Monthly Archives: June 2012
June 27, 2012, 10:05 am
Three affluent families are forming a fund with the purpose of raising $30-million to support programs that serve military veterans, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America announced today.
The families have donated more than $1-million and plan to seek contributions especially from other wealthy people, including those without personal connections to any service members.
Philip Green, president of PDG Consulting, a health-care consultancy, and his wife, Elizabeth Cobbs, chief of geriatrics at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C., joined with their friends Glenn and Laurie Garland and with the Jim Stimmel family to create the fund, Mr. Green said in an interview with The Chronicle.
The money raised for the new Veterans Support Fund will be funneled to five nonprofits that help returning service members and their families.
In addition to Iraq and…
June 26, 2012, 6:35 pm
Bill Gates, America’s most prominent evangelist for philanthropy, told The Chronicle of Higher Education that his foundation probably won’t change its grant-making priorities for at least a decade.
“We want to learn, make mistakes, try new things out, find new partners,” says Mr. Gates, whose foundation works to improve health and reduce poverty in the neediest countries, and to improve education in the United States. “And so until we’ve done something quite dramatic, which in the best case would be in 10 to 20 years, we’re not going to move on and do something else.”
In an interview, Mr. Gates stressed his foundation’s emphasis on measuring results. That focus has been criticized by some nonprofit leaders, who say universities, international aid groups, and other charities shouldn’t be run like businesses. But Mr. Gates says it’s important to get a clearer picture of, for example,…
June 26, 2012, 6:16 pm
The Annie E. Casey Foundation on Tuesday announced plans to close a foster-care unit it runs, a move that will eliminate 280 jobs and free up roughly $20-million a year in grants to nonprofits that help government agencies serve the needy, including youngsters in foster care.
The closure of Casey Family Services affects employees who provide services in seven states.
Patrick McCarthy, president of the Casey Foundation, said he believes his organization can do more good by providing grants to improve child welfare across the country than it can by continuing to assist the 400 to 600 youngsters it now helps through direct services.
Plans include making sure that all the children now served by Casey Family Services get transferred to other foster-care agencies, with the transition ideally completed by the end of the year. However, the foundation said it will retain some staff…
June 22, 2012, 9:37 am
Cecilia Conrad, an economist and dean of Pomona College, will serve as the new director of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Fellows Program, informally known as the “genius” awards, the foundation said today.
The fellows program provides “no strings attached” awards of $500,000 to help some of the country’s most talented people pursue creative work. Winners are drawn from all disciplines, including the arts, medicine, and the social sciences. Past fellows have included author David Foster Wallace, poet Adrienne Rich, and Majora Carter, the environmental activist.
Ms. Conrad, who has also taught at Duke and Columbia universities and at Barnard College, focuses in her research on economic inequality. She received master’s and doctorate degrees from…
June 21, 2012, 9:17 am
Two-thirds of nonprofits say they need pro bono help, but many report challenges in recruiting volunteers who can lend their business skills, according to a new survey.
The survey of 1,348 charity officials found the greatest demand for pro bono marketing and branding (cited by 78 percent), technology (70 percent), and strategic-planning and management expertise (more than 51 percent).
But despite the needs, nearly half of those surveyed said they didn’t know how to attract volunteers with business skills.
When nonprofits do succeed in attracting pro-bono volunteers, the groups often have trouble taking full advantage of the experience, according to the survey. About 46 percent of respondents, for example, said the projects completed by skilled volunteers began to unravel when the volunteers moved on.
Aaron Hurst, founder of the Taproot Foundation, which promotes pro bono…
June 19, 2012, 4:09 pm
America’s wealthy are in a less generous mood so far this year.
The number of donations of $1-million or more has dropped 8 percent since the beginning of 2012 compared with the same period last year, according to a Chronicle tally.
Since the start of 2012, The Chronicle has confirmed, 318 gifts of $1-million or more have been made, totaling $2.5-billion. In the first half of 2011 there were fewer such gifts, 292, but the overall total was larger, $2.7-billion.
Gifts of $100-million or more have decreased significantly. In the first half of last year The Chronicle reported six such gifts, totaling $835-million, while only two donations of that size have been announced this year, totaling $450-million.
The two largest gifts awarded so far this year are a $300-million pledge to the Allen Institute for Brain Science, from its founder, Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft; an…
June 19, 2012, 9:12 am
Even in tough economic times, wealthy Americans still believe strongly that they have a duty to give, a new survey says.
About 69 percent of rich people said they have a responsibility to pass on to their children a tradition of philanthropic giving, according to the study by U.S. Trust of 642 people with investable assets of at least $3-million.
Two-thirds of those who are 67 and older and 73 percent of baby boomers said philanthropy is an important social responsibility for all generations. About 53 percent of those age 18 to 46 said charitable giving is a responsibility.
Attitudes by the wealthy on how to create positive social change differed by generation and gender.
Of those 18 to 46, 44 percent said they were more likely to see an opportunity to effect positive change through their work, compared to 18 percent of baby boomers.
Nearly one-third of the younger…
June 13, 2012, 10:47 am
Steve Jobs may have been mum on his philanthropy, but his Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak, was anything but at a gathering of fundraisers last week, surprising many in attendance with his first public talk on his giving philosophy.
“I would never give a gift that has restrictions,” he said, in an appearance at the AFP TechKnow conference, in Orlando, Fla. “I leave that to people who know more than me.”
June 7, 2012, 1:09 pm
Giving by U.S. foundations totaled an estimated $46.9-billion last year, an increase of only 2 percent from 2010 and a more than 2 percent drop from 2009, according to a new study on foundation giving.
However, when inflation is taken into account, giving was actually down from 2010, the Foundation Center study says, signaling a continued rough road for charities that rely on foundation grants for the bulk of their support.
The survey shows that if the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—the country’s wealthiest grant maker, with more than $37.4-billion in assets—had not been included, foundation giving would have decreased last year by about 3 percent, after accounting for inflation.
In addition, more than 33 percent of respondents gave less in 2011, likely the result of unchanged asset levels last year and little or no growth in assets since 2007, according to the report….
June 7, 2012, 12:48 pm
The consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers said today it will give $60-million in cash to financial-literacy programs for youths over the next five years.
The money will support nonprofits like the DonorsChoose.org, a Web site that helps teachers raise money for classroom needs; Junior Achievement; and MIND Research Institute, which seeks to improve math education. The firm is also working with Knowledge@Wharton, a program of the University of Pennyslvania’s business school, to offer seminars that train teachers in financial-literacy instruction.
As part of the effort, called Earn Your Future, the firm’s employees will also devote 1 million hours of volunteerism, worth an estimated $100-million, the company said.