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PEAK Grantmaking

Weekly Reader – February 20, 2017

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 20

How the ACLU Plans to Spend that Extra $79 Million—and Counting! (Anna Berry, Nonprofit Quarterly) As the country prepares for a long-haul fight in multiple venues over civil and human rights, the American Civil Liberties Union is at the center of the battle. As many people agreed, the ACLU seems to have needed a war chest. Since Election Day, the ACLU has received a remarkable $79 million in new contributions online, and the funds, while necessary to support a heightened level of activity, are also shaping the next wave of activism in response to the new administration.

Tuesday, February 21

New Research Highlights Role of Funder Networks & Associations in How Foundations Access & Use Knowledge (David Biemesderfer, Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers) For a long time I have been aware of the important role played by regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs)—the networks and associations that comprise the Forum’s membership—to inform foundations about philanthropic practice. That role is reaffirmed in a newly released research study by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation that is a first-of-its-kind study of how U.S. foundations access and use knowledge about effective philanthropy.

Wednesday, February 22

Protecting Nonprofit Nonpartisanship (National Council of Nonprofits) For more than 60 years, an important provision in the federal tax code has successfully protected charitable nonprofits, religious congregations, and foundations from being hounded by politicians, political operatives, and paid political consultants seeking political endorsements, financial contributions, and more.

Thursday, February 23

How We Constrain Ourselves (Kris Putnam-Walkerly, Putnam Consulting Group) In philanthropy we also have our trusted strategies and practices. In some cases these are carefully researched best practices that deliver effective results most of the time. We also have many practices we employ because they are the most obvious, expected and even comfortable. In using them, we just might be constraining ourselves, as I was on that plane, but not allowing ourselves to consider all the options available. Here are just a few ways in which we commonly constrain ourselves, and I bet you can think of more:

Friday, February 24

Citi Foundation Commits $100 Million to Reduce Youth Unemployment (Philanthropy News Digest) The Citi Foundation has announced a three-year, $100 million commitment to expand its Pathways to Progress initiative.

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