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Weekend Link Roundup (June 23-24, 2018)

June 24, 2018

USATSI_10905933Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....


In the face of political change and uncertainty, advocacy organizations "are being called on to do more and do it faster while funders scramble to implement strategies that best support them. Yet current operating realities for advocacy organizations pose distinct hurdles to staying adaptable and nimble." On the Nonprofit Finance Fund blog, Annie Chang and Elise Miller look at three common dynamics in the social advocacy space and explain what they mean for nonprofits and funders.


In a majority of U.S. states, deaths now outnumber births among white people, "signaling what could be a faster-than-expected transition to a future in which whites are no longer a majority of the American population." Sabrina Tavernise reports for the New York Times.


Education Week's Madeline Will reports on a study from the RAND Corporation and the American Institutes for Research (with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), which found that the Gates Foundation’s "multi-million-dollar, multiyear effort aimed at making teachers more effective largely fell short of its goal to increase student achievement — including among low-income and minority students."


"Many of us may be familiar with cultural competency — being respectful and responsive to the health beliefs and practices — and cultural and linguistic needs — of diverse population groups," writes Jennifer McGee-Avila, a third-year doctoral student in an interdisciplinary program offered by the Rutgers School of Nursing and New Jersey Institute of Technology in Urban Systems. "[But to] achieve a deeper understanding of our patients, it is essential for providers to practice 'cultural humility' and acknowledge the unique elements of every individual's identity."


The secret to happiness is...giving to others? In a guest post on the GuideStar blog, Moshe Hecht, chief innovation officer of crowdfunding program Charidy, explains the science of lasting happiness.


On our sister GrantCraft blog, the Jim Joseph Foundation's Seth Linden and Jeff Tiell explain why the foundation has begun to invest in "small experiments as a way of learning about the creativity and innovation that is happening in the Jewish world."

Human Services

Mick Mulvaney, the Trump administration's budget director, has unveiled a plan for a reorganization of the federal government that includes a possible merge of the Education and Labor departments and proposes "relocating many social safety net programs into a new mega-department [that] would replace the Department of Health and Human Services and possibly include the word 'welfare' in its title." Glenn Thrush and Erica L. Green report for the New York Times.


The social sector mobilized in force this week to protest the Trump administration's "child separation" policy, including statements/recommendations from the California Endowment's Bob Ross, the James Irvine Foundation's Don Howard, the San Francisco Foundation's Fred Blackwell, the Liberty Hill Foundation's Shane Murphy Goldsmith, United Philanthropy Forum's David Biemesderfer, Hispanics in Philanthropy's Ana Marie Argilagos, the Funders' Network's Maureen Lawless, CRW's Katie Leonberger, and Nonprofit AF's Vu Le.

Millions of dollars have been donated by Americans to nonprofit organizations working to help families being separated at the border. Olga R. Rodriguez reports for the AP.

The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator, has put together a list of highly rated charities working to assist the more than 60 million refugees and internally displaced persons in the world.

International Affairs/Development

On the Ford Foundation's Equal Change blog, Atila Roque, director of the foundation's Brazil program, remembers his friend Marielle Franco, a human rights activist and Rio de Janeiro councilwoman who was brutally executed by unknown parties, alongside her driver Anderson Gomes, earlier this year.


California Association of Nonprofits CEO Jan Masaoka, writing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, says it's time for people in the nonprofit sector to "stop insisting that we are a sector of experts and professionals. [Instead, let's] reclaim the phrase 'volunteer sector'. Let's see ourselves in service to democratic movements, rather than as leaders and researchers of those movements."

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy, Alex Forrester, co-founder and chief strategy and innovation officer at Rising Tide Capital, explains why line-item grant budgets do far more harm than most people outside the nonprofit world realize.


Forbes New York Business Council member Moshe Hecht (whose guest post on the GuideStar blog we link to above, under Giving) notes something peculiar about the Giving Pledge: billionaires like Warren Buffett who have joined the campaign and pledged to give away more than half their wealth before they die are amassing additional wealth faster than they can give it away. For Hecht, that suggests a simple but obvious lesson: Don't be like Warren Buffett. Don't wait to start giving. Find good, important causes and fund them now. 

And the results of the latest Columbus Survey of community foundations are now live. Check it out!

(Photo credit: Tim Groothuis-Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

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