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Weekend Link Roundup (June 30-July 1, 2018)

July 01, 2018

Lionel-Messi-en-souffrance-lors-de-France-Argentine_w484Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Civic Tech

International Affairs/Development

On the GuideStar blog, Gabe Cohen, the organization’s senior director of marketing and communications, talks with Mari Kuraishi, president of GlobalGiving (which she co-founded with Dennis Whittle in 2001), about the organization's founding and early years and the values and qualities the organization is looking for in its next leader.


In the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Vu Le suggests that the best leaders may be those who are "willing to give up the things they care about, not out of pity and charity, but in recognition of and in response to systemic injustice. Among other things, it means sometimes we men do not apply for that perfect job, even if we think we are well qualified for it. It means white allies sometimes do not take the microphone, literally or figuratively, so that others can have a chance to speak and be heard. It means larger organizations sometimes do not pursue catalytic grants, even if they have a high chance of getting them, and instead support the smaller, grassroots organizations led by marginalized communities. It means foundations share decision-making power with nonprofits and communities who have lived through the inequity they are trying to address."


Kee Tobar, a Stoneleigh Foundation Emerging Leader Fellow and an attorney in the Youth Justice Project at Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, marks the end of Pride Month with a guest post on the Generocity site that highlights the "closet to poverty pipeline" in which too mnay LGBTQ youth find themselves trapped.


Jutt back from a busy week at the IFC-ASIA: Ecoystems for Good conference in Thailand, Beth Kanter shares some tips that will help you design a formal reflection process that can lead to improved project or event results.

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Naomi Orensten, CEP's director of research, shares the latest results of a survey of funders it periodically conducts to better understand their perceptions across a number of dimensions of CEP's work, engagement with and use of its research, and experiences as users of its assessment and advisory services.


In The Atlantic, Alexis C. Madrigal talks to Stanford professor Rob Reich, whose new book,Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, makes the case for private foundations as an un-democratic force in American society. Reich bases his claim on four main arguments: foundations are unaccountable to voters or to marketplace competition; they are not transparent; they are are donor-directed and do not have to consider the perspectives or feedback of the people they were set up to help; and they are tax-subsidized, meaning that tax dollars that would have gone "to the government, where at least there is nominal democratic control over spending priorities," is instead spent on whatever social purpose the foundation donor decides to support.

In a post on the NCRP blog, Nathan Boon, a program officer with the William Penn Foundation, outlines some of the things the Philadelphia-based foundation has done to refocus its institutional priorities on racial equity and justice.

On Transparency Talk (the Glasspockets blog), Hanh Cao Yu, chief learning officer for the California Endowment, explores the significance of fellowships and other intentional foundation approaches, to creating a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive philanthropic sector.

"On Tuesday, the judge in the Trump Foundation case, Saliann Scarpulla, made a series of comments and rulings from the bench that hinted — well, all but screamed — that she believes the Trump family has done some very bad things." Adam Davidson reports on the Trump Foundation's mounting legal troubless.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has issued a new analysis (16 pages, PDF) of its grant practice. Based on interviews with program staff and written by Aimée Bruederle, the report looks at such things as how the foundation collects grantee information; how it uses data and captures what it learns; how it uses technology to "interface" with grantees; and how it defines roles within the organization.

Make no mistake, writes Richard Marker on his blog, the core concepts of the field that he and others had a hand in developing in 2002 still make sense, but "they need to be contextualized for every situation. Scandinavia is not Latin America, and neither is Spain like China. Moreover, family funders are all different even as they are all the same. If one appears to be only U.S.-centric, or oblivious to local laws, history, and culture, it will be hard to get to the underlying universal aspects that define decision making."

(Photo credit: J-S Grond, à Kazan)

Got something you'd like to share? Drop us a note at mfn@foundationcenter.org

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