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Weekend Link Roundup (May 27-28, 2017)

May 28, 2017

Our 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

As the Trump administration prepares to exit the Paris climate agreement, a new Global Challenges Foundation poll finds that a majority of people in eight countries — the U.S., China, India, Britain, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Germany — say they are ready to change their lifestyles if it would prevent climate catastrophe — a survey result that suggests "a huge gap between what people expect from politicians and what politicians are doing."

Criminal Justice

On the Ford Foundation's Equal Change blog, Kamilah Duggins and William Kelley explain why and how they created a professional development program at the foundation for graduates of the Bard Prison Initiative, which creates the opportunity for incarcerated men and women to earn a Bard College degree while serving their sentence.


A new white paper (6 pages, PDF) from executive search firm Battalia Winston sheds light on the lack of diversity within the leadership ranks of the nation's foundations and nonprofit organizations.


Does the DeVos education budget promote "choice" or segregation? That's the question the Poverty & Race Research Council's Kimberly Hall and Michael Hilton ask in a post here on PhilanTopic.


There are mistakes, and there are fundraising mistakes. Here are five of the latter that, according to experts on the Forbes Nonprofit Council, we all should try to avoid.


With Donald's Trump election as president, the slacktivism debate — how to get from a click to a donation — is over, writes Beth Kanter, replaced by a surge in what Blackbaud's Steve MacLaughlin calls "episodic giving" — giving in reaction to current events. But questions remain: Is this evolution in online giving sustainable? How can nonprofits embrace this trend while maintaining their loyal donors? And what is needed to transform episodic donors into regular donors?


In a piece on the Grantmakers for Effective Organizations site, Shantaé François shares key learnings from the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation's Community Inspiration project: build evaluation in at the beginning of the project; projects are more successful when partners can collectively articulate a clear social impact goal; and community engagement and community development correlated with project success.

International Affairs/Development

Donald Trump's executive order to block U.S. aid to overseas groups that counsel or provide referrals about abortion will restrict nearly $9 billion in foreign health assistance. On the Conversation site, Maureen Miller, a Columbia University Medical Center professor and infectious disease epidemiologist, answers five questions about the move, including what it has to do with abortion.


What does the Trump administration's interest in weakening the so-called Johnson amendment mean for nonprofit organizations? Will chipping away at Johnson be net positive or negative for the sector? On the Blue Avocado site, Council on Foundations president Vikki Spruill and Robert Egger, founder and president of L.A. Kitchen, offer contrasting perspectives.


On the HistPhil blog, Kristin A. Goss, an associate professor of public policy and political science at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, and Jeffrey M. Berry, Skuse Professor of Political Science at Tufts University, ask whether elite philanthropy is prepared to respond to the neo-populist wave that swept Donald Trump into power. "The first challenge," they write,

is that elite philanthropy owes its wealth to an economic system at the heart of the neo-populist critique — an economic system based on job-draining automation, on job-redistributing processes of globalization, and on neoliberal policies. Second, much elite philanthropy embraces strategies driven from the top down by donors and cosmopolitan technocrats, whom neo-populists view with suspicion or even disdain. The third challenge is that elite philanthropy tends to focus on public problems (e.g., climate change) and constituencies (e.g., poor people of color, feminists, environmentalists, immigrants) that many neo-populists view as opponents in a zero-sum contest for society’s benefits....

Collective impact versus collaboration — do you know the difference? You will after you read this post on the Exponent Philanthropy's PhilanthroFiles blog.

As the South Grows, a new report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, shows that funding in the region is "urgent, impactful, beautiful and necessary." According to Tyler Nickerson, director of investments and state strategy at the Solutions Project, the report also offers some valuable lessons for funders thinking about making investments in the region.

How is a legacy communications toolkit helping one family foundation prepare for a period of significant transition involving new roles for family members, changes to leadership and staff positions, and the evolution of our core programs. Richard Russell, president of the board, and Richard Woo, chief executive officer of the Seattle-based Russell Family Foundation, explain in a post on the Transparency Talk blog.


How did the dog-whistle politics pioneered by presidential candidate Barry Goldwater in his 1964 campaign prepare the ground for the scorched-earth anti-safety-net policies of today's Republican Party? On the Colorado Trust site, Kristin Jones and Ned Calonge summarize the arguments of legal scholar and writer Ian Haney Lopez, the author of Dog Whistle Politics, which Lopez presented at Denver’s Mile High Station in early May.

Rutger Bregman's (Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World) April Ted Talk, in which the Dutch historian argues that poverty is about a lack of cash, not character and suggests that the solution to poverty is a guaranteed basic income, has been posted online.


And on her Philanthropy Women blog, Kiersten Marek argues that the future of global philanthropy will be driven, to a significant degree, by some of the wealthiest women in the world deploying vast fortunes with a gender lens.

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

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