At Clinton Philanthropy Summit, Obama Spotlights Human Trafficking

President Obama today called human trafficking a “debasement of our common humanity” and said the United States must do more to protect the estimated 20 million people worldwide who participate in forced labor, the sex trade, domestic servitude, or other conditions against their will.

Speaking at former President Clinton’s annual philanthropy event, in New York, Mr. Obama said that human trafficking must be called by its “true name”: “modern slavery.”

“I don’t use that word lightly, ” he said. “…


Bill Clinton Urges Donors to Think About Results From the Start

Former President Bill Clinton’s seventh annual philanthropy conclave opened in New York Sunday with its hallmark blend of high-powered talk about the world’s biggest problems and announcements of new financial commitments designed to alleviate them.

In one session, World Bank leader Jim Yong Kim, Queen Rania of Jordan, Wal-Mart chief executive Michael Duke, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed how to reduce youth unemployment in the Arab world, maintain peace in countries l…


IKEA Foundation Expands Its Giving to American Groups

The IKEA Foundation, in the Netherlands*, is expanding its giving to American nonprofits that fight poverty in the developing world, the organization said today.

The foundation says it will provide seven grants this year totaling more than $40-million to nonprofits in Britain and the United States.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative was awarded two grants, totaling about $26-million, to combat children’s diarrhea in India and Kenya. The Earth Institute won about  $2.5-million to improve prima…


With 11 New Members, ‘Giving Pledge’ Signers Now Numbers 92

Eleven more families have signed the “Giving Pledge,” a public commitment to donate at least half their wealth to charity, the pledge’s organizers said today. That brings to 92 the number of families who’ve joined the campaign to increase philanthropy among the super rich, started by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

While the list announced today includes well-known philanthropists such as Peter B. Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance Companies, it also counts people who haven’t ye…


Nonprofits Are Dissatisfied With Foundations’ Evaluation Efforts

Nonprofits say they want more help from donors in measuring their performance, according to a new survey from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

More than 70 percent of the 177 nonprofit officials surveyed said they don’t receive assistance with evaluation from foundations. About 62 percent said they would like help with that work.

And despite many foundations’ public insistence that they want charities to measure performance, how to do so isn’t a big topic of conversation between donors and…


Correction: Downturn Causes Drop in Multiyear Foundation Grants

Editor’s note: On Thursday afternoon, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy withdrew the study that was the basis for the following item. It said data from the Foundation Center was flawed.

Many nonprofits pinned their hopes on foundations to help them get through the worst of the downturn with multiyear grants, but now a new study finds that such contributions fell sharply from 2008 to 2010.

The study, by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, examined 900 foundations …


Former Hewlett Foundation Head to Join Stanford Center

Philanthropy studies at the university level just got a very prominent booster as one of the nation’s most prominent foundation leaders moves to academe.

Paul Brest, the former president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, who stepped down from that post last week, has been named faculty co-director of Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, the university announced today.

Mr. Brest, who started out as an expert on constitutional law, and in later years has focus…


Warren Buffett Pledges $3-Billion More to His Kids’ Foundations

Warren Buffett said today he would give each of his three children $1-billion to donate, in addition to the $1-billion gifts he made to each of their philanthropies in 2006.

To celebrate his 82nd birthday, he said in a letter to his children that he is awarding  12,220,852 Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to each of their foundations.

Mr. Buffett made history in 2006 when he pledged stock, then worth more than $30-billion, to the Gates Foundation and about $3-billion to a foundation established…


New Nonprofit Seeks to Improve Giving for Disaster Relief

Bob Ottenhoff, chief executive of Center for Disaster Philanthropy

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has appointed Bob Ottenhoff as its first chief executive.

In just a few days, the nation will mark the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and a few weeks later, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Those disasters posed major challenges for the philanthropic world, as donors wanted to help but weren’t always sure how they could. Now a new organization plans to help such donors—and to ensure that more m…


New Web Site Informs Philanthropists About Nonprofits

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has created a new online forum to help philanthropists learn about charities and then connect with the ones that interest them.

The new Web site is called the Giving Library and includes videos from 250 nonprofits hoping to catch the attention of donors who visit the site. The videos detail each organization’s history, mission, challenges, and plans as well as the results they have achieved.

Donors who find them interesting can then anonymously seek out more …