“Philanthropy Needs to Go Where Government Won’t.” A Funder Looks Out for Sex Workers – Inside Philanthropy

The health and safety of sex workers: It’s not an issue most of us tend to think about every day, but it’s yet another example of how marginalized populations are often left out of essential public policy discussions on subjects like health care, housing, education, and workforce development.

That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to jump on the phone with some leaders in the field of health and safety for sex workers to find out what philanthropy is doing, and what philanthropy could do, about this segment of our community. We talked with Scott Campbell, executive director of the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF), and Crystal DeBoise, co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, to learn more about what is going on for sex workers, and what philanthropy can do to bring this issue in from the margins.

via “Philanthropy Needs to Go Where Government Won’t.” A Funder Looks Out for Sex Workers – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

The Arnold Foundation is Betting Big On Pay for Success – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

It’s hard to think of a funder that is more obsessed with finding breakthrough solutions than the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. One day, it’s laying out big bucks to find alternatives to expensive college textbooks, and the next day, it’s forging a left-right coalition to reform criminal justice policies.

Its big move last week? Pumping $8.4 million into a major initiative at the Urban Institute to advance Pay for Success (PFS), which aims to reward successful programs in the social sector. The investment will pay for a variety of technical resources aimed at bolstering and evaluating PFS projects, with an eye toward upping the game of all the players involved in PFS: government, service providers, evaluators, and funders. Tools developed by the Urban Institute will help to structure deals, determine which projects are most effective and cost-efficient, and set benchmarks for success.

via The Arnold Foundation is Betting Big On Pay for Success – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Can DataKind Help Save Humankind? Knight Thinks So – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Hear that crunching sound? That’s the sound of data being crunched all over the world, in the name of improving humanity. The Knight Foundation wants to add to that crunching, and make it do more for organizations. With $1.1 million in new funding, the Knight Foundation will help the group DataKind expand programs and help more social service organizations use data to advance their mission.

Nonprofit data geeks worldwide cheered the grant.

via Can DataKind Help Save Humankind? Knight Thinks So – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Hope on Mental Health, With an Unusual Funding Model – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Mental health is easily the most frustrating corner of a healthcare sector rife with shortcomings and unmet needs. What’s maddening in this case is that government funding has declined even as the potential for improving mental health has increased. Worse, perhaps, is how a backward mental health system routinely inflicts harm on those people who come in contact with it.

via Hope on Mental Health, With an Unusual Funding Model – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

As the Odds Improve, MacArthur and Other Funders Step Up Fight for Criminal Justice Reform – Inside Philanthropy

Criminal justice is one of those areas where funders have been banging their head against a wall for years—working against harsh practices that defy social science research, not to mention common sense.

Now, that blood-stained wall is finally starting to crack, as policy leaders and the public alike wake up to the negative consequences of embroiling so many Americans in the criminal justice system. With the wind finally blowing in the right direction, some foundations are stepping up efforts to make change.

via As the Odds Improve, MacArthur and Other Funders Step Up Fight for Criminal Justice Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Inside Philanthropy is a Year Old. Here Are Ten Things We’ve Learned – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

When you are one, you have only just learned to speak. You move about clumsily and knock things down a lot. You don’t yet know what is possible, but you are burgeoning with life.

Inside Philanthropy is a Year Old. Here Are Ten Things We’ve Learned – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

How the Fund for Shared Insight is Supporting a Feedback Loop on Foster Youth – Children | Youth | Grants – Inside Philanthropy

The Fund for Shared Insight is a new collaborative effort of seven foundations coming together to back “feedback loops” to improve the social sector. The idea is that nonprofits need to do a better job of listening to the people they serve and incorporate that feedback in how they operate. Corporations vacuum up feedback from their customers all the time to improve performance—”please stay on the line to take a short survey”—but the nonprofit sector has been slow to do this kind of thing. Shared Insight hopes to get the ball rolling in a big way.

via How the Fund for Shared Insight is Supporting a Feedback Loop on Foster Youth – Children | Youth | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.