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Weekend Link Roundup (September 8-9, 2018)

September 09, 2018

6-500x500A weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Economy

It's coming — whether we like it or not. Automation is likely to force a third of American workers  to switch occupational categories by 2030, write James Manyika, Manisha Shetty Gulati, and Emma Dorn in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, with the largest disruption occurring among middle-income workers without a college degree. "[U]nhampered by quarterly earnings calls or the voting cycle," philanthropy can — and will need — to step up. Mantika, Gulati, and Dorn suggest four areas where it can do so.

Education

In The New York Times Magazine, Sarah Mosle reports at length about the many challenges public school administrators face in "finding effective teachers, retaining them and helping those who need to get better."

In a photo essay in the same issue of the magazine, Brian Ulrich looks at the kinds of second jobs that teachers across the country are taking to make ends meet.

Why are many teachers forced to work second jobs? Could it be their wages are lower than ever? Sarah Holder reports for CityLab.

Global Health

On the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog, Steven Buchsbaum, deputy director of discovery and translational sciences in the foundation's Global Health Program, reflects on the launch, nearly fifteen years ago, and subsequent progress of the foundation's Grand Challenges initiative. 

Nonprofits

With summer a fading memory, Beth Kanter has a timely reminder about the causes and costs of lost productivity in nonprofit workplaces.

Philanthropy

Inspired by the example of Bill Gates, Alibaba founder and executive chair Jack Ma has announced that he is retiring from the Chinese e-commerce giant to focus on his philanthropy. As Ma tells Bloomberg TV in this video, the world is undergoing a third technology revolution, and if that revolution leads to war, that "war should fight against poverty, disease, and the environment."

Board members of a foundation established by 92-year-old Abigail Kawananako to benefit Native Hawaiians are calling for a judge to protect the $215 million trust. Jennifer Sinco Kelleher reports for the AP.

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, the new book by journalist Anand Giridharadas, is generating lots of buzz, including incisive reviews by HistPhil's Ben Soskis and FSG's Mark Kramer. But will the book, and the conversation it has sparked, lead to a reckoning for philanthropy? Social Velocity's Nell Edgington shares her thoughts.

The public conversation around donor-advised funds has been raging for a while, but according to Dan Petegorsky, senior fellow and director of public policy at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the DAF conversation continues to avoid the elephant in the room: "The increasing popularity of DAFs is due in large part to the tax breaks they give donors relative to other forms of giving, and the benefits of those breaks only multiply the higher you go up the income wealth ladder," writes Petegorsky. Indeed, "the advantages that distinguish DAFs and philanthropic giving in general rest on wider privileges built into the tax system as a whole."

In the Nonprofit Quarterly, Alan Cantor, a longtime critic of  donor-advised funds, revisits the history of DAFs and community foundations and suggests some things the latter might do so as to avoid finding themselves "in an uncomfortable alignment with their [DAF] competitors from the financial services industry."

Public Affairs

A new analysis by Brookings researchers Richard Reeves and Christopher Pulliam finds that the percentage of safety net spending that goes to middle-class Americans has increased significantly over recent decades, particularly in households headed by an adult over the age of 65. 

And the Funders' Network's Julia Seward has a good Q&A with Bob Jaquay, a long-time executive at the George Gund Foundation, about the role of public policy at the Cleveland-based foundation.

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

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