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.

The Audacity of Joe Biden

The Audacity of Joe Biden

Neil Ghosh February 11, 2021

Ghosh, chief executive officer of SOS Children's Villages USA and founder of the Global Youth Initiative, urges Americans to reclaim their civic courage....

Prioritize public education in our philanthropic COVID-19 response

Prioritize public education in our philanthropic COVID-19 response

Ana Ponce, Rachel Levin January 27, 2021

The executive director of Great Public Schools Now and the president of Fundamental outline how philanthropy can encourage and support educators and school district leaders to take the longer view that will be needed to recover from the pandemic even as they struggle to manage a seemingly endless list of day-to-day challenges....

DAF donors showed us who they were in 2020

DAF donors showed us who they were in 2020

Eileen Heisman January 24, 2021

DAFs are sometimes called the "rainy day funds" of philanthropy, writes Heisman, because DAF donors actively use their DAFs to support urgent charitable priorities while saving for future needs, and in 2020 they did just that....

3 ways to decolonize philanthropy right now

3 ways to decolonize philanthropy right now

Geoffrey Thige, Jailan Adly January 14, 2021

The incoming and outgoing CEOs of RefuSHE share three ways to decolonize philanthropy; and we look back at the most popular posts on the blog in 2020....

Challenging ableism through language justice

Challenging ableism through language justice

Rachele Tardi, Zachary Turk December 28, 2020

The director and a program officer with the Youth Exchange at the Open Society Foundations share lessons learned about what it means in practice to apply language justice to all stages of grantmaking, centering disabled people in those processes....

Being bold in a time of uncertainty

Being bold in a time of uncertainty

Peter Sloane December 17, 2020

If there has ever been a time when we need to embrace bold solutions in education, especially to the challenges faced by the underserved, writes Sloane, now is the time...

Planning for the coming economic recovery by building careers

Planning for the coming economic recovery by building careers

Renée Cardwell Hughes, Sherry Cromett December 3, 2020

The president of CareerWork$ at the Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and the president of Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. call for creating opportunities for people with low incomes and people of color to access living-wage jobs in industries where career growth is possible....

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?...