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New Year's Eve Roundup (December 31, 2018)

December 31, 2018

Happy_new_yearHere's our final roundup of the year. Wishing everyone a peaceful and prosperous New Year! For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Economy

No one has ever confused private equity with charity. That's not a surprise. As the Ford Foundation's José García and Xavier de Souza Briggs remind us: "One of the functions of private equity investment is to finance early-stage ideas and companies. Another is to help transform mature companies, for greater competitiveness....But too often," they add, "we have seen private equity funds focus narrowly on maximizing profits through leveraged buyout practices that come at the expense of disadvantaged workers, families, and communities." Must that always be the case? And is there any reason to hope that private equity investors might do something different to address the needs of displaced workers? In a post on the foundation's Equal Change blog, García and de Souza Briggs share a tale that provides a glimmer of hope.

Eillie Anzilotti, an assistant editor for Fast Company's Ideas section, shares seven things we, as a country, can do to create a more inclusive economy.

Fundraising

On the GuideStar blog, veteran fundraiser Barbara O’Reilly, CFRE, looks back at the year just passed and identifies some reasons for concern: giving in each quarter fell about 2 percent on a year-over-year basis, and the number of donors in the first half of the year fell about 7 percent (compared to same period in 2017). Just as importantly, donor retention rates dropped by 4.6 percent. As people start to file their 2018 returns, nobody knows how changes to the tax code will affect giving, but O’Reilly has some sound advice for nonprofits hoping to navigate the next twelve months unscathed.

Giving

Does taking pleasure in giving to others make us selfish? In Psychology Today, Kristin Brethel-Haurwitz, PhD, and Abigail Marsh, PhD, suggest that "it is our fundamentally caring nature that moves us to help others, and that feeling good may be merely a lucky and foreseeable outcome of giving, rather than its purpose — a critical distinction."

Urban Institute vice president Shena Ashley shares three trends in 2018 that could shape/reshape charitable giving in the years to come.

And the Forbes Nonprofit Council weighs in with seven trends of its own.

The Philanthropic Initiative's Leslie Pine looks at the pros and cons of two approaches to giving, responsive and proactive, and then suggests five questions to consider when trying to strike a balance between the two.

Because he's a believer in transparency and would like to influence readers to be more intentional about their giving, Nonprofit Chronicles blogger Marc Gunther shares how he and his wife, Karen, allocated their charitable dollars in 2018. Very interesting.

Philanthropy

HistPhil concludes its mini-forum on Rob Reich's recently released Just Giving: Why Philanthropy Is Failing Democracy and How It Can Do Better with a thoughtful response from Reich himself.

In a post on the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Charlotte Brugman, the organization's manager of assessment and advisory services, announces that CEP will be expanding into Europe in 2019, and that she will be leading the effort from her new base in Amsterdam. 

Social Good

What does it take for philanthropy to effectively support emerging leaders and their risky ideas? On the Stanford Social Innovation review site, the Rosenberg Foundation's Tim Silard and Lateefah Simon, president of the Akonadi Foundation, share some thoughts based on their experiences with the Leading Edge Fund — a three-year fellowship launched by the Rosenberg Foundation and the Hellman Foundation in 2016 to support cutting-edge, social change ideas.

And Beth Kanter checks in with another roundup of reports, articles, and items related to artificial intelligence and social good.

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

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