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Weekend Link Roundup (December 17-18, 2016)

December 18, 2016

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

Climate Change

The government of the Netherlands has presented a long-term energy plan that stipulates that no new cars with combustion engines may be sold from 2035 on and that all houses in the country must be disconnected from the gas grid by 2050. Karel Beckman reports for the Energy Collective.


What's the best way to get donors under the age of 40 to donate to your nonprofit? Future Fundraising Now's Jeff Brooks shares a little secret.


In FastCoExist, Ben Paynter has a quick primer on what certain proposals in the Trump tax plan could mean for charitable giving.

The real possibility of lower marginal rates and changes to the cap on itemized deductions under a new Trump administration has many wealthy donors rushing to donate shares of appreciated stock before the end of the year. Chana R. Schoenberger reports for the Wall Street Journal.

As another year winds to a close, Elie Hassenfeld, Holden Karnofsky, and other members of the GiveWell team discuss the thinking behind their personal end-of-year giving choices.

Impact Investing

For those interested in keeping up with developments in the fast-growing field of impact investing, the Case Foundation's Rehana Nathoo has curated a list fifty impact investing "influencers" you should follow on Twitter.

International Affairs/Development

In his latest, Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther profiles Accountability Lab, a D.C.-based nonprofit that teaches young people in four countries — Nepal, Pakistan, Liberia and Mali — how to use media, education, culture, and technology to reduce corruption in their countries and make government work better.


In the second post of a four-part series, human rights lawyer/leader Anika Rahmann details some of the things progressive social change organizations can do to build and strengthen coalitions in the Trump era.


In August, the Los Angeles-based Weingart Foundation announced that it would work to direct "the full weight of its resources and influence to address systemic inequity in Southern California and base its program and policy decisions on the goal of achieving fairness, inclusion, and opportunity for all residents of the region." As Belen Vargas, vice president of programs at the foundation, notes in a year-end message, the foundation also committed to "a year of intensive listening and learning." In her message, Vargas shares some of the things the foundation has been hearing from its grantees and community members.

In an essay originally published in the Center for Effective Philanthropy report The Future of Foundation Philanthropy: The CEO Perspective, McKnight Foundation president Kate Wolford argues that if foundations want to "optimize" their impact, "we [need] to embrace our role as institutional owners of our assets alongside our traditional role as grantmakers. We [need to] consider the use of all of our resources to advance mission and public benefit, rather than just the five percent required payout for charitable purpose."

Some tough words for our favorite industry from philanthropy advisor and Forbes contributor Jake Hayman: "[Philanthropy] is an industry that is largely [reactive], invests little in professional development, is grossly under-staffed and relies on tough judgment calls," writes es. "Yet the populations with the most insight to make those calls are far removed from them. This creates a perfect storm for weaker decision-making and ultimately poorer performance." 

In partnership with our GrantCraft colleagues, Lucy Bernholz has released Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2017the latest installment of her annual industry forecast. Highlights of the new Blueprint include an opening essay by Bernholz focused on the big ideas that matter for 2017; a series of worksheets designed to help you introduce your colleagues to some of the themes of this year's forecast; Lucy's predictions for 2017 (and a scoring of her 2016 predictions); and her always popular "buzzword watch" (the ideas and phrases likely to seep into our work lives in the coming year).

To mark its fiftieth anniversary, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation commissioned and now has issued a report, Looking Back at 50 Years of U.S. Philanthropy, in which the formidable team of Benjamin Soskis, a fellow at the Center for Nonprofit Management, Philanthropy and Policy at George Mason University, and Stanley N. Katz, professor of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, compare the philanthropic sector of today with that of a half century ago and "reflect more generally upon how we understand change over time in the sector."

"Disruption rules." In an essay on the Knight Foundation website, Knight president and CEO Alberto Ibargüen explains how the foundation's strategy is evolving to address the challenges of a rapidly changing world.

And check out this nice Q&A on the Philanthropy Ohio blog with Cleveland Foundation executive vice president Bob Eckardt, who is wrapping up a thirty-four-year career at the foundation at the end of the month.

Social Change

Last but not least, Social Velocity's Nell Edgington shares some words of advice — and ten great posts — with her readers as she gets ready to close the books on another year.

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

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