The Path Forward: How Funders Can Respond to the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Rulings

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The Nonprofit Starvation Cycle: The Extent of Overhead Ratios’ Manipulation, Distrust, and Ramifications

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. While little evidence supports the notion that financially responsible nonprofits must maintain low overhead ratios, the persistent preference for reduced overhead costs endures. Our study explores (a) the extent of underreporting behaviors, (b) the level of trust (or distrust) that nonprofit leaders have in overhead ratio reports, and (c) the motivations perceived by managers that drive nonprofits to adjust their overhead ratios and the resulting consequences. Experiment results from the “item sum double-list technique” (ISDLT) reveal that nonprofit managers may artificially lower their overhead ratios by approximately 10 percentage points, a range spanning from 7 to 16 percentage points. This adjustment aims to enhance their competitiveness in the funding market. Our vignette-based experiment uncovers significant trust issues related to reported low overhead ratios, potentially indicating accounting manipulation within the field. Complemented by open-ended survey responses from nonprofit managers, our research offers valuable insights into this domain.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly | https://journals.sagepub.com/action/showFeed?ui=0&mi=ehikzz&ai=2b4&jc=nvsb&type=etoc&feed=rss  

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Foundations Are Mostly Staying the Course in Response to U.S. Supreme Court Affirmative Action Rulings

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Sharing Evaluation Information to Strengthen Nonprofit Accountability: The Influence of Learning and Data Utilization Practices

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This study examines the role of learning and evaluation data utilization in nonprofit accountability practices. Survey data of 243 nonprofit managers were used to assess the pathway between learning environments and practices to evaluation data utilization and the subsequent sharing of evaluation information. Results from partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) indicate that supportive learning environments, where nonprofit managers and staff engage in learning practices, can facilitate data utilization for internal decision-making, thereby resulting in stronger linkages to sharing evaluation information. Our research suggests the need for intentional strategies around learning and data cultures in nonprofits, as nonprofit managers serve as the linchpin to internal accountability through using evaluation results to inform decisions, assess progress, improve programs, and train staff. Our research contributes to the nonprofit literature by showing how the combination of learning environments and practices serve as drivers for data-driven decision-making, which in turn improves nonprofit accountability practices.

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Beyond the Grant: How One Foundation Centered Connection in Giving

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Environmental Funding in Europe: A Drop in the (Rising) Ocean

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Designing Effective Volunteering Appeals: Results of Choice-Based Conjoint and Latent Class Segmentation Analyses

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Volunteers represent an important resource for nonprofit organizations. The competition for volunteers is rising, increasing the pressure to optimize volunteer recruiting. One way to recruit volunteers is the use of volunteering appeals. To help optimize such volunteering appeals, we conducted two conjoint studies to identify the importance of design attributes of volunteering appeals as well as the utilities of the different attribute levels for potential volunteers by using choice-based conjoint analysis. The conjoint analyses are based on two student samples. We provide a segmentation of volunteers, allowing nonprofit organizations to design volunteering appeals according to specific target groups.

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly | https://journals.sagepub.com/action/showFeed?ui=0&mi=ehikzz&ai=2b4&jc=nvsb&type=etoc&feed=rss  

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The Relation Between Perceived Racial Discrimination and Civic Engagement Among People of Asian Descent

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. Although people of Asian descent are the fastest-growing ethno-racial group in the United States, there has been limited research on how racialized experiences are related to their civic engagement behaviors. This study examines how perceived racial discrimination relates to political and community civic engagement among people of Asian descent living in California. Analyzing novel data from the 2021 California Health Interview Survey, we find that after the onset of COVID-19 people of Asian descent showed both the sharpest rise in perceived racial discrimination and the lowest level of civic engagement among all ethno-racial groups in California. Moreover, perceived racial discrimination was significantly associated with political engagement but not with community engagement among people of Asian descent. Finally, people of Asian descent showed some unique dynamics in comparison with other minoritized groups. We discuss the implications of these findings for nonprofit and voluntary sector research on the racialization of civic engagement.

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January 2024 updates

Every month we send an email newsletter to our supporters sharing recent updates from our work. We publish selected portions of the newsletter on our blog to make this news more accessible to people who visit our website. For key updates from the latest installment, please see below!
If you’d like to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox each month, you can subscribe here.
Recent GiveWell events
We ended 2023 with two in-person events, one in New York and one in San Francisco.
In San Francisco, GiveWell’s CEO Elie Hassenfeld was joined by Neil Buddy Shah, CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), to discuss the work of both organizations and their partnership via the CHAI Incubator. You can find the audio recording and transcript of this event here.
In New York, Elie spoke with journalist Matthew Yglesias, co-founder of Vox and creator of Slow Boring, about GiveWell’s top charities and latest research. You can check out the video recording and transcript of this event here.
Attending events is a great way to learn more about GiveWell! You can sign up here to be notified of in-person and virtual events, and you can catch up on our previous events here.
GiveWell in the Media
Teryn Mattox, Director of Research at GiveWell, wrote a guest essay for Emily Oster’s Substack, ParentData, on the effectiveness of kangaroo mother care (KMC). KMC is intended to be a low-cost alternative to conventional neonatal intensive care for low-birth-weight infants; it primarily involves skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby. In low- and middle-income countries, KMC can save babies’ lives, but implementation can be challenging. GiveWell’s research on and grantmaking to maternal and newborn health programs includes a grant to r.i.c.e., which operates a KMC program in India.
Research Updates
We’ve recently published a number of new research pages—below are a few highlights. If you’d like to sign up for email updates whenever we publish new research materials, you can do so here.

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

In September 2023, GiveWell recommended a $6.6 million grant to CHAI for a two-year diarrhea treatment program in Bauchi, Nigeria. This grant supports the distribution of oral rehydration solution (ORS) and zinc to households with children under the age of five. Diarrhea is a common cause of childhood mortality in Nigeria, and we roughly estimate that this

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Advancing Racial Equity Inside Foundations — Lessons from the Field

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Learning from Grantee Feedback: Policy, Process, and Cultural Changes That Make a Difference

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A Year-Commencement List and a Note of Thanks

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Understanding Altruism of Nonprofit Workers: The Roles of Motivation Types

Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Ahead of Print. This paper studies the impact of motivation types on altruism levels among the nonprofit organization (NPO) workforces in Turkey. To measure altruism, we used a probabilistic dictator game with real stakes. In a sample of 228 NPO workers, 73% opted to donate an average of 50 out of approximately 100 USD instead of retaining the entire 100 USD for themselves in the case they might win. Our results show that the NPO workforce’s altruism levels vary greatly depending on their motivation type. Religiously motivated NPO workers show the highest levels of altruism, whereas career-oriented NPO workers show the lowest levels of altruism. Moreover, paid NPO workers show significantly lower levels of altruism compared to unpaid workers. In addition, motivation types partially explain the differences in altruism between unpaid and paid workers.

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Spaciousness, Trust, and Collaboration: Reflections on the Effects of MacKenzie Scott’s Funding

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What We Learn When We Listen: Student Feedback and Foundation Strategy

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