Ford Foundation Chief: Transform Philanthropy Now

“Philanthropy, honey, it’s time for an intervention.” - E. Villanueva When one of the philanthropic community’s most influential leaders, Darren Walker, head of the Ford Foundation, makes an impassioned call for change, it is newsworthy. And when Ruth McCambridge, the editor-in-chief of one of the sector’s leading publications, The Nonprofit Quarterly, writes that he “hits it out of the park,” that, too, is Read More

More Troubles for the March of Dimes

During the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, it was not widely known that, as a younger man, he had been stricken with polio, then called infantile paralysis. Unlike the current practice of the news media poking its collective nose into the deepest crevices of public figures’ private lives and concerns, there was an understanding that Roosevelt’s deep desire to keep his medical condition private would be honored. Read More

Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program: Problems & Update

Back in 2007, when the Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program was established, it seemed like an excellent way to help both struggling college grads as well as the nation’s government agencies and nonprofit organizations to lure needed talent away from the private sector which - generally - pays better than public service jobs. To qualify for PSLF, an applicant must (1) work for a government Read More

The “Big Bet” Social Change Movement

One of the most hopeful developments in the past few years has been the philanthropy community’s increasing openness to reexamining the roles of donors as well as organizations and to addressing entrenched problems in society including wealth inequality and social justice. The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) is a treasure of thought leadership for social change. In its Winter 2016 issue, the editors Read More

New Medicaid Work/Volunteer Court Ruling

There’s so much governmental action - (or inaction, when action is necessary)  directly or indirectly affecting the nonprofit sector and charitable beneficiaries, it’s hard to keep up with it all. One issue that’s been flying somewhat under the radar is the assault against Medicaid expansion and eligibility promoted by many “red” states and aided by actions of the current administration in Washington. Short Read More

A Different Kind of Donor-Advised Fund Story

The proliferation of the donor-advised fund (DAF) model of charitable donation has been one of the biggest recent trends in philanthropy. In both news and commentary articles, experts have weighed in on the pros and cons of DAFs including the possible need for more regulation and oversight. In late November 2018, a U.S. Magistrate Judge from the Northern District of California issued a ruling that Fidelity Read More

Rethinking Nonprofits’ Disaster Planning

Recently, Bryan McQueenly raised a provocative issue to his neighbors in an op-ed in the Ventura County Star. In The Real Costs of Disasters for Nonprofits, this Southern California-based CEO of a 501(c)(3) asserts that the reality of recurring - and, indeed escalating - natural disasters poses a serious threat to the short- and long-term viability of most Golden State nonprofits. Like other residents of Ventura Read More

Cause-Related Marketing: New Aggressive Enforcement

In the 1980’s, the American Express company tried out an advertising technique that had not been done before. The financial services giant joined with the nonprofit organization that was leading the fundraising campaign to pay for restoring the Statue of Liberty.  This experiment was a huge success for both sides. Here’s how it worked: American Express launched an advertising campaign to sign up new Read More

Top-Heavy Philanthropy Creates Risks for Democracy

An important report released in November 2018 by the Washington-D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies raises the alarm about a troubling trend in philanthropy and charitable giving in the United States. Traditionally, American charities have been broadly supported by “low-dollar and mid-level donors.” In recent years, though - and particularly as the nation emerged from the 2008 economic crisis - there has been Read More

Shutdown: Fallout for Nonprofits

The recent federal government closure was the longest in U.S. history, causing incalculable pain, financial and otherwise, most directly to the workers and contractors who went without paychecks. There were serious ripple effects, too, through the economy as a whole. And the important work of government stopped for almost a month, creating backlogs for the foreseeable future which may never be fully remedied The Read More