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Weekend Link Roundup (July 30-31, 2016)

July 31, 2016

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


If you're like NWB's Vu Le, you've pretty much lost patience with colleagues and others who routinely make one of these mistakes in their written or verbal communications.

Community Improvement/Development

The League of Creative Interventionists, a global network of people working to build community through creativity, has posted a manifesto and is inviting people like you to join its movement.

Corporate Social Responsiblity

Can CEOs really drive their companies to be more sustainable? As Mary Barra's experience at GM would seem to suggest, it's harder than you think, writes Raz Godelnik, co-director of the MS in Strategic Design & Management program at the Parsons School of Design, on Triple Pundit.

Criminal Justice

Earlier this week, NBA great Michael Jordan announced gifts of $1 million each to two organizations working to build trust between African Americans and law enforcement. The organizations are the Institute for Community-Police Relations, which was launched in May by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. And here is Jordan's statement.


As one of the major-party political conventions demonstrated, there are lots of areas of American life where diversity is more vague notion than reality. Another is the tech scene in Silicon Valley, where "[t]alented people are left behind every day, many simply because they don't have the same kind of access as Ivy League brogrammer." In Fast Company, Cale Guthrie Weissman reports on what a few organizations are doing to change that equation.


New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has introduced a bold new plan to disrupt the city's school-to-prison pipeline. The key element? Keeping kids from misbehaving by not suspending them for misbehavior. Amy X. Wang reports.


Michael Jordan's two million-dollar gifts (see above) were applauded by his fans and admirers, not to mention advocates of criminal justice reform in the United States. But when it comes to charitable giving, Jordan has a ways to go to catch up with "the King," Cleveland Cavalier's star and NBA great LeBron James, whose recent gift to the University of Akron to provide guaranteed four-year scholarships to the school for students in his "I Promise" program makes him the sixth-most charitable ever.

International Affairs/Development

With apologies to Mr. Dickens: "It was the worst of times, it was a time of miracles..."

Just as the SDG agenda is getting off the ground, funding for HIV/AIDS from rich donor countries appears to be drying up — and it's not clear that middle-income countries will be able to fill the gap. Andrew Green reports for Devex.


China has the world's second largest population of billionaires, ranking just behind the U.S., yet philanthropy contributed only 0.17 percent to China's GDP in 2014, while in the U.S. it accounted for 12 percent. In Forbes, Oliver Rui takes a closer look at China's "philanthropy gap."

"The American charitable tradition is...an egalitarian force against over-concentrated power. It is also a mechanism for draining poisonous envy out of our free-enterprise system," writes Karl Zinsmeister, creator of the recently published American Almanac of Philanthropy, in the summer issue of City Journal.  "By expanding the economic pie for all Americans via creative investments in science, schools, job training, character development, and other areas, American philanthropy has been crucial in fostering diligence and productivity — and building the distinctive capitalism that separates us from other nations."

Or maybe not so much. "Philanthropy has come a long way since [Andrew Carnegie] took a childhood experience and turned it into a national legacy," writes Courtney Martin, author of Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists and The New Better Off: Reinventing the American Dream.  But, she adds, too often "it feels like we've lost our core wisdom about how change actually happens....[Too often, we forget] that the only philanthropy worth engaging in — both ethically and strategically speaking — is the kind that honors the wisdom of relationships and the power of money."

"The latest issue of PS: Political Science & Politics was just published, and there is a special symposium on the politics of organized philanthropy," writes Daniel W. Drezner, a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, on the Washington Post's PostEverything blog. "Theda Skocpol wrote the intro," adds Drezner, and boy, is she skeptical."

If you missed it, take some time to read the digital forum in The Nation on the future of philanthropy. Guest contributors include Jessie Spector, executive director at Resource Generation; Steve Phillips, co-founder of PowerPac+; Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation; Craigslist founder Craig Newmark; Neva Goodwin, co-director of the Global Development and Environmental Institute at Tufts University, and Rosemary Corbett, board member at the Center for Constitutional Rights; Leah Hunt-Hendrix, co-founder and executive director of Solidaire; and Daniel Laurie, CEO and founder of Tipping Point Community.

On Exponent Philanthropy's PhilanthroFiles blog, Carrie Avery, president of the L.A.-based Durfee Foundation, shares her number-one tip for successfully engaging next-gen family members: consider offering one-year, renewable board terms to family members.

And Howard Gardner, a psychologist-turned- social scientist who writes the Professional Ethicist blog, asks a question that may have occurred to many of you at one time or another: Should philanthropy be a profession? (h/t HistPhil)

Water/Sanitation/Hygiene (WASH)

According to the World Health Organization, almost 2.4 billion people lack access to modern sanitation and nearly 1 billion practice open defecation, which, in 2016, is both startling and unacceptable. On his Nonprofit Chronicles blog, Marc Gunther looks at what a handful of NGOs are doing to improve the quality and sustainability of water and sanitation projects in poor countries.

Women and Girls

Last but not least, on the Huffington Post, Dianne Bailey, a member of the Women's Philanthropy Institute Council and head of the nonprofit organizations and foundations practice group at Robinson Bradshaw, shares key takeways from Giving to Women and Girls: Who Gives and Why, the first empirical study to systematically analyze who gives to women's and girls' causes, and why.

(Photo credit: Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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

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