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Weekend Link Roundup (February 3-4, 2018)

February 04, 2018

AP-Groundhog-Day.3Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

African Americans,

"It's obvious," writes Andre Perry on the Hechinger Report site, "that black history is needed all year long. But white history as we know it can no longer be the standard in a multicultural society, which is supposed to maximize the potential of all of its members."

Arts and Culture

Janet Brown was named executive director of Grantmakers in the Arts in December 2008 and retired from that post in December. On his blog for the Western States Arts Federation, Barry Hessenius talks with Brown about what has changed in arts philanthropy, GIA's racial equity work, and the current status of creative placemaking efforts in the U.S.

Civil Society

We look to civil society for many things and benefits, but do we appreciate and understand the critical role it plays in our democracy? In an excerpt from Philanthropy and Digital Civil Society: Blueprint 2018, philanthropy scholar Lucy Bernholz lays it out for us:

Majority-run democracies need to, at the very least, prevent those who disagree with them (minorities) from revolting against the system. Civil society provides, at the very least, the pressure-release valve for majority-run governments. Positioned more positively, civil society is where those without power or critical mass can build both and influence the majority. It serves as a conduit to the majority system and a counterbalance to extreme positions. It also serves as an outlet for those actions, rights, and views that may never be the priority of a majority, but that are still valid, just, or beautiful. When it exists, civil society offers an immune system for democracy — it is a critical factor in a healthy system, and it requires its own maintenance. Immune systems exist to protect and define — they are lines of defense that "allow organism[s] to persist over time."...

Corporate Social Responsibility

The UNHCT, the UN Refugee Agency, estimates that it will only reach 1 out of every 4 Syrian refugees at risk this winter. And with 200,000 displaced families in Syria, 196,000 in Iraq, 174,000 in Lebanon, 115,000 in Turkey, and 83,000 in Jordan, the global refugee crisis isn't likely to be resolved simply or quickly. Writing for Inc., Anna Johansson has a nice list of companies that are stepping up to help refugees.

Perhaps in an effort to appeal to socially aware millennials, Hyundai and Anheuser-Busch InBev will be running cause-based marketing spots during this year's Super Bowl. A harbinger of things to come or just business as usual? E. J. Schultz reports for AdAge.


Here's another (bittersweet) milestone of note: DonorsChoose Just funded its millionth project. Fast Company's Ben Paynter has the details.


To celebrate reaching the $500 million mark in donations to charity, Newman's Own Foundation, the philanthropy founded by the later actor and humanitarian Paul Newman, has launched a campaign, Newmanitarian.org, to encourage good deeds that can help make the world a better place.

In a short Q&A with Business Insider, Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, who never took his company public, tells Jim Edwards that "no-one really needs billions of dollars except to give [it] away."

Health Care

According to a report from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare beneficiaries' average out-of-pocket healthcare spending as a share of average per capita Social Security income is projected to rise from 41 percent in 2013 to 50 percent in 2030. With trends like that in place, you'd be forgiven for thinking that if someone doesn't do something, rising healthcare costs are going to bankrupt the country sooner rather than later. Could that "someone" be Amazon, Warren Buffett, and JP Morgan Chase?


Scandal? Tragedy? Farce? Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther follows up his recent piece on the sexual harassment controversy that had cast a cloud over the Humane Society of the US (and animal welfare organization's more generally) with a post detailing the sequence of events that led to the resignation, on Friday, of HSUS chief Wayne Pacelle.

What can you do if a funder steers your nonprofit off course? Good advice from Social Velocity's Nell Edgington here.

Is the organizational culture at your nonprofit the product of design or default? If you answer "default" to that question, Jay Wilkinson, CEO at website design and development firm Firespring, wants you to know that your nonprofit is three steps away from having "a vibrant culture that attracts top talent and passionate employees."


As wealth inequality reaches unprecedented levels, people around the world increasingly are looking to billionaires to solve our collective problems and repair broken institutions. Writing in Quartz, Oliver Staley suggests that that is not something we should be celebrating.

And, also on Quartz, Chuck Collins, author of Born on Third Base and a self-proclaimed fortunate member of the 1%, has a message for Davos Man:

Return from your global wanderings. Find ways to root yourself in a real place—not an enclave, but a diverse metropolitan area or rural county. Put your stake in this place, pledging to use all the tools at your disposal to make this home as healthy and equitable as possible. Ensure that this is a place where all children have the same healthy start, well-being, and opportunities as your own children....
Share your wealth generously, through community foundations and other philanthropic vehicles. Don’t warehouse wealth in donor-advised funds, but move it with due urgency to address the root causes of many of our community problems.
Celebrate generosity while recognizing that philanthropy is not a substitute for an adequately funded public sector at all levels. Fund projects to strengthen public governance, increase responsiveness and accountability, and restore trust in democratic institutions.
Pay your fair share of taxes. Instead of deploying armies of wealth managers to dodge and weave around tax rules, pay your share of local, state and federal taxes so that we can together make the public investments required to reverse inequality, enliven our public infrastructure, and lift up the next generation.
Do not come home out of sense of charity or obligation alone, but out of a deeper sense of your own interest. Come home because you know that extreme inequalities of income, wealth, and opportunity are bad for everyone, including yourself and your children. These current levels of disparity will fuel economic volatility, social division and political polarization. This is a lousy legacy to leave for the next generation....

To which we would add, "From your lips to their ears, Chuck."

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