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Weekend Link Roundup (April 23-24, 2016)

April 24, 2016

BarerootcherrytreeOur 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

Americans for the Arts has released the sixth and final edition of the National Arts Index, its annual report the health and vitality of arts and culture in the United States. This edition, which covers the years 2002-13 and includes data on eighty-one national-level indicators, provides "provides the fullest picture yet of the impact of the Great Recession on the arts — before, during, and after." You can download the full report (4.38mb, PDF) a one-page summary, and/or previous reports from this page.

Climate Change

On his Nonprofit Chronicles blog, Marc Gunther suggests that is we are to avoid the worst effects of global warming, we not only have to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we'will also need to figure out how to pull vast amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air. It's a daunting challenge, but we've got "a decade or two, perhaps" to figure it out, Gunther adds, and philanthropy, which has yet to devote much money to research on these technologies, has a real opportunity to make a difference.

In a Q&A here on PhilanTopic, the United Nation Foundation's Reid Detchon explains the significance of the Paris Agreement, which representatives of more than a hundred and seventy countries signed at a ceremony at the UN on Friday. And in a post on Medium, the National Resource Defense Council's Reah Suh argues that the accord represents the greatest opportunity the world has had to shift "from the carbon-rich fossil fuels of the past to the clean energy options that can power our future." home and abroad.


Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has just awarded $20 million to thirty nonprofits working to engineer a better life for the disabled around the globe. Wired's Davey Alba has the details.


On her Answer Sheet blog, Washington Post reporter Valerie Strauss shares key takeaways from Teachers Talk Back: Educators on the Impact of Teacher Evaluation, a new report written by a team of teachers and administrators headed by veteran educator Anthony Cody, co-founder of the Network for Public Education, and education historian and activist Diane Ravitch.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation has launched an initiative called the Better Math Teaching Network. Learn more here.


The 2016 M+R Benchmarks Study, an annual report published by communications agency M+R and the Nonprofit Technology Network, is out and one of its key findings is that email still rules when it comes to raising money. Mashable's Katie Dupere breaks it down.

With alumni participation in annual campaigns on the decline, colleges and universities are turning to crowdfunding sites like GiveCampus.com to boost their fundraising results among younger, more tech-savvy grads -- and are finding success. The Washington Post's Danielle Douglas-Gabriel reports.

How can fundraisers ensure their engagement practices aren't just engaging donors but are also fostering loyalty? Abila, Inc.'s Donor Loyalty Study just might have the answers. (Free download; registration required.)

Global Poverty

With urbanization accelerating around the globe, traditional survey techniques are vastly undercounting the number of people living in urban slums, writes Humansophere's Tom Murphy. And "[b]ad numbers could mean that resources aren't used where they're needed most – too much in some places, little to none in other places."

In The Atlantic, Nina Munk profiles Howard G. Buffett, who, with the $2.5 billion his father Warren has invested in his foundation, is trying to figure out how to help the 800 million people globally, many in sub-Saharan Africa, who do not have enough to eat.


Congratulations to nonprofit investigative journalism site ProPublica, which, in partnership with the Marshall Project, a nonprofit nonpartisan news organization that covers America's criminal justice system, won its third Pulitzer Prize for for "An Unbelievable Story of Rape," T.Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong's "harrowing" account of the hunt for a serial rapist.


Are Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and other tech titans the Andrew Carnegies and John D. Rockefellers of a new Gilded Age? The excesses of the that period in American history, the Guardian's Nellie Bowles writes, led to a cultural moment that Carnegie biographer David Nasaw says looks familiar today. "Back then there was a lot of rage, a lot of anger.... There was a backlash against Carnegie and Rockefeller when they set up their philanthropies. There was a congressional hearing about whether this concentrated wealth should be allowed," Nasaw notes. "There's always this conversation between democracy and billionaires, and today those billionaires have more power than ever."


Is the social reproduction of poverty inevitable? Not at all, and not even in Baltimore, where poor children are less likely to escape poverty than those growing up in any other city in America, say sociologists Stefanie DeLuca, Susan Clampet-Lundquist, and Kathryn Edin in their new book, Coming of Age in the Other America. Jen Kinney reports for Next City.

Social Change

The Case Foundation has launched a redesigned Be Fearless Hub aimed at enhancing "the user experience and mak[ing] more accessible the free tools and resources that [the Be Fearless] community has requested." Visitors to the hub will find new case studies, a downloadable "Be Fearless Framework for Action," and a helpful What's New section.

Writing on the Medium platform, Acumen's Jacqueline Novogratz has a good piece on the five traits of a moral leader.


And on the Aspen Idea blog, guest blogger Jasmine Babers says the term "glass ceiling" doesn't begin to suggest the  nature of the challenges women of color face in trying to advance their professional lives.

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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