renovate, Repurpose
  3. Technology – Monitoring Networks, Apps, Devices and Systems Integrator
  4. Campus Extensions and Home Healthcare
  5. Finance & Capital Markets – Chicken or the Egg
  6. Government -Healthcare & Entitlement Reform
  7. Home Prices – Lending Constraints and Mortgage Interest Deduction
  8. Local is Cool – Local, Face-to-face social networks make a comebackArchitecture & Design
  9. Go Long Grannie Stocks

Visit the Senior Housing News website to read the report in it’s entirety.

| Category Adult Kids, Affordable Housing, Aging, Assisted Living, Community, Independent Living, Nonprofit, Report, Resource, Retirement Living, Seniors Life | | Comments Off

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