Weekend Reading

How much good must a foundation do in order to justify investments in companies whose products cause harm?

What Do You Read for Philanthropy?
Amir Pasic, Philanthropy Matters

It is a rare foundation president who will ask you what books you are reading. Indeed, an illuminating study commissioned by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation finds that private U.S. foundations gather the knowledge they use in their work primarily through peer interactions that are “informal and ad hoc.”

A Communal Response to Gender Harassment Begins
H. Glenn Rosenkrantz, eJewish Philanthropy

The testimonies were harrowing and sometimes graphic. For over 30 minutes they went on, and on – tales of gender harassment across the spectrum of Jewish communal life, from synagogues to large national organizations and everything in between, and perpetrated by colleagues, donors and board members alike.


Collaborative Philanthropy at its Best: Generating a Decade of Impact
Gail Zucker, eJewish Philanthropy

Giving circles can be a powerful mechanism for pooling philanthropic resources and generating social impact. They are also known to be time-consuming, expensive and difficult to sustain. Despite these challenges, the Social Venture Fund for Jewish-Arab Equality and Shared Society (SVF) [now housed at JFN] is completing its first decade and continues to thrive. During this time, the SVF produced over $9 million of collective investment from 42 different funders who support an equal and inclusive shared society in Israel for the benefit of all its citizens.

Can Measures Change the World?
Christopher Nelson, Anita Chandra & Carolyn Miller, SSIR

Our ability to track and report all sorts of things is growing by the day, resulting in a proliferation of measures—the percentage of children attending preschool, the cost of housing, access to mental health services, to name just a few. It’s time that organizations begin to focus just as much effort on understanding how those measures can be more effectively used to change complex social systems.

Debating the Role of Philanthropy in Democracy
Reed Hastings, Rob Reich, & Darren Walker, SSIR

Given the largely unaccountable position of power held by philanthropists, what role
should they play in democratic societies?

After Big Data: The Coming Age of “Big Indicators”
Andrew Zolli, SSIR

How remote-sensing technologies and artificial intelligence will enable new insights into our toughest global problems.

#Metoo Meets Torah?
Rabbi Aviva Richman, eJewish Philanthropy

The challenge that the Torah puts forth to all of us is: how do we build a city, that is, a culture that cares?

Responding to #MeToo goes Deeper than Policy Changes
Loribeth Weinstein, eJewish Philanthropy

For this shift to occur we need a comprehensive, holistic approach – multi-generational and prevention focused, catalyzed by education, training and constant conversation. 

JDC Israel names 1st Woman Director General
eJewish Philanthropy

For this shift to occur we need a comprehensive, holistic approach – multi-generational and prevention focused, catalyzed by education, training and constant conversation. 

The U.S. Can No Longer Hide From Its Deep Poverty Problem
Angus Deaton, The New York Times

According to the World Bank, 769 million people lived on less than $1.90 a day in 2013; they are the world’s very poorest. Of these, 3.2 million live in the United States, and 3.3 million in other high-income countries (most in Italy, Japan and Spain).


Foundation Grant-Making And Historical Insight: Opportunities Missed And Met
Patricia Rosenfield, HistPhil

Knowledge of the history of philanthropy can yield findings that not only inform other scholars but also inform philanthropic practitioners.

Cracking the Code of Technology Capacity Building
Ava Kuhlen, Center for Effective Philanthropy

Technology is changing how we operate in the world. But the social sector is rapidly being left behind as many organizations struggle to understand and use technology to its fullest potential. How can philanthropy increase technology know-how, adoption, and use in the social sector?

If At First We Don’t Succeed: Funder Lessons from Philanthropic Failure
Ariella Saperstein, eJewish Philanthropy

In a series of interviews with senior foundation professionals in the Jewish world, I discussed the factors on the foundation side that led to a grant’s failure to achieve its projected outcomes. Thirteen foundation professionals agreed to be interviewed, though more than half requested anonymity.

Change that Lasts: Sharing the Continued Impact of the Jewish ECE JRS Initiative
Dawne Bear Novicoff and Seth Linden, eJewish Philanthropy

As the Jim Joseph Foundation continues to think about best practices in philanthropy and how to make the greatest impact in Jewish education, we increasingly focus on models of dissemination and adaptation. We believe these two ideas are inter-related, in that the first step in adapting a successful program model to a new city is to effectively disseminate the relevant findings from recent evaluation and research.

The Urgent Environmental Agenda for the Jewish People
Yosef I. Abramowitz, The Jerusalem Post

There is no higher fulfillment of the Jewish mission than to honor and save the majesty of God’s creation and to do so as individuals and as part of a global Jewish collective with Israel as our national platform.

Paying too High a Price for Being Single
Zelda R. Stern, eJewish Philanthropy

The notion that singles have more disposable income is inaccurate. The single population includes the divorced and the widowed, many of whom are raising children without a partner and who have less money than couples and families with two partners. And a never-married single person does not necessarily have fewer expenses and more expendable income than a couple.

Shabbat shalom and have a great weekend.