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Weekend Link Roundup (January 7-8, 2017)

January 08, 2017

Snowflakes_PNG7585Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Animal Welfare

Here's some good news: China has announced it will shut down the trade of ivory within its borders by the end of 2017. Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen applauds the decision.

Higher Education

Could a favorite tax break for donors who give to the nation's wealthiest colleges and universities be curtailed by the new Congress? Janet Lorin reports for Bloomberg.

Regardless of the tax policy changes Congress settles on, many multimillion-dollar gifts won't do as much good as the donors of those gifts hope, writes Paul Connolly, director of philanthropic advisory services at the Bessemer Trust, and that’s because "too few of them are getting the sound advice they need to move from good intentions to effective contributions and real positive impact."

International Affairs/Development 

As bad as 2016 may have seemed, the long-term trend for humanity is moving in the right direction, writes FastCo.Exist contributor Adele Peters, citing research by Oxford economist Max Roser. Take poverty: two hundred years ago, most people on the planet lived in extreme poverty, but "by 1950, a quarter of the world's population had made it out of extreme poverty...[and today] 90% of the world has." Or education: "In 1820, 1 out of 10 people was literate. Now more than 8 out of 10 people in the world can read." 

These trends could be accelerated if more of the developing world's population was connected to the Internet. On the ONE blog, Samantha Urban reports on the recommendations to address the situation made by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November 19.

Journalism/Media

Do you believe quality journalism is vital to the health of our democracy? Are you willing to support it? Learn how, through the Knight News Match

Nonprofits

On her blog, Beth Kanter shares three helpful new-year rituals that she has used in the past to "prepare for the year ahead and identify professional growth areas."

Philanthropy

"[I]n many of my daily interactions over the past several weeks, in all kinds of settings and among all kinds of people...[I've noticed] a tension between a sense that our times are dangerously unprecedented and a sense that while dangerous, they are all too familiar," writes Ford Foundation president Darren Walker in a New year's post on the foundation's Equals Change blog. But as tempting as it might be "to ignore or abandon the mutual obligation that ties us together, to embrace a kind of nihilism of indifference or, worse, to retreat into anxiety or rage," Walker adds, "we can choose a better path forward. With history as our guide, we can follow a path of hope — radical hope."

What can grantmakers do to support each other and the organizations and leaders who may be feeling a high degree of uncertainty or vulnerability as Donald Trump prepares to take office as the forty-fifth president of the United States? Writing in the Huffington Post, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations president/CEO Kathleen Enright offers some sound, practical advice.

Writing on the foundation's #LATogether blog, California Community Foundation EVP John Kobara reminds us that "choice is the enemy of commitment," and there is a great lack of commitment out there. 

In the latest installment of his syndicated column for the Denver Post, the DeBoskey Group's Bruce Deboskey previews seven trends in philanthropy to keep an eye out for in 2017, including reduced tax incentives for giving; more contributions from fewer, wealthier donors; and the increasing impact of women donors and donors of color.

Nice profile in the Cleveland Jewish News of Chip Edelsberg, who is stepping down after eleven years as executive director of the San Francisco-based Jim Joseph Foundation.

Social Good

How effective is "clicktivism," the practice of upporting online petitions and responding to donation requests by clicking on an email link or  website button? We don't really know, writes Bruce Hartford, a veteran of the civil rights movement, because most clicktivist groups don't report back to their members and supporters. And that, argues Hartford, makes it hard to determine whether the clicktivist model is a viable substitute for boots-on-the-ground activism.

Social Media

And FastCo.Exist contributor Ben Paynter reports that Instagram has added a much-needed feature to its popular Stories service that lets verified users link out of the montages they create to a page where others can learn more about the organization and/or donate.

That's it for this week. Got something you'd like to share? Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org or share it in the comments section below....

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