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PEAK Grantmaking

Weekly Reader – February 27, 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 27

Are You the Rodney Dangerfield of Your Nonprofit Board? (Mark Light, Nonprofit Quarterly) I was asked to take a leadership role in a volunteer-only nonprofit. My hope was to stimulate the coalition to move forward toward its goals. Unfortunately, two members of the coalition take an adamant stand against all my suggestions, regardless of the time I spend explaining how these ideas can help.

Tuesday, February 28

Are You Funding What Works? (Exponent Philanthropy) In today’s age of data, measurement, metrics, and evaluation, are you surprised to learn that public systems serving children and families (e.g., health, education, child welfare) have been slow to adopt tested, effective programs on the community and state level?

Wednesday, March 1

Philanthropists Need to Stand With the Most Vulnerable and Marginalized (Aaron Dorfman, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy) These are incredibly challenging and scary times. Philanthropy has a hugely important role to play in protecting the most vulnerable in our society.

Thursday, March 2

Philanthropy’s Responsibility to Listen (Philanthropy News Digest) Last month, the Pittsburgh Foundation released a new report, A Qualitative Study of Youth and the Juvenile Justice System: A 100 Percent Pittsburgh Pilot Project, which calls on human services staffs, law enforcement authorities, and school officials to provide youth involved with the juvenile justice system not just a seat but a bench at the table where prevention and diversion programs are shaped and developed.

Friday, March 3

It’s time to challenge assumptions on nonprofit overhead spending (Philanthropic-Giving) It is understandable that nonprofits should want to present their budgets in the best light and anticipate donor concerns about responsible fiscal management. But accounting tricks shouldn’t be the solution. Rather, nonprofits should seek to turn the conversation around and challenge assumptions about overhead spending

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