What we’re reading and recommending this week. We add to this post throughout the week and look for your suggestions in the comments.
Monday, February 13
Losing the Johnson Amendment Would Destroy the Unique Political Role of Nonprofits (The Editors, Nonprofit Quarterly) If the president does what he says he will do, 501(c)(3) nonprofits and churches will be able to become active participants in electoral politics, directly supporting candidates and raising funds for political purposes. At last week’s National Prayer Breakfast, he renewed his campaign promise to “totally destroy” the federal regulations that prevent charities from using their resources for partisan political purposes.
Tuesday, February 14
The Rise of the ‘Rage-Donation’ (Ashley Fetters, GQ)
Someone I know told me recently that he’s picked up a new habit since the election of Donald Trump: Every time he gets angry watching the news or reading his Facebook feed, he makes a donation to a nonprofit whose cause he believes in. He likes to choose donation recipients that help “offset” whatever’s pissing him off. These days, he says, sometimes he finds himself donating to Planned Parenthood; other times, the American Civil Liberties Union. He’s made at least five donations this month.
Wednesday, February 15
A Big Step: How One Foundation Overcame Doubts and Moved Forward with Impact Investing (Tate Williams, Inside Philanthropy) For very good reasons, more foundation leaders are taking steps to align their investments with their missions. It makes sense, especially for justice or environment funders concerned that the great majority of their institutions’ wealth is locked up and not helping, and possibly even inhibiting, their programs.After all, why would you be hyper-vigilant about where that annual 5 percent or so cut goes in the form of grants, as most funders are, and then be comparatively disengaged with investments?
Thursday, February 16
Muslim nonprofit groups are rejecting federal funds because of Trump (Amy B Wang, The Washington Post) At least four Muslim nonprofit groups have rejected more than $2 million in federal funding to fight violent extremism, citing President Trump’s rhetoric against Muslim Americans and Islam and the new administration’s policies as their reasons.
Friday, February 17
Peer to peer: At the heart of influencing more effective philanthropy (William & Flora Hewlett Foundation) When staff and board members at foundations need trusted information about philanthropic practice, there’s one source that tops their list: their peers.
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