Philanthropy News Digest invites opinion and commentary on topics of importance to the philanthropic sector. For more information on this feature, contact Mitch Nauffts, PND's publisher/editorial director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partnering With State Governments to Strengthen Families: Early Lessons From the Work Support Strategies Initiative
Over the past half-decade, as the country has suffered through a deep, persistent economic downturn, America's work support programs have served as an essential backstop for millions of working families struggling to keep a toehold in the labor market. For many families, supports such as child care subsidies, health insurance and unemployment assistance, and food stamps have been the difference between staying together and dissolution.
Posted on May 23, 2013
Rising Risk and Rising Tides: Can We Catch the Wave?
Environmental Grantmakers Association
Since its creation in 1970, Earth Day has helped bridge the gap between people and the planet, connecting us to the ground we stand on. For Extreme Weather Earth Day 2013, it is vital we reaffirm that connection as we confront global challenges and increasingly common extreme weather events in our own backyards....
Posted on April 22, 2013
Commentary & Opinion From Other Sources
Op-Ed: An Entrepreneurial Perspective on Philanthropy (Forbes 05/04/13)
Philanthropy is not about giving money but about solving problems. While well-meaning, the idea of writing a check and calling it "philanthropy" is extremely short-sighted and, unfortunately, extremely pervasive.
Instead, philanthropist should think like an entrepreneur and think of social challenges as an opportunity to create large enterprises. It's really easy to create a $1 billion company–you just have to solve a $10 billion problem. Most of these large $10 to $100 billion problems happen to be social problems. That's why I think that some of the largest opportunity exist for an entrepreneur in solving humanity’s grand challenges....
Op-Ed: Philanthropy as Backer of Brains (Huffington Post 05/02/13)
In my second post on the unique attributes that have made the first one hundred years of strategic philanthropy so successful, I highlighted the role of philanthropy as field-builder, drawing from the stories of the Rockefeller Foundation's history of creating, defining, and advancing fields, from public health, molecular biology, area studies, and public administration. We even had a role in launching the field of artificial intelligence by being the sole philanthropy to fund a Dartmouth conference on computational science in 1959.
But no matter the extraordinary technological advancements — and there have been many — since that conference, there is still no machine that can match the power of human ingenuity to solve truly human problems. And therefore, "backing brains" has always been a key part of philanthropy's strategy....
Editorial: What if You Are Audited by the I.R.S.? (New York Times 05/01/13)
The April 15 tax deadline is now receding in our collective rear view mirror. Nothing to do now, but to start collecting records for next year. Right?
Unless, of course, you are audited by the Internal Revenue Service....
Editorial: Is It Crazy to Think We Can Eradicate Poverty? (New York Times 04/30/13)
At a news conference during the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in late April, Jim Yong Kim held up a piece of paper with the year "2030" scribbled on it in pen. "This is it," said Kim, the genial American physician who took over as president of the World Bank last summer. "This is the global target to end poverty."
It sounds like the sort of airy, ambitious goal that is greeted by standing ovations but is ultimately unlikely to ever materialize. Development experts don't see it that way, though. The end of extreme poverty might very well be within reach. "It's not by any means pie-in-the-sky," says Scott Morris, who formerly managed the Obama administration's relations with development institutions. When I asked Jeffrey Sachs, the development economist, if the target seemed feasible, he said, "I absolutely believe so." And Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development, the powerful Washington policy group, told me, "In many ways, it's a very modest goal."...
Opinion: Historically Black Colleges As Relevant Roday As When They Began (CNN 04/29/13)
More than thirty-five thousand students will graduate from college this year because of something that happened 159 years ago Monday.
It was on this day in 1854 that Ashmun Institute, the first college established solely for African-American students, was officially chartered....
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