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Weekend Link Roundup (April 15-16, 2017)

April 16, 2017

Glitter-eggs_2Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....


Our colleagues over at GrantCraft have put together an excellent suite of resources that captures the wisdom of philanthropic leaders who have participated in multi-party advocacy collaboratives. Check it out.

And Salsa Labs, a maker of integrated software for nonprofits, has released a a Nonprofit Advocacy Action kit that includes, among other thing, best practices and customizable advocacy templates. (Registration required.)

Climate Change

There's no denying that philanthropy is as industry that loves jargon — or that the use of jargon often undermines the effectiveness of our messaging and communications. With that in mind, Achieng' Otieno, a communications officer in the Rockefeller Foundation's Nairobi office, shares some tips about how to communicate the concept of "resilience" to non-experts.


Here on Philantopic, the Robert Wood Johnson's Foundation John Lumpkin has some suggestions about what we can do to improve care for patients with complex needs.

Higher Education

On the Inside Philanthropy site, Mike Scutari examines the implications of a new Marts & Lundy report which finds that mega-gifts for higher education are rising while alumni giving overall is falling.

International Affairs/Development

To support his contention that the power of innovation can (and is) create a brighter future for millions of people in the developing world, Bill Gates is inviting readers of his Gates Notes blog to don a pair of VR goggles and play a game of virtual hide and seek which shows that "the most amazing innovations are ofetn hidden in plain sight."


Is the CEO or executive director of your nonprofit effective? On her Social Velocity blog, Nell Edgington shares some questions that your board should be asking about his or her performance.

If it feels to you like the sector is under attack, well, you're not alone. Philanthropy 2173's Lucy Bernholz outlines three things the Trump administration is doing to "erode the rights upon which the sector stands."


"Donors of all types and sizes — individuals, family or business foundations, or donor-advised funds — benefit greatly from taking the time to create a mission statement," writes Bruce DeBoskey in his On Philanthropy column for the Denver Post. And that statement should be informed by answers to the following questions: What is our focus? What do we want to preserve or change? Do we want to focus on a geographic area? Over what period of time will we give? Do we want to collaborate with other funders – or go it alone? And how will we measure success?

On Exponent Philanthropy's PhilanthroFiles blog, Jeff Cohen argues that the advice for investors offered by the likes of Warren Buffett to stick with low-cost index funds may not apply as directly to mission-driven foundations.

HistPhil's Ben Soskis weighs in on why the Ford Foundation's recent announcement that it plans to allocate $1 billion of its endowment over ten years to mission-related investments is a "big deal." 

Chris Jurgens, a director at Omidyar Network, explains why Ford's announcement matters for the field of impact investing.

Felix Salmon, a senior editor at Fusion, asks some pointed questions about the foundation's decision.

"Microvolunteering takes a simple idea – that people are more likely to volunteer their time in short and convenient, bite-sized chunks – and turns it into a new approach to community action." Charlotte Jones reports for the Guardian.

Social Entrepreneurship

And just back from Oxford, England, where he attended his first Skoll World Forum confab, Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther shares his impressions of that Davos for do-gooders. 

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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