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Weekend Link Roundup (February 20-21, 2016)

February 21, 2016

OFFICIAL-TRUMP-BALLOON700-622x900Our weekly round up of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Arts and Culture

In a piece for the Huffington Post, Robert Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts, looks at five macro trends that nonprofit arts organizations need to watch.


You would think that finance and fundraising professionals at most nonprofits go out of their way to be collegial and collaborative. According to Andy Segedin, you would be wrong.


Good post by Eugene Fram on the role trustees and directors should play in overseeing nonprofit management/staff.

Higher Education

Is the traditional college education an endangered species? Of course it is, says MIT computer science professor and serial education entrepreneur Anant Agarwal. The Innovation@Wharton team reports.


Nicky Goren, president and CEO of the D.C.-based Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation, suggests that "many of the barriers and challenges facing low-income communities are the product of generations of systemic inequity," and that business and nonprofit leaders need "to have an open and candid conversation about racism before we can move from treating the symptoms of inequality to tackling its causes."

What do entrepreneurs and tech visionaries in Silicon Valley understand about income inequality and the threat it poses to global prosperity? Not a whole lot, write Jess Rimington and Joanna Levitt Cea, visiting scholars at Stanford University's Global Projects Center, and Martin Kirk, head of strategy for activist website The Rules, on FastCoExist.

The practice of tipping is rooted in slavery -- and it continues to hurt American workers today. The Ford Foundation's Elizabeth Wann explains.

International Affairs/Development

On the Hewlett Foundation's Work in Progress blog, Sarah Lucas, a program officer in the foundation's Global Development and Population program, chats with Steven Radelet, director of the Global Human Development Program at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and author of The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World.

Devex senior reporter Jenny Lei Ravelo checks out five mobile apps created by and for NGOs to see how they work and how charities are using the platforms to raise awareness for their causes.


In a piece for the Denver Post, philanthropic strategist Bruce DeBoskey applauds the Heron Foundation's Clara Miller and Miller's "thought-provoking essay, Building a Foundation for the 21st Century."

"At too many foundations there is an inexorable tendency for assets to accumulate, for salaries to bloat, and for board members to remain insular and disconnected from the societal problems they are supposed to be fixing," writes sector veteran Alan Cantor. And all that might have been different, counterfactually speaking, had "a logical set of restrictions" proposed by Edward Divine, one of the pioneers of the social work profession, on the fledgling Rockefeller Foundation a century ago been adopted by Congress.

Should saving the world be profitable? "Tactically, there are advantages to a hard-nosed, business-minded approach," writes the Christian Science Monitor's Schuyler Velasco. "People like [Mark] Zuckerberg and [Bill] Gates

have the financial means to take risks on innovative solutions. Unlike a traditional charity, private foundations funded independently by wealthy individuals can work on long-term problems without having to hit fundraising benchmarks or prove yearly results to donors. Proponents also argue that pooling public resources with private aid mean a diverse array of some of the world's brightest minds working on a particular problem....But as the power and influence of this type of charity work grows, many in the philanthropy and social development world have begun calling for more accountability....

On the HistPhil blog, Rhodri Davies discusses his new bookPublic Good by Private Means: How Philanthropy Shapes Britain.

In a thoughtful post on the Heinz Endowments' blog, Grant Oliphant, the foundation's president, reflects on what a "Just Pittsburgh" would look like/

What should funders looking at offering more unrestricted support be thinking about? The Center for Effective Philanthropy's Mena Boyadzhiev share some advice drawn from "a literature review on the overall use of foundation-provided general operating support, including trends and practices used in the field," as well as CEP s own research report, In Search of Impact.

On balance, prize philanthropy is good, in that it serves to generate attention and resources for sometimes-overlooked issues, writes Marc Gunther on his Nonprofit Chronicles blog. But, ultimately, issues such as climate change, intractable poverty, and educational inequities require political solutions and philanthropy's greatest contribution might just be supporting those who can deliver them.

Public Affairs

In Fast Company, Michael Grothaus explains why tech giant Apple's decision to contest a court-ordered request to provide the FBI with a "backdoor" to its iPhone encryption technology highlights one of the most important issues of our time.

Social Media

And for all you nonprofit leaders out there who are trying to figure out to manage your personal brand on Instagram, the popular photo-sharing platform, Beth Kanter has the scoop.

(Illustration: Steve Brodner)

That's it for now. What have you been reading/watching/listening to? Drop us a line at[email protected] or via the comments section below....

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Posted by Jane  |   February 21, 2016 at 05:45 PM

I like the illustration.

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