Author Archives: Caroline Preston
October 24, 2012, 1:58 pm
A new competition unveiled by the Huffington Post, Skoll Foundation, and Crowdrise seeks to reward nonprofits with ideas for how to put Americans back to work.
The “JobRaising” challenge is open to all types of nonprofits–not just job-training groups–so long as they have a plan for fighting America’s high unemployment, organizers said. Nonprofits that make it through an initial stage of vetting will have a chance to compete for donations from the public. Groups that raise the most cash will also win prize money totaling $250,000 from the Skoll Foundation.
Sally Osberg, president of the Skoll Foundation, said in an e-mail to The Chronicle that the three organizations were searching for a way to “change the narrative” about unemployment “from a blame game focused on deficits and problems to one focused on solutions and opportunity.”
They zeroed in on nonprofits, Ms. Huffington…
May 31, 2012, 2:10 pm
Most donors probably think their political beliefs don’t influence how they respond to pleas of support from children’s charities, housing groups, or theater companies. But a new study suggests they do—and fundraisers would be wise to take note.
University researchers presented study participants with a description of Rebuilding Together, a charity that repairs homes for low-income people. But they subtly changed the description to suggest that the organization was either supporting American traditions and loyalty or advancing equality.
Among participants who said that “morals” were very important, those who identified as Republicans were nearly three times as likely to donate when the charity was described as aiding everyday working Americans who follow traditions and help their communities. Democrats were twice as likely to donate when the charity was described as ensuring the…
May 9, 2012, 6:43 pm
Rice, beans, and pasta. That’s what Suzanne Pelletier’s family ate Monday, Tuesday, and today—and what they’ll eat tomorrow.
Ms. Pelletier, executive director of the Rainforest Foundation, is participating in “Live Below the Line,” a five-day campaign to call attention to global poverty and raise money for groups fighting it. Participants, including employees of more than a dozen nonprofits, pledge to spend just $1.50 a day, the amount that the world’s poorest people—about 1.4 billion—survive on.
The campaign is organized by the nonprofit Global Poverty Project. Its online fundraising tools enable donors to support charity workers and others who are living on a tiny food budget.
So far, the Rainforest Foundation has received roughly $5,000 through Global Poverty Project’s campaign Web site and by appealing to supporters through e-mails and social media.
While she’s now…
October 21, 2010, 6:02 pm
A study released today showing that women give more often and more generously than men jibes with the experience of many nonprofits, fund raisers say.
World Vision, the international group with headquarters in Federal Way, Wash., says that among the 885,000 Americans who sponsor a child through the charity, three out of four are female.
While the charity says it actively seeks out men and women, as well as young people and others, women do seem particularly interested in helping tackle critical problems like world poverty.
“We’ve seen the power of women,” says Lana Reda, World Vision’s vice president for product and donor management, in a statement. “Not only are they incredibly generous but they also seek a personal connection. When we can offer a meaningful experience along with an opportunity to give, we’ve seen that women really respond.”
Women of Vision, a volunteer-run …
October 20, 2010, 12:05 pm
Just over a third of American donors expect to give less during the final quarter of this year, according to a new survey.
The poll of 603 people who intend to give at least $200 this year found that 55 percent said they would give the same amount as in past years, while only 8 percent of respondents said they plan to give more.
Those who can’t afford to give as much still plan to help charities in some way. Of the 36 percent of people who are planning to give less, 88 percent said they are still making giving a priority.
But they are divided on how they will make cuts. Nearly half (48 percent) of those who are giving less said they are cutting their giving to all causes, while the other half (48 percent) said they are reducing or eliminating their support of certain causes.
According to the poll, 66 percent of those who are giving less are considering making gifts other than…
August 18, 2010, 2:04 pm
Web sites like Groupon.com, which offer online coupons to local businesses if enough people sign up for them, aren’t just a good deal for consumers. Some charities are benefiting, too.
A new group-purchasing Web site called CauseOn, unveiled today, is committing 20 percent of its revenues to local nonprofit groups. Users will have some say in where the money goes. And Groupon, the father of such online-coupon companies, has tried a handful of ways to bring nonprofits to the attention of the approximately 12 milion people who subscribe to its daily e-mails.
Perhaps the most fruitful partnership has been with DonorsChoose, the nonprofit group that provides teachers a chance to publicize classroom projects for which they need money. In May, Donors Choose raised $162,000 when it was Groupon’s featured daily deal.
The nonprofit group used a grant from Pershing Square Foundation, the…
June 14, 2010, 1:29 pm
Investor Warren Buffett’s annual charity lunch sold for $2.62-million on Friday — the largest amount in the 11 years Mr. Buffett has been dining out to benefit the Glide Foundation.
Exuberance reigned at Glide’s office during the final minutes of bidding on Friday. “There were people rejoicing, people standing together shouting, people opening up,” the Rev. Cecil Williams, founder of the Glide Foundation, said in a statement.
Glide is a social-service group in San Francisco. Its annual budget is about $16-million.
This year’s highest bidder, like some past winners, has chosen to remain anonymous. But it’s unclear whether he or she can stay that way.
Mr. Buffett typically dines with the winner and seven guests at Smith & Wollensky, in New York, roughly a year after the auction. Last year members of the Canadian wealth-management firm Salida Capital won the auction. They initially…
June 11, 2010, 4:27 pm
The price tag for lunch with the investor Warren Buffett? $1.5-million, and counting.
Each year, Mr. Buffett auctions a lunch on eBay and donates the winning bid to the Glide Foundation, a social-service group in San Francisco.
Bidding doesn’t close until 10:30 Eastern time tonight, Friday. But it seems likely that this year’s winning bid could top last year’s — $1.68-million — given the flurry of bidding that typically takes place at the last minute, said Tod Thorpe, associate director of development with Glide.
Winning bids have ranged from $25,000 to 2008′s eye-popping $2.1-million. Mr. Buffett started the auction in 1999.
“People who are followers of the investment strategies of Mr. Buffett are very interested in having time with him and each year that interest increases,” Mr. Thorpe said.
The annual Buffett gift is a significant source of income for the medium-sized charity, which…
April 20, 2010, 3:36 pm
Teenagers report that their parents are the biggest influence on whether they give to nonprofit groups — but many parents are not raising their children in a way that seems to encourage philanthropy and volunteerism, according to a study released today.
The study was based on a poll of 500 parents and 500 young people between the ages of 13 and 18. Conducted by Harris Interactive in behalf of the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group, the study distinguished between teenagers who regularly volunteer, raise money, or donate versus those who do so infrequently or not at all.
The study identified several parenting techniques that are more common among parents of children who give frequently.
Thirty-three percent of teenagers who give often (referred to in the study as “givers”) said their parents explained how their actions can help others; 19 percent of teenagers who give less often said…
April 16, 2010, 3:12 pm
A few weeks ago, Cary Kimble stumbled upon an unusual envelope while opening mail at the international-medical charity where he works as director of development.
The envelope contained no letter — just a check for $15,000 made out to the Haiti relief efforts of Mr. Kimble’s charity, Project Hope.
After a little research, staff members at Project Hope, in Millwood, Va., learned that the donation had been given by a group of women at an Ohio prison, known as the “Life group,” who are serving terms of 15 years to life.
The group of roughly 130 women earns money by selling photographs of inmates with their family members when they come for visits. The photographs, which they sell for $3 to $5, earn them about $6,000 each month.
Ginine Trim, warden at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, says the inmates saw and read news reports about the earthquake in Haiti and wanted to help. Staff members at …