[News 7/30] Failure happens. (Talk about it!)

The world kept spinning while I was at the beach! Here’s what caught my eye from the past week. – nick

“There’s an increasing recognition among foundation leaders that not to be public about failures is essentially indefensible,” said Phil Buchanan, the executive director of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. (NYTimes, 7/25)

Interview with Andrew Plepler, president of the Bank of America Foundation (WG member) (Bloomberg, 7/26) On evaluation: “The measurement game is very difficult. Who is to say your $100,000 elevated the test scores of kids in Bed-Stuy? We’re saying, “We believe in your leadership and you’ve proven yourself capable.” It’s not fair to ask them to come back and say the money resulted in this number of meals. You’re tying their hands too hard.”

Grantmakers want a simpler grants process (Seacoastonline, 7/24) and the leading national philanthropy groups are working on the problem. Grantmakers: give your input. 

Verizon Foundation (WG member) Awards $1 Million Grant to the National Council of La Raza  (Newswire, 7/23)

Trend: Parents encouraging kids to donate birthday “proceeds” to charity. Miss Manners objects but the kids seem to like it. (NYTimes, 7/22)

D.C.’s effort to digitize medical records advances. The Whitman Walker Clinic should be fully wired in November. “The project’s long-term goal is to be able to link the centers and, later, electronically connect all the centers with local hospitals and other medical facilities to form a regional network.” (WaTimes, 7/19 -via the Roundtable)

[D.C.] WG member Fight for Children released My School Chooser: A Guide to finding a Great School for Your Child, a “user-friendly directory of all schools (public, charter, and independent) in Washington, DC.” (WaPo, 7/12 – via the Roundtable)