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Weekend Link Roundup (October 20-21, 2012)

October 21, 2012

McGovern-72Our weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....


Network for Good's Katya Andresen offers "five tectonic technology shifts changing our world, our work, and our potential," including the "messenger shift," in which one's peers are now the most influential and amplified messengers in a person's life; the "social action shift"; and the "message shift," where a single message for everyone is no longer enough.


On her BlackGivesBack blog, Tracey Webb announces the most recent winners of the D5 coalition's Insights on Diversity grants.


How is "big data" changing health and health care? Steve Downs, chief technology and information officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, chats with a colleague about the latest trends in the use of health-related data at both the personal and population level and the promise these innovations hold for the future.

Higher Education

Guest blogging on the James Irvine Foundation blog, Lisa García Bedolla, an associate professor at UC Berkeley, argues that trends in college completion rates in "Latino heavy" California have "important economic consequences for California and the United States as a whole." Unfortunately, "at a time when the state needs to be investing more in the education of its children," writes Garcia Bedolla,

California is caught in the worst budget crisis it has faced since the Great Depression, resulting in unprecedented disinvestment in the social safety net needed to address these structural disparities. That is where private philanthropy, like the James Irvine Foundation, may be able to step in. In an era of dysfunction within public institutions, perhaps the future lies in public-private partnerships geared towards addressing the cumulative disadvantage that lies at the heart of these inequalities. Children in poverty face a number of developmental challenges, rooted in inadequate prenatal care, nutrition, access to health care, quality housing and early-learning opportunities, before they even enter kindergarten. Institutions like the James Irvine Foundation have the ability to address those many structures of inequality by supporting holistic solutions that bridge the traditional silos and focus resources in the places where youth live, simultaneously addressing the numerous cumulative inequalities that negatively affect youths life chances....

Impact Investing

Writing in Alliance magazine, Sarah Gelfand, director of the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing the scale and effectiveness of impact investing, shares some thoughts about the role that data can play in mobilizing additional resources for the solution of social and environmental problems.

Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer has floated a proposal to create a social impact bond to pay for expanded access to the Early Head Start program, and the implication, says the Nonprofit Quarterly's Rick Cohen, is that the approach will protect "the wallets of hard-pressed taxpayers." Is this "smart policy," asks Cohen, or just the "latest positioning of social enterprise...as an approach to governing that is less costly than the old-fashioned notion of taxpayer-funded government programs"? Good question, Rick.


In a post on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz shares a list of things we can no longer assume -- no one in the room has a video camera, every American wants to own a car, we will work until we retire, among them -- as a way to "help us see how different the world we live in now is from the world for which we created many of our institutional philanthropic and nonprofit practices, purposes, and regulations."

Social Media

"[Y]ou can no longer truly separate your personal life from your professional life on social media," writes Rosetta Thurman in a recent post on her blog. "We are...definitely in the era of online integrity. And no matter how scary it seems, this is a very good thing." Do you agree?


And on the Idealist.org blog, Allison Jones has some advice for people who have surveyed the nonprofit landscape and are interested in creating their own volunteer opportunity.

That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at rnm@foundationcenter.org. And have a great week!

-- The Editors

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