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Weekend Link Roundup (March 26-27, 2016)

March 27, 2016

CherryblossomOur weekly round up of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Climate Change

Forty-one percent of Americans — a record number — believe global warming poses "a serious threat to them or their way of life." Aamna Mohdin reports for Quartz.

Another sign of the times: The Rockefeller Family Fund, a family philanthropy created by Martha, John, Laurance, Nelson, and David Rockefeller in 1967 with money "borne of the fortune of John D. Rockefeller," America's original oil baron, has announced its intent to divest from fossil fuels, a process that "will be completed as quickly as possible." You can read the complete statement here

And the New York Times' coverage of new findings warning of the potentially devastating consequences of unchecked global warming, in a much more compressed time frame than previously thought, should get everyone's attention.


What is the most effective way to protect wild lands? Traditional place-based conservation? Or through efforts to reshape markets and reduce demand for the development of those lands? Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther explores that question with Aileen Lee, chief program officer for environmental conservation at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, one of the largest private funders of environmental conservation efforts in the world.

Corporate Social Responsibility

"What we are seeing," write Brigit Helms and Oscar Farfán on the Huffington Post Impact blog, "is not just a passing trend, but the beginning of a new form of business — a business that looks beyond profits to generate social value, the business of the future. Tectonic forces are accelerating this movement. At the global level, the most important one involves a cultural shift driven mainly by millennials. The new generation sees the main role of business as that of 'improving society', and not just generating profits...."


On the Rockefeller Foundation blog, Judith Rodin, the foundation's president, looks at what the "unbelievable, ever-accelerating pace" of change portends for "what it means to work and make a living"— and a few of the implications of those trends for how philanthropy, and the foundation itself, will have to work in the future.


From the booming Bay Area, to Boston and Seattle, to Rocky Mountain resort communities, public school teachers are finding it increasingly difficult to live in the communities where they teach. NPR's Eric Westervelt reports.

What will it take to close the "opportunity gap" in public education  and give all children, even children from poor families, a chance to succeed in school — and beyond? On Valerie Strauss' Answer Sheet blog, Kevin Welner, director of the National Education Policy Center at UC Boulder, argues that the most "sensible, efficient and humane approach...is to attack the cruelty of concentrated poverty directly. It is wrongheaded," he adds, "to weigh our children down with obstacle after obstacle and then turn to our schools to overcome those burdens...."


"Americans are a generous people. But in a world of advertising noise, they need to be reminded of that...." So argues controversial charity advocate Dan Pallotta in a letter addressed to frequent charity critic Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) defending fundraising costs at the Wounded Warrior Project, the country’s largest and fastest-growing veterans charity.

And on the BoardSource blog, Vernetta Walker, the organization's chief governance officer, has a good post detailing some lessons learned from the WWP case.

Global Health

"Leading thinkers around the world have...called for a change to the medical patent regime, supporting alternatives such as the Health Impact Fund and Medical Innovation Prizes. Social justice must trump private profit in the case of health," writes Urvashi Aneja on India-based news site The Wire. How is it, then, that Bill Gates, "the new self-appointed guardian of global health supports an intellectual property regime that undermines his own stated objectives?"

International Affairs/Development

On the Niskanen Center blog, David Bier and Matthew La Corte suggest that one way to jumpstart the federal government's "slow and inadequate" response to the refugee crisis in the Middle East is for the goverment to create a privately funded refugee resettlement program. Under such a program, private individuals and organizations would be able to donate money to fund refugee resettlement, and the higher the level of donations, the greater the number of refugees who would be resettled in the U.S. Read the full report (17 pages, PDF) here.

Given the the recent escalation of anti-Muslim rhetoric and its effect on New York's Muslim community, New Yorkers -- and the New York philanthropic community — has a responsibility to act, writes Maria Mottola, executive director of the New York Foundation. In addition to providing more support for "trusted community-based organizations that serve New York's Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities," those who work in philanthropy "can amplify the message that hate and xenophobia are not to be tolerated...condemn messages that promote exclusion and discrimination... [and] counter with our own messages of religious tolerance and full inclusion of immigrants."


It's time for a new kind of nonprofit leader, "one who has the confidence, ability, foresight, energy, and strength of will to find and deliver on solutions. It is time we move from a nonprofit leader who is worn out, worn down, out of money and faced with insurmountable odds, to a reinvented nonprofit leader who confidently gathers and leads the army of people and resources necessary to create real, lasting social change." Social Velocity's Nell Edgington explains

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 section below....

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