Commentary and opinion

Philanthropy News Digest invites opinion and commentary on topics of importance to the philanthropic sector. For more information, contact Kyoko Uchida, PND's features editor, at kyoko.uchida@candid.org.

Why regulatory modernization is essential to a nimble human services system

Why regulatory modernization is essential to a nimble human services system

Ilana Levinson, Matt Lyons November 24, 2020

Levinson, a senior director for government relations for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, and Lyons, the director of Policy and Research with the American Public Human Services Association, call for a more flexible, responsive  regulatory environment that enables state and local agencies and CBOs to creatively engage in experimentation and innovation, embrace technology, and improve outcomes for individuals and families in their communities....

Dismantling systemic racism requires philanthropic investment in AAPI communities

Dismantling systemic racism requires philanthropic investment in AAPI communities

Eddy Zheng November 13, 2020

A formerly incarcerated immigrant and the founder and president of the New Breath Foundation, Zheng calls for increased support targeting marginalized Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), who are facing a new wave of discrimination and hate and, like other communities of color, have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis....

Nonprofits, philanthropies lead effort to ensure paid time off for staff to vote

Nonprofits, philanthropies lead effort to ensure paid time off for staff to vote

Kindred Motes October 27, 2020

In response to a call from Ford Foundation president Darren Walker and Wallace Global Fund executive director Ellen Dorsey, numerous nonprofit and philanthropic organizations are giving their staff paid time off to vote and participate in nonpartisan volunteering and civic engagement activities....

America is ready for a more equitable economy and society

America is ready for a more equitable economy and society

Gary L. Cunningham, john a. powell October 23, 2020

A substantial portion of Americans, and not just communities of color, support stronger government efforts to address racial inequality and create a world that works for everyone, the authors argue, and they have survey data to prove it....

To help communities survive crises, trust and invest in their leadership

To help communities survive crises, trust and invest in their leadership

Regina R. Smith, Stacey Barbas September 29, 2020

Barbas, a senior program officer in the Health program, and Smith, managing director of the Arts & Culture program at the Kresge Foundation, call for investments in social cohesion, local leadership, and community enterprises as a critical component of the collective action needed to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic and structural racism....

Leading and succeeding during a crisis

Leading and succeeding during a crisis

Brandon Black, Elizabeth Fields September 24, 2020

The COO of the Gary Sinise Foundation writes that working to address the ongoing crises at both the individual and organizational levels has reinforced what she learned after 9/11 — the values of collaboration and personal empowerment and the need to ground her actions in empathy — and to ask: How can I fulfill my duties and help my colleagues be successful?...

What we can learn from the Sierra Club's moment of self-reckoning

What we can learn from the Sierra Club's moment of self-reckoning

Garrett Zink September 21, 2020

Admitting that the United States has a racist past and has long ignored structures and systems that are inherently racist is not the same as saying that Americans are rotten to the core, incapable of doing good, or irredeemable; it is, instead, an acknowledgement that we have harmed ourselves and those to whom we have a moral responsibility....

 Report or vote? Young BIPOC journalists can (and should) do both

Report or vote? Young BIPOC journalists can (and should) do both

Kyra Kyles September 1, 2020

The CEO of Oakland-based nonprofit YR Media and former editor-in-chief of EBONY argues that young people want to realize the American dream, be included in the political conversation, and advance the causes that are important to their future — and need not choose between being a journalist and being a BIPOC citizen of the United States....

Women and the changing face of philanthropy

Women and the changing face of philanthropy

Shira Ruderman August 28, 2020

The executive director of the Ruderman Family Foundation argues that as women are driving the growth in philanthropic giving overall as well as in support of efforts to empower women and girls, and that COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to accelerate those trends....

Students still need emergency aid. Funders must step up to fill the gap.

Students still need emergency aid. Funders must step up to fill the gap.

Jessica Haselton, Vinice Davis August 26, 2020

Davis, a venture partner at Imaginable Futures and an investor in Edquity, and Haselton, director of Education Innovation Ventures at ECMC Foundation and an Edquity board member, call for greater philanthropic investment in emergency COVID-19 relief aid for students who are ineligible for federal programs as well as student-parents who have additional financial needs....

Addressing domestic violence by preventing homelessness

Addressing domestic violence by preventing homelessness

Krista Niemczyk, Richard Thomason August 24, 2020

Thomason, director of policy at Blue Shield of California Foundation, and Niemczyk, public policy director at California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, make the case for the Domestic Violence Housing First model, which possible for survivors of domestic violence to leave an unsafe relationship without being forced into homelessness....

Participatory design approaches to impact investing

Participatory design approaches to impact investing

John Gaventa, Sean Hinton August 17, 2020

Sean Hinton, co-director of the Economic Justice Program at the Open Society Foundations and CEO of the Soros Economic Development Fund, and John Gaventa, a professor at the Institute of Development Studies, outline how an effective participatory approach could be integrated throughout the life-cycle of an impact investment....