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Weekend Link Roundup (June 25-26, 2016)

June 26, 2016

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

Civil Society

The Huffington Post's Eleanor Goldberg shares this tidbit: During the last presidential election cycle in 2012, more Americans gave to charity (59.7 percent)  than voted (53.6 percent). What's more, the U.S. lags most of its OECD peers when it comes to voter turnout. According to Patrick M. Rooney, associate dean for academic affairs and research at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, that's because giving is seen as "more direct, more tangible,” whereas "there are lots of gaps between what any one politician promises and what he or she can deliver." 

Digital Divide

A study commissioned by the Wireless Broadband Alliance to mark World Wi-Fi Day (June 20) finds that nearly a quarter (23 percent) of the people in North America, which boasts the world's highest average monthly income, do not have a broadband connection.


On his Nonprofit Chronicles blog, Marc Gunther talks with Linda Greer, a senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council, about how NGOs can pressure companies to change, why environmental nonprofits should not take money from corporations, and how NRDC is working Ma Jun, China’s best-known environmental leader, to bring about change on the environmental front in that country.


"The Brexit vote," writes Dara Lind in Vox, "has proven that anti-immigrant anxiety is an incredibly powerful force: powerful enough to, in certain circumstances, ensure an electoral victory. But the thing about running on people's anxieties is that once you get into office, you have...to alleviate them." Otherwise, you're just another failed politician "who couldn’t keep [his/her] promises."


"For every dollar owned by the average white family in the United States," write Rebecca Adamson, Rose Brewer, Betsy Leondar-Wright, Meizhu Lui, and Bárbara Robles, "the average family of color has less than [a] dime." And that wealth gap has everything to do with the fact that for centuries, people of color in America ?were barred by law, by discrimination, and by violence from participating in government wealth-building programs that benefited white Americans."

International Affairs/Development 

According to a new report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,  65.3 million people were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015, compared to 59.5 million twelve months earlier and four times more than a decade ago. The report also found that three countries -- Syria (4.9 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), and Somalia (1.1 million) -- produced half the world's refugees in 2015, while Colombia (6.9 million), Syria (6.6 million), and Iraq (4.4 million) had the largest numbers of internally displaced people. Elsewhere, an analysis by the Pew Research Center found that of the more than 40,000 refugees who have been admitted to the United States so far in 2016, the largest numbers have come from Burma (Myanmar), the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Somalia.


In the Nonprofit Quarterly, Jim Schaffer makes a strong case for sticking with the word nonprofit to describe the work of, well, nonprofits.

How is nonprofit overhead still a thing? asks Nell Edgington on her Social Velocity blog.

Inexpensive is nice, free is better, and Wild Apricot's 199 free or cheap online tools for nonprofits is the cat's pajamas.


"Perpetuity," as John D. Rockefeller once observed, "is a very long time," which is why, writes Fred Smith on the CEP blog, a growing number of high-net-worth families are deciding to "sunset" their foundations and distribute the remaining assets to a new generation of community-based leaders and organizations.

CF Insights, a service of Foundation Center (PND's parent organization), has released a new ranking of the largest hundred community foundations in the United States by asset size. (Registration required.)

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy's Philamplify initiative has released another in its series of foundation assessments. This time the organization in the spotlight is the Oregon Community Foundation, the eighth-largest (by assets) community foundation in the country.

And in what is sure to be a much-commented article published in the July 14 issue of The New York Review of Books, retired business owner and New York City philanthropist Lewis B. Cullman and Boston College Law School professor Ray Madoff argue that the increasing popularity of commercial donor-advised funds, which "give donors all of the tax benefits of charitable giving while imposing no obligation that the money be put to active charitable use," is a matter of "grave concern" and threatens "to undermine the American system for funding charity."

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

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    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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