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Weekend Link Roundup (October 21-22, 2017)

October 22, 2017

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


In 2010, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made a $100 million gift in support of a major overhaul of the public school system in Newark, New Jersey. To be spearheaded by then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker (now a U.S. senator) and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, the effort stumbled out of the gate and became the object of derision (as well as the subject of a well-reviewed book by education reporter Dale Russakoff). But a new study from a team led by a Harvard University researcher finds that the performance of students in the district has improved significantly in English (although not so much in math) since 2010. Greg Toppo reports for USA Today.


In a post for Forbes, Kris Putnam-Walkerly offers ten reasons why community foundations are your best for disaster relief giving.

On Beth Kanter's blog, Alison Carlman,  director of impact and communications at GlobalGiving, challenges the conventional wisdom that donors are fatigued by the series of disasters that have hit the U.S. , Mexico, and Caribbeanf.  

Interestingly, a new study from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy shows that since the early 2000s, volunteering and charitable giving in the United States has dropped roughly 11 percent. And, as a country, our generosity appears to have peaked around 2005, with giving hitting an average of $1,024 annually; in 2015, the most recent year measured, that number dropped to $872. Eillie Anzilotti reports for Fast Company.

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review Jennifer Xia and Patrick Schmitt, students at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, note that while the largest wealth transfer in human history will take place over the next twenty years, most nonprofits are poorly positioned to take advantage of it.

In a video on the CNBC site, tech entrepreneur Alexandre Mars, the "French Bill Gates," argues that giving is something that anyone can — and everyone should — do.


With the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the fate of some 800,000 young immigrants is in limbo. The Center for Law and Social Policy's Kisha Bird shares five things youth development advocates and others need to know about these so-called Dreamers and the DACA program.

International Affairs/Development

"The capital is flowing [into SDG-related efforts],” Fran Seegull, executive director of the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance, tells Devex' Catherine Cheney. "But it begs the question, what about the impact?" For advocates like Seegull, "metrics [are] a vital piece of keeping the focus on impact, particularly as more investors get involved in the field."

In his latest post, Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther takes a deep dive into the clean cookstove sector.


Members of the Forbes Nonprofit Council share some advice for nonprofits looking to increase their engagement with the communities they serve. 


Interested in learning more about the biggest funder of right-wing causes these days? Check out David Callahan's recent profile of secretive hedge fund executive Robert Mercer, whose charitable giving is  "financ[ing] hardball politics and...legitimiz[ing] views that are extremist, even in the eyes of many conservatives...."

On the Glasspockets blog, Ed Pauly, director of research and evaluation at the Wallace Foundation, explains why the New York City-based arts and education funder has embraced the idea of making evaluations public and distributing them widely.  The post is the latest in the #OpenForGood series hosted by Glasspockets in partnership with the Fund for Shared Insight.

Is social media a good use of a foundation's time and resources? Or as Malcolm Macleod, president of the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, asks in a post on the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Is anybody listening? The answer might surprise you.

Donald Trump and many of his Republican allies in Congress are intent on getting rid of the estate tax for good — a tax policy change that would very good for Trump and about five thousand other high-net-worth families but terrible, writes NCRP executive director Aaron Dorfman, for the rest of the country.

Social Justice

And what are we really talking about when we talk about "equity"? As you might expect, Nonprofit AF's Vu Le has some thoughts.

(Photo credit: Scott Halleran | Getty Images)

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

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