Weekend Reading


Progressive Funders, You May Be Part of the Problem | Vu Le, Nonprofit AF 

Look, it’s understandable that you do due diligence. You can’t just throw money at everyone who asks for it. But the balance is off. Way off. In the effort to be fair and to not make mistakes, many progressive funders have given up speed, agility, responsiveness to current dynamics, and the ability to accept risk and failure.

The Meaning and Impact of the Genesis Prize | Noa Amouyal, The Jerusalem Post 

From Hillel International to the Jewish Funders Network to businessman Roman Abramovich’s matching donations and Morris Kahn’s generous gift to ease the plight of Syrian refugees, the organization’s partnerships enable the impact of the prize to be felt exponentially across a variety of fields.

When Giving Too Much Isn’t Enough | Richard Marker, eJewish Philanthropy 

To “fund success” is not the same as to “fund for success.” Many funders are very risk averse, and are only are willing to fund the most proven, evidence based projects, or the most prestigious institutions. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with that approach, that is not what is intended by “fund for success.” It means that funders should assess what would be necessary for the highest likelihood of a program or project or organization to succeed.

New resource: Frameworks for Private Foundations: A New Model for Impact | Melissa Berman, Jason Franklin, Dara Major

This GrantCraft leadership series paper produced in partnership with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), explores the core frameworks that shape private foundations, and offers a roadmap for funders interested in reflecting on these frameworks to better align purpose, public benefit, and action.

How the Anti-Defamation League Rallied Support After Charlottesville | Timothy Sandoval, The Chronicle of Philanthropy 

Thanks to its quick reflexes and aggressive media efforts, the Anti-Defamation League has emerged as a magnet for donors seeking to respond to the white-supremacist rally and President Trump’s tepid response to it.

Taking Nazis Personally (and Collectively) | Yehuda Kurtzer, Medium 

The exercise of Jewish power in the advancement of progressive causes in America and in the work of Jewish self-preservation in Zionism seem so totally and intuitively intertwined to me, and it is downright tragic to see the ways in which they are being wrenched apart.

How Religion Motivates People to Give and Serve | David P. King, Insights (Lake Institute on Faith & Giving) 

73 percent of all American giving went to a house of worship or a religiously identified organization.

Marginalized Returns | Mara Bolis & Chris West, SSIR 

Impact investing has been seduced by a false narrative of combining social impact with financial gains.

Shared Gifting: Shifting Funding Power to Nonprofits | Kelley Buhles, SSIR 

When nonprofits dole out grant money to peers, the result is a transformative experience that fosters innovation, collaboration, and learning.

Debunking "White Zionism" | [yours truly], Forward 

Richard Spencer recently described himself to an Israeli TV interviewer as “a white Zionist.” That claim, coming from the leader of such a viciously antisemitic movement, is ironic and ridiculous. But if Spencer’s hope was to win sympathy from Zionists, his claim of an analogy between Zionism and white nationalism is also sure to please and energize anti-Israel activists.

The Four Children: A Jewish Framework for Funding | Debbie Cosgrove, ELI Talks 

Shabbat shalom and have a great weekend.