Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's new in Philanthropy

Articles of interest in philanthropy and nonprofits published in the last 10 days:

1. Policy Making Billionaires; Nytimes.com, November 26, 2011
Brief Introduction: Over the past 30 years, as the gap between wealthy and poor grew ever wider, total philanthropic giving almost tripled, according to annual estimates published by the Giving USA Foundation and the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. In an age of widening partisanship and plummeting trust in government, this outpouring of philanthropy has produced a distinct breed of philanthropist: The policy-making billionaire.

2. To advance their cause, Foundations buy stocks; Nytimes.com, November 24, 2011
Brief Introduction: Earlier this year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invested $10 million to acquire a stake in Liquidia Technologies, a biotechnology company working on new ways to deliver vaccines. The foundation bought its shares using a program-related investment, or an investment that can be counted toward federal requirements that it pay out 5 percent of its assets each year.

3. Great way for boomers to prepare for nonprofit work; Forbes.com, November 22, 2011
Brief Introduction: Today, Civic Ventures, a nonprofit think tank that focuses on boomers and encore careers with social purpose, announced a program with the Santa Clara, CA-based chip maker to offer all of Intel's U.S. employees who are eligible to retire the chance to apply for Encore Fellowships – paid, part-time, yearlong assignments working at local nonprofits.

4. Donations inch back up after recession decline; Usatoday.com, November 28, 2011
Brief Introduction: Giving totaled $291 billion in 2010, according to the 2011 annual report by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. That's up 3.8% from 2009 and follows two consecutive years of declines.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Roundup

Here is a listing of articles published in the last 7-10 days that may be of interest:

1. New study shows health insurance premium spikes in every state; WashingtonPost.com, November 17, 2011
Brief Introduction: Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance have risen faster than incomes in every state in the nation, according to a report released Thursday. The District of Columbia had the highest annual total premiums, including both the employer’s and the worker’s share. In 2010, they averaged $5,644 for a single policy and $15,206 for a family version — a rise of 51 percent and 41 percent, respectively, since 2003.

2. Feds provide $6M for rural health care in 6 states; Chicagotribune.com, November 19, 2011
Brief Introduction: Six states in the Mississippi River Delta region are getting more than $6 million in rural health care grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More than half of it is going to Mississippi. Nearly $3 million in rural development grants will pay for the first urgent care center in Mound Bayou, Miss., and almost $700,000 will create an electronic intensive care unit system among five hospitals in Mississippi's poorest rural counties, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday.

Congress blocks new rules on school lunches; New York Times.com, November 15, 2011
Brief Introduction:
Congress on Monday blocked rules proposed by the Agriculture Department that would have overhauled the nation’s school lunch program. The proposed changes — the first in 15 years to the $11 billion school lunch program — were meant to reduce childhood obesity by adding more fruits and green vegetables to lunch menus, Agriculture Department officials said.

2. States strengthening teacher evaluation standards; Boston.com, November 18, 2011
Brief Introduction: President Barack Obama's recent use of executive authority to revise the No Child Left Behind education law is one of several factors driving a trend toward using student test scores, classroom observation and potentially even input from students, among other measures, to determine just how effective educators are. A growing number of states are using these evaluations to decide critical issues such as pay, tenure, firings and the awarding of teaching licenses.

1. Perceived racism may impact Black American's mental health; St. Louis American, November 19, 2011
Brief Introduction:
For black American adults, perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma and could lead to some physical health disparities between blacks and other populations in the United States, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association (APA). Black Americans' psychological responses to racism are very similar to common responses to trauma, such as somatization, which is psychological distress expressed as physical pain; interpersonal sensitivity; and anxiety, according to the study. Individuals who said they experienced more and very stressful racism were more likely to report mental distress, the authors said.

2. Arizona educators clash over Mexican American studies; Latimes.com, November 20, 2011
Brief Introduction: A state law adopted this year aims to outlaw divisive ethnic studies, and Huppenthal will soon decide whether the Tucson district's program violates the law and should be eliminated. In a state known for cultural clashes, the debate over the future of Mexican American studies in Tucson is particularly charged, prompting raucous protests and a host of accusations — of brainwashing, of sloppy academics, of racism.

3. A hard life for one Latina teenager; Latimes.com, November 18, 2011
Brief Introduction: She is 16 years old, and a native-born Georgian. She has a learner's permit and would like to take the driving class that would allow her to get a license — that elusive prize so many of her foreign-born friends will never have. The class costs $230, but the money from her two jobs is spoken for. Since her stepfather, an illegal immigrant named Abigail Carrillos, returned to El Salvador to avoid a forced deportation, she has stepped up as the family's main breadwinner.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What's new in Philanthropy

Articles of interest in philanthropy and nonprofits published in the last 10 days:

1. For job hunters, digital merit badges; Nytimes.com, November 19, 2011
Brief Introduction: Now the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is putting millions of dollars into a competition to spur interest in a new type of badge — one that people can display not on their clothing but on a Web site, blog or Facebook page while they are looking for a job.

2. St. Paul Library gets $165,000 technology planning grant; StarTribune.com, November 17, 2011
Brief Introduction: The St. Paul Public Library will begin designing a digital learning lab for middle and high school students, thanks to a $165,000 planning grant it received on Thursday. When the plan is completed, the library will have to apply for a separate grant this spring to build the lab. The planning process will be funded by a $100,000 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation . The library was one of 12 organizations in the nation to receive that grant.

3. Study: cyberbullying associated with greater psychological distress than bullying at high school; Boston.com, November 17, 2011
Brief Introduction: High school students who are bullied online are more likely to report symptoms of depression and suicide attempts than students who were bullied only at school, according to a survey of students in the communities west of Boston published today. The survey, funded by the MetroWest Health Foundation, was distributed at 22 high schools west of Boston in the fall of 2008. Researchers surveyed more than 20,000 students using written questionairres.

4. Middle-class areas shrink as income gap grows, new report finds; Nytimes.com, November 15, 2011
Brief Introduction: The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent. The study, conducted by Stanford University and scheduled for release on Wednesday by the Russel Sage Foundation and Brown University, uses census data to examine family income at the neighborhood level in the country’s 117 biggest metropolitan areas.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday Roundup

Here is a listing of articles published in the last 7-10 days that may be of interest:

1. In developing world, poor still means thin; Reuters.com, November 2, 2011
Brief Introduction: Although "first-world" health problems like obesity and heart disease are gaining ground in developing nations, a new study finds they are mostly afflicting the rich and middle class while poor people remain undernourished and underweight.

2. Low-income state workers begin to gain access to Children's Health Insurance Program; The Washington Post, November 6, 2011
Brief Introduction:
At least six states have opened their Children's Health Insurance Program to the kids of low-income state employees, an option that was prohibited until the passage of the 2010 health-care law.

1. Analysis: is student loan, education bubble next?; Boston.com, November 6, 2011
Brief Introduction: First the dot.coms popped, then mortgages. Are student loans and higher education the next bubble, the latest investment craze inflating on borrowed money and misplaced faith it can never go bad?

2. In Tennessee, following the rules for evaluations off a cliff; The New York Times, November 6, 2011
Brief Introduction: Last year, when Tennessee was named one of the first two states to win a federal Race to The Top grant, worth $501 million, there was great joy all around.

1. City to provide housing to poor, pregnant women; Boston.com, November 4, 2011
Brief Introduction: In an effort to drive down the number of deaths among black and Latino infants in Boston, the city today launched an initiative to lessen the stress on pregnant women by providing them with housing, counseling, and other critical support.

2. Rage ensues as study shows soda ads target minorities; NYDailyNews.com, November 5, 2011
Brief Introduction: In her Harlem neighborhood, the barrage of soda ads is constant. “Pepsi and Coke are everywhere,” said Rashida Jones, 34, a mother of three. “As a parent, I can’t control what my children see. They even show the ads on tv during cartoons.” A recent study shows Jones - a black woman whose kids are 10, 14 and 15 - isn’t alone. The study found that young blacks and Hispanics are bombarded with soda ads at a higher rate than white children.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What's new in Philanthropy

Articles of interest in philanthropy and nonprofits published in the last 10 days:

1. At G-20, Bill Gates addresses leaders about helping poor; WashingtonPost.com, November 4, 2011
Brief Introduction: Organizations representing the world’s poor have had a fitful relationship with the Group of 20 world leaders. They arrive en masse to hold news conferences and usually get a nice mention of food security and health in any communique, but they mostly see their larger aims shoved aside by whatever crisis has hit major banks or currencies. Enter Bill Gates, literally. In what may mark a signature breakthrough, the Microsoft chairman and Gates Foundation philanthropist was given 90 minutes before a group that’s become a kind of executive board for the global economy.

2. Nonprofits get creative; WashingtonPost.com; November 6, 2011
Brief Introduction: Nonprofits have had to become ever more creative as the economic slowdown lingers — and their work is only just beginning. Two of the region’s largest philanthropic organizations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced plans to phase out their charitable giving. Corporations are becoming much more selective in their philanthropy. And foundation budgets remain largely stagnant — they are handing out fewer grants — amid fears of continued budget cuts from the federal government.

3. Students could save millions on open-source texts; The Seattle Times, October 31, 2011 Brief Introduction: College students in Washington state will be the first beneficiaries of a state project to make inexpensive, open source textbooks available for the most popular college classes. But the $1 million the state invested in creating educational materials for 42 classes will benefit more than just students in Washington. That money was matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

4. The MacArthur Foundation examines the link between housing and human and community outcomes; The Nonprofit Quarterly, November 4, 2011
Brief Introduction: Some of us thought it was quite a coup when the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation landed Mike Stegman as its director of policy and housing. Stegman was a phenomenal researcher on housing and community development at the University of North Carolina before a stint as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And he’s been generating some great stuff at MacArthur.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November CFL Podcast Interview: Dalia R. Levine

For this month's podcast, I had the opportunity to interview Dalia R. Levine who is the Enterprise Information Architect for the Ford Foundation. In this interview, she discusses information architecture and its value within the information environment.

Many thanks to Ms. Levine for her participation.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Roundup

Here is a listing of articles published in the last 7-10 days that may be of interest:

1. Public health program urges smokers in KY city to switch from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco; Washington Post, October 28,2011
Brief introduction: The James Graham Brown Cancer Center and the University of Louisville are aiming their “Switch and Quit” campaign at the city of Owensboro. It uses print, radio, billboard and other advertising to urge smokers to swap their cigarettes for smokeless tobacco and other products that do not deliver nicotine by smoke.

2. 11,000 may rejoin state's Basic Health plan; The Seattle Times, October 26,2011
Brief introduction: About 11,000 people who were kicked off the state's Basic Health insurance program for the working poor in March because of their immigration status will be allowed to re-enroll after a federal court judge said the state likely had violated their constitutional equal-protection rights.

1. Colorado faces nation's only statewide tax vote to raise taxes for Education; Huffington Post, October 30, 2011
Brief introduction: The nation's only statewide tax vote on the November ballot asks Colorado voters whether they want to temporarily raise taxes to generate $3 billion for classrooms and colleges – a proposal that has stirred fierce opposition because of the stagnant economy.

2. Higher education costs continue to soar; CBS News.com, October 26, 2011
Brief introduction: The College Board says average in-state tuition and fees at four-year public colleges rose an additional $631 this fall, or 8.3 percent, from a year ago. Nationally, the cost of a full credit load has passed $8,000, an all-time high. With room and board, the average list price for a state school now runs more than $17,000 a year.

1. Report shows African-American, low-income children in California at highest risk of secondhand smoke; Scope, October 28,2011
Brief introduction: Although smoking rates in California have steadily declined since 1998, nearly 2.5 million children in the state are still at risk of secondhand smoke, according to a recent report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

2. Miscommunication about asthma leaves Latinos gasping for answers; Fox News Latino, October 27, 2011
Brief introduction: Miscommunication, more than unhealthy lifestyles, are contributing to high rates of the respiratory condition among Hispanics, the American Lung Association said earlier this month.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's new in Philanthropy

Articles of interest in philanthropy and nonprofits published in the last 10 days:

1. The biggest gift in the world; Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2011
Brief Introduction: In the past year, Buffett has carried his philanthropy to a new extreme and, in the process, sparked a revolution in the world of giving. Through his launch of the Giving Pledge in June 2010, a joint venture with his partner-in-patronage Bill Gates, Buffett has unlocked billions of dollars for philanthropic causes. The Pledge has touched off a national debate about how much is "enough" when it comes to giving, and created the most powerful movement in American philanthropy since Andrew Carnegie released his famous "Gospel of Wealth" treatise in 1889.

2. Interactive: How many Canadians give, and other trends in Canadian philanthropy; Globe and Mail, October 30, 2011
Brief Introduction: An interactive diagram that provides information about Canadian philanthropy.

3. New center draws job seekers; Delmarvanow.com, October 31, 2011
Brief Introduction:In just a few months, the Job Center@Delaware Libraries, an estimated $2.7 million employment services project, has helped hundreds of Georgetown library patrons with in-house counseling and educational programming, Internet access to employment resources and unlimited computer use for resume and correspondence preparation. Job Center@Delaware Libraries also received $800,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a matching contribution through the Delaware Division of Libraries.

4. What these 3 MacArthur Foundation winners do is genius; Detroit Free Press, October 31, 2011
Brief Introduction: A historian, a chemist and a biologist who balance lecturing, teaching, research and raising kids were among 22 people named MacArthur Foundation fellows last month. The national award comes with a no-strings-attached $500,000, and the awardees have come to be deemed geniuses.