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Weekend Link Roundup (October 8-9, 2016)

October 09, 2016

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


Future Fundraising Now blogger Jeff Brooks has some good advice re the dangers of committee writing and the three-verb fumble.

Disaster Relief

Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, killed more than seven hundred people in Haiti and ravaged the southwestern tip of that impoverished nation. On the Center for Disaster Philanthropy blog, Regine A. Webster answers three questions for donors: When should I give? How should I give? And where should I give?

Derek Kravitz and a team from ProPublica have uncovered documents that purport to show local officials in Louisiana were "irate" over the American Red Cross’ response to the August flooding in that state, the country's worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.


On Valerie Strauss's Answer Sheet blog, author and education expert Alfie Kohn explains why pay-for-performance schemes for students and teachers are counterproductive.

International Affairs/Development

According to the World Bank, "[t]he number of people living in extreme poverty has declined by more than 100 million across the world despite a sluggish global economy," with 767 million people were living on less than $1.90 a day in 2013, the latest year for which comprehensive data is available, down from 881 million people the previous year.

On the UN Foundation blog, Aaron Sherinian shares thumbnail bios of seventeen young people who are working to advance the Sustainable Development Goals.


With pension costs rising and stock market returns flat, a growing number of municipalities are "looking for ways of taxing what until now have been tax-exempt sacred cows." Elaine S. Povich reports for the Pew Charitable Trust's Stateline initiative.

Beth Kanter has officially announced the launch of her third book, The Happy Health Nonprofit (with Aliza Sherman), which "explores why burnout is so common in the nonprofit sector and simple ways to practice self-care and bring a culture of well-being into the nonprofit workplace." 


In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Jason Grumet, president and CEO of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Chris Gates, a fellow at BPC and a former executive director of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, share some concrete suggestions about what philanthropy can do, in an era of growing political polarization, to bring people together.

Media coverage, much of it negative, of the Trump and Clinton foundations is a problem for philanthropy and the social sector, writes Marc Gunther on his Nonprofit Chronicles blog and could result in lasting damage to public perceptions of the sector. What can foundations do to address the problem?  For starters, writes Gunther, they could "open themselves up to scrutiny and feedback from the public, the press and their critics...[by] for example, invit[ing] the public to observe their board meetings and – dare we say it?–ask questions of their staff."

Having announced in September that it will be shutting down the Clinton Global Initiative after eleven years, the Clinton Foundation is planning to lay off seventy-four employees, CNBC reports.

Is Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's plan to invest $3 billion of their personal wealth "to cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children’s lifetime" unrealistic? That's the wrong question, argues Beth Breeze, on the Good Men Project site. What people "fail to [recognize], writes Breeze, is "that feasibility is not – and is not required to be – one of the criteria for philanthropic spending decisions...." 

The Washington Post's Jeremy Youde looks at what is "promising, and troubling," about the Chan-Zuckerberg plan while Macarena Pallares, managing editor of Philanthropy Daily, weighs in with the view that tech billionaires and "rich-to-rich giving" are not enough to cure disease.

Nice story in Forbes by Katie Savchuk about how one American family has turned philanthropy into a multi-generational affair.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, chairperson and managing director at Biocon Ltd. and the second Indian to sign the Giving Pledge, talks to the Bridgespan Group about her philanthropic journey and the difference between charity and philanthropy.

In an op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Maxwell King, a former editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer and president/CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation, celebrates the spirit and achievements of longtime Heinz Endowments chair Teresa Heinz.

Social Justice

And in a short essay, Nicky Goren, president and CEO of the D.C.-based Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation, admits that she, and the foundation she represents, "cannot purport to be partners in tackling our region's deepest challenges without addressing the systemic racism that is deeply rooted in so many of the issues we are working to fix today."

(Photo credit: Dieu Nalio Chery, AP)

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

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