Roundup Reel: Week of Sept. 26

September 30, 2011 | By Liza Casabona | Post a Comment

It’s time for our weekly roundup of things you could have overlooked in the last week and a few to think about over the weekend while we all wait for the House to come back back early next week and vote on the measure that would extend government funding through Nov. 18 and allow Congress time to hash out the remainder of fiscal year 2012, which starts tomorrow folks. Happy fiscal new year!

  • Government Computer News has an interesting story about how city governments are starting to use software solutions to help them manage local needs as budgets continue to tighten. For example, using technology to determine the optimum time for highway infrastructure repairs.
  • The Economic Policy Institute has a good breakdown from the Census Bureau’s recent poverty statistics that shows the impact state-by-state. And the Pew Center’s Stateline has a great infographic with the same data if you prefer your statistics in visual form. It’s heavy stuff, but (as we all know) important to understand.
  • The Ferguson Group has an interesting discussion of the potential impact of some proposed changes to funding formulas for local parks and recreation areas which could result in losses for some types of spaces, among them small projects like playgrounds and local ball fields.
  • Great story at Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog about the power of stories in making the case for funding. It’s a refrain I’ve heard in many arenas (housing in particular comes to mind) that organizations sometimes forget that putting a human face on what they do can be a powerful motivator. Clearly quantified data plays a crucial role as well, but we should all remember there’s often a powerful story behind those numbers.
  • Speaking of hard data, if applying for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge grants is on your “to do” list, the nonprofit, low-income advocacy group CLASP is offering assistance including data and model policies you can include in your application materials. There’s a good array of stats, analysis and reports at the organization’s website.

In more light-hearted news, Stephen Colbert is honing in on Bill Gates’ territory with a new campaign to raise money for kids, schools and teachers through the Stephen and Melinda Gates Foundation (get it?). The campaign’s goal is to raise $100,000 for DonorsChoose.org, an organization the TV comedian has long supported.

Here’s Colbert plugging the effort, in typically tongue-in-cheek form, on-air:

 

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