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Weekend Link Roundup (July 21-22, 2018)

July 22, 2018

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

Animal Welfare

Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther reports on the return of Wayne Pacelle, the former Human Society of the United States CEO who was forced to step down from his position six months ago after "a flurry of accusations of sexual harassment led to revolts among donors and staff."

Civic Engagement

In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, California Endowment president Robert K. Ross argues that what America disparately needs is a "shared vision for [the] nation that is born from our communities and [a] new social compact to support that vision."


Researchers from Northeastern University have put numbers to something many of us suspected: geography largely determines access to quality schools. In Boston, where the research was conducted, a lack of good schools in predominately minority neighborhoods means that students in those neighborhoods had "fewer top schools from which to choose, had greater competition for seats in those schools, were less likely to attend them, and had to travel longer distances when they did attend them." Sara Feijo reports for Northeastern News.


On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, CEP's Ellie Buteau shares findings from a new CEP report, Nonprofit Diversity Efforts: Current Practices and the Role of Foundations, that was based on a survey of nonprofit leaders that asked them about diversity at their organizations and how foundations can be most helpful in this area.


The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, a leading funder of conservation efforts in the American West, has announced a refresh of its grantmaking strategy for the region that includes a couple of new imperatives: listen more to grantees, partners, and communities; prioritize equity, inclusivity, and diversity; and take a systemic approach to policy change. Click here to learn more.


The new tax law doubles the amount of inheritance that can be exempted from estate tax to about $22 million for a married couple, leading many financial advisors to suggest that their customers will take advantage of the law and give the windfall to their families instead of charity. But a U.S. Trust survey of a hundred-plus high-net-worth individuals — those with investable assets of at least $3 million —found that 58 percent of of respondents said their level of charitable giving won't change as a result of the new law, while only 7 percent said they would give less. Fang Block reports for Barron's.

The HistPhil blog has launched a new series on the history of anonymous giving with contributions from HistPhil co-editor Benjamin Soskis and Adam Davis, a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge and professor of history at Denison University.


New data from the Boston Indicators project captures "the true extent of the opioid problem in Massachusetts." And it's scary.

Here on PhilanTopic, Rain Henderson, the founder of Elemental Advisors, and Regina LaBelle of LaBelle Strategies share six areas where "foundations and individual donors, without having to reinvent themselves, could focus their resources and expertise and have real impact in terms of reducing the number of overdose deaths in America." 


The number of refugees entering the United States during the first seven months of the fiscal year was down 70 percent on a year-over-year basis and, at current rates, will total 22,000 for the full year — less than half the cap of 45,000 set by the Trump administration and the lowest number since Congress created the federal refugee resettlement in 1980. Jaweed Kaleem reports for the Los Angeles Times.

International Affairs/Development

Earlier this week, New York City became the first city in the world to present a progress report on the global Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by all 193 member states of the United Nations in 2015. The Urban Institute's Solomon Green and Brady Meixell explain why other cities can — and should — follow New York's lead.


In a post on the NCRP blog, veteran foundation leader Allen Smart suggests that "the bulk of conversion foundations in the South are punching well below their weight...when it comes to funding structural change." And the reasons "aren’t mysterious."

In a Bloomberg video interview with private equity billionaire and philanthropist David Rubenstein, former Microsoft CEO and Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer credits his wife for pushing him to be more philanthropic.


The Treasury Department has announced that it will no longer require "tax-exempt organizations described by section 501(c), other than section 501(c)(3) organizations, to report the names and addresses of their contributors on the Schedule B of their Forms 990 or 990-EZ." Yes, the change will help protect the private information of nonprofit donors, writes NBC News' Jessica Levinson, but it  also is likely to make the flow of "dark money" into political campaigns less transparent than it already is and will "crack the door open wider to additional foreign influence in our elections."

And in a 217-199 vote on Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that bars the IRS from revoking the tax-exempt status of churches that back political candidates unless it is specifically approved by the commissioner of the agency — a provision Politico characterizes as "a backdoor way around the so-called Johnson amendment, a half-century-old prohibition on nonprofits getting involved in political campaign activities." Brian Faler and Aaron Lorenzo report.

(Photo credit: Yuri Kabodnov/AFP)

That's it for this week. Got something you'd like to share? Drop us a note at mfn@foundationcenter.org.

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