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Weekend Link Roundup (April 20-21, 2019)

April 21, 2019

Redacted-Legal-Documents-1And...we're back with our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....


In a post on the Ford Foundation's Equals Change blog, the foundation's Noorain Khan and Catherine Townshend update readers on the foundation's disability inclusion journey.


On the GrantSpace blog, Julieta Mendez, director of programs at Candid, explains how the organization's DEI programs are supporting the social sector.


"Seven years after the state passed a law that required Maine’s high schools to award diplomas on the basis of demonstrated 'proficiency' in eight key areas, and nine months after the legislature repealed that mandate, the debate over proficiency-based diplomas continues to divide districts, teachers and families...even as the concept spreads to other schools and states." Kelly Field reports for the Hechinger Report.


A proposed Trump administration rule to allow employers to fund individual, tax-preferred accounts for employees rather than cover them under employer-sponsored group plans could shift individuals from employee-sponsored plans to state-regulated individual markets and end up destabilizing those markets. Georgetown University professors JoAnn Volk and Kevin Lucia dig into the details on the Commonwealth Fund's To The Point blog.


Charity Navigator, in partnership with Feedback Labs, Candid, GlobalGiving, Listen for Good, Acumen, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Bridges Fund Management, Development Gateway, and Keystone Accountability, has announced the release of version 1.0 of the Principles of Constituent Feedback, an effort to begin collecting and publishing the reflections of nonprofits on their feedback practice before #GivingTuesday 2019.

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Mario Morino, co-founder and founding chair of Venture Philanthropy Partners and author of Leap of Reason, and Lowell Weiss, president of Cascade Philanthropy Advisors and an advisor to the Leap of Reason initiative, share some of the "common denominators" that all funders should consider if they want to be as effective as they are generous.

International Affairs/Development

On April 20, the European Parliament approved an EU-wide directive to protect whistleblowers. How did it happen, and why is it such an important moment for Europe? Peter Matjašič, program officer for the Open Society Initiative for Europe, explains.


Nonprofit leaders, as a rule, are a pretty compassionate bunch, writes Nell Edgington on her Social Velocity blog. But are they compassionate enough?


There is a lesson for philanthropy, writes NCRP's Jeanné L. Lewis Isler, in last week's devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris: "If donors and foundations can move this quickly to rebuild a damaged temple, then the broader philanthropic sector can certainly act more swiftly to support people in rebuilding the systems that have damaged their lives."

"What’s at stake in using [the word] 'subsidy' to describe the charitable deduction?" asks John Tyler, general counsel, secretary, and chief ethics officer for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, in a post on the Philanthropy Daily site. Plenty, says Tyler, who adds that as

the [use of the] term has...expanded beyond accounting treatment, it has accrued implications as some sort of amorphous unfairness that favors some and intentionally discriminates against others. It has come to imply that the State "underwrites" the charitable contributions that certain taxpayers make (and thus, by extension, the organizations that receive them). Going farther, some declare the charitable deduction "subsidy" both inequitable and unjust....


And in a post on her Philanthropy 2173 blog, Lucy Bernholz argues that most conferences, panels, and discussions about "nonprofits and AI," "foundations and AI," and "AI for good" miss the point altogether. "The real question for nonprofits and foundations is not HOW will they use AI," writes Bernholz, "but how is AI being used within the domains within which they work and how must they respond?"

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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