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Weekend Link Roundup (June 11-12, 2016)

June 12, 2016

Enough is enoughAfter a couple of weeks off, we're back with our weekly round up of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Climate Change

In Forbes Co.Exist, Jessica Leber reports that the world's population is (very) slowly beginning to move away from coastlines increasingly threatened by sea-level rise.

Data

On the Forbes site, five nonprofit executives share their strategies for collecting and analyzing data in order to get the highest return on investment.

Education

Yes, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is avery big player in the education reform field, and, yes, it has experienced its fair share of failures. But, writes Education Post contributor Caroline Bermudez, the foundation really should get more credit for owning up to those failures and for its willingness to experiment and take risks.

Fundraising

What's the worst piece of advice for a professional fundraiser? How about "Find your voice" or "Be yourself," says Future Fundraising Now's Jeff Brooks. Why? Because "[g]ood fundraising is not a mirror that reflects your beliefs and excellence. It's a mirror that [should reflect] your donors' values and excellence."

Giving

Forty-one years after her own graduation from high school, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, shares three lessons she has learned about giving and generosity.

On his Nonprofit Chronicle blog, Marc Gunther considers the "Kristoff Effect" (as in New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristoff) and suggests that the crusading columnist-cum-advocate could be more rigorous in how and where he "shines his influential spotlight."

Leadership

Good news for beleaguered liberal-arts majors. According to entrepreneur David Kalt, "individuals with liberal arts degrees are by far the sharpest, best­-performing software developers and technology leaders" around.  Say what? "A well-­rounded liberal arts degree establishes a foundation of critical thinking," writes Kalt. "Critical thinkers can accomplish anything. Critical thinkers can master French, Ruby on Rails, Python or whatever future language comes their way. A critical thinker is a self­-learning machine that is not constrained by memorizing commands or syntax."

Philanthropy

In a two-part series in the Nonprofit Quarterly, Clara Miller, president of the F.B. Heron Foundation, offers her vision for a philanthropy that is willing to change and more effectively respond to the disruptions and realities of the twenty-first economy.

Is $100 million enough to solve a pressing problem? After the MacArthur Foundation announced earlier this month that it it will periodically award such an amount to organizations with a promising and feasible solution to a social or environmental problem, the New York Times invited a half dozen experts -- including the Draper Richards Foundation's Carter Stewart, Black Lives Matter's Alicia Garza, development economist Anandi Mani, and psychologist Steven Pinker -- to debate the issue.

And in a commentary piece originally published in Crain's Chicago Business, MacArthur Foundation president Julia Stasch reaffirms the foundation's "unwavering commitment" to Chicago.

Regulation/Oversight

With the House Ways and Means Committee preparing to release a tax reform framework that could lead to the most comprehensive tax overhaul in decades, what do leaders in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors need to be aware of? The Johnson Center for Philanthropy's Kyle Caldwell, Michigan Nonprofit Association's Donna Murray-Brown, and Council of Michigan Foundation's Rob Collier break it down.

Social Good

And in a recent post on his Nonprofits With Balls site, Vu Le  takes issue with the view, so prevalent in the tech world, that only technology -- and the people who create and fund it -- can solve the world's problems. Not only is that assumption "false and arrogant," writes Le, it's also "potentially harmful."

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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