Community Benefit Sector Folks this tool may be helpful for your work. Social Explorer allows you to:
- visually Explore Demographic Data – Over 220 years of demographic data, 25,000 maps, hundreds of profile reports, 40 billion data elements and 335,000 variables.
- Tell a Story with Data – Use the interactive tools to easily create and share maps, presentations, and tables, or compare and analyze data and discover amazing facts.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation shared highlights from its learning journey as captured in a ‘Starter Kit’ titled “Sourcing New Ideas through Experimentation.” It outlines steps to take to identify and vet new ideas, and it details the experiences and lessons learned along the way.
It’s easy to get stuck in the same conversations. We find ourselves listening to perspectives from well-known and trusted sources that often reinforce our own worldviews and strategies. We know that connecting with innovative possibilities is critical to making progress on the tough issues. Yet, time and resources are limited and delivering high quality work—and results—through existing pathways is hard enough.
How do we create the space for venturing into unfamiliar territory? How do we get out of comfortable idea loops and challenge the status quo? How can we best tap into fresh ideas and thinking? And, in doing so, how can we cultivate a culture of experimentation? In 2013, the Packard Foundation began taking an intentional look at these questions, through a partnership between Programs, Communications and Evaluation & Learning teams.
This Starter Kit surfaces highlights from our learning journey. It outlines steps you can take to identify and vet new ideas, and it details our experiences and lessons learned along the way. We hope our reality-tested process will provide inspiration and fuel to other funders asking and acting on similar questions.
You can read a copy of the report here.
The Washington Post has published the winning submissions for its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.
Here are the winners:
1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.
2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
6. Negligent (adj.), a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
8. Gargoyle (n), olive-flavored mouthwash.
9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.
13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.
14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.
15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.
16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.
The Washington Post’s Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are the winners:
1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very high.
5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn’t get it.
6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.
8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
9. Karmageddon (n): its like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it’s like, a serious bummer.
10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you’ve accidentally walked through a spider web.
14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you’re eating.
And the pick of the literature:
16. Ignoranus (n): A person who’s both stupid and an asshole.
Neither luck, nor lottery, nor zip code should dictate a child’s future. Watch this captivating video by Campaign for Grade-Level Reading on why there’s a gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers and how we can close it.
A common argument regarding CBOs (nonprofits) and the poor was unsurprisingly featured in this Forbes article recently: Your Help Is Hurting: How Church Foreign Aid Programs Make Things Worse
“And anyone that’s been involved in philanthropy eventually comes to that point. When you try to help, you try to give things, you start to have the consequences. There’s an author Bob Lupton, who really nails it when he says that when he gave something the first time, there was gratitude; and when he gave something a second time to that same community, there was anticipation; the third time, there was expectation; the fourth time, there was entitlement; and the fifth time, there was dependency. That is what we’ve all experienced when we’ve wanted to do good. Something changes the more we just give hand-out after hand-out. Something that is designed to be a help actually causes harm.” 7/30/13
The logic that the poor become dependent on charity seems plausible, but is not true. The evidence suggest the contrary to the above anecdote, research has found that unconditional cash transfers are usually invested in vocational training and lead to substantial increased earnings. For a recent example, you can read this study by Blattman, Fiala, and Martinez (2013): http://cega.berkeley.edu/assets/cega_events/53/WGAPE_Sp2013_Blattman.pdf.