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, May 23
Pay-What-It-Takes Philanthropy (Jeri Eckhart-Queenan, Michael Etzel, & Sridhar Prasad, Stanford Social Innovation Review) We discovered that indirect costs make up a much larger percentage of a nonprofit’s total costs than is widely understood. Of the nonprofits we surveyed, indirect costs made up between 21 percent and 89 percent of total costs. The median indirect cost rate for all 20 nonprofits was 40 percent, nearly three times the 15 percent overhead rate that most foundations provide. To be clear: Higher or lower is neither better nor worse. These figures are not measures of either effectiveness or efficiency. Rather, they reflect the mix of direct and indirect costs required to deliver impact.
Tuesday, May 24
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Are More Than Buzzwords (Nina Cohen and Erika McDaniel, Glenmede, An Exponent Philanthropy Platinum Sustaining Partner) The evolving demographic face of America is shifting every aspect of daily life, from television programming to a multigenerational workforce. These transformations are driving technological innovation, political change and, now, changing the philanthropic industry. By embracing DEI initiatives, both foundations and nonprofits will be poised to get in step with the new landscape and further their missions.
Wednesday, May 25
Youthgiving.org Resource Collection (Issuelab) Foundation Center is building YouthGiving.org, a platform to elevate stories, resources, and data about youth grantmaking. This collection, part of the larger platform, brings together a wealth of reports, articles, case studies, multimedia, and other resources for adults and youth already engaged in or looking to get involved in this work.
Thursday, May 26
“Know Thyself” Before Collaborating (Grantspace) What if Plato were alive today? Imagine him, instead of writing dialogues, as a prolific blogger and thought leader in the nonprofit sector. I visualize him extolling nonprofits for their collaborative efforts to strengthen communities and also encouraging them to “Know Thyself” before attempting to partner.
Friday, May 27
Foundation Transparency: Game Over? (Brad Smith, Glasspockets Blog) The tranquil world of America’s foundations is about to be shaken, but if you read the Center for Effective Philanthropy’s (CEP) new study — Sharing What Matters, Foundation Transparency — you would never know it.
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