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Weekend Link Roundup (May 14-15, 2016)

May 15, 2016

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

Children and Youth

Brain development in young children is critical to their readiness for school and success later in life. "But preventable poverty and toxic stress can impede and derail a child's early brain development," write Marian Wright Edelman and Jackie Bezos on the Huffington Post's Politics blog. Which is why, "[i]n addition to quality interactions with parents, grandparents and other caregivers, young children need access to a full continuum of high quality early learning opportunities...."

Climate Change

Where's the beef? More to the point, asks Marc Gunther on his Nonprofit Chronicles blog, why aren't environmental groups working actively to reduce meat consumption and the number of factory farms, two of the biggest contributors to global warming?

Corporate Philanthropy

In Fortune, American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern shares what she has learned over eight years in that position about what business and nonprofits can teach each other.

Data

On the Hewlett Foundation's Work in Progress blog, Sarah Jane Staats has five questions for Ruth Levine, director of the foundation's Global Development and Population Program, about the existing gender gap in data.

Education

How can we fix public education in America? The answer, says the Grable Foundation's Gregg Behr in a Q&A with Forbes contributor Jordan Shapiro, starts with the way kids learn.

On her Answer Sheet blog, the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss has the second part of an email conversation between noted education reform critic Diane Ravitch and hedge fund manager Whitney Tilson, a supporter of such efforts. And if you missed the first part of the conversation, you can catch up here.

Have school-choice policies solved the problem they were meant to address -- namely, the strong link between a child's educational outcomes and the neighborhood conditions in which he or she has grown up? The Washington Post's Emma Brown reports.

Giving

In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Zev Yaroslavsky, director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Bill Parent, lecturer in public policy at the Luskin School, note that "Hunger, homelessness and the fear of both are greater than at any time since the Great Depression..., [while] accumulated wealth is higher than at any time in our history." At the same time, "private giving is not keeping pace with donors' philanthropic capacity or with need, and that is exacerbating the widening economic fault lines in our community."

Grantmaking

"Most grant budgets are designed with zero cushion even when the nonprofit is working in tough conditions that can turn the simplest obstacle into an unmanageable issue,... [which often means] any unexpected but inevitable change or deviation in the budget is potentially catastrophic." Open Road Alliance's Laurie Michaels and Maya Winkelstein look at how funders' unwillingness to "expect the unexpected" hurts nonprofits.

Humanitarian Assistance

The news out of Syria isn't all bad. On the Center for Disaster Philanthropy blog, Protect the People's Sarah Williamson explains how donors are making a real difference in the lives of Syrian refugees.

Impact/Effectiveness

Can charity rating sites like Charity Navigator and GiveWell achieve both rigor and scale? Maybe eventually, but not yet. Catherine Cheney reports for Devex.

Philanthropy

Back from attending the Grantmakers for Effective Organization's conference in Minneapolis, NWB's Vu Le shares seven trends in philanthropy that leave him hopeful.

On the HuffPo Im[pact blog, 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava shares five things any donor can do to make his or her philanthropy "better": assess value and success by results, not dollars; be motivated by the needs of humanity, not compassion or legacy; make philanthropy about serving, not helping; understand the problem before funneling money into a solution; and stop relying on traditions and assumptions.

Social Change

Is the "NGO-ization of politics threaten[ing] to turn resistance into a well-mannered, reasonable, salaried, 9-to-5 job" with a few perks thrown in? That certainly seems to be the consensus view of young activists who attended CIVICUS International's Civil Society Week in Bogotá last month, writes Gioel Gioacchino on openDemocracy's Transformation blog.

Social Entrepreneurship

Led by Jay, the team at Social Good Stuff has curated an excellent list of articles every social entrepreneur should read. How many have you read?

Social Innovation

Lastly, prepare to have your mind blown by these five inventions from the social sector tracked down by Classy's Allison Gauss. Creativity + Social Good = Genius.

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

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