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Weekend Link Roundup (February 27-28, 2016)

February 28, 2016

Frog_leap_yearOur weekly round up of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

African Americans

My Brother's Keeper, the White House initiative aimed at improving outcomes for young men of color -- and President Obama's "most personal project" -- just celebrated its second anniversary. But is it making a difference? The Root's Theodore R. Johnson III reports.

Climate Change

Now that Walmart, Google, Goldman Sachs and other multinational corporations have pledged to reduce their carbon footprints, how can the global community hold them to their commitments? TIME's Justin Worland reports on one UN official who has been tasked with building a system  that aims to measure corporate efforts to address climate change.

Corporate Philanthropy

On the Triple Pundit site, Abby Jarvis, a blogger, marketer, and communications coordinator for Ogiv, an online fundraising service provider, offers some easy-to-implement CSR advice for businesses who are looking to do more to help nonprofits in their communities.

Data

In a post on the Benetech blog, Jim Fruchterman, the organization's foundation, uses the example of a small anti-poverty group in Uruguay to show how even basic attempts by nonprofits and NGOs to collect data as part of their program activities can lead to bigger and better things.

In the same vein, the folks at Tech Impact share four strategies designed to help your nonprofit deal with the "data deluge."

Governance

On the BoardSource blog,  Jermaine L. Smith, development director at Educare New Orleans, has some tips for nonprofit organizations that are looking to diversify their boards but may not know how to get started.

Higher Education

According to new research from the Brookings Institution, the earnings gap between low-income and wealthy college-educated kids is huge, and that gap grows over the course of a career. The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham reports.

And, yes, while it's become fashionable to deride the benefits of a liberal arts education, new research suggests that majoring in the liberal arts improves your chances of "being a leader, being seen as ethical, appreciating arts and culture and leading a fulfilling and happy life." Eliana Osborn, an associate English professor at Arizona Western College, has the skinny.

In the wake of Nike founder Phil Knight's $400 million gift to Stanford University, Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik asks the question that a lot of people have been asking since Stanford announced Knight's gift earlier in the week: Should wealthy mega-donors get a tax break for making huge gifts to lavishly endowed private universities?

International Affairs/Development

Noting that "the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and other displaced persons exceeded 60 million globally last year," Jordan's Prince El Hassan bin Talal, chair and founder of the West Asia-North Africa Institute, argues in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times that "the international legal framework for responding to such crises — the 1951 Refugees Convention — is insufficiently comprehensive to deal with a situation of [such] magnitude and complexity" and that "[n]ew solutions are required [to] address the reluctance of traditional resettlement countries to absorb vast numbers of refugees permanently."

Haiti, one of the most impoverished countries in the world, is being hammered by drought, driving rural Haitians living on already marginal lands deeper into misery. The AP's David McFadden has the story.

Inequality

Income inequality might just be the most important issue of our time. And ensuring a "brighter and more equitable future for all," writes W.K.Kellogg Foundation president La June Montgomery Tabron in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, "lies in smart public policy and programs that encourage short and long-term savings; promote debt reduction; increase access to credit through low- and no-cost banking products; support higher incomes for low- and middle-income workers; and increase housing mobility and neighborhood integration. 

Nonprofits

As Hollywood prepares to hand out another batch of Academy Awards, nonprofits could learn a lot, writes Monisha Kapila, founder and CEO of ProInspire, from the #OscarsSoWhite campaign that, over the last month or so, has so effectively highlighted the lack of diversity and inclusion in the entertainment industry.

Philanthropy

We're guessing that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has received plenty of advice about how he should use the fortune he has pledged to spend, over the coming decades, "to advance human potential and promote equality." But, as human rights consultant Michael Hobbes writes in a thoughtful essay in the Huffington Post, $45 billion is a lot of money. Indeed, "[y]ou don't give away that much money without changing the places and institutions and people you give it to, sometimes for the worse. Zuckerberg should already know this." But if Zuckerberg really wants to get ambitious," adds Hobbes, who doesn't have a lot of money (as far as I know), "he should challenge the Silicon Valley notion that giving money away is an activity unrelated to how it is earned."

What can Wall Street teach individual donors about philanthropy? Plenty, says the Bridgespan Group's Chris Addy in a guest post for Forbes.

On its website, the Novo Foundation, which is "is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership," explains why it has begun a small, focused examination of mission-related investing and how MRI might fit into the foundation's philanthropic toolkit.

Good luck getting an answer, but here are six questions, courtesy of NCRP's Ryan Schlegel, we should be asking this year's crop of presidential candidates about their personal philanthropy.

Social Entrepreneurship

No matter where you live or travel in the world, you'll find bright, young people who are working to make it a better place. Don't believe us? Check out this list of thirty Asian social entrepreneurs under the age of thirty from Forbes. 

Transparency

Last but not least, Marc Gunther (Nonprofit Chronicles) and Lindsay Louie (William and Flora Hewlett Foundation) weigh in on  Sharing What Matters: Foundation Transparency, a new report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy which found that while "foundations are fairly transparent today about their grantmaking processes, goals, and strategies" and that a sizable majority (69 percent) of foundation CEOs believe that transparency "is important for increased effectiveness," fewer than one in three foundation websites describe how the foundation assesses its work, fewer than one in four share "information about strategies that have or have not worked for the foundation," and just five percent "share information about projects that did not reach intended goals."

That's it for now. What have you been reading/watching/listening to? Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org or via the comments section below....

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