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Weekend Link Roundup (March 3-4, 2018)

March 04, 2018

Rising-pricesOur 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

Writer and activist Alicia Garza, who helped found the Black Lives Matter movement, in partnership with the Center for Third World OrganizingColor of Change, Demos, Socioanalitica Research, and Tides Foundation, has announced the launch of the Black Census Project, which hopes to talk to 200,000 black people from diverse backgrounds about their hopes, dreams, and needs by August 1. African Americans in participating can take the first step and fill out the online census.

Arts and Culture

ArtsPlace funders have released a statement on the Trump administration's 2019 federal budget request.

Climate Change

Nonprofit Chronicles Marc Gunther published an op-ed about climate philanthropy, and its failure to drive real progress on the issue, in the Chronicle of Philanthropy a few weeks ago. The Chronicle has given him permission to repost it on his own blog, here


This should come as a surprise to no one: in a statement released earlier this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called Betsy DeVos "the worst Secretary of Education this country has ever seen — by a large margin. Secretary DeVos has spent her first year bending over backwards to allow students to be cheated, taking an axe to public education, and undermining the civil rights of students across the country. [She] has failed in her job and she must be held accountable." Mother Jones's Edwin Rios has the details.

Higher Education

Public colleges and universities are facing a perfect storm of existential challenges over the next decade, and institutions in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont are the canaries in the coal mine. Lee Gardner reports for the Chronicle of Higher Education.


The Pew Research Center's Fact Tank has put together an excellent primer on U.S. immigration policy and proposed changes to those policies.


What's the first reaction many of us have when we learn that someone is thinking about starting a nonprofit? "Don't!" But maybe, says Nonprofit AF's Vu Le, we should lighten up a little bit and recognize that there will always be "well-intentioned individuals who feel [the] burning desire to found their own nonprofit. Persuading them to not do it may work in a few instances, but if we want systemic change, we need to look at this holistically." 

What can staff at nonprofits do to counteract the negative actions of a nonprofit leader who "begins to believe that she (and only she) cares enough, knows enough, or is enough to fix the massive problem she cares so deeply about [aka a Nonprofit Savior]"? Social Velocity's Nell Edgington has some good suggestions.


Mark Zuckerberg has sold $357 million of stock this month, part of plans to unload up to $12 billion to help fund the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

On the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers blog, Nicky Goren, president and CEO of the Eugene and Agnes Meyer Foundation, shares four recommendations as they relate to diversity, equity, and inclusion in hiring.

How will the rise of the millennials change philanthropy? Forbes contributor Jeff Fromm shares the perspectives of Rebecca Laramée, chair of Future Sinai at the Sinai Health Foundation, and Anita Strohm, vice president at Crossroads Communications.

On the HistPhil blog, Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, an assistant professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, launches a new forum on the history of conservative philanthropy with a post that looks at how wealthy conservative donors and political entrepreneurs built up the infrastructure that positioned the GOP to take over statehouses and state legislatures across the country.

Are there more radical ways to improve openness in grantmaking that would benefit both funders and grantees? The Center for Effective Philanthropy's Kevin Bolduc thinks a transparency movement in the medical field called OpenNotes may have hit on some benefits that translate fairly directly to the grantee-funder relationship. 

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


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Hi there - the above intro to Vu Le's blog is an example of exactly what he is saying NOT to do. He's not saying don't start a nonprofit - he's saying don't be dismissive, we can be more understanding and supportive of those who want to (while also recognizing that sometimes it doesn't make sense). Perhaps you can edit this to better reflect the content of his piece?

Thanks for your comment, Veronica. You're right: I jumped too quickly to a conclusion based on limited information (a headline and a few lines of text) and fell into exactly the kind of thinking Vu cautions his readers to avoid. A lesson for me, for sure -- and maybe for all of us.

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    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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