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 28
The Risky Business of Foundation Opacity (Janet Camerena, Glasspockets) From the lack of foundation websites and annual reporting, to perpetual insider control, and a desire to keep a low public profile, the author’s research confirms what many of us have been saying for years–that there is much room for improved transparency in the field.
Tuesday, May 29
Ten Reasons Not to Measure Impact—and What to Do Instead (Mary Kay Gugerty & Dean Karlan, SSIR) Impact evaluations are an important tool for learning about effective solutions to social problems, but they are a good investment only in the right circumstances. In the meantime, organizations must build an internal culture in which the right data are regularly collected, analyzed, and applied to manage implementation and improve programs.
Wednesday, May 30
Who’s Partnering with Joe Biden on LGBTQ Inclusion? (Philip Rojc, Inside Philanthropy) With the bulk of American politics and public opinion set against them, a cadre of wealthy individuals and foundations funded smart advocacy that helped a controversial niche issue enter the political mainstream. It’s a proud achievement for social justice philanthropy, and an ample demonstration of the power that private funders can wield.
Thursday, May 31
Announcing Power Moves for Funders (Caitlin Duffy, NCRP) The philanthropic sector is hungry. Equity has taken its rightful place as a central discussion in how funders do their work and seek to benefit their communities and practitioners are hungry for resources on how to operationalize equity commitments internally and in their grantmaking, to support marginalized communities and change systems.
Friday, June 1
The Nonprofit Sector as White Space (Cindy Suarez, Nonprofit Quarterly) Now more than ever, as the US dredges up submerged racial dominance narratives, with an attendant shift from implicit bias to explicit violence, it is critical for the nonprofit sector, which is caught in its own narrative loop around racial inequity, to look squarely at these underlying master narratives of white space and black space.
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