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, August 1
“Billion Dollar Bets” to Create Economic Opportunity for Every American (Debby Bielak, Devin Murphy, and Jim Shelton, The Bridgespan Group) The American Dream—the notion that if you “work hard and play by the rules,” you will improve your lot in life—has become impossible for Americans to achieve. That was the conclusion of nearly six out of ten people who responded to a June 2014, CNNMoney poll. In a December 2015 Harvard Institute of Politics’ survey of millennials, nearly half pronounced the American Dream “dead.”
Tuesday, August 2
“Trends In Philanthropy — Giving To Women And Girls And Why It Matters (Melissa A. Berman, The Foundation Review) This article examines the issue of foundation organization design and assesses how foundation leaders might think about their organizations as institutions. Noting that any organization structure inhabited by human beings creates silos and territorial issues, foundation leaders are increasingly using two primary mechanisms to minimize these artificial barriers and maximize collaboration: enhanced headquarters functions to help integrate across the organization, and senior leadership teams.
Wednesday, August 3
“Data and the Search for Big Donors (Nicole Wallace, Evertrue) Imagine the development office of 2025. Switching on their computers, fundraisers will dig into the information that charities have long collected about donors — giving histories, event attendance, visits with nonprofit staff.
Thursday, August 4
“Reflecting on Power and the Funder-Grantee Relationship (Jonathan Raymond, Center for Effective Philanthropy) Today, more than ever, the complexity of challenges requires us to think deeply about the work and its implications. Can we find ways to work and learn together as a field and with our partners in the field? Doing so will require new thinking and finding new ways to collaborate. It will require us to be clear about how change happens, and to be humble in our charge. In short, all of us in philanthropy must ask the questions to generate the conversations and ideas leading to a better way.
Friday, August 5
“Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark on the Future of Philanthropy (Craig Newmark, LinkedIn) The current models of big philanthropy focus on accumulating massive wealth, followed by the charitable contribution of a very small percentage of that wealth.
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