Erasing hunger in America requires more than charity

The holidays are around the corner and, for tens of millions of our neighbors across the U.S., this will be a time of scarcity, insecurity, worry and, in the richest nation on earth, hunger. Consider these facts: Prior to COVID-19, 37 million people in the U.S. struggled with hunger. Feeding America, the nation’s third largest…

How donors can advance racial justice

George Floyd…Breonna Taylor…Daniel Prude…Jacob Blake. The long road to racial justice in this country has been rocky and painful.  It started long before these four people became household names and will, tragically, go well beyond their injuries and deaths. In response to these tragedies, many donors – whether in private or public foundations, donor-advised funds,…

Lack of accountability and transparency put philanthropy at an inflection point

Right now, the very way philanthropy works in the U.S. is being critically examined by a growing chorus of experts and scholars who are challenging some of the basic assumptions that underlie giving. The tax code, lack of accountability and transparency, scant government oversight, the outsized opportunity to influence public policy, media adulation of megadonors…

Philanthropy can spark hope and change

Discouragement, despair and anger are understandable and common responses to the current experiences of systemic racial injustice and bigotry, an advancing global pandemic and an economic train wreck. Philanthropy, however, can offer a path forward. Philanthropy is inherently optimistic, reflecting the core belief that we can repair the world and have a positive impact on…

Questions to ask about a nonprofit’s climate impact

I was in high school when America observed the first Earth Day in April, 1970. To highlight the day, I wore an M-17 military gas mask in the hallways between classes, until I was assaulted by a teacher, slammed against the lockers and dragged by my collar to the principal’s office. We argued about first…

Giving in the time of COVID-19

The role of philanthropy in responding to this pandemic is critical. Nonprofit organizations, accounting for nearly one in ten jobs in the U.S. private workforce, with more than 12 million total employees, are in crisis. For many nonprofits, especially those that provide safety net services, demand has never been higher, and is only expected to…

Funding in short supply for charities focused on women and girls

Charitable support for organizations that serve women and girls is surprisingly deficient when compared with philanthropic giving as a whole. The Women & Girls Index, which measured giving to more than 45,000 U.S. organizations dedicated to women and girls, found that only 1.6 percent of all philanthropic support went to these causes – about $6.3…

Use facts to debunk entrenched myths about philanthropy

Over generations of giving, generous people have developed a wide range of “beliefs” about philanthropy. In fact, many of these beliefs are actually myths. Many beliefs about philanthropy are based on false assumptions or an inaccurate understanding of how contemporary philanthropy actually works. Ultimately, these myths can inhibit giving by discouraging people from believing that…

Philanthropy 2020: Meaningfully impacted by politics, tax law and climate change

As the philanthropic landscape continues to evolve in 2020, expect these meaningful developments. Political fundraising will challenge charitable fundraising. 2020 is likely to be the most-expensive-ever U.S. political campaign year. Billions of dollars will be donated to national, state and local campaigns. It is projected that media spending alone on U.S. presidential and congressional races…

Donate now to ensure free, fair elections in 2020

The 2020 elections promise to be pivotal – in fact, among the most pivotal in memory. The results will shape the future of our communities, our states, our country — and the world – in the short as well as the long term. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “The future of this republic is…