1569 posts categorized "Philanthropy"

Small Charities Are Being Left Behind by Big Data for Social Good Initiatives

August 10, 2018

Big-Data-webData has the potential to help nonprofit organizations work at a scale larger than ever before and to solve problems more efficiently and effectively. Data can help organizations improve their monitoring and evaluation, determine where the biggest problems lie and where the most value can be added, influence policy through evidence, increase their reach, and enhance their fundraising capabilities.

But big data analytics and artificial intelligence have mainly been developed for and by the private sector. The good news is that third sector organizations increasingly are using data for social good, from predicting child welfare needs and monitoring climate change to working toward new cancer treatments.

Large nonprofits can use their brand power to leverage data-sharing partnerships with private companies, pay for expensive data-analytics services, or hire in-house data scientists. But for smaller charities, working with new data methods and analytics requires capacity, funding, and partnerships they typically don't have and can't easily secure.

That was underscored by Lloyd's Bank UK Digital Business Index 2016, which found that almost half of UK charities lack basic digital skills and that 80 percent are not investing in digital technology at all, let alone in big data. It's not difficult to see why: if comes down to a choice between hiring a program officer or a data officer, or between acquiring data analytics capabilities and additional project funding, most charities will choose to spend their limited resources in ways most likely to impact their constituents and communities.

Here at the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), we recently conducted a global scan highlighting how data is being used in different ways for social good, emerging challenges in the field, and how philanthropy can be and is engaged in this work.

For starters, philanthropy can help level the playing field by addressing some of the biggest obstacles facing small charities in using data for good, including often-prohibitive costs, a lack of human capital, insufficient leverage to form data philanthropy partnerships, and a difficult regulatory environment.

But there is hope.

Below, we highlight four examples of how philanthropy is supporting smaller charities to better engage in this work:

1. Funding. The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and City Bridge Trust recently provided support to Khulisa, a small UK criminal justice charity, to hire a dedicated analyst to help it implement a strategic plan designed to shift the organization toward evidence-led work and give it more influence in policy conversations, thus driving greater systemic change.

2. Human resources and additional capacity. Uptake.org, the philanthropic arm of data analytics company Uptake, recently granted $1 million to the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University to establish a Machine Learning for Social Good fund that will provide free machine learning and data science assistance to nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies. Elsewhere, DataKind UK, funded by Omidyar Network and others, brings together teams of pro bono data scientists with social change organizations on projects that use data to transform their work.

3. Access to data. Through its Data Labs project, New Philanthropy Capital is serving as a trusted intermediary between nonprofits and government agencies, enabling the former to access government data for the purposes of program impact measurement. Challenge prizes sponsored by foundations and private organizations are another way for organizations to access large amounts of data. In 2013, for instance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations program awarded grants to six nonprofit projects focused on bringing together large datasets to solve social problems. One winner, NetHope's Open Humanitarian Initiative, built a tool to help humanitarian charities share their data in real time, helping to save more lives both during and after a disaster.

4. Enabling Environment. The UK-based Charities Aid Foundation has launched the Future:Good initiative with the goal of highlighting the ways in which civil society can play a positive role in shaping and responding to new technological trends. That work includes encouraging government to make technology a key part of its civil society strategy and supporting the idea that civil society organizations are intrinsic to the conversation around responsible technology.

Beyond increasing the use of data for good, there's another pressing reason charities should be supported in their efforts to collect and use data.

In this digital moment, privacy and security breaches and the manipulation of public opinion are top-of-mind concerns for people everywhere. The growing concentration of data in private hands means that individuals and smaller organizations are often left without a voice with respect to these issues and on how data is being used (and abused) to shape our lives.

In this critical moment, philanthropy needs to look for ways to engage smaller charities in this work — not only to keep them from being left behind, but also to ensure that their voice — and the voices of the communities they represent — are heard in the important debates around the ethical use of data.

Headshot_kendra_schreiner_jordan_jungeKendra Schreiner is a research and projects assistant at SIX and a postgraduate student at the London School of Economics, where she studies international development and humanitarian emergencies. 

Program director Jordan Junge leads SIX's work ob the future of social innovation and manages the SIX Funders Node, an international collective of fifty foundations from more than fifteen countries, in which role she helps them to be better funders of innovation by connecting them to their peers. 

 

Baltimore Children and Youth Fund: Community-Based Grantmaking Comes to Baltimore

August 08, 2018

BCYF-logoThe Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Riots are the cry of the unheard." If that maxim is true, Baltimore children, youth, and young adults were crying out long before the 2015 killing of Freddie Gray, Jr. sparked demonstrations and unrest in the city.

Gray’s death was the tipping point, but it was not the cause of the unrest, which was driven by a decades-long pattern in Baltimore of divestment in education, affordable housing, employment, and recreational outlets for children and youth. Whether by intent or impact, young people were not being heard.

Fortunately, while a broad-based coalition of young people, youth-centered organizations, and community leaders had been working to address the vacuum in opportunities for children, youth, and young adults, Baltimore City Council president Bernard "Jack" Young, a longtime advocate for children and youth, was focused on increasing investments in future leaders. His vision eventually spawned the creation of the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund, which distributes grants ranging from $5,000 to $500,000 to persons and groups with a passion for, or a track record of, authentic engagement with young people.

BCYF was a long time coming. Young twice wrote legislation intended to create such a fund, and his dream was finally realized when voters approved a 2016 ballot referendum to create the fund. That it was established by referendum is key; politicians don't necessarily get what they want absent public support. And everything from the inception of the fund to its day-to-day management is a testament to end-user demand and public support. In this case, the support isn't just for getting resources to the community but doing so in the most inclusive and transparent way possible.

To achieve that goal, several individuals and groups have agreed to partner with BCYF. My organization, Associated Black Charities, is the fiscal agent charged with managing the fund. Frontline Solutions International and UPD Consultants are technical assistance partners, with the former covering everything from consultant collaboration to community engagement, and the latter charged with providing strategic thought-partnership throughout the design, planning, and proposal review and grantee administration processes. Kinetics is the strategic communications partner covering everything from social media engagement to online marketing to media relations.

Each of these entities is led by a person of color or is based in Baltimore City, which helps ensure that our efforts are informed by the day-to-day realities and needs of the community the fund seeks to serve. A host of volunteers also have helped with the initiative, and we have been fortunate to receive funding from the Baltimore Community Foundation and the Annie Casey E. Foundation to help cover administrative expenses. In addition to the deep community engagement work, outside funding has enabled us to use the services of an evaluator to document the process.

Throughout the process, the partners have committed to do something that’s never been done at this scale: get money to established organizations, as well as persons and organizations that may not be on the radar of traditional funders, and to do so in an inclusive manner.

While traditional grantmaking may solicit letters of interest and then form an internal committee to make awards, we wanted to take the process out of the board room and onto the streets of the communities we are looking to serve. To that end, a series of community design sessions were held to allow community members, including youth, to set the direction for the fund and highlight candidates for funding.

Rather than just publicizing the request for proposal process and leaving individuals and groups to navigate the process alone, we also held three capacity-building sessions to answer questions and assist with grant submissions. And because the fund was created to serve children, youth, and young adults, we assembled a 24-person review committee to help select the grantees. Notably, 40 percent of the seats on the review committee went to persons age 24 and younger.

These not-so subtle practices were important in ensuring that everyone has an opportunity to be at the table. One of the things we realized after Gray’s death was that there were already a host of organizations and community leaders who were serving children and youth, but that these individuals and groups were not on the radar of most funders. Our model, which was developed collectively and implemented collaboratively by capable consultants, committed volunteers, and concerned community members, may very well end up changing the way grantmaking — in Baltimore and beyond — is done.

There's no question that BCYF will positively impact the community. The question now is whether it will lead to fewer cries from children and youth whose voices were ignored or silenced for far too long.

Diane Bell-McKoy High ResDiane Bell-McKoy is president of Associated Black Charities. The City of Baltimore has tapped Associated Black Charities to be the interim fiscal manager for the Baltimore Children and Youth Fund.

The Ultra Rich Won't Drive Innovative Philanthropy  —  Trusting Community Will

August 07, 2018

Community_friends_globeIn an announcement that resembled an NBA free agent mulling over prospective candidates for his services, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos took to Twitter to inform the world that he is very nearly ready to make his major philanthropic debut. After a year of consideration, Bezos stated, "I have settled on two areas that I'm very excited about," adding that he would reveal the areas of interest before the end of the summer.

It goes without saying that when the world's richest man decides to devote a fraction of his wealth to social good, the philanthropic community takes notice. Bezos has become a hot topic in funding circles, with many speculating on where he will focus his efforts and debating the merits of the likeliest scenarios. Those working in or around philanthropy are wise to pay heed to the emergence of a major funder, especially one who aims to make a public splash. At the same time, there are those whose interest in what he will do has devolved into uninhibited enthusiasm and misplaced hope, helping to drive a narrative that Bezos has the capacity and will to significantly change philanthropy or even the world.

Undoubtedly, Bezos' reputation for innovating and succeeding across industries has excited many who hope he will apply that same entrepreneurial spirit to his philanthropy. When you consider Bezos in the context of his business practices and broader history, however, it seems unlikely he'll establish himself as the change agent some are hoping for. For instance, though Bezos announced his intention to step up his philanthropy a year ago, reports have continued to emerge detailing the appalling work conditions and staggeringly low wages paid to Amazon workers. We've also learned of the labor-camp-like conditions at the Hengyang Foxconn factory responsible for the production of Amazon's Kindle, Echo Dots, and tablets. Instead of speculating on what Bezos can accomplish through philanthropy, maybe we should be asking whether he could achieve more good by committing to reform Amazon's exploitive corporate practices.

Perhaps the positive reception Bezos has enjoyed with respect to his philanthropic push simply reflects our society's tendency to venerate the rich and famous. Or maybe we're just desperate to believe that, in these tumultuous times, someone will emerge who is willing to put their power and influence to good use. However, philanthropy as an institution can ill afford to mistake Bezos for anything more than what his actions (and inaction) suggest he is.

Fortunately, hope remains.  If philanthropy wants to embrace genuine innovation while maximizing impact, we should reconsider who is best equipped to drive cutting-edge change. While the ultra rich play a critical finance role in philanthropy, one could argue that it is the only role they should play. Whether one has accumulated or inherited it, wealth does not give one special insight into society's most pressing problems, nor can it purchase solutions. To be clear, this is not a condemnation of Bezos and his tech-philanthropy contemporaries, or a denigration of their skills and value to their industry and society more generally. Rather, it's a rebuke of top-down philanthropy and the false notion that the ultra rich are the only ones equipped to drive effective, equitable, and inclusive social change.

Most foundations and philanthropic organizations embrace this notion. By employing some of the world's brightest minds and subject matter experts, they implicitly acknowledge that there are people who are better equipped to lead and shape their efforts than the folks who have amassed the wealth. The reliance on formal experts has become a hallmark of the industry and is a key feature differentiating philanthropy from charity. In our drive to professionalize philanthropy, however, we often fail to consider what the full spectrum of expertise looks like. While credentialed and formally educated professionals have become philanthropy's de facto advisors and strategists, we have neglected to engage and utilize the expertise of the communities we purport to serve. Astonishingly, the "informal" experts who live, eat, sleep, and breathe these issues are too often left out of the decision-making process.

If philanthropy is looking for innovative solutions to the world's most pressing problems,  it need look no further than the communities most affected by those problems. It is time to embrace a vision of philanthropy that is community driven, community informed, and community led. It's time for funders to empower, equip, and champion community members as experts and leaders, rather than as spectators to the latest round of strategically aligned interventions.

Inevitably, Bezos will earn his philanthropist stripes, joining the ranks of Rockefeller and Ford, and alongside contemporaries such as Gates and Zuckerberg. He will succeed because he has built an empire against the odds, and there's no reason to doubt that he is any less committed to making his mark on philanthropy. One can only hope, however, that his vision of success entails more than building a living monument to his own altruism. Distressed communities across the globe deserve more than yet another foundation bearing the name and banner of a well-intentioned rich person. They deserve to be listened to and heard, and it is our job as the philanthropic executives, advisors, and administrators to uplift and champion their voices.

Headshot_raymond_holgado_for_PhilanTopicRaymond Holgado is a community-informed philanthropy enthusiast and Queens native working at the intersection of the haves and have-nots. He currently serves as grants and project manager at NEO Philanthropy and on the board of the Andrus Family Fund. This post originally appeared on Medium.

Weekend Link Roundup (August 4-5, 2018)

August 05, 2018

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

Communications/Marketing

It's a little late, but we just wanted to give a shoutout to Social Velocity's Nell Edgington and her new website. Congrats, Nell — it looks great!

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

What does it mean for funders to build power? And how can they incorporate a power-building frame to measure meaningful progress on their DEI efforts? On the NCRP blog, Caitlin Duffy, senior associate for learning and engagement at the organization, shares the insights of four leaders in the sector — Daniel Lee, Alejandra L. Ibanez, Rhiannon Rossi, and Elizabeth Tan — who recently participated in an NCRP-sponsored webinar on the topic.

As she prepared to depart the Meyer Memorial Trust after more than a decade, Director of Programs Candy Solovjovs sat down with Kimberly Wilson, the trust's director of communications, to talk about the evolution of its grantmaking.

Fundraising

News that some dictionaries have started to include an additional definition for the word literally has language purists and the word police up in arms. To which Fundraising Now's Jeff Brooks says: Like, get over it. "[L]anguage changes. And that's a good thing. Even though it means an old 'rule' gets revised now and then."

In part two of a two-part series on board fundraising for the GuideStar blog, fundraising consultant Clare Axelrad looks at the different types of stories your board members can tell and/or elicit from the prospects they approach for gifts. 

Grantmaking

A recent survey of the field by PEAK Grantmaking reveals that too few funders who collect demographic data on their grantees can articulate how they plan to use that information. On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Michelle Greanias, PEAK's executive director, shares some recommendations for funders and nonprofits looking to ensure they are collecting and learning from demographic data in ways that will help increase the effectiveness of their work.

Grantseeking

In his latest, Nonprofit AF's Vu Le goes where few dare tread with a post that tells readers everything they need to know about fiscal sponsorship but were afraid to ask. And bunnies.

Gun Violence

In a guest article for the MacArthur Foundation, Eddie Bocanegra explains how fourteen years in prison informed his work as a "violence interrupter" at Cease Fire, as the founding director of the YMCA’s Urban Warriors program, and now as a senior director at Heartland Alliance.

Philanthropy

Philanthropy in China is booming. Fang Block reports for Barron's.

Here in the States, donor-advised funds have been the focus of a lot of less-than-complimentary press of late. In Forbes, Richard Eisenberg looks at why and shares some proposed reforms for how they should operate.

Betsy DeVos, as most readers, was Donald Trump's controversial pick to head up the U.S. Department of Education. She's also a member of a wealthy family that has "given hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative causes.... many of [them] front and center [with respect to the] policy initiatives and goals of the Trump administration." Anya Kamenetz follows the money for NPR.

Can philanthropy save a city? In Detroit, the Kresge Foundation and others are trying to prove it can. And now the Golden State's financially beleauguered capital city, Sacramento, is trying to replicate the approach. Alana Semuels reports for The Atlantic.

Te Muka Rau Charitable Trust is the first New Zealand Foundation to join the GlassPockets movement. On the Glasspockets blog, Kate Frykberg, a trustee and philanthropy advisor, explains why.

(Photo credit: Fred Tanneau—AFP)

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

Every Person Counts: Why Philanthropy Must Help Save the Census

July 31, 2018

2020_censusIn philanthropic circles, when we talk about protecting democratic institutions and values we often focus on expanding voting rights, improving representation, and connecting impoverished communities with the resources they need. However, all these issues — and many others — are tied to another fundamental pillar of American democracy: the decennial census.

Every decade since 1790, the government has counted the American population, as mandated by the Constitution. While it took the Fourteenth Amendment to ensure that all people were counted equally, the census has nonetheless performed an essential role in maintaining and improving our democracy. Today, our country uses census data to apportion congressional representation; to draw federal, state, and local legislative districts; and to enforce civil rights laws. Businesses use census data to decide where to open, offer jobs, and provide goods and services. The census helps cities and states identify locations for large infrastructure projects like schools, senior centers, public transportation, hospitals, and police services. It determines how roughly $700 billion in federal funds in 2015 were distributed and allocated to programs such as Medicaid, Head Start, and Section 8 housing.

If the 2020 census yields inaccurate data, programs like these — and the people who depend on them — will be in serious jeopardy. Projects may be deprived of crucial funding and entire communities denied fair representation in government. In other words, the consequences of a poorly conducted census will ripple through the public and private sectors, and through civil society, for at least the next ten years.

Unfortunately, there are mounting challenges to achieving a fair, accurate, and complete census in 2020.

The Census Bureau notes that certain populations — people of color, young children, and rural households among them — have been undercounted historically. On top of that, Census Bureau researchin 2017 revealed that the current political climate could further discourage census participation. According to the bureau's own Center for Survey Management, concerns about data sharing and privacy are growing, "particularly among immigrants or those who live with immigrants," which in turn could have a "disproportionate impact on hard-to-count populations."

In March 2018, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross intensified the problem by adding a question about citizenship to the census, which Ross said at the time was at the request of the Department of Justice. The decision was made, however, without first testing the impact the question might have on response rates and quality. Most experts, including six former directors of the bureau, agree that adding the question will likely lead to the undercounting of already marginalized communities, including communities of color and those that are home to significant numbers of immigrants. In fact, back in January, months before Ross made his decision, the Census Bureau clearly stated the addition of the question "harms the quality of the census count."

The evidence we do have suggests this will be the case. A new analysis shows that in 2016, when a small sample of the population was asked the citizenship question on the American Community Survey (ACS), it went unanswered by a whopping 6 percent of respondents — more than any other question that will be included in the 2020 census. (To put that in perspective: 6 percent of the entire country is millions of people.) Moreover, in recent focus groups, participants of color were alarmed about the citizenship question and believe members of their communities will be less likely to fill out the census if the question is included.

At the same time, the 2020 census also will be the first census conducted primarily online, and this uncharted territory is filled with potential challenges. In light of the ongoing conversation about cybersecurity, for instance, are we certain that census data will be kept confidential and secure? Will the public be able to identify bogus efforts to obtain their personal information? Are we prepared to deal with intentional campaigns to spread misinformation? Beyond security, there are many questions about access. Will online forms be optimized for lower-income individuals who rely on smartphones? And how does the Census Bureau plan to bridge the digital divide to reach rural, low-income, and minority respondents? Unfortunately, we're not sure of the answers to any of these questions, in part because the technology has not been thoroughly tested. In fact, while the bureau planned to conduct three tests of the system, two were canceled.

Compounding our concerns about technology, the census has been suffering from a severe lack of funding. Typically, Congress ramps up funding three years before the census itself, but in 2017 no such increase was approved. As a result, the bureau is way behind where it should be in terms of conducting opinion research and getting the word out (in multiple languages). Even though Congress recently approved additional census spending, there are no guarantees the increase will be enough — or will be renewed in 2019.

The good news is that we still have time. Those of us working in philanthropy cannot make up the shortfall in federal funding for the census, but we can leverage our resources and expertise to make sure it is fair and successful.

Right now, a coalition of foundations and advocates is working with civil rights leaders, census experts, business leaders, faith-based groups, digital specialists, and others to develop and implement a strategic response to these challenges. This unique initiative includes a plan to reject the citizenship question, leverage digital opportunities to get the word out, and launch a robust outreach effort to encourage the public, especially those who are hardest to count, to step up and be counted.

To date, more than sixty-five funders have provided strategic funding to more than seventy organizations for census-related work, and we are beginning to see results. Awareness of the issue is higher, and happening earlier, than ever before. The Census Bureau's 2018 budget has been significantly increased. And legal challenges to the citizenship question have grown steadily in number. This is only a beginning, however. To continue with our strategy and shore up the census over the next two years, those of us in philanthropy still need to raise an additional $35 million for the national effort — and more at the state level for local outreach to hard-to-count communities.

That's why we need your help. Every philanthropist and foundation has a stake in the census, no matter what they fund, or where. It is incumbent on us to do whatever we can to guarantee that it proceeds accurately and apolitically, ethically and efficiently. But we are running out of time.

Together, we must use our voices, our platforms, and our networks to push for the removal of the citizenship question, identify trusted voices in communities likely to be undercounted who are willing to promote participation, and make sure that the data the census generates is inclusive and accurate. We must be prepared to contribute our financial resources, infrastructure, influence, and expertise to those working on the ground.

Ultimately, the census is not just about the survey. It's about the future. If it fails to yield an accurate count, communities will be starved of crucial resources, and all of us, but especially those with the least power — people living in poverty, children of color, new immigrants — will have to live with the consequences. The next decade of data-driven decision-making for our democracy is on the line. Every person in America counts, and it's up to us to make sure they're counted.

Gary D. Bass, Antonia Hernández, Barbara Picower, and Darren Walker are the chief executives (respectively) of the Bauman Foundation, California Community Foundation, the JPB Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. Bass is, in addition, an affiliated professor at Georgetown's McCourt School of Public Policy and chair of the funder collaborative to promote a fair and accurate census described above.

[Review] Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits & Foundations Can Build EPIC Partnerships

July 25, 2018

Regardless of what corner of the social sector you work in, you're probably working to make the world a better place. At a time when many scorn and deride such an ambition, Unicorns Unite: How Nonprofits and Foundations Can Build Epic Partnerships urges social-sector changemakers to roll up their sleeves and get to work on improving the relationships necessary to drive the progress we all want to see.

Book_unicorns_unite_for_PhilanTopicWritten by Jessamyn Shams-Lau, executive director of the Peery Foundation, Jane Leu, founder and CEO of Smarter Good, and Vu Le, executive director of Rainier Valley Corps, the book is a highly creative attempt to deconstruct the classic dichotomy between grantmaker and grantseeker — and why not? One can't exist without the other, and changemakers often jump back and forth between the two. But first, what do they mean by "unicorn"? A unicorn, according to the authors, is "a persistent, visionary, and dedicated nonprofit or foundation professional who shines with brilliance and practices humility." And why are they great? Because they are bad-ass; they provide jobs and strengthen the economy; they handle stuff no one else wants to do; they restore and build community; they amplify voices that aren't heard; they stand defiantly against injustice; and they create hope. What's more, we all have unicorn potential inside us. Shams-Lau, Leu, and Le are here to help us find it.

The first step in that journey takes the form of a pep-talk, a much-needed moment of levity before readers are led into the nitty-gritty of all the ways in which our professional relationships are dysfunctional. The authors then dive into "What Is," highlighting some of the key issues in the "unicorn family" dynamic with real-life examples, including distrust, jealousy, power imbalance, fear, hypocrisy, time wasting, disrespect, and a lack of listening and honesty. In the process, they note that while those of us working in the sector have everything we need to foster better relationships within and beyond our organizations, too often we put ourselves into "boxes" — "Foundations are often funder-centric. Nonprofits are often nonprofit-centric. [And we] are all often egocentric" — and that these boxes often turn into "nightmares." Indeed, we spend so much time focused on what's going wrong in these nightmares that we end up perpetuating them, when we should be focused on solving problems together.

The book shares some of these nightmares, which may be therapeutic or chilling, depending on what "box" you put yourself into. In one example, a funder dangled a half-million-dollar grant in front of a nonprofit unicorn, whose staff spent sixty hours filling out their forms and spreadsheets only to have that funder ask them to let go of current staff and replace them with lower-paid staff, and then reduced the size of the grant to $100,000. In another scenario, a foundation unicorn, trying to be respectful of a nonprofit director's time, asked for materials that had already been prepared for other foundations and let the director know as soon as it was clear that his organization wasn't a good fit — only to be accused of leading him on and effectively ending the nonprofit's work by not funding it. And several foundations and nonprofits share the difficulties they have in being in the same room together as peers.

We all have these nightmares, and we all want to forget about them and move forward, but we get stuck because "we are all afraid to name, and then address, the root causes that create division in our sector." Perhaps the biggest one is, "Whose money is it?" The authors are quick to remind us that "nobody owns the money in a foundation. It belongs to the foundation, which is also not owned by anybody — not even the founder or the board. The funds in a foundation exist to serve the public good." But though we know that to be true, we act as if the money belongs to the people tasked with dispersing it, and "even if it's unconscious, money equals power." Arguably, this unequal power dynamic, more than anything else, shapes the interactions between nonprofits and foundations — and between staff members within an organization. It also leads to what the authors call the "Tyranny of the Hierarchy of Inputs," which is an incredibly useful framing of how money is too often valued above all other inputs and contributions to the outputs we are working for — things like leadership, experience, knowledge, hope, labor, creativity, caring, risk taking — and so diminishes the value of those contributions and the people who make them.

Continue reading »

A Conversation With Ana Marie Argilagos, President/CEO, Hispanics in Philanthropy

July 24, 2018

It has not been a happy twelve months for Latino communities in the United States.

In September, President Donald Trump announced that he planned to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program within six months. Then in January, nearly two hundred thousand Salvadorans who have lived in the United States for more than a decade under a program known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) learned that the administration would be rescinding their protected status. To the dismay of many, that announcement foreshadowed a stepped-up spring campaign by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents against undocumented immigrants — most of them brown, many of them Latino — a campaign that culminated in June with a Department of Justice announcement of a new "zero tolerance" policy that has led to the separation of immigrant children from their parents seeking asylum at the southern border.

Since its founding in 1983, Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) has worked to strengthen Latino equity, leadership, and voice and build a more equal and prosperous America and Latin America. It does that by bringing national foundations, local donors, advocates, and academics together to identify the most pressing issues affecting Latino communities, work toward shared goals, and strengthen the capacity of the Latino nonprofit sector.

In January, Ana Marie Argilagos joined HIP as its new president, succeeding Diana Campoamor, who retired at the end of 2017 after twenty-six years with the organization. In two conversations, one earlier this year and a more recent exchange, PND spoke with Argilagos about the Trump administration’s immigration policies and actions, the things she heard from HIP members during a recent listening tour, and her plans for the organization as she settles into her new role.

Before joining HIP, Argilagos was a senior advisor at the Ford Foundation, where her work focused on urban development strategies to reduce poverty, expand economic opportunity, and advance sustainability in cities and regions across the world. Prior to that, she served as deputy chief of staff and deputy assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where she created the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation, and spent eight years as a senior program officer at the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she spearheaded the foundation’s work in rural areas, indigenous communities, and the U.S.-Mexico border region.

Headshot_ana_marie_argilagosPhilanthropy News Digest: Since President Trump assumed office, he has taken lots of actions that have impacted the Latino community, and immigrants in particular — from rescinding Temporary Protected Status for two hundred thousand Salvadorans, to putting the status of DREAMers in jeopardy, to criminalizing immigrants crossing the border and separating children from parents. What has been your reaction to the administration's policies?

Ana Marie Argilagos: It breaks my heart. Dehumanizing immigrants is only dehumanizing us as a nation. Ripping kids away from their parents will have long-term and devastating impacts on the lives of children, on our communities, and on our nation. Families fleeing violence, survivors of domestic violence, and people seeking asylum in the United States are being punished instead of being helped. This is not the American way. This is not what Lady Liberty stands for.

And this isn't just about immigrants or Latinos. Immigrant justice is racial justice. Our country has a deep-rooted history of criminalizing people of color. The current administration's immigration enforcement efforts continue this history of punishing and criminalizing asylum seekers. It is not acceptable.

PND: Do you think the president's rhetoric has made people feel less safe?

AMA: Without a doubt. But it's critical to point out that his rhetoric doesn't just make people feel unsafe — it justifies policies and public acts of hatred. These policies and actions are making the world less safe for certain groups of people in a very real way. His rhetoric has empowered white supremacists to come out of the shadows, to hurt and even kill people of color. It also spurs the criminalization of immigrants who are crossing the border because they fear for the safety of their families and their children, has resurfaced hatred and discriminatory policies like the Muslim ban, and has resulted in the revocation of Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans, Hondurans, and Haitians. Immigrants, people of color, Muslims, trans people, and many other groups now feel they are living in a country that is hostile to them because of the president's own words and direct actions.

PND: Let's talk about your organization, Hispanics in Philanthropy. What do you see as its role, especially now, in this political climate?

AMA: For more than thirty-five years, HIP has worked to advocate for Latino communities across the Americas. And today, in what is certainly an historic moment for the nation and the world, we have an incredibly important role to play. I see us playing that role in three areas. First, we must act as the conscience of the philanthropic sector. We must push on foundations to do more for the Latino community — not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it's necessary if we want to advance human rights, guarantee the safety of the next generation, and ensure the growth of a more democratic and prosperous society.

Second, we're leaders in recognizing Latino nonprofits. We find organizations that are doing great work, we vet them, and we shine a spotlight on them so that foundations can see — and support — them. It also keeps foundations accountable for funding diverse organizations, instead of just funding the same well-known nonprofits over and over.

Last, as a pathmaker in philanthropy, we also mobilize Latinos to invest in their own communities. We were an early innovator in this space and launched the first bilingual crowdfunding platform for social impact work in the Americas. Now we're looking for new ways to innovate and engage our community on a large scale.

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Weekend Link Roundup (July 21-22, 2018)

July 22, 2018

Trump_putin_afp_getty_yuri_kadobnovOur 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

Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther reports on the return of Wayne Pacelle, the former Human Society of the United States CEO who was forced to step down from his position six months ago after "a flurry of accusations of sexual harassment led to revolts among donors and staff."

Civic Engagement

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, California Endowment president Robert K. Ross argues that what America disparately needs is a "shared vision for [the] nation that is born from our communities and [a] new social compact to support that vision."

Education

Researchers from Northeastern University have put numbers to something many of us suspected: geography largely determines access to quality schools. In Boston, where the research was conducted, a lack of good schools in predominately minority neighborhoods means that students in those neighborhoods had "fewer top schools from which to choose, had greater competition for seats in those schools, were less likely to attend them, and had to travel longer distances when they did attend them." Sara Feijo reports for Northeastern News.

Diversity

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, CEP's Ellie Buteau shares findings from a new CEP report, Nonprofit Diversity Efforts: Current Practices and the Role of Foundations, that was based on a survey of nonprofit leaders that asked them about diversity at their organizations and how foundations can be most helpful in this area.

Environment

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a leading funder of conservation efforts in the American West, has announced a refresh of its grantmaking strategy for the region that includes a couple of new imperatives: listen more to grantees, partners, and communities; prioritize equity, inclusivity, and diversity; and take a systemic approach to policy change. Click here to learn more.

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Redesigning Online Education for the Global South

July 20, 2018

Logo_PhilUPhilanthropy University was launched in 2015 with seven courses that served more than 220,000 users from over 180 countries. Despite this success, we decided a little more than a year ago to pause the delivery of these courses. How come?

To understand why, it's important to understand how the target audience of Philanthropy University has shifted. We initially designed courses for a broad audience of social impact organizations around the world, from large nonprofits in California to small civil society organizations in rural Pakistan.

By 2017, however, it was clear to us that the way to deepen our impact was by focusing on local organizations based in the Global South — the regions of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania that are generally low-income and tend to be politically and culturally marginalized. To ensure that our courses would be accessible and relevant to that audience, we realized we would need to redesign them.

Understanding the barriers for Global South learners

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) hold the potential to bring a single course to learners across the globe. But studies show that learners from more developed countries disproportionately enroll in and complete MOOCs. Given the seemingly untapped potential of MOOCs, Philanthropy University's Instructional Design team set out to understand the pain points and needs of learners in the Global South and how they access online course content. In an environment where MacBook Airs and Google Fiber are not the norm, could learners access an online course easily?

For example, the original Philanthropy University courses included short video lectures from some of the world's leading experts in capacity building. Qualitative feedback from learners in the Global South indicated, however, that Internet bandwidth constraints interfered with their ability to stream videos, while spotty Internet connectivity made it challenging to progress through the course content. "It was really difficult for me to watch the videos," a learner in Ghana told us. "They did not load. So most of the time, I was just reading the [video] transcripts. It was so difficult…. I couldn't watch them."

To address these technical constraints, we redesigned our platform and underlying technology in the following ways:

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What's New at Foundation Center Update (July)

July 18, 2018

FC_logoSummer is a time to break from routine, rejuvenate, and reevaluate. As the thermometer climbs, Foundation Center is doing its part to refresh its thinking and processes to better serve the social sector. With that in mind, here's our June roundup:

Projects Launched

  • IssueLab launched its special Democracy Collection. In it, you'll find reports about election and campaign administration, voting access and participation, government performance and perceptions of that performance, the role of the media in democracy, and more. With the midterm elections fast approaching, this is a collection I'm personally digging into with added interest. Check it out and suggest an addition.
  • CF Insights launched the 2017 Columbus Survey Results Dashboard, which provides access to the most up-to-date, comprehensive dataset reflecting the current financial state of community foundations in the United States. The latest iteration of the dashboard also has new social media functionality that makes it easier for community foundations to raise their visibility in their communities by sharing their rankings with stakeholders and the public.
  • Our decades-old Funding Information Network (FIN) launched two new partnership packages in June that are designed to help libraries, community foundations, co-working spaces, and nonprofit resource centers better meet their local social sector needs.
  • Glasspockets launched a website refresh featuring a more user-friendly path for participation in the "Who Has Glass Pockets" transparency assessment and benchmarking tools. New content areas include how (and why) you can (and should) participate, and what to do if you're not sure where to start.
  • SDGfunders.org was re-launched with a new, dynamically updated dashboard. The platform tells the story of how philanthropic dollars are being used to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) goals and aims to foster better coordination among those working to build a better future for all.

Content Published

What We're Excited About

  • We'll be launching our 2017 Annual Report later this month. Look for stories on the importance of sharing knowledge, delivering data to local communities, strengthening the global philanthropic sector, servicing the needs of community foundations, and more.
  • We'll also be launching a new GrantCraft guide on participatory grantmaking at the end of the summer. Check out these videos from funders already engaged in the practice answering commonly asked questions about shifting the power in decision-making. Stay tuned for more!
  • Later this summer, our Midwest office will partner with DigitalC and Microsoft to launch the first Data Maturity Survey for Northeast Ohio/Cuyahoga County.

Upcoming Conferences and Events

Our staff will be attending these upcoming events:

Services Spotlight

  • 436,678 new grants added to Foundation Maps in June, of which 14,033 grants were made to 4,014 organizations outside the U.S.
  • Foundation Directory Online now includes more than 12 million grants. See this Eye on FDO blog post to learn more about the new Organization Search feature in FDO.
  • New data sharing partners: Ausherman Family Foundation, Inc.; Australian Executor Trustees; Brooks Foundation; Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation; Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation; Media Development Investment Fund; Susan McKinnon Foundation; Mutual Trustees; and We Raise Foundation. Tell your story through data so we can communicate philanthropy's contribution to making a better world — learn more about our eReporting program.
  • We provided custom searches for the Chronicle of Philanthropy and Executives' Alliance for Boys and Men of Color.
  • We're hosting a Proposal Writing Boot Camp in Detroit, MI, July 25-27

Data Spotlight

  • Funders have made grants totaling $3.8 billion in support of ocean and coastal waters around the world. Learn more at FundingTheOcean.org.
  • In 2016, foundation funding for SDG 10, Reducing Inequalities, totaled over $340 million. Check out the latest data on SDG funding at SDGfunders.org.

If you found this update helpful, feel free to share it or shoot us an email. I’ll be back next month with another update.

Jen Bokoff is director of stakeholder engagement at Foundation Center.

A Conversation With La June Montgomery Tabron, President and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation: Philanthropy and Racial Healing

July 16, 2018

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was one of the first large foundations in the U.S. to apply a racial equity lens to its grantmaking, beginning in the mid-1960s with its investments in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, continuing in the 1990s with initiatives aimed at narrowing the digital divide in poor and rural communities, and more recently under the banner of America Healing, a five-year, $75 million initiative launched in 2010 to improve life outcomes for vulnerable children and their families through the promotion of racial healing and the elimination of barriers to economic opportunities.

In recent years, the foundation has moved to amplify its racial equity and reconciliation work through its Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (THRT) framework, a national and place-based process launched in 2016 to bring about transformational and sustainable change and address the historic and contemporary effects and consequences of racism.

Recently, PND spoke with Tabron, who became president and CEO of the foundation in January 2014 after serving in numerous leadership positions there over twenty-six years, about the foundation’s TRHT work, the importance of emerging leadership in such work, and what institutional philanthropy can do to advance those efforts.

Headshot_LaJuneMontgomeryTabron1gallery

Philanthropy News Digest: The Kellogg Foundation launched its Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) effort in 2016. Are you pleased with the results of the effort to date?

La June Montgomery Tabron: As you know, the Kellogg Foundation has been working in this space strategically for several decades. Roughly a decade of that work was done under the banner of America Healing, which was an initiative aimed at addressing what we believed was a lack of connection and of mutual understanding in American society. The goal of America Healing was to foster a different level of awareness of how relationships are built by sharing stories and enabling people to come together in their common humanity. And what we learned is that, yes, we need to encourage people to build these relationships and share these stories, but at the same time the real levers for change are at the local, grassroots level, and that by embedding this kind of work in communities, it truly can be transformative.

That realization led directly to the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation effort, which took what we learned from America Healing and our knowledge that relationships were at the root of this kind of work and placed it squarely in a local context. Racial healing has to be rooted in relationship building and common experience, and so TRHT brings together people who live in the same community to think about how they can create a better, more equitable community together.

To your question of where we are to date, I think it is moving in exactly that direction, of making change happen locally. We have fourteen places in the United States working in this space. They all are creating their own plans. And no plan looks alike, which is exactly what we expected. But those plans all are characterized by the richness of diversity that comes from being place-specific, from different sectors coming together to work on a common problem, from identifying a starting point and coming up with real, practical solutions for how transformation can be achieved. We are very pleased with the work to date and the fact that it's taking place at the ground level, which is where the Kellogg Foundation is most comfortable.

PND: Would you say the country is more divided or less divided on issues of race today than when you launched TRHT?

LMT: I'm not sure we know. We see and hear the divisive discourse in the media. We look at polls, but polling data can be informed by the divisive discourse we all are exposed to. What I see and hear is a weariness in people with respect to the division in the country. Personally, I don't believe we know whether things are better or worse, because back when we launched our Truth, Racial Heal­ing & Transformation work the conversation was different, and it's hard to compare conversations that are rooted in different circumstances.

However, I can say that when we bring people together in communities and there's a space made for authentic dialogue, which is the basis of our TRHT work, people are willing to be open with each other. Even if they don't start there, that's where they end up. There's a positivity that emerges when a group of people decides to leave the divisive rhetoric behind and engages in a very local and often personal conversation. No one wants to live in a community where the police are seen to be racially biased. No one wants to live in a community where the public schools are failing, and kids are being denied the opportunity to achieve. No one wants to live in a community where a few people have a lot and most people don’t have enough. Most people see those kinds of communities as the exception, the anomaly, and they're eager to make sure their community isn't one of them. That's the kind of thoughtfulness and commitment we are trying to leverage as we engage with community leaders and ask them to be more forward-looking and equitable.

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Philanthropy in the War Zone

July 12, 2018

Broken-glassMost of the things philanthropists care about — civility, moderation, partnership, consensus — are fast disappearing. Our country, and much of the world, seem to be moving to a kind of scorched-earth politics in which division along ethnic, racial, religious, gender and identity lines is the currency of power. As ideologies become more rigid, people increasingly are balkanized into spatially segregated communities and social media echo chambers. In this kind of undeclared war, being right and winning are all that matter, with seemingly no aisle to cross and no common ground.

How should foundations navigate the world of 2018 and beyond? How can they? To be sure, foundations have something valuable to contribute — flexible resources free from market, electoral, and fundraising pressures. But will they use them to fight, transcend, or simply ignore the conflict that surrounds them?

Fight to Win…

As long as they do not run afoul of IRS restrictions on explicitly partisan political activity and lobbying to influence specific legislation, foundations and their grantee partners may and often do engage in politics (with a small "p"). One way to track foundations’ political engagement is to look not at the "what" of their grantmaking but the "how." At Foundation Center, we refer to these as "support strategies," which include cross-cutting approaches such as advocacy, coalition building, accountability, grassroots organizing, litigation, and systems reform. Collectively, these approaches have accounted for $27.5 billion in funding around the world since 2006. While that is less than 6 percent of total grantmaking over the same period, it is a significant amount and, in recent years, has grown. When we have more complete data for 2017 and 2018, I’m sure it will show the trend is accelerating.

“As befits a sector that prides itself on its diversity of perspectives, foundations have different views of what the solutions should be....”

Foundations are also striving to make American democracy itself work better. Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy (a web portal developed by Foundation Center) shows that since 2011 more than 5,600 foundations have made some $4.2 billion in grants for work related to campaigns, elections and voting, government effectiveness and transparency, and civic participation. As befits a sector that prides itself on its diversity of perspectives, these foundations have different views of what the solutions should be. Consider, for example, a grant from the Grogan Family Foundation to Judicial Watch "to fight corruption and voter fraud" and a grant made by the Joyce Foundation to the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Education Fund for "…developing and promoting a reform agenda that includes redistricting, judicial independence and voting rights." Both foundations and their grantees are working to improve the electoral process, but they have diagnosed the problem differently and are supporting quite different remedies.

Implicit to the theories of change that guide this kind of work is the idea that approaches developed by grantees eventually will be reflected in party platforms and government policy. But there are plenty of indications that growing numbers of Americans view the political establishment, government institutions, and parties themselves as part of the problem rather than the solution. Increasingly, we find ourselves mired in a culture war in which the rules of engagement seem to reward portraying "the other" as an enemy to be vanquished, rather than as a potential partner in the search for a common future. In such a war, foundations increasingly will need to ask themselves and their grantees how far they are willing to go to "win." Should foundations support groups that dehumanize immigrants by derisively describing government policy toward them as “catch and release” (a term whose origins relate to sport fishing)? Should they support groups that demonize their opponents when they casually label them Nazis or fascists?

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Disrupting Arts Philanthropy: Five Lessons Learned

July 10, 2018

Memphis_music_initiative_1The work of Memphis Music Initiative (MMI), which was featured in the recent study Toward the Future of Arts Philanthropy, is centered on  community empowerment through arts funding. The study explores MMI's funding and programmatic practices in the context of promoting equity and inclusive practices in arts funding, access to arts education, and youth development and offers a potential strategic framework for other capacity builders committed to equity in the arts.

The effects of race and place on access to funding and other resources are evident in what we call "philanthropic redlining" — patterns of exclusionary funding practices that all too regularly frustrate arts organizations led by people of color and hamper their efforts to serve marginalized communities. As noted in our study, public funding for the arts at the state and federal levels is down as much as 30 percent over the last decade, and the situation for black- and brown-led organizations, which are often dependent on such funding, is even more precarious. At MMI, a crucial aspect of our work is our commitment to address this issue through a proactive, and corrective, approach we call "disruptive philanthropy."

In addition to operating direct programs that provide music engagement opportunities for black and brown youth, we work to nurture and expand the arts ecosystem in Memphis by supporting community organizations working on the frontlines to increase access to music programs for youth of color. We believe that investments in black-led organizations are an investment in long-term community sustainability. We invest to build strong and efficient organizations — with a focus on communities of color — through general operating support grants as well as supports aimed at fostering sustainability and improving the quality of their programs. Our goal is to enhance the capacity of nonprofit organizations to deliver programs and secure sustainable funding and other resources beyond those provided by MMI. We are working to build a pipeline of community-based leaders dedicated to improving conditions for black and brown youth and to give black and brown leaders the space and time to fulfill their potential and achieve their goals.

In our direct programs, we take our people-centered investment to an even higher level. Our summer program, MMI Works, provides paid opportunities for high school students to work in arts nonprofits and businesses. Participating black and brown youth gain access to career training as well as professional and personal development, building the skills and the networks needed for long-term success. We also invest in the region's creative economy through our In-Schools Fellowship program, which pairs local musicians with Memphis schools and reaches more than four thousand students through instruction and mentorship.

We are a learning organization and constantly evaluate what is working well and what we can improve on. Here are five takeaways from our work that continue to inform our disruptive approach:

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5 Questions for...Ruth LaToison Ifill, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Council on Foundations

July 05, 2018

Ruth LaToison Ifill was named vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Council on Foundations in May, succeeding Floyd Mills. A military spouse, LaToison Ifill previously served as the manager of national career development services for veterans and military family members for Goodwill Industries International, where she also spearheaded initiatives to improve organizational understanding of and engagement with diversity and inclusion issues internally and in program implementation.

PND spoke with LaToison Ifill about the ways in which the council is working with member foundations to promote DEI across the sector and support systems change; the importance of data and intersectionality to that work; and the impact funders can have on the racial leadership gap at nonprofits.

Headshot_Ruth_LaToison_IfillPhilanthropy News Digest: The position of vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion was created in 2016 "to advance the council's work to promote inclusiveness as a fundamental operating principle in philanthropic organizations." How has philanthropy's approach to DEI changed over the last two years? And do you feel there's a greater sense of urgency now given the current political environment?

Ruth LaToison Ifill: I think the biggest change is that there is now a very robust ecosystem of philanthropic organizations and philanthropy-serving organizations that are working to drive diversity in the field in a myriad of ways. The council, specifically, has been partnering with, but also is being held accountable by, its member organizations. Together, we are demonstrating leadership and developing a diverse talent pipeline in philanthropy through our Career Pathways program, which has already seen great success and graduated sixty-one people of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and beliefs, 87 percent of whom have gone on to take senior and executive appointments at foundations. At the same time, the council's board is more diverse than it's ever been, which has led us to be more vocal and strategic in our internal efforts and in the services we deliver to our members.

We engage with over a thousand philanthropic organizations, and we are seeing incremental changes in the way our members are doing business. More and more of our members are focusing on racial equity and on the LGBTQ community in ways they were not before. So, we are seeing the sector change, but there's still much work that needs to be done, and we're collaborating with the sector and our partners to accomplish that work.

I hate to give credit to the current political environment, and I want to be fair to the previous administration, which was instrumental in raising DEI up as an issue. But the council had already been actively working to make the world a more inclusive place and highlighting the importance of respecting people regardless of which group they belong to or how they identify — and that became even more important as we saw people whom we love and care about being disparaged. We need to respond to that, of course, but our work on these issues started well before the current environment and only has become more urgent.

PND: What has the council been doing to support foundations' efforts to advance DEI in the field? And what is your number-one priority for that work over the next year or so?

RLI: It's about advancing the work and "inching" our members forward. The philanthropic sector is a big ship with a lot of moving parts and a complicated ecosystem of different types of organizations led by different kinds of people. We first need to demonstrate the cultural humility needed to do the hard work of expanding our perspective and understanding marginalized populations; there are leaders in this space who are already doing work that we can learn from. Philanthropy must be intentional about listening and learning, and that's a process that takes time. We at the council want to be a part of our members' process of learning and broadening their perspectives.

My priorities in this new role are intersectionality and data. Sometimes we can get stuck on the one issue we care about most or the one issue that gets the most attention, but I firmly believe this is not a zero-sum game. We really want people to see the importance of focusing on multiple communities and of paying attention to the data about how local communities are affected. For example, if you're a foundation and immigration is a major issue in your community, the data you are collecting about the impact of your work in that community should help you respond. Paying attention to the data specific to each community is how we want foundations to approach this work: to look at the focus on their giving, the composition of their boards, their staff, and then determine when and where they need to make changes in order to more closely align their work with their mission.

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Weekend Link Roundup (June 30-July 1, 2018)

July 01, 2018

Lionel-Messi-en-souffrance-lors-de-France-Argentine_w484Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Civic Tech

International Affairs/Development

On the GuideStar blog, Gabe Cohen, the organization’s senior director of marketing and communications, talks with Mari Kuraishi, president of GlobalGiving (which she co-founded with Dennis Whittle in 2001), about the organization's founding and early years and the values and qualities the organization is looking for in its next leader.

Leadership

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Vu Le suggests that the best leaders may be those who are "willing to give up the things they care about, not out of pity and charity, but in recognition of and in response to systemic injustice. Among other things, it means sometimes we men do not apply for that perfect job, even if we think we are well qualified for it. It means white allies sometimes do not take the microphone, literally or figuratively, so that others can have a chance to speak and be heard. It means larger organizations sometimes do not pursue catalytic grants, even if they have a high chance of getting them, and instead support the smaller, grassroots organizations led by marginalized communities. It means foundations share decision-making power with nonprofits and communities who have lived through the inequity they are trying to address."

LGTBQ

Kee Tobar, a Stoneleigh Foundation Emerging Leader Fellow and an attorney in the Youth Justice Project at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, marks the end of Pride Month with a guest post on the Generocity site that highlights the "closet to poverty pipeline" in which too mnay LGBTQ youth find themselves trapped.

Nonprofits

Jutt back from a busy week at the IFC-ASIA: Ecoystems for Good conference in Thailand, Beth Kanter shares some tips that will help you design a formal reflection process that can lead to improved project or event results.

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Naomi Orensten, CEP's director of research, shares the latest results of a survey of funders it periodically conducts to better understand their perceptions across a number of dimensions of CEP's work, engagement with and use of its research, and experiences as users of its assessment and advisory services.

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