Weekend Reading

Losing my faith in philanthropy led me to rediscover its power to change the world for good

Andrew Serazin, Quartz

My doubts went beyond the usual critiques of rich-country philanthropists imposing foreign values or scientists pursuing unrealistic pipe dreams. My questions were more fundamental and vexing. Am I changing the world for the better? Or am I deceiving myself into thinking I’m changing the world—through the smokescreen of Powerpoint, self-importance, and a brand-name employer?

Look at Social Impact Projects for What They Are: Investment

Laurie Michaels, GEO

  • Funders and grantees agree that 20% of projects will require extra funds due to unexpected events, but

  • 83% of funders do not set aside money to meet such emergencies. Moreover,

  • 76% of funders never ask what could go wrong in the execution of the project and therefore are unprepared to hear about or respond to an emergency; and

  • Funders falsely believe that nonprofits don’t need their money because another donor will step in to fill the gap (65%), but in fact that only happens 35% of the time.


Digital Currencies and Blockchain in the Social Sector

David Lehr & Paul Lamb, SSIR

The application of blockchain and digital currencies in the social sector is just getting started, but at least five prominent use cases have already emerged: 1. Philanthropy and international aid... 2. Remittances... 3. Identity and land rights... 4. Governance and democracy... 5. Environmental protection...


The Case for Impact Investing by Small and Mid-Size Family Foundations

Stacey Faella and Margaret Gifford, SSIR

There is opportunity for private family foundations of all sizes, including small and mid-size foundations, to bring impact investing—particularly through program-related investments—more fully into their portfolios. 

Gates-Funded Study Identifies Pathways Out of Poverty

Alex Daniels, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

 There was one overarching area of agreement, said Nisha Patel, the partnership’s executive director. The stigma of poverty must be eliminated, she said, and poor people must feel their life has meaning.

Genesis Philanthropy Group expands support for Jewish Life in Britain

eJewish Philanthropy

Genesis Philanthropy Group (GPG) is expanding its activities in Great Britain with significant grants to Moishe House and PJ Library, two of the most successful global entities engaging Jewish young adults and young families today.

Related: Genesis Philanthropy Group awards $7m in Grants

Righteous Persons Foundation

Righteous Persons Foundation Announces Recent Grants

eJewish Philanthropy

[JFN member organization] The Righteous Persons Foundation — the foundation established by Steven Spielberg to help bridge divides between people of different backgrounds; galvanize the power of the arts, media, and storytelling; preserve Jewish history and traditions and make them accessible for generations to come; build on the Jewish value of justice to inspire social activism; and ensure that the moral lessons of the Holocaust are not forgotten — has announced nine new grants.

Shabbat shalom and have a great weekend.