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Weekend Link Roundup (February 11-12, 2017)

February 12, 2017

Abraham_Lincoln_O-77_matte_collodion_printOur weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....


If you believe measurement is key to the success of your fundraising program, writes HuffPo contributor Brady Josephson, then you really need to pay attention to these four metrics.


Did you know actor Kevin Bacon is the brains behind a website that links other celebrities to people and grassroots organizations doing good work. Inc.'s John Botinott has the story.

"Even after we've chosen our cause, a mere 3 percent of us base our gifts on the relative efficacy of nonprofit groups [working to address] that...cause." In a Q&A with Grid's Heather Shayne Blakeslee, ethicist Peter Singer (The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically) explains how we can do better.


"Many in our region agree that parts of the immigration system must be improved to make the country more secure. But closing our borders to the terrorized in the name of preventing terror seems a step backward," writes Pittsburgh Foundation president Maxwell King. "And any policy that attempts to punish immigrants that are already part of the fabric of our society seems needlessly harsh. The vast majority of Americans want an immigration policy that effectively controls illegal immigration, but also allows for the appropriate levels of annual legal immigration that serve the needs of communities across the nation." We couldn't agree more.

In an essay in The Atlantic, David Blight, a professor of history at Yale University, suggests that "[o]ne place to begin to understand our long history with the controversies over immigration" is with Frederick Douglass, the most important African-American leader of the nineteenth century and "for nine years a fugitive slave everywhere he trod."

In a strong statement posted on the foundation's blog, San Francisco Foundation CEO Fred Blackwell pledges the foundation's support to immigrants and their families in the Bay Area, to constituencies targeted by Islamophobes, to grantees and nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the immigration battles to come, to faith leaders working to build bridges to and between immigrant communities, and to donors committed to just and fair inclusion for all residents of the Bay Area.

International Affairs/Development

Good analysis by the Pew Research Center on entries to the United States from the seven nations affected by the Trump administration's (suspended, for now) executive order preventing many of their citizens from entering the country.

In a new post on his Nonprofit Chronicles blog, Marc Gunther reviews Experimental Conversations: Perspectives on Randomized Trials in Development Economics,  an "intermittently fascinating" collection edited by sector insider Timothy Ogden.

On the Gates Notes blog, Bill and Melinda share a touching tribute to the late Hans Rosling, the data scientist/visualization whiz who showed, in wildly compelling fashion, that the world is making steady, significant progress on any number of critical development fronts. Rosling succumbed to pancreatic cancer on February 7 at the age of 68.


Here's some good news: High school students nationwide show greater support for First Amendment freedoms that at any time since the Knight Foundation began to survey them more than ten years ago. Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute, has the details.


The Trump administration's vow "to get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment" could have profound consequences for civil society in the U.S. National Council of Nonprofits president Tim Delaney explains

"In these dark times, with so many lives at stake, love and justice demand we own our power and mobilize," writes NWB blogger Vu Le. "In the face of oppression, our sector cannot remain neutral. Equity does not allow us to remain neutral. When power operates without love, then love must operate through power."

Social Velocity's Nell Edgington has some constructive advice for nonprofit leaders whose organizations are stuck in a rut. 

In Fast Company, NTEN's Amy Sample Ward looks at the top three nonprofit jobs of the future.


In a piece for the Hechinger Report, Andre Perry, the former founding dean of urban education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, argues that foundations serious about social justice need to pay more attention to the experts— namely, the people and communities they are trying to help.

And as we noted earlier in the week, the New York City-based Surdna Foundation has announced that it plans to put $100 million of its roughly $1 billion endowment into investments that seek both financial and social returns.

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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