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Weekend Link Roundup (June 7-8, 2014)

June 08, 2014

World Cup_logoOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy items from and about the nonprofit sector....

Climate Change

On the Bloomberg View site, Cass Sunstein, the Felix Frankfurter professor of law at Harvard University, provides three rebuttals to the so-called Sophisticated Objection of the fossil fuel lobby and its supporters, an argument which acknowledges that while climate change is a serious problem, unilateral action by any country will impose significant costs without producing significant benefits.


On the Markets for Good blog, Lucy Bernholz suggests it's time we started thinking more seriously about how to "collect, organize, govern, store, share, and destroy digital data for public benefit" – and offers a couple of "deliberately half-baked" ideas to get us started.

"Good data practice is not just about the technical skills," writes Beth Kanter on her blog. "There is a human side [as well].  It is found between the dashboard and the chair. It includes organizational culture and its influence on decision-making – from consensus building on indicators, agility in responding to data with action, and sense-making. It is the human side that helps nonprofits use  their data for learning and continuous improvement." 


On the Inside Philanthropy site, L.S. Hall weighs in with a surprisingly generous consideration of the education philanthropy of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.


Nancy Roob, president and CEO of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, argues in a post on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog that while fears of rigorous evaluation are "justifiable," a broader perspective on the purposes of evaluation can help allay them.


On Network for Good's Nonprofit Marketing Blog, Nancy Schwartz shares key takeways from Integrated Fundraising: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, a new report from Mal Warwick | Donordigital.

Net Neutrality

Late-night comedian/talk show host John Oliver offers one of the best (and most amusing) commentaries on the net neutrality debate we've seen to date. Sorry, Sting. (This is the segment/video that went viral and crashed the FCC website after it was broadcast.)


In a piece on the Alliance magazine site, Cindy Gibson and Nell Edgington ask whether consultants to social sector organzations should also be thought leaders. While they don't go so far as to provide a yes or no answer, they do offer a number of questions designed to help leaders and practitioners in the sector distinguish between consultants who are introducing ideas to spark new thinking and those who are marketing a particular framework as a way to help build their brand.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy's Holly Hall reports that some experts are pushing back on the updated $58 trillion wealth transfer estimate recently issued by John Havens and Paul Schervish at the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. "There are so many variables that can change over a more than fifty-year period," says one. "Major businesses don’t project that far out, so why should the nonprofit sector?"

Stanford Lawyer magazine has a nice profile of former Hewlett Foundation president Paul Brest, complete with half a dozen related links of interest.

The Council on Foundations has released the 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report, which offers salary information for thirty-four executive, professional, and administrative positions, enabling grantmakers (and others) to compare salaries and compensation levels by foundation type, asset size, and region.

And on Glasspocket's Transparency Talk blog, Greater New Orleans Foundation president Albert Ruesga explains how and why, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the foundation made a "commitment to increased community engagement."

That's it for now. What have you been reading/watching/listening to? Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org or via the comments box below....

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