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Weekend Link Roundup (January 25-26, 2020)

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


It’s the end of the world as we know it…and most of us feel fine. “Starting this year,” writes Jeff Brooks on his Future Fundraising Now blog, “there will be no new Boomers entering the most-likely-to-donate stage of life. Now, they can only leave that stage…the hard way.”


Did you get a few fundraising solicitations over the holidays? Looking for a way to cut back on all the mail/email you receive from charities at the end of the year? Charity Navigator’s Kevin Scally and Ashley Post share a few tips designed to help you regain control of your mailboxes.


Writing on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health blog, Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, professor and director of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, looks at how the latest iteration of the Child Opportunity Index, which she and her team at Brandeis first developed in 2014, can be used to help researchers and policy makers understand how children are growing up today in any neighborhood in the United States.

On the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, Los Angeles Times reporter Noam Levey movingly describes the “lightbulb” moment that happens for people who experience a strong, patient-centered health system.


If we want to tackle specific areas of injustice — education, housing, jobs, and so on — writes Nonprofit AF’s Vu Le, nonprofits need to focus on a few critical levers of power:

  1. Elect more women of color into office
  2. Ensure marginalized people can vote and have the resources to do so
  3. Remove the influence of corporations and money in general on politics
  4. Change the tax code so rich people pay their fair share of taxes
  5. Control the public’s perception on important issues (to align with facts, not fear)


In their fourth annual Trends report, the folks at the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University look at eleven trends in philanthropy (28 pages, PDF) to keep an eye on in 2020. They include increasing critiques of (big) philanthropy, collaboration and consolidation, data science for social impact, millennials in the nonprofit workforce, tainted money and tainted donors, and corporate social responsibility.

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, CEP president Phil Buchanan wraps up his “Looking Back, Looking Forward” series with posts on philanthropic practice (#3) and hopes and dream (#4). While you’re at it, be sure to check out part #1 (“Business Knows Best…or Not)” and part #2 (“Big Questions“).

“If we define leadership in philanthropy as somehow identifying, advocating for and working to test or implement solutions to fundamental challenges faced by those without voice,” writes Allen Smart on the NCRP blog, “then most funders are not leaders. Many funders,” he adds “are at best highlighters of important issues but most are essentially followers. So the idea that there is leadership to turn over doesn’t ring true.”

The year 2019 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Tax Reform Act of 1969 (TRA), the most significant package of legislative reforms directed at the philanthropic sector in recent memory. On the HistPhil blog, James J. Fishman opens a forum on the  legacy and contemporary relevance of the TRA with a post outlining the developments that led to passage of the act.

Social Justice

And on the Ford Foundation’s Equals Change blog, Darren Walker, the foundation’s president, talks about the need to embrace urgency in bringing the world closer to justice in the new year.

That’s it for now. Drop us a line at [email protected] if you have something you’d like to share. 


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