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.

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