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Weekend Link Roundup (November 16-17, 2013)

November 17, 2013

Headshot_JFK_portrait_looking_upWe're getting ready to launch a new PND site, so this week's roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the sector is a little shorter than usual....

Climate Change

What's the link between global warming and killer tropical storms like Typhoon Haiyan -- quite possibly the strongest storm ever recorded upon landfall? It's not clear, writes Bryan Walsh in TIME magazine, but we shouldn't discount the possibility that such a link exists -- or that stronger, if not necessarily more frequent, tropical cyclones will be a feature of the twenty-first century because of "the warming we've already baked into the system...."

Disaster Response

On the GiveWell blog, Holden Karnofsky shares GiveWell's advice vis-a-vis disaster relief giving:

  1. Give cash, not clothes (or other goods).
  2. Support an organization that will help or get out of the way.
  3. Give proactively, not reactively.
  4. Allow your funds to be used where most needed – even if that means they’re not used during this disaster.
  5. Give to organizations that are transparent and accountable.
  6. Think about less-publicized suffering.

Evaluation

Good post by Tom Kelly, vice president of knowledge, evaluation and learning at the Hawaii Community Foundation, about foundations moving "to embrace and promote 'learning' as an alternative to evaluation." The problem with that, writes Kelly, is that "evaluation must be about learning and accountability. We must be accountable not only to the results we intend and promise to communities but...also learn in an accountable way." 

Impact/Effectiveness

Established in 2012 as a two-year research partnership between InSight at Pacific Community Ventures, Duke University, and ImpactAssets, the Impact Investor Project set out to gather solid evidence of high performance in the impact investing field and, in the process, "expose the concrete practices of outstanding funds for use as the foundation for a more sophisticated and successful market." Impact Investing 2.0: The Way Forward, a new project site associated with the effort, features blog posts from project participants and partners, videos from project-related convenings, and case studies of the twelve funds featured in the research.

The Center for the Advancement of Social Enterpreneurship (CASE i3) at Duke has released a new report (33 pages, PDF) on environmental impact bonds, describing it as an "environmental response to a McKinsey & Company paper on Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) issued in May 2012." To that end, the report aims to spark within the field of impact investing "a rigorous discussion on the potential for Environmental Impact Bonds (EIBs)."

Journalism/Media

On the Knight Foundation blog, FIU journalism student Romina Herrera offers five reasons why the foundation's new digital "Searchlights and Sunglasses" report is "awesome."

According to Growth in Foundation Support for Media in the United States (20 pages, PDF), a new report from the Foundation Center, Media Impact Funders, and the Knight Foundation, finds that media-related grantmaking by foundations increased from $568.2 million in 2009 to $687.6 million in 2011, a 21 percent jump, compared with a 5.8 percent increase in overall domestic grantmaking. The report also found that the growth in foundation investments for new media outpaced those for traditional media by a factor of four, and that of the five focus areas analyzed — journalism, news, and information; media access, and policy; media applications and tools; media platforms; and telecommunications infrastructure — only the latter saw a decrease in foundation support.

Nonprofits

Nell Edgington has launched an expanded and streamlined Tools store on her Social Velocity site.

Philanthropy

Lucy Bernholz offers some pointed questions about Monitor Institiute research on crowdfunding that "blew her mind." Ours, too.

Social Media

Hats off to Beth Kanter, whose formidable presence on business networking site LinkedIn was acknowledged in a funny bit by late night talk show host Conan O'Brien earlier in the week. Not one to ignore a golden opportunity, Kanter on Wednesday challenged O'Brien "to stop talking about red hats and do a monologue about charitable giving" in advance of the national #GivingTuesday event on December 3. No word yet from the carrot-topped comedian, but stay tuned.

That's it for now. Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org with your own best finds from the week. And be sure to check out our new site tomorrow....

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    The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)

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