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Weekend Link Roundup (January 21-22, 2017)

January 22, 2017

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


Whether we're talking about animal welfare, climate change, LGBT or women's issues, health care, or tax policy, the impact of advocacy is hard to measure — and that is a problem. Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther looks at what one nonprofit is doing to learn more about what it doesn't know.

Civil Society

The Obama Foundation is open for business.

Community Improvement

Zenobia Jeffries and Araz Hachadourian, contributors to Yes! magazine, continue their state-by-state exploration of community development solutions that prioritize racial justice.


In Dissent, Joanne Barkan explains why Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos is the second coming of economist and free-market evangelist Milton Friedman.


After introducing the FLAIL Scale, a tool that allows foundations to see whether or not their grantmaking process is needlessly irritating to grantseekers, NWB's Vu Le returns with the Grant Response Amateurism, Vexation, and Exasperation (GRAVE) Gauge, a list of the things "nonprofits do that make funders want to punch us in the jaws — or worse, not fund our programs."

Impact Investing

"With uncertainties about the next four years swirling, there is one safe prediction: Sustainability and climate change will not be high on the Trump administration’s priority list," writes Peter D. Henig, founder and managing partner of Greenhouse Capital Partners, on the Impact Alpha site. "If sustainability is to keep moving forward," he adds, "it's up to the private sector" to embrace the "opportunities [that] await mission-driven, impact-focused companies and investors."


In a Q&A with Blue Avocado, DC Central Kitchen and L.A. Kitchen founder Robert Egger says, "Our sector is about to be hit, and hit hard. We're going to be expected to do more, for more, with less." 

Is your nonprofit organization looking to achieve financial sustainability in 2017? Social Velocity's Nell Edgington says these are five questions you need to ask.


The Rockefeller Brothers Fund marked its seventy-fifth anniversary in November 2015. What advice can it offer to other foundations looking to avoid the pitfalls that so often rob family foundations of their effectiveness over time? An essay newly posted to the RFB website shares a dozen lessons based on the foundation's seven and a half decades of grantmaking.

On Twitter, Center for Effective Philanthropy president Phil Buchanan lists (via @FelixDresewski) eight questions funders and foundations should be asking themselves in the wake of Donald Trump's inauguration.

"If philanthropy is to move from being about the donor to truly being about the change they make, then the first step the sector needs to take, is to address its Starfish Problem." Forbes contributor Jake Hayman explains.

Public Affairs

Progressive-leaning site ThinkProgress has documented 663 promises (and counting) that Donald Trump has made since launching his campaign in 2015.

In a piece for Mother Jones, historian and journalist Rick Perlstein gets to know a young, thoughtful Trump supporter — and is shaken by what he learns.

And in another "politically oriented post," Richard Marker reflects on the implications of the Trump administration's fondness for "alternative facts."

That's it for this week. Got something you'd like to share? Drop us a line at [email protected] 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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