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Weekend Link Roundup (February 24-25, 2018)

February 25, 2018

George-harrison-guitar-1963-via-APOur weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Children and Youth

In an op-ed piece originally published in The Hill, Mott Foundation president Ridgway White argues that eliminating funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, as the Trump administration has proposed, would strip "resources from a successful initiative rooted in communities, dismissing decades of evidence proving that consistent participation by students in quality afterschool programs leads to improved school attendance, better grades and higher graduation rates...."


New York has the nation's most diverse public school system. It also is the most segregated. Michelle Chen reports for The Nation

With lots of support from the tech industry, "computer science for all" is making its way into k-12 curricula across the nation. But whose interests are being served, students' or the industry's? And given rapid advances in artificial intelligence, will the short-term focus on filling today's tech-sector jobs ultimately backfire? Benjamin Herold and the Education Week team explore theses questions with some leading thinkers in the field, including Code.org founder Hadi Partovi, the CSforAll Consortium's Ruthe Farmer, the National Science Foundation's Janice Cuny, and University of Michigan professor Megan Tompkins-Stange, who tracks trends in education philanthropy.

On Medium, Nellie Mae Education Foundation president Nick Donohue lays out his hopes for a strategic planning process recently announced by the organization — a process that aims to build on its belief that "to prepare all of New England’s students to succeed, [it needs] to focus on where the need and opportunity gaps are...[which] means thinking more deliberately about how [it] serves low-income students and students of color."


On the GuideStar blog, Adam Weinger shares five strategies designed to boost your fundraising results with matching gifts.

Gun Violence

Inside Philanthropy's Philip Rojc has a roundup of the handful of celebrities and philanthropists who have gone public with support for the student-led #NeverAgain movement that has dominated headlines and acted as a focal point for gun reform advocates nationwide since the mass shooting at Florida's Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School ten days ago.  

Higher Education

More than 50 percent of college students today fall into the "nontraditional" category, and just one out of three of those students is likely to graduate within six years, a new study from the Institute for Women's Policy Research finds. Education Dive's Patti Zarling takes a closer look at the report and what institutions can do to help more of nontraditional students complete the journey to graduation.

Demos, the New York City-based public policy organization, has released a new report, The Unaffordable Era: A 50-State Look at Rising College Prices and the New American Student, that takes a look at where college prices have increased the most over the past generation and where students and families are bearing most of the burden of rising college prices.


How would nonprofits' answers to funder questions like "What is your overhead ratio?" and "How do you plan to sustain this program?" read if nonprofits were allowed to be "completely and brutally honest." Nonprofit AF's Vu Le has a few thoughts.

Here on PhilanTopic, frequent contributor Derrick Feldmann suggests that nonprofits may be "labeling" their supporters in ways that often undercut the real reason people support an organization or cause.


"Rural philanthropy requires a different kind of thinking and creativity [than] urban philanthropy. It stands to reason, then, that the networks rural funders build will look different from those that traditionally attract more urban-focused foundations." Be sure to check out Allen Smart's Lonely Rural Funder's Guide to Networking on the Exponent Philanthropy website.

Earlier this week at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Chronicle of Philanthropy editor Stacy Palmer moderated a panel discussion on the role of philanthropy in today's political landscape. The Carnegie Reporter has posted a complete transcript and video of the event, which featured David Callahan, founder of Inside Philanthropy and author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age; Boston Globe investigative journalist Sacha Pfeiffer, who  writes about wealth, philanthropy, and nonprofits; and Karl Zinsmeister, director of the publishing program at the Philanthropy Roundtable and author of What Comes Next? How Private Givers Can Rescue America in an Era of Public Frustration.

When it comes to issues of diversity, California is important because it's "a state where the majority of residents are now people of color, the demographic direction in which the country is heading," writes Fast Company's Ben Paynter. But the state's reputation as a bastion of progressivism doesn't always line up with the hiring practices of its nonprofits and foundations.

And Forbes contributor and philanthropy consultant Kris Putnam-Walkerly has some good advice for funders whose foot-dragging may be compromising the effectiveness of their grantmaking.

Got something you'd like to share? Dro p us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org.

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