Weekly Reader – April 20, 2015

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, April 20

Charities should do much less evaluation (Caroline Fiennes, Giving Evidence) Charities get judged on ‘evaluations’ which they themselves produce, for which they design measures, and they decide whether and what to publish. It appears not to help them much. If the aim is to improve decisions – by operating charities, by funders, by policy-makers – by enabling access to reliable evidence about what’s worth doing and what’s worth prioritising, then much of it fails: it’s just too ropey.

Tuesday, April 21

Strategic Philanthropy vs Charity (Tim Heubsch) In the end it is not a question of strategic philanthropy or charity, it must be both. We will always have immediate needs and charity/donations help solve those gaps. I think it is imperative though, that everyone also keep an eye on how they can think strategically about their philanthropic dollars and find those times when we can give to help target root causes for issues and help our investments multiply many time over!

Wednesday, April 22

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Philanthropy (Jean Case, Huffington Post) Put simply, if you’ve done something to help another, you are a philanthropist.

Thursday, April 23

Three Avenues to Impact—and All Are About Investing in Leaders (Exponent Philanthropy) As funders are increasingly concerned about the impact of their grants, investing in leadership may indeed be one of the greatest ways to ensure impact. McKinsey identified three key ways to strengthen nonprofit leaders.

Friday, April 24

Pushing Philanthropy to Focus on Results (Chronicle of Philanthropy) Podcast featuring Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. In an interview with Amy Costello, founder of the Tiny Spark podcast, Mr. Buchanan talks about the obstacles that impede donors and foundations from getting results and how foundation leaders and their staff members can learn from missteps.

Nikki Powell

Nikki Powell is PEAK Grantmaking's communications and practices director. You can find her on Twitter @nikkiwpowell.