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Weekend Link Roundup (July 9-10, 2016)

July 10, 2016

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

Community Development

Alexia Fernandez Campbell, a staff writer at The Atlantic, looks at what one Rust Belt city is doing to keep blue-collar African-Americans from being displaced as it tries to attract immigrants and boost the local economy.

Environment

Thanks to global regulation of chlorine compounds, the ozone hole over the Antarctic is on the mend. Alexandra Witze reports for Nature magazine.

On a less upbeat note, the International Development Association of the World Bank Group reports that unchecked climate change could push 100 million people back into poverty by 2030,with the poorest regions of the world — sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia — likely to be hardest hit.

Giving

For weeks, writes David A. Fahrenthold, the Washington Post has been trying — and failing — to find evidence that presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee Donald Trump is as charitable as he claims to be.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has introduced legislation that would prohibit foundations with ties to former public officials, as well as presidents and vice presidents, from accepting contributions from individuals connected to foreign governments. The Hill's Alan K. Ota reports

On Glasspockets' Transparency Talk blog, our colleague Melissa Moy takes a closer look at the philanthropy of recent Giving Pledge signatories Marc and Lynne Benioff.

Grantmaking

By not including fundraising in their nonprofit capacity-building efforts, writes Dan Pallotta in the Harvard Business Review, foundations are missing a huge opportunity. "If you give a dollar to human resources, or new computers, or staff training," Pallotta argues,

presumably you get marginal increases in productivity and decreases in inefficiency — less burn-out, a better working environment, less staff turn-over, etc. And you get the capacity to handle program growth, but you don’t get any actual program growth. But if you put a dollar into fundraising, you can produce, on average, historically, according to longstanding documented correlations, as much as ten dollars in new revenue...which money you can use to fund ten dollars worth of program or ten dollars worth of capacity-building (with its concurrent increases in productivity, decreases in inefficiency, and new capacity for growth). In other words, only fundraising has the ability to create more money, not just for programs, but even for the other elements of capacity building. So if you really want to maximize funding for capacity-building, fund fundraising instead of funding the other elements of capacity....

Gun Violence

"In the spring of 2014, Michael Bloomberg, then three months removed from his final term as mayor of New York City, declared his intention to wrest control of gun policy away from the National Rifle Association. He would do so by setting aside $50 million of his personal fortune to create an ambitious new advocacy organization called Everytown for Gun Safety." In Slate, Leon Neyfakh explains what happened next.

Higher Education

The college "completion crisis" in America might be fixable through a series of small institutional tweaks that encourage students to make smarter financial, social, and academic decisions for themselves. Ben Paynter reports for FastCo.Exist.

Nonprofits

Are too many nonprofits doing essentially the same thing while competing for donors and struggling to survive? Or, given the deep well of intractable social problems, can there ever be too many? The Boston Globe's Sacha Pfeiffer looks at how the launch of a new, well-funded education reform group in the region has revived the age-old debate.

Nonprofits looking to boost their fundraising results should think twice, writes Lucy Bernholz, before hopping into bed with Facebook. Why? "[T]hey get all of the data on who, what, when, and how much. They own your fundraising data. And if they decide to change the rules on how their tools work (or close the doors of the metaphorical house) they can. If history is any guide, they will."

Philanthropy

On the eJewish Philanthropy blog, Michael Johnston, president and CEO of Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, suggests that "[p]erhaps it's philanthropy's turn to show leadership in a divided country."

How can community foundations rally their donor advisors to promote more equity in American society? NCRP's Lisa Ranghelli has some thoughts.

In a Fourth of July essay in TIME, Ford Foundation president Darren Walker celebrates America's culture of generosity while noting one of American philanthropy's central contradictions: it "is an offspring of the market, conceived and sustained by returns on capital, yet its most important responsibility is to help address the market's imbalances and inadequacies."

On the LinkedIn platform, Council on Foundations president Vikki Spruill offers a stout defense of donor-advised funds.

On her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington chats with Melinda Tuan, project manager for Fund for Shared Insight, a collaborative effort among funders to make grants that improve philanthropy. 

According to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenage education activist who survived a near-fatal attack by the Taliban in 2012, is also, at the age of 19, a world-class philanthropist.

Before his untimely demise, Prince, the pop icon tuned secret philanthropist, may have donated $34 million to the San Francisco Foundation anonymously. The San Francisco Business Times' Riley McDermid has the details (such as they are).

Transparency

And what can other nonprofits — and the American Red Cross — earn from New Story, a startup nonprofit that has built more than a hundred and fifty homes for families in Haiti who previously lived in tent slums? Quite a bit, writes Marc Gunther on his Nonprofit Chronicles blog.

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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