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Weekend Link Roundup (March 24-25, 2018)

March 26, 2018

March for our lives_900Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Corporate Social Responsibility

In a post on Tech Crunch, Benetech founder Jim Fruchterman applauds BlackRock founder Larry Fink's decision to call out corporate America for its profits-only mindset. In a letter delivered to the CEOs of some of America's largest companies, Fink warns that record profits are no longer enough to garner BlackRock’s support. Instead, "[c]ompanies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.” And two ways they can start to do that, adds Fruchterman, is to 1) put people before algorithms, and 2) treat diversity as their greatest asset.

Fundraising

Is perfectionism hampering your organization's fundraising efforts? "Instead of pursuing perfection," writes Forbes contributor David King, "set your sights on recognizing when good enough is good enough, and start making real progress on your [next] campaign."

What's the best way to get donations from millennials? Moceanic's Sean Triner shares some tips designed to help you "get them while they're young."

Giving

"Charitable giving is not like buying shares of stock or being a venture capitalist," writes Alan Cantor in a new essay on the Philanthropy Daily blog. Whereas "[i]Investors want to know about market conditions, debt ratios, and market share," it is "fiendishly difficult to come up with those kinds of measures for charitable organizations...."

With the federal deductability of state taxes a thing of the past, should high-tax states like New Jersey start thinking about creating a state charitable deduction? The Community Foundation of New Jersey's Hans Dekker thinks so.

Grantmaking

Have you ever taken the time to think about how your funding portfolio might look if your RFP process was designed to be more equitable and inclusive? On Foundation Center's Transparency Talk blog, E.G. Nelson, community health and health equity program manager at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota's Center for Prevention, explains how a recent equity scan conducted by the center led to changes in its RFP process.

Nonprofits

If you work for or have a hand in managing a nonprofit, you're probably all-too familiar with scarcity thinking. In a new post on her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington explains why such thinking will get you nowhere.

In his latest, Nonprofit AF blogger Vu Le makes the "ethical" argument for general operating support. 

The Age of Automation has arrived. Is your job at risk? Beth Kanter looks at a few cases where automation could eliminate nonprofit jobs and suggests that, if done intelligently, such displacement could be a net plus for underresourced organizations.

Philanthropy

In his latest, Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther, with help from Boston College law professor Ray Madoff, takes a closer look at donor-advised funds, "the fastest growing sector of philanthropy," and renders a harsh judgment: they are a sham.

"The idea that we can be saved through billionaire whims is truly incredible," says author and former New York Times foreign correspondent Anand Giridharadas, whose new book, Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, is due out in August. Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan spoke with Giridharadas about our "billionaire-savior delusion" and the fantastical idea that "the world is best changed privately, on high, from the rich and powerful, not democratically, through political reform."

On the HistPhil blog, Lars Trägårdh continues the site's forum on philanthropy in Sweden with a "sweeping" history of civil society in the Scandinavian country.

Social Media

In light of the disturbing Cambridge Analytica revelations and the social networking giant's history of making changes to its platform without first consulting users, is it finally time for your nonprofit to give up on Facebook? That would be a mistake, argues Forbes contributor Amy Sewell, director of digital solutions at Douglas Shaw & Associates.

And in Bloomberg Businessweek, Paul Ford, co-founder of Postlight, a digital product shop in New York City, argues that our data protection and privacy challenges extend far beyond Facebook.

(Photo credit: Alex Brandon / AP)

Got something you'd like to share? Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org.

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