« Current Trends in Philanthropy: U.S. Foundation Support for Democracy | Main | Current Trends in Philanthropy: U.S. Foundation Support for Climate Action »

Weekend Link Roundup (November 3-4, 2018)

November 04, 2018

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

Arts and Culture

According to a new Indiana University study, more than half of arts and culture nonprofits in the state report that demand for their services has increased over the past three years, and an even larger share reports that their expenses had increased more than their revenues, suggesting that most arts groups in the state operate in the red.


Most of us have stereotypes about who is, and isn't, an environmentalist. Most of us are wrong. Linda Poon reports for CityLab.

Higher Education

The Great Recession seems to have made a new generation of college students wary of the humanities. In The Atlantic, Jeffrey Selingo reports on what some liberal arts schools are doing to protect their investment.

Universities and colleges will have to work fast, because the AP reports that Amazon has launched a program to teach more than ten million students a year how to code, with a focus on kids and young adults from low-income families.


NewsMatch, the largest grassroots fundraising campaign in support of nonprofit news organizations, is underway. With support from a diverse group of foundations, including the Democracy Fund, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the Gates Family Foundation (through the Colorado Media Project), the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation, the campaign will double donations to a hundred fifty-five nonprofit newsrooms in nearly every state across the country through December 31.


As a society, we make "big bets" on lots of things — the importance of a quality education for all, the exploration of space, the outcome of the Super Bowl and World Cup. So why, asks Social Velocity's Nell Edgington, don't we make big bets on the nonprofit sector?


In a Q&A with Devex's Catherine Cheney, Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, discusses the foundation's new areas of focus, its increased emphasis on data and collaboration, and it efforts to draw more commercial investment to international development priorities.

The Knowledge Services team here at Foundation Center has kicked off a new "current trends in philanthropy" series with a look at the big picture and posts on international grantmaking by U.S. foundations and foundation funding for democracy.

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Jennifer Oldham, a program and communications officer at The Healing Trust, looks at three "non-traditional" ways funders can support their grantees.

Everyone knows that winning a big lottery prize is the first step on the road to ruin. But what if you took your winnings and, after paying some bills, used the rest to start a private foundation? Vox's Kelsey Piper looks at what happened when Evan Sparks, an editor at Philanthropy magazine, floated the idea on Twitter.

Racial Equity

Almost ten years after the Chicago-based Woods Fund identified racial equity as a priority, the foundation is taking an additional step in its journey by prioritizing its racial equity focus within an updated set of grantmaking guidelines. Foundation president Grace B. Hou explains the reasons for the change and what it means for current and future grantees.

Social Change

In the eighth of a ten-installment series of Q&As with millennial changemakers who are working across sectors to bring about change on the issues they care about, the Case Foundation chats with Michael Smith, executive director of My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Alliance and director of youth opportunity programs at the Obama Foundation.

In a week that saw several instances of deadly violence in spaces that were supposed to be safe, California Wellness Foundation president Judy Belk urges Americans not to accept hatred of others as “the new normal.” Violence," she writes, is "a public health issue, a problem that impacts many communities and can be solved through education, public policies and collective action," and funders must use their resources and bully pulpits "to speak out against hate and to support peace and justice for all."

"Facing such ugliness...we cannot allow ourselves to become inured," writes Barr Foundation president Jim Canales. "This is not normal. This is not right. And this is not who we are.

More than ever, we have an obligation to be present, to stand up and be counted, and to meet the challenge of this moment head on. For those of us in philanthropy, we must determine what of our resources, power, and voice we will deploy. We may feel our greatest contribution is to speak out in defense of the ideals and values our country stands upon. We may be focused on ensuring our partners on the front lines have the support they need to face these crises. Or both. And more....

Heinz Endowments president Grant Oliphant attended Sunday night's vigil at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's  Squirrel Hill neighborhood and reports that it was "vibrant in its celebration of Judaism and Jewish life, broad in its embrace of the broader community, [and] offered one of the most inspiring collection of speeches I have ever heard. The theme at the heart of every single one was that love triumphs over hate, and will again. But this," Oliphant adds, "we must remember: Not by accident. Not without intention. And not without action." 

And in a post on the IS site, Independent Sector president Dan Cardinali shares four things the sector, "as organizations and individual citizens," can do to address the ugliness and drive change.

That's it for this week. Shalom and peace be with you.

« Previous post    Next post »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

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

Subscribe to PhilanTopic


Guest Contributors

  • Laura Cronin
  • Derrick Feldmann
  • Thaler Pekar
  • Kathryn Pyle
  • Nick Scott
  • Allison Shirk

Tweets from @PNDBLOG

Follow us »

Filter posts