Archive for January, 2011

British Person Seems to Defend US Tax Deduction

We’re not sure, but we think this editorial from the UK’s Telegraph makes a case for the United States’ charitable tax deduction, which has come under fire from time to time. The writer’s talk of “how much I chucked around the village fête,” having “a whack of money,” and so on make it unclear at times exactly what exactly she is trying to say.


January 29, 2011 at 7:52 PM Leave a comment

Getting on Board

A Fast Company blogger says getting your executives on nonprofit boards provides great but often missed opportunities for companies. The move can benefit your “government and community relations, economic development, leadership development, and effective stewardship of your costly grant-making.”

January 29, 2011 at 7:34 PM Leave a comment

A Century Perspective

At, philanthropy adviser Betsy Brill compares philanthropy today with philanthropy 100 years ago, based on the reprint of a New York Times article from January 1911.

Among the differences, she finds there was far less skepticism about the donors’ motives and beneficial effects a century ago. Similarities include only a small percentage of giving going to community service or public affairs organizations.

January 29, 2011 at 7:18 PM Leave a comment

Google Doesn’t Reinvent Philanthropy After All

Shortly before taking Google public in 2004, its founders vowed to dedicate 1% of profits to philanthropy. Rather than merely give, however, they would reinvent philanthropy “by ambitiously applying innovation and significant resources to the largest of the world’s problems.”

The result was (or just DotOrg), which would operate in part as a business, avoiding constraints put on nonprofits. They hired an executive with no experience running a major philanthropy, one who promised “ can play the entire keyboard. It can start companies, build industries, pay consultants, lobby, give money to individuals and make a profit.”

The New York Times relates this story and details how fell far short of its ambitious goals:

Although Google gives tens of millions of dollars to charity each year and says the overall company is meeting its 1 percent giving goal, DotOrg itself is no longer making grants to nonprofit groups or financing new companies. Instead, it focuses on projects like using Google Earth to track environmental changes and monitoring Web searches to detect flu outbreaks. Most of the experts it initially hired have left, and Google, a company obsessed with numbers and metrics, struggles to measure DotOrg’s accomplishments.

What goals they’ve accomplished seem to fit within the framework of what Google does best, that is, aggregate data. The article notes Google Flu Trends, which tries to predict flu outbreaks based on reports of symptoms worldwide, has been cited as useful (if hardly decisive) by public health officials.

At the link, there’s much more about what went wrong and what might be next for Recommended.

January 29, 2011 at 6:55 PM Leave a comment

You Can’t Win If You Don’t Play

Oops: Missed Deadlines Cost United Way and Community Hundreds of Thousands

January 28, 2011 at 9:38 PM Leave a comment

Foundation or DAF?

The New York Times, focusing on one family facing the challenge of transferring philanthropy from one generation to the next, examines the question: Private foundation or donor-advised fund?

The article considers questions of control, cost, privacy, and legacy in differentiating the two options. Good stuff.

January 28, 2011 at 9:35 PM Leave a comment

Gates and Abu Dhabi Prince Partner on Immunization

The International Business Times reports that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the crown prince of Abu Dhabi have each pledged $50 million to fund immunizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

A third of the combined funds will be given to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, to be used for immunizing children in Pakistan and Afghanistan against polio, while the remaining will be directed to the GAVI Alliance for the purchase and delivery of vaccines against pneumonia, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), tetanus, hepatitis B and meningitis-causing Haemophilus influenzae type B, for Afghan children.

Health issues and immunization in particular have been focuses of the Gates Foundation for several years. Immunization and development of vaccines are a big part of their Grand Challenges of Global Health project.

January 28, 2011 at 9:27 PM Leave a comment

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