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2021 Pulse Check on Shared Stewardship for Thriving Together Across America

May 16, 2022

What will it take to live up to our potential to be good stewards of an equitable and thriving future? The 2021 Pulse Check on Shared Stewardship for Thriving Together Across America surveyed more than three hundred leaders who are well-positioned to act as stewards in communities across the U.S. The results track the diffusion of shared stewardship and explore the extent to which the values, priorities, and practices of stewardship are taking hold nationwide.Fielded from October 2020 to July 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey provides rare and timely insights about stewarding well-being in a period of significant threat and opportunity. The 2021 Pulse Check was led by ReThink Health, the flagship initiative of the Rippel Foundation, in partnership with the RAND Corporation and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Rippel. It sought to learn:To what extent do changemakers across America endorse stewardship values?What are their priorities for investment and action?How fully are stewardship practices incorporated as organizational norms?What kinds of obstacles and momentum builders are shaping the path forward?

Digital for Good: A Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving - Brazil

May 12, 2022

Current research on the philanthropic environment in Brazil shows improvement in the country's donation culture over time. Recent studies have shown both a more mature donation culture and that empathy, solidarity, and an openness toward donations are on the rise. Brazilians have a more positive perception of civil society organizations (CSOs) and a greater understanding of what they do. Their impact is increasingly communicated, and there is a greater acceptance that CSOs should help address social and environmental challenges. This improvement in donation culture was accompanied by the development of new technological tools for donating, including giving platforms, greater reliance on social media, and even a slight emergence of crypto giving.This report examines three nonprofits and social businesses representing three different donation models advancing the donation culture in Brazil: Arredondar, BSocial, and Editora MOL. These initiatives were chosen with their broader transformative power in mind; in addition to the direct financial impact, they influence donors' mindsets, therefore strengthening giving culture in Brazil. They emphasize accountability and transparency and believe that digitalization will unlock growth potential. Critically, they overcome three barriers to donating: lack of money, the belief that causes are irrelevant to potential donors, and uncertainty whether the donation will be well-spent.In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, all three initiatives found a change in the mentality of the public and companies and a more pro-donation attitude. Once the economic situation is improved, this may lead to a consistent recovery in donations. With knowledge and an understanding of new models for enabling donations that this report offers, it will be possible to go even further.

Reimagine Recovery: A Playbook for an Equitable Future

May 6, 2022

We cannot allow ourselves to resume what was; we must reimagine what can be. True recovery requires us to acknowledge the unjust structures and policies that, in many ways, led to and compounded the devastation of the pandemic. It calls for us to examine our obsession with the idea of rapid growth at all costs and establish a shared understanding of inclusive, sustainable growth that results in equal opportunity—and equitable outcomes. It demands us to recognize our global web of mutuality and come together to collectively address the problems ahead with humility and reciprocity. And it challenges us to realize a bold, hopeful reimagination of our social, economic, political and governance systems, with equity and interdependence at their core.Reimagine Recovery: A Playbook for an Equitable Future offers a detailed vision of such recovery, beginning in the places we work and live and extending to our largest global stages. Like much of our work at the Ford Foundation, the playbook asks: What's possible when everyone can fully participate in society and has the opportunity to shape their lives? What's possible when we follow the lead of leaders and organizations building solutions for—and with—historically excluded communities? What's possible when we shift our old ways of operating and include equity in our execution of every policy and cultivation of every movement?

Assessments of the Legal Environment for Civil Society Actors including Philanthropic Support Organizations in Brazil

April 28, 2022

Understanding the legal environment where civil society organizationsoperate is key to stimulate the establishment of a giving culture in Brazil.The publication Evaluation of the legal environment for civil society actors, produced within the Giving to Change program, intends to:(1) share an assessment of problems and opportunities related to the legal environment of CSOs;(2) disseminate agendas and initiatives to improve the legal environment of CSOs;(3) provide information to organizations that might wish to engage with advocacy actions to improve their legal environment;(4) recommend contents and other sources of information on the subject.

The Role of the U.S. Government in the Law Enforcement Response to Protests

April 28, 2022

Policing protests requires law enforcement to accomplish two primary goals that are sometimes in tension with one another: protecting the constitutional right of free speech and assembly and preserving public safety. Law enforcement agencies are expected to apply proportional and impartial strategies and tactics to accomplish both imperatives. The law enforcement response to protests is primarily a local function in the United States, but the federal government plays two key roles in shaping that response, one direct and one indirect. The principal direct role involves federal law enforcement agencies responding to protests on federal property, in and around federal buildings, and when called on to provide mutual aid or other forms of assistance in communities. The principal indirect role involves training state and local police on how to handle protests and other crowd events. Several crowd policing events in the past two years have revealed related deficiencies in the manner by which federal agencies fulfill these two roles. To remedy deficiencies in its response to protests and similar crowd events, the federal government should conduct a comprehensive review of the relevant training and policies of every federal agency that engages in crowd control, crowd management, or the response to civil disturbances. That review should focus on the extent to which the training and policies are consistent with current research evidence and best practices. The federal government should also work with researchers to begin testing and evaluating changes to training, policies, and operations. This will involve carrying out honest after-action reviews that seek to identify which approaches worked well and which ones require further adjustments. In following these steps, the federal government can take a leadership role in adopting, testing, refining, and modeling evidence-based practices for handling crowd events in the most judicious and effective manner. 

Impact 2020: the Million Muslim Votes Campaign Voter Turnout Report

April 27, 2022

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 presidential election set a record for voter turnout nationwide, significantly changed how Americans participate in voting, and resulted in 66.8% of eligible voters casting a ballot—7 percentage points over 2016. For years the Muslim American community has focused on improving and building institutional capacity to change the way Muslim Americans engaged in politics to ensure that the Muslim American narrative is at the core of the social fabric of this nation. In 2020, Emgage launched and implemented the largest Muslim mobilization program in history, the Million Muslim Votes campaign. Alongside statewide and national Muslim American civic groups, we concentrated our efforts on 12 states that made up a total of 1.5 million registered Muslim American voters. Our organizing efforts included making 1.8 million calls, sending over 3.6 million text messages and over 400,000 mailers, knocking on over 20,000 doors, holding over 50 organizing training sessions, and activating 672 volunteers nationwide.This effort contributed to 1,086,087 million (71%) registered Muslim voters casting a ballot, two percentage points over the 2016 turnout. Of the 1.5 million registered Muslim voters in 2020, 52% (779,793 million) voted early or via absentee ballots.This report takes an in-depth look at three core elements:the growth of the Muslim American electorate in the 12 states in which we organized;Muslim American voter turnout for 2016 and 2020, with a special focus on Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, Virginia, and Illinois;the pivotal organizing shifts necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dynamics of the New American Majority, 2010-2030: An Initial Look at Population Size, Growth, and Electoral Participation

April 20, 2022

In the past year, VPC and CVI commissioned a team of social science researchers to size the gaps and opportunities in voter turnout and registration of the New American Majority, which includes people of color, young people, and unmarried women. The research team included Professor Bernard L. Fraga, Professor Zachary Peskowitz, and Caitlin Gilbert. They have provided impressive data and analysis underscoring the importance of VPC and CVI's work to engage the New American Majority (NAM) in democracy in equal proportion to their presence in society through voter registration, mobilization, and education. 

Nations in Transit 2022: From Democratic Decline to Authoritarian Aggression

April 15, 2022

On February 24, Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a brutal invasion of Ukraine. This war, which has already displaced millions of people and menaced the lives of millions more, presents an existential challenge not just to Ukraine's sovereignty, but also to the liberal international order. It comes at the time when liberal democracy's star has faded across the 29 countries covered in Nations in Transit. This edition of the report, assessing the events of 2021 from Central Europe to Central Asia, marks the 18th consecutive year of democratic decline for the region as a whole.Putin's war is the latest and gravest expression of his thuggish and malignant influence on neighboring states. When free societies have resisted his efforts to warp their media and corrupt their politicians, he has threatened or actually used military force, as in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014. When authoritarian incumbents have teetered in the face of popular demands for change, he has backstopped their regimes and deepened their dependence on Moscow, as in Belarus or more recently in Kazakhstan. But the stakes of the current conflict are even higher. If the Kremlin succeeds in subjugating a sovereign, democratic Ukraine, it will mark the first time that an authoritarian power has overthrown a freely elected national government in the region since the end of the Cold War. Even if the effort fails, it has already destabilized the Nations in Transit region, potentially accelerating the steady antidemocratic transformation that has taken place across Europe and Eurasia.

Civic Life Today: The State of Global Civic Engagement

April 7, 2022

In May 2020, Points of Light released its first piece of research on the state of American civic engagement. This year, we're excited to have expanded our report to a global scope. This report evaluated markets in Brazil, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. It helps us understand similarities and differences in engagement around the world and begin a conversation about what we can learn from each other.The civic actions that dominated around the world were a mix of traditional and non-traditional engagement pathways, demonstrating people's desire to engage in whatever way they could as COVID-19 affected more traditional ways of engagement. Globally, the top three civic actions taken, as defi ned by Points of Light's Civic Circle, were listening and learning, using your voice and volunteering. When we added the "Listen & Learn" element to Points of Light's Civic Circle, we did so because we believe the basis of every civic action should be rooted in a deep understanding of the issue. Taking action without listening and learning to the affected communities can do deep harm, while taking action after listening and learning can make your actions more effective.Though the growth around listening and learning is promising, this report also shows that volunteering is still among the most important civic activities, with 48% of global respondents volunteering by intentionally helping someone within the last 30 days. Markets like Brazil and India in particular show continued energy around and commitment to volunteering. This data confi rms our observations from Points of Light's Global Network affi liates and other global convenings that still position volunteering as a cornerstone of civic engagement.Also notable in this report is the mandate for companies to lead when it comes to social issues in the world today. 90% of respondents in Brazil and 95% of respondents in India expect companies to "do something related to a social issue." Those numbers are essentially representative of the entire population. This expectation cannot be ignored. But this leadership must be authenticated by companies looking internally and ensuring corporate policies and practices are aligned with external messaging and initiatives. 

Civic Life Today: The State of Brazilian Civic Engagement

April 7, 2022

The first two years of the pandemic were not easy for any country, let alone Brazil. The Brazilian government's delay in responding to the health challenges turned the country's pandemic experience into an even more complex political moment. During this time, we learned that the collective action of people in moments of crisis is critical, and this report validates that notion.This report shows that Brazilians are taking action in the causes they care about. Education became one of the most pressing issues because the pandemic intensified pre-existing challenges. Children didn't have the tools to access virtual learning, and many of them were balancing studies with caregiving or household responsibilities. The educational consequences were enormous — at the end of 2021, we saw a 171% surge in school evasion. Atados, Points of Light's affiliate in Brazil, has a platform that connects volunteers with NGOs. On our website, education was the most searched cause, over three times higher than interest in other cause areas.Aside from education, the country has seen exacerbated challenges in tackling poverty, hunger, environmental preservation and climate change. Even before the pandemic, Brazilians felt some level of government neglect addressing these challenges. Maybe because of that, other institutions — religious organizations, NGOs and companies — have become critical in addressing social and environmental issues in the country. This research particularly calls out companies, with 90% of respondents in Brazil believing that companies "should do something related to a social issue." Companies shouldn't ignore this mandate from employees, consumers and other everyday people. If Brazilians are demanding social and environmental change, these can be the institutions with the power to make that happen.

Civic Life Today: The State of U.S. Civic Engagement

April 7, 2022

In May 2020, when the first wave of the pandemic was taking hold of the world, Points of Light began an annual research series to study the state of civic engagement in the United States. We were at the beginning of a shared global experience that we are still feeling the effects of two years later.Americans have been challenged, but in these challenges, we have seen inspiring stories of individuals acting to support the causes and communities that they care about. If we hope to move forward together, it is this positive energy, this light, that we must capture. To do so, civic engagement must be at the center of our efforts and this report helps us understand more about everyday Americans' attitudes, behaviors and barriers around engagement. One thing that really stood out to us is that people are taking the time to listen and learn about the issues they care about. When we added the "Listen & Learn" element to Points of Light's Civic Circle, we did so because we believe the basis of every civic action should be rooted in a deep understanding of the issue. Taking action without listening and learning to the affected communities can do deep harm and make your actions less effective. "Listen and learn" was the top civic action taken in the United States. 

Civic Life Today: The State of Indian Civic Engagement

April 7, 2022

The challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic rippled throughout the world, and India was uniquely and severely impacted. A large population, dense urban centres, large-scale migration, pre-existing social and economic disparities, less-than-adequate medical infrastructure and government decision-making led to a gradually worsening pandemic environment that, at one point, became the epicenter of rising infections.Despite these conditions, this report shows a population that is highly civically active. We witnessed this through iVolunteer's COVID relief campaigns powered by individuals across the socio-economic strata:Volunteers helped distribute 1 million+ ration kits in remote villages and serve 200,000+ meals to urban poor and front-end medical staff.People donated Rs 20,000,000 to families who had lost basic income.Support from both inside and outside of India sourced and distributed 75,000 pieces of safety and medical equipment.Thousands helped underprivileged children transition to virtual education by recording books, creating worksheets and conducting telephonic sessions while also supporting critical services in their neighborhoods.