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Weekend Link Roundup (June 10-11, 2017)

June 11, 2017

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

Children and Youth

On the Annie E. Casey Foundation blog, Tracey Feild, managing director of the foundation's Child Welfare Strategy Group, shares five lessons from the foundation's recent efforts to develop tools to measure and address racial disparities in child welfare systems.

Education

"If Facebook’s [Mark]. Zuckerberg has his way, children the world over will soon be teaching themselves — using software his company helped build." The New York Times' Natasha Singer considers the efforts of Zuckerberg, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, Netflix chief Reed Hastings, and other Silicon Valley billionaires to remake America's public schools.

Giving

In an article for Nature, Caroline Fiennes, founder of Giving Evidence, an organization that promotes charitable giving based on sound evidence, argues that "[p]hilanthropists are flying blind because little is known about how to donate money well." The solution to the problem, she adds, "lies in more research on what makes for effective philanthropy [and donor effectiveness]."

And here, courtesy of the International Council for Science's Anne-Sophie Stevance and David McCollum, research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, is an SDG-related example of exactly the kind of approach and methodology Fiennes would like to see more of.

A recent column by New York Times columnist David Brooks in which Brooks asks, "What would I do if I had a billion bucks to use for good?" raises other interesting questions, writes John Tamny on the Real Clear Markets site, including: Why do the superrich think their skills in the commercial space render them experts at charity? And: Why should the supperrich be expected to do "good" after they have created wealth — and the jobs and social advances that usually come with it?

Reid Hoffman, a supperrich Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of networking site LinkedIn, tells The Atlantic's Alana Semuels that having people who know how to apply capital in the service of getting things done is a good thing for social causes, as long as those same people are careful about big-footing the politics of the issue.

Governance

What are the essentials of a successful nonprofit CEO-board relationship? Forbes contributor Christian Johnson shares three of them.

Writing on the Blue Avocado site, strategic communications consultant Andrea King Collier explains how nonprofits can use "intention" to build a more diverse board.

Impact/Effectiveness

The Nonprofit Finance Fund and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco are teaming up to explore what it takes for nonprofits, funders, and government to focus on the root causes of social problems and achieve impact. As part of that effort, NFF has made the contents of What Matters: Investing in Results to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities available, free of charge, on its website.

In a messy world, how do you know if your foundation is making an impact? Fluxx's Aaron Lester has some ideas and shares them in a post on the Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog. 

Nonprofits

With summer upon us, Social Velocity's Nell Edgington has some excellent advice for all the Type As out there.

And here's some more good advice for busy nonprofit managers from Nonprofit AF's Vu Le.

Philanthropy

In response to new political realities and policies emanating from Washington, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation is the latest national foundation to announce that it will increase its payout in 2017. The foundation's president, Carol Larson, explains.

Fast Company contributor Ben Paynter checks in with a short (three-minute) read on foundations' growing embrace of impact investing — using a portion of their endowments to invest in programs and projects that generate social as well as financial returns. And as growing support for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) shows, the industry increasingly is applying a global lens to its investments.

Poverty

And while Donald Trump made a habit of misrepresenting "the geography of poverty in the United States" during his campaign for the Oval Office, he is not alone in thinking that poverty is an urban problem. The reality, however, is far different, as Dan Kopf, reviewing Scott Allard's new book, Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty, explains in Quartz.

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

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