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Weekend Link Roundup (December 10-11, 2016)

December 11, 2016

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

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Climate Change

In response to President-elect Trump's decision to stock his cabinet with climate change deniers, more than eight hundred Earth science and energy experts have signed an open letter to Trump, "urging him to take six key steps to address climate change [and] help protect America's economy, national security, and public health and safety." Michael D. Lemonick reports for Scientific American.

Community Improvement/Development

The Boston Foundation is bringing the global Pledge 1% movement to Boston. Through the initiative, individuals and companies plugged into the local innovation economy pledge 1 percent of the equity of their company for the benefit of the greater Boston region — or any other region or country. Learn more here.


In this Markets for Good podcast (running time: 58:29) moderator Andrew Means, GuideStar president/CEO Jacob Harold, nonprofit innovator, blogger, and trainer Beth Kanter, and Rella Kaplowitz, program officer for evaluation and learning at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, share strategies and insights for using data to drive social sector impact.


On the NPR website, Eric Westervelt weighs in with a balanced profile of incoming Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. And in Bridge magazine, Chastity Pratt Dawsey and Ron French offer a less-flattering account of DeVos' legacy as a leading funder of school-choice policies in Michigan.

On her Answer Sheet blog, Washington Post education reporter Valerie Strauss looks at a recent decision by the NACCP, America's oldest civil-rights organization, to ratify "a resolution calling for a moratorium on expanding public charter school funding until there is better oversight of these schools and more transparency from charter operators."


"There are lots of reasons why private philanthropy can't replace the government safety net, but one of the most fundamental" — as the Great Recession shows us — "is that people tend to stop giving to charity right when the poor need it most," writes Jordan Weissmann, senior business and economics correspondent for Slate

With the end-of-year giving season upon us, here's some good advice from the AP (via the New York Times) about how to make the most of your charitable donations on your income tax return. 


On his Nonprofit Management blog, Eugene Fram shares some ideas from a Deloitte report that, when adopted early, can help nonprofit boards steer their organizations to greater effectiveness in times of disruption.

Here on PhilanTopic, the Lawyers' Alliance for New York's Laura Abel and Sean Delany explain how the Nonprofit Revitalization Reform Bill signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will strengthen the state's nonprofit sector.

In social change work, "[o]pportunities for personal gain are subordinated to solidarity with colleagues and the cause in order to knit together a strong social fabric. Consistency between words and actions is essential in building mutual loyalty and trust," writes activist and Transformations blog editor Michael Edwards. "Faced by these imperatives, is it reasonable," asks Edwards, "to expect the same standards of behavior from the funders, advisers and other intermediaries who support these struggles from a distance, and who gain publicity and legitimacy for their own work in the process?"

The Aspen Institute has posted an edited version of Aspen president and CEO Walter Isaacson's conversation with Gates Foundation co-founder Melinda Gates at the institute's 33rd Annual Awards Dinner in November.

Bruce DeBoskey's latest for the Denver Post looks at the critical role "philanthropy can play in advocating not only for our communities but also for the fundamental principles that have enabled the success of our...democracy for nearly two hundred and thirty years."

Writing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Center for Effective Philanthropy's Phil Buchanan and Ellie Buteau discuss key takeways of a new CEP report, The Future of Foundation Philanthropy: The CEO Perspective, that "captures foundation leaders' views on [the] challenges and concerns about the changing landscape in which they work, practices they believe to hold the most promise for helping foundations reach their potential, and the most pressing issues that will influence foundation philanthropy in the coming years."

Racial Equity

Earlier this year, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched a Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) initiative built, writes La June Montgomery Tabron, on the Kellogg website, "from decades of work...at the foundation to promote racial equity so all children can thrive." In the same statement, Tabron explains why, post-election, that work is more important than ever.

George Soros' Open Society Foundations recently announced it would spend $10 million to fight hate crimes nationwide. The funds will be allocated to three different buckets: documenting incidents of such crimes to draw society's attention to the scale and scope of the problem; providing legal support to victims; and crowdsourcing solutions to the problem from community groups. Caitlin Abber reports for Public Radio International.

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

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  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

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

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