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Weekend Link Roundup (October 29-30, 2016)

October 30, 2016

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


Next Avenue, a public media site dedicated to meeting the needs and unleashing the potential of older Americans, has released its 2016 list of the "advocates, researchers, thought leaders, innovators, writers and experts who continue to push beyond traditional boundaries and change our understanding of what it means to grow older."


In the wake of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the NAACP is mounting an effort to convince African Americans that environmental issues are "closely intertwined with health and economic opportunity for black Americans." Zack Coleman and Mark Trumbull report for the Christian Science Monitor.


Regular PhilanTopic contributor Derrick Feldmann has some advice about how foundations can overcome the biggest challenge they face: turning dues-paying members into committed donors.


For the first time ever, the top spot in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's annual ranking of the nation's biggest-grossing charities has gone to a public charity affiliated with a financial services firm. What does that mean for charity in America? Caroline Preston reports for The American Prospect.

For Vauhini Vara, a contributing editor for The New Yorker, the Chronicle's finding "seems to symbolize how the wealth gap in the U.S. is having an influence on all spheres of public life." But Brain Gallagher, president and CEO of United Way Worldwide (which slipped a notch in the Chronicle list after many years there), tells Vara that "[r]eal social change happens when millions of people get involved, average donors get involved, and work collectively on big issues."


Over the first ten years of its existence, the New York State Health Foundation awarded $117 million to more than four hundred grantee organizations to improve the health of all New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable. To mark its ten-year anniversary, the foundation has released a report with some of the lessons it has learned.

International Affairs/Development

"If you look [over] the past fifteen years, a billion people have been lifted out of poverty," Melinda Gates told Vox's Zack Beauchamp in a recent conversation. "[And what] Bill and I are seeing is that this progress can and should be sped up." To read a transcript of their conversation, in which the talk about the ways in which world is getting better, what can be done to further progress, and whether politics is turning away from a commitment to global development, click here.


On his Nonprofit Chronicles blog, Marc Gunther talks with Faye Twersky about feedback loops in the nonprofit sector and the efforts of the three-year-old Fund for Shared Insight to catalyze the use of feedback loops in philanthropy.

"Though purposeful failure is never advised, nonprofits need less complete failure and more risk that could introduce occasional failure," writes Tori Utley on Forbes. Here are three reasons why.

On her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington chats with Jane Wei-Skillern, co-author of the 2008 Stanford Social Innovation Review article "The Networked Nonprofit" and a leading researcher on networks for social change.

And more good advice from Beth Kanter about how to recognize when your work/life balance is out of whack and some simple corrective measures you can take to avoid burnout.


In a post on the Rockefeller Foundation blog, senior associate director Brinda Ganguly shares some thoughts about zombie funds and "the appropriateness of the traditional private equity model for impact investing."


Consider this: for the first time in more than fifty years, a majority of America's public school children live in poverty. The Atlantic and MSNBC sent photographer Matt Black to seventy communities where more than 20 percent of the residents live below the poverty line to document what poverty looks like in twenty-first century America. For a sample of Black's work, check out MSNBC's web series, the Geography of Poverty.

Social Justice

San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the playing of the national anthem has made him the "the most hated sports celebrity in the country," writes Charles Grantham on The Undefeated website. But Kaepernick's protest has sparked similar protests by other athletes, men and women, and those protests "have opened a conversation that is long overdue." What's needed now, says Grantham, is an action plan at the professional sports league level that can help turn protest into long-term change. Here are five ideas to accomplish that.

Social Media

Microblogging service Twitter has created a new curation feature called Twitter Moments that allows you to showcase the best tweets about an event or campaign. Nonprofit Tech for Good walks you through the steps needed to create a Moment that looks good in mobile or on a desktop (it's all about the images).

Not convinced that social media is a good use of your organization's resources. Dlvr.it's Debra Garber shares five reasons why you need to rethink your position. 

Got something you'd like to share? Drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org or post it in the comments section below....

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