100 years of community foundations: Accomplishments and challenges

The first community foundation was created 100 years ago in Cleveland. Within five years, additional community foundations sprung up in Boston, Chicago, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Today, there are more than 700 community foundations in urban and rural communities across the United States. With more than $50 billion in combined assets, they distribute an estimated…

Domestic microfinance helps people start businesses, alleviate poverty, and create jobs

In international microfinance, small loans are made to help people in developing countries lift themselves out of poverty. This concept also works domestically. In the U.S., nonprofit microfinance organizations help low-income people start businesses, create jobs, alleviate poverty and improve their opportunities. Traditional financial institutions were created to help people who already have money or…

Hunger where we live — the philanthropic response

For more than 30 years, I’ve lived in the same neighborhood in Denver. It’s nice – with neat lawns, friendly people and a great sense of community. Just a few blocks from my home, there’s a public elementary school. Recently, I received a flier that asked for food donations to help fill the Friday-afternoon backpacks…

Philanthropy has more intrinsic benefits than you think

Children are hungry. Polar ice caps are melting. Injustice and inequality run rampant. The education system is broken. Natural places are diminishing visit this site right here. Arts groups are folding. The list goes on. Any objective person recognizes the urgent need for philanthropy, as it may be our last hope of addressing these and…

Employee engagement builds better companies, stronger communities

Being fully “engaged” at work profoundly influences an employee’s willingness to learn and perform, and has real impact on a company’s bottom line. Engagement is defined as an employee’s positive or negative emotional attachment to a job, to colleagues and to an organization. Unfortunately, 71 percent of employees in the United States are either “not…

The 7 Deadly Excuses for Avoiding Philanthropy

Millions of generous Americans donate to charities as individuals or as part of a family or business. At the same time, many other people buy into myths about giving — myths that undermine their willingness to give (or give more) to worthy causes. Some of the common excuses I’ve encountered over the years: I don’t…

Religious values fuel charitable giving

The world’s major religions actively promote philanthropy by encouraging charitable actions that address such pressing issues as income inequality, hunger, homelessness, climate change, discrimination and injustice. America’s religions do the same. In 1835, political thinker Alexis de Tocqueville observed, “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness…