Category Archives: Giving
May 23, 2013, 10:25 am
An article in The New Yorker chronicles the unsuccessful efforts of New York public-television affiliate WNET to placate its billionaire supporter, David Koch, as it prepared to broadcast a documentary that criticized him. Mr. Koch, a WNET board member and multimillion-dollar donor to public television, was featured in “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream,” a film about income inequity that aired on PBS last fall. Mr. Koch, co-owner of Koch Industries, quit the organization’s board this month and reportedly backed away from making an expected seven-figure gift for the station’s capital campaign.
May 23, 2013, 10:24 am
The three Cleveland women rescued from their kidnapper earlier this month after a decade of captivity sent a letter thanking donors for their gifts to a fund established on their behalf, reports The Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Cleveland Courage Fund, which accepts donations through the Cleveland Foundation and Key Bank, has so far received more than 5,100 gifts, totaling more than $650,000, to benefit Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and Ms. Berry’s 6-year-old daughter.
May 23, 2013, 10:23 am
Change.org, an online petition site that functions as a for-profit “B corporation,” has won $15-million in support, largely from Omidyar Network, the philanthropic and investment organization of Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife, Pam, according to All Things Digital.
With 25 million users, Change.org saw $15-million in revenue last year from sponsored petitions that allow organizations to pay to gain access to its petition-signers’ names and e-mail addresses. Omidyar Network will have a minority stake in the company; Change.org has vowed never to sell itself to another entity or make a public stock offering.
To read more about B corporations, for-profit companies driven by social-change missions, see this Chronicle article.
May 23, 2013, 10:23 am
Beginning in June, the Peace Corps will accept applications from same-sex couples who want to serve as volunteers together, according to Reuters. The organization said the move will expand the pool of potential volunteers for overseas service assignments.
However, an agency spokeswoman said, not all of the 76 countries where the Peace Corps works will be available as placements for gay couples. In order to foster “productive and safe environments” for its volunteers, said Shira Kramer, a Peace Corps spokeswoman, the agency “is only going to consider placement for same-sex couples in countries where homosexual acts are not criminalized.”
June 18, 2012, 10:50 am
Facebook has said it will give $10-million to charity to settle a lawsuit that claimed the social-media site usurped its users’ control over their names, photos, and likenesses, according to federal-court documents cited by Reuters.
The suit, brought by five Facebook members, said the social-media site broke California law by publicizing users’ “likes” of specific advertisers on its “Sponsored Stories” feature, without either compensating those users monetarily or giving them a way to opt out of that use of their data, said the documents. “Sponsored Stories” are advertisements that appear on a member’s Facebook page.
The documents indicate that the settlement in the potential class-action lawsuit, which could have included one in every three Americans, was reached in May. Facebook representatives had no comment on the agreement.
Read a recent Chronicle…
June 18, 2012, 10:50 am
A court-appointed overseer for the estate of Huguette Clark, the reclusive copper heiress, is demanding the return millions in personal and charitable gifts the administrator says Ms. Clark was manipulated into giving, according to the Associated Press.
The administrator, Ethel J. Griffin, is seeking to recover $37-million from the $400-million estate. Ms. Clark, who died last year at 104, chose to spend her last 20 years in hospitals.
Ms. Clark’s most recent will, signed in April 2005, leaves most of her money to charitable causes, with $30-million awarded to her private nurse. A will signed six weeks earlier, however, left the bulk of the estate to about 20 relatives, who are challenging the last will.
In addition to asking for the return of millions in person gifts, Ms. Griffin has asked a court to consider whether a hospital where the heiress lived must return a $6-million…
May 24, 2012, 10:06 am
An increasing number of parents of children with rare diseases are bypassing traditional medical organizations and raising their own money to pay for research, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Thousands of dollars have been funneled to a few researchers at institutions, such as Northwestern university’s Feinberg School of Medicine, for work on conditions like giant axonal neuropathy, or GAN, a disease that interrupts nerve pathways leading to the muscles and has only about 30 known cases worldwide. Such diseases are so rare that there is little financial incentive for pharmaceutical or biotech companies to seek cures or treatments.
“These warrior moms are driving research and doing serious fundraising,” said Mary Dunkle, of the National Organization for Rare Disorders, told the Tribune. “They realize that if they don’t save their child, no one else is going to do it.”
May 21, 2012, 10:49 am
The signers of the Giving Pledge are moving beyond merely promising to give away their wealth and beginning to help each other learn how best to implement their philanthropy, according to The Economist.
The magazine points to a gathering in early May of many of the 81 wealthy individuals and families who have thus far vowed to give away at least half of their fortunes in their lifetime. The California event found attendees engaged in a “serious conversation about lessons learned,” according to the AOL founder Steve Case, the host of the gathering.
The tenor of the meeting, The Economist suggests, “was evidence of a rapid evolution of the Giving Pledge from a collection of individual promises into a movement focused on collectively achieving results.” Mr. Case says “impact investing,” in which giving is designed to both make profits and do good, was a popular topic among…
May 21, 2012, 10:44 am
Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has received a gift of artwork from a trustee, the value of which the organization’s officials would only estimate at “nine figures,” according to The Boston Globe.
Saundra Lane, a trustee of the museum, and her late husband, William, who made his fortune in plastics manufacturing, have been influential collectors of American modernist paintings and photography. Ms. Lane’s latest gift to the museum included 6,000 photographs (most of which are by Charles Sheeler and Edward Weston), 100 works on paper, and 25 paintings, including major creations Hyman Bloom, John Marin, Stuart Davis, and Franz Kline.
The works’ quality and quantity, says Malcolm Rogers, the museum’s director, makes Ms. Lane “one of only a few collectors who have changed the face of the museum.’’
The museum has said it plans to be generous in making loans from the…
May 21, 2012, 10:32 am
An alumnus of Davidson College has given $25-million for scholarships to the North Carolina institution, says The Charlotte Observer.
Ted Baker, a businessman and 1957 graduate of Davidson, gave the money to support the Baker-Vagt Scholarship, which he previously created to help students who are in financial need.
The current gift is the second largest the college has ever received, said Davidson officials. Mr. Baker has served as a trustee at the institution, where 47 percent of students receive some form of financial aid.