Archive for the ‘Observations’ Category

J.J. Abrams Teases ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ with UNICEF Charity Initiative Video | Variety

In Fundraising, Marketing, Observations, Planning, Social Media on 05/23/2014 at 1:04 pm

J.J. Abrams Teases ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ with UNICEF Charity Initiative Video | Variety.

In the new teaser video above, Abrams — speaking from “Episode VII’s”  Abu Dhabi set — introduces “Star Wars: Force for Change,” which he describes as a “brand new initiative that’s dedicated to finding creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems. It’s about helping kids all around the world by supporting UNICEF Innovation Labs and Programs.”

The venture, from Disney and Lucasfilm in collaboration with Bad Robot, will raise funds and awareness for UNICEF’s Innovation Labs and its projects benefiting children in need. Fans who donate a minimum of $10 at the initiative’s Omaze page will be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a trip to London to be Abrams’ guest on the Pinewood Studios set of “Episode VII” and shoot a scene for the new film.

Other rewards for fans who donate include limited edition posters; t-shirts; a lightsaber hilt; concept art and film stills from “Episode VII”; and an advanced screening of the movie in your hometown, depending on the amount pledged.

Is For-Profit the Future of Non-Profit? – Amy Schiller – The Atlantic

In Communications, Fundraising, Marketing, Observations on 05/23/2014 at 12:56 pm

Is For-Profit the Future of Non-Profit? – Amy Schiller – The Atlantic.

…Consumption philanthropy corrupts the very behavior that should expand our capacity for empathy and turns it into the social equivalent of paying a sex worker for “the girlfriend experience.” Philanthropy should imply a categorically different relationship with money than the one we have a consumers: something we embark on because we want to participate in a larger goal of improving the world and linking our values, histories, and resources with the needs of other people. Instead, this sector is increasingly vulnerable to what Michael Sandelcalls “the corrosive tendency of markets” to crowd out non-market values. “When we decide that certain goods may be bought and sold,” according to Sandel, “we decide…that it is appropriate to treat them as commodities, as instruments of profit and use.”

If we insist that this is the only way to effectively address massive social problems, we resign ourselves to a world dictated by consumer impulses. From our Warby Parker glasses all the way down to our TOMS shoes, we can cover ourselves head-to-toe with signifiers of empathy in lieu of actual connection to humans who need help. Philanthropy means “love of humanity.” Yet as philanthropy merges and then is overridden by consumer activity, it is our own humanity that gets lost in the process…

“The Car to My Brother…the Suits to Goodwill” – Mark Redmond – YouTube

In Observations on 05/21/2014 at 12:03 pm

“The Car to My Brother…the Suits to Goodwill” – Mark Redmond – YouTube.

Mark and I served together in the Covenant House faith Community in the early 1980′s and were both blessed by the influence of this great woman of faith, marge Crawford.

Online Fundraising Goes Mainstream

In Fundraising, Marketing, Observations, Planning, Social Media on 05/20/2014 at 11:03 am

Online Fundraising Goes Mainstream – Online Fundraising – The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Online giving is still growing, but triple-digit annual increases are a thing of the past.

Internet fundraising grew by roughly 13 percent last year, according to a survey of 100 of the largest nonprofits conducted by The Chronicle.

The Chronicle surveyed all the organizations in its Philanthropy 400 rankings of the largest nonprofits measured by annual fundraising. Of the 100 that responded, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society topped the list, with more than $98-million in Internet gifts in 2013.

While online giving continues to gain steam, it still accounts for a very small portion of the money charities rely on. Among the 76 nonprofits that provided both their online and overall giving totals for 2013, the median share of online gifts is just 2 percent of all donations from private sources.

A Look at the 50 Most Generous Donors of 2013

In Major Donors, Observations on 05/19/2014 at 5:03 pm

A Look at the 50 Most Generous Donors of 2013 – Philanthropy 50 – The Chronicle of Philanthropy- 

America’s biggest donors gave $7.7-billion to nonprofits in 2013, with higher education and family foundations receiving the most money. Read more about how The Chronicle compiled this list.


7 More Philanthropists Sign Giving Pledge\

In Major Donors, Observations on 05/19/2014 at 4:59 pm

7 More Philanthropists Sign Giving Pledge – News – The Chronicle of Philanthropy- 

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and her husband, Dave Goldberg, are two of seven philanthropists who have signed the Giving Pledge, the effort advanced by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates to encourage the wealthy to pledge to give at least half of their fortune to charity.

The new signers, announced today, also include Ann Gloag, a co-founder of the international transport company Stagecoach; Paul Orfalea, the founder of the business-services retailer Kinko’s, and his wife, Natalie; and Craig Silverstein, Google’s first employee, and his wife Mary Obelnicki.

Created four years ago by Mr. Buffett and the Gateses, the Giving Pledge now has 127 signatories from 12 countries and 26 American states….

Billionaires’ Wealth Is Skyrocketing. Their Philanthropy Is Not By Nick Summers

In Major Donors, Observations on 05/09/2014 at 11:07 am

The article is here

The Chronicle of Philanthropy released its annual “Philanthropy 50” list this week, detailing the gifts of the most generous donors in America. These individuals are “ditching the caution that marked so much of their giving as the economy stalled and are roaring back” with $7.7 billion in contributions, 4 percent more than in 2012, the publication says.

Some $7.7 billion is nothing to scoff at. It’s also possible that the figure would be higher if anonymous donations were included. The Chronicle publishes an excellent data set, however, and a closer look at the numbers suggests there is not quite a “surge” or “boom” in the largest gifts….

The $13 Billion Mystery Angels By Zachary R. Mider

In Major Donors, Observations on 05/09/2014 at 11:00 am

The country’s fourth-largest philanthropy, with nearly $10-billion in assets, has given in near secrecy to both liberal and conservative causes, says Bloomberg Businessweek, which reveals three of the men behind the funding.

The unknown man’s donations to the fight against Huntington’s, it turns out, were just a small part of his generosity. A year ago, when I was trying to solve a different mystery, I noticed in an obscure Internal Revenue Service database the existence of two huge charitable funds known as Gabriel Trust and Endurance Funding Trust. They had been established on the same day in 2002. Together, these trusts hold about $9.7 billion. That’s one of the largest pools of philanthropic funding in the U.S., bigger than the Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations combined. Only three private foundations in the country—the Gates, Ford, and Getty foundations—are bigger.

But someone had taken elaborate steps to make sure no one figured out where this money came from, using layers of company subsidiaries to obscure its origins. Gabriel’s and Endurance’s reports to the IRS, on file with the agency in Ogden, Utah, showed the trusts were controlled by companies in Nevada and Wyoming, using the addresses of local law firms. The companies, in turn, proved to be controlled by others in Delaware. I kept digging. Finally in August, a sheaf of papers I’d requested arrived in the mail from the Delaware Office of the Secretary of State. They showed that the man behind the companies that control Gabriel was Andrew Shechtel of Princeton, N.J….


The 2014 Alpha Rich List

In Major Donors, Observations on 05/06/2014 at 11:38 am

The highest ranking hedge fund managers here.


Bow Waves in Philanthropy

In Fundraising, Observations on 05/03/2014 at 1:00 pm

Like the wave that forms at the bow of a ship when it moves through the water, so new trends in philanthropy define the outer limits of the nonprofit industry’s wake. A large bow wave slows the ship down, is a risk to smaller boats, and in a harbor can damage shore facilities and moored ships. Therefore, ship hulls are generally designed to produce as small a bow wave as possible. But in our world of fundraising new ideas are meant to create as large a wave as possible. With the advent of each new use of technology or way of making an appeal known, one would think philanthropy is being re-created, that all things new need to be learned and embraced to survive. But in the end, philanthropy is about relationships and the rule that one must ask to receive. 


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