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Weekend Link Roundup (March 21-22, 2015)

March 22, 2015

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

Climate Change

Cold winter, wasn't it? Well, yes, if you were on the East Coast of the United States. Not so much everywhere else.

According to Equities.com, the Guardian has launched a campaign to encourage the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK-based Wellcome Trust, the two largest funders of nongovernmental medical and scientific research in the world, to divest their portfolios of investments in fossil fuel companies. "We have to confront our own inconsistencies," said Professor Chris Rapley, former director of the Science Museum in London. "Either [Gates and the Trust] accept the argument that we need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels or they don't. It's highly symbolic when charities like this make a stand."


On the Gates Foundation's Impatient Optimists blog, Allan Golston, president of the foundation's U.S. program, argues that annual, comprehensive education data is vital to ensuring that all students have access to a quality education.

International Development

In the Washington Post, Kevin Sullivan and Rosalind Helderman offer a closer look at how Bill and Hillary Clinton's charitable work in Haiti has both succeeded and failed.


On the NCRP blog, Britt Yamamoto, executive director of iLEAP, a nonprofit organization that works to inspire and renew social leaders, shares some key takeaways from the NCRP report Cultivating Nonprofit Leadership: A (Missed?) Philanthropic Opportunity.


The future of innovation in the social sector is...general operating support, writes Jocelyn Wyatt, executive director of IDEO, on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog.


Boston-based venture capitalist Todd Dagres is a fan of Shark Tank, the ABC business-pitch reality show, and according to the Boston Globe's Sacha Pfeiffer, he's looking to create a competition modeled on the show where "[e]arly-stage not-for-profit organizations could pitch their missions to investors, who would vet them on their plans and fund those they consider most promising."


It's conference season, and Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, has a few suggestions for conference planners and speakers hoping to create a good experience for attendees.

Effective altruism, a philosophical movement that "applies evidence and reason to determining the most effective ways to improve the world," is a "welcome development in the world of philanthropy, where, too often, feely-goody feelingness obscures metrics and accountability," writes Paris-based entrepreneur Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry in The Week. But is it really the basket into which we want to put all our philanthropic eggs? 

On the Huffington Post's Impact blog, fundraising consultant Renee Herrell asks, What if corporations could be engaged more deeply in philanthropy through a method that positively affects their bottom line? And what would that look like?

In an op-ed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, William Burckart, an impact investment and philanthropy adviser, and Steven Godeke, an independent financial adviser and the author of Building a Healthy and Sustainable Social Impact Bond Market: The Investor Landscape, identify preliminary steps that foundations, which have been slow to embrace impact investing, can take to get in the game.

Before committing to an impact investment, foundations (and others) need to consider the four "Ps" of pay for success —  Partnership, Program, Policy, and Process — write Eileen Neely, director of capital innovation at Living Cities, and Andy Rachlin, director for lending and investment at the Reinvestment Fund, on the Living Cities blog.

In Barron's, Abby Schultz reports on the efforts of Hong Kong's Yeh family to apply the precepts of strategic philanthropy to encourage and support "promising young minds [in China] through education and social entrepreneurship."


On Brookings' Tech Tank blog, Joshua Bleiberg and Darrell M. West report on three ways that mobile tech helped stop the spread of Ebola in Nigeria.

Workforce Development

"Minnesota and the surrounding states of the Upper Midwest are experiencing a demographic revolution. Yet that fact and its significance are just beginning to sink in," writes Jennifer Bradley in a thought piece for the Brookings Institute. Driven to a significant degree by immigration, the shift, combined with the aging of the region's population, "have huge implications for how both the private and public sectors in Minnesota — and elsewhere — allocate their resources and make decisions about education, training, and hiring," Bradley adds. "The challenge will be to make sure that as the baby boomers retire and their jobs open up to a more diverse workforce, the young people in that workforce are ready to fill those jobs."

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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