News and analysis
December 30, 2016

What Will Matter in 2017: Resources

Nonprofits face an unprecedented time of both opportunity and uncertainty. The Trump agenda, technological advances, new donor expectations — these and more will demand thoughtful change in fundraising, operations, and strategy.

“What Will Matter in 2017,” The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s report on critical trends for the new year, explores the key currents and innovations nonprofit leaders, board members, foundation executives, and others need to understand to navigate, and capitalize on, what lies ahead. 

Below are readings and material to accompany the report, which is available for purchase here. Some Chronicle articles on this list are available only to subscribers.

‘Big Donors, Big Bets’

About Our Big Bets, MacArthur Foundation. The philanthropy giant outlines the strategy for its biggest commitments.

Big Bets: Partnership, Risk-Taking, and Innovation in Philanthropy, Bridgespan Group. Includes resources and analysis of big bets for social change between 2000 and 2012.

"Learning From Zuckerberg’s ‘Naïve’ $100-Million Mistake," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Dale Russakoff, author of The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?, talks about the failure of the Newark, N.J., school reform funded largely by Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

"Philanthropy for Hackers," The Wall Street Journal. A manifesto on giving by Silicon Valley mogul and philanthropist Sean Parker.

‘Giving From Abroad’

"Thanks to Outreach, U.S. Colleges Enjoy Jump in Gifts From Abroad," The Chronicle of Higher Education.

International Prospect Research Resources, Amelia Aldred. This University of Chicago prospect researcher maintains an open-source directory.

"The World Wealth Report 2016," Capgemini. The global consulting firm’s annual study documenting the number of high-net-worth individuals worldwide.

‘Grant Makers vs. Inequality’

Change Philanthropy Resource Hub. Change Philanthropy, a membership group for women and minority foundation employees, maintains a collection of material on such topics as building a diverse staff.

"What’s Next for the Ford Foundation?" and "Ignorance Is the Enemy Within," Darren Walker. In these two letters, the Ford Foundation president lays out the motivation and plan for the grant maker’s attack on inequality.

"The Future of Foundation Philanthropy: The CEO Perspective," Center for Effective Philanthropy. Results from a survey of more than 200 foundation leaders.

"State of the Work: Stories From the Movement to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion," D5 Coalition. This is the final report from a five-year project by a group of philanthropy and nonprofit leaders to increase diversity among grant makers.

‘The Great Wealth Transfer’

"Millionaires and the Millennium: New Estimates of the Forthcoming Wealth Transfer and the Prospects for a Golden Age of Philanthropy," John Havens and Paul Schervish, Boston College. The 1999 report that estimated the coming intergenerational shift of wealth at $41 trillion.

"Experts Question $58-Trillion Wealth-Transfer Estimate," The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Transfer of Wealth Analysis, Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. Sample studies of assets passed from one generation to the next in various states and regions.

‘A New Safety Net’

"Cash Transfers: Changing the Debate on Giving Cash to the Poor," Innovations for Poverty Action. A review of the evidence regarding the effectiveness of direct monetary aid.

"Instead of Programs, Giving Money With No Strings Attached," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. In this podcast, GiveDirectly co-founder Paul Niehaus talks about the group’s direct-aid efforts in Africa.

"Is the World Ready for a Guaranteed Basic Income?," Freakonomics Radio (transcript available). Y Combinator President Sam Altman talks about his venture-capital company’s test of basic income.

"Make Poverty Tolerable or Escapable?," The Huffington Post. In the first of a series of six essays published last year, Mauricio Lim Miller, founder of the Family Independence Initiative, describes how he hopes to change how America helps the poor.

‘The Pay Squeeze’

"How Millennials Are Pushing Nonprofits to Change," PNP Staffing Group. This free report describes how nonprofits are adapting hiring and retention practices to meet the demands of young workers.

Minimum Wage Tracker, Economic Policy Institute. Information and data about minimum-wage laws nationwide.

"A Movement for Equality," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. A column by nonprofit-management expert Peggy Outon on why gender pay equity is a bigger issue for nonprofits than for the rest of society.

"New Overtime Rules Are Good for Nonprofits — and Good for America," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Veteran foundation leader Gara LaMarche argues that better pay for nonprofit workers is critical to America’s prosperity.

‘Prize Philanthropy’

100&Change, MacArthur Foundation. Details about the grant maker’s $100 million competition to generate a solution to a major global problem, the winner of which will be announced in the fall.

"How Offering an Innovation Prize Energized Our Grant Making," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. Peter Davidson and Amy Freitag of the J.M. Kaplan Fund talk of the benefits of the family foundation’s competition for social entrepreneurs.

"Nobody Needs a ‘Shark Tank’ in Philanthropy," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. A critique of philanthropy competitions by Maria Mottola, Gail Nayowith, and Jon Pratt, all current or former nonprofit executives.

‘Time to Wake Up’

"Facebook Adds Video Fundraising Feature to Compete With YouTube," The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

"Nonprofits and the Trump Agenda," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. A selection of post-election stories analyzing how the new administration’s policy plans could affect giving and nonprofits.

"A Letter to Our Daughter," Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg. The couple announce their pledge to devote $45 billion to philanthropic projects and create the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

"GuideStar Platinum: Measuring Nonprofit Performance at Scale." The charity evaluator introduces a tool for nonprofits to report progress in their missions.

‘Transparency and the Donor’

Glasspockets, Foundation Center. The website for this project features analysis and data about the transparency of grant makers.

"IRS Unleashes Flood of Searchable Charity Data," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. How a new Internal Revenue Service policy will make salary information and comparative data widely available.

"Sharing What Matters: Foundation Transparency," Center for Effective Philanthropy. An analysis of data from surveys of 145 foundation CEOs and more than 15,000 grant recipients.

Watsi. See the medical charity’s "transparency documents" and annual reports.

‘Trump Voters vs. the Elite’

"Foundation Giving to Rural Areas in the United States Is Disproportionately Low," U.S. Department of Agriculture. A 2015 analysis demonstrating how grant makers neglect rural communities.

"Foundations Urged to Do More to Aid America’s Rural Regions," The Chronicle of Philanthropy. A report on grant-maker support of rural communities in the mid-2000s.

"Our Duty Is to Find Hope in Darkness," Darren Walker. The Ford Foundation’s post-election letter questions whether the grant maker has neglected the working class.

Rural Family Economic Success Action Network. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s effort to share ideas about helping the rural poor.

‘The Way Forward’

"The Future of Foundation Philanthropy: The CEO Perspective," Center for Effective Philanthropy. Results from a survey of more than 200 foundation leaders.