Plausible Pandemic Ponderings

I can remember precisely the two times in my life when I have turned to my doctor and asked, “If I were your wife or you mother or your daughter, what would you tell me to do?”  Given this ongoing worldwide health crisis, we could all use some special insight.

Fortunately, The New York Times did this for all of us, asking  511 epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists what they would do regarding the coronavirus and real life situations based on what they know and Read more

Promoting Us Non-Essentials

After every crisis of the last 20 years, many organized funders shift their priorities to meet the immediate needs stemming from that crisis. Following the logic, the nature of a crisis is that it creates urgent needs, quite often outside of, or intensifying, the ongoing needs of society. So, it is understandable that more money would flow in those directions. 

Philanthropic dollars are quite often a zero sum pie, this means that money is flowing away from those things the sector provides that are deemed less Read more

Of Tax Law Changes, Impact Investing and Mission-Aligned for Profits

Not even a full month into the new calendar year, and we’re seeing reports about the impact the 2017 tax bill changes are having on nonprofits.  We’ve got a survey on our website right now.  I’m not willing to call it research because some is questionable, some preliminary and, some really is just guesswork, especially since many nonprofits concede they are still trying to tally what came in by the end of 2018.  Given those caveats, please read on.

Inside Philanthropy, culling the thoughts of many, Read more

Lucky Nonprofits

While many are chattering about Fidelity Charitable (which collected—don’t call it raised—philanthropic dollars totaling $4.6 billion last year) firmly bumping United Way (which only collected $3.7 billion) from the top of The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s newly released “Philanthropy 400” list, I’m having very different thoughts—though they are pretty much the same thoughts I have every year when I look at this list.

First, is there any real value in this list? Does it actually do some harm?  To the extent that the American public learns about Read more

The 2% Solution

Year after year, charitable giving makes up only 2% of America’s GDP.  I don’t care what the actual number of dollars is because it still always amount to the same small percentage.

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I was intrigued when I caught a headline suggesting there were three ways to increase this 2%.  Sadly, though the author of the article says these three things could move the needle on the GDP, they certainly didn’t move me: legacy giving (the new term for planned giving), donor Read more