As the nonprofit world enters 2010, what trends will shape philanthropy during the next 10 years? How can charities and foundations prepare for the increasing number of older Americans, technological changes, and other future trends that are likely to affect nonprofit endeavors and giving?
Read the transcript of our live discussion today with Eric Kessler, founder of Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors, a donor consulting company.
Thanks to so many Philanthropy Today readers, “we were able to present you with a quick tally” of how the nation’s charities fared in their year-end fund raising.
Now that you have had more time to count your results, we hope to do a more comprehensive job of gathering data so that everyone in the nonprofit world will know how to benchmark their own fund-raising efforts.
You don’t have to identify your group in our survey, which will be very quick for you to fill out. Please fill out the survey& by January 28 and we will include the results of the entire survey in an article to be posted online the following week.
If you have questions, you may direct them to Chris Thompson, our research director.
President Obama on Monday visited Red Cross headquarters in Washington to personally thank American Red Cross workers for their efforts following the earthquake in Haiti last week, the Associated Press reports.
The president was accompanied by his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, to the organization’s disaster-information center.
He thanked the workers for their efforts and urged them to keep up what he said was great work, the news service said.
Church aid groups and humanitarian organizations active in Haiti are searching for members who were caught in last week’s earthquake, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Several religious groups operate missions in Port-au-Prince, the island nation’s devastated capital. Two high-ranking United Methodist Church officials, including the head of the organization’s relief committee, died as a result of the collapse of Port-au-Prince’s Hotel Montana, and a contractor for Compassion International, a charity in Colorado that aids children overseas, is also believed to have been caught in the hotel rubble.
Lynn University, in Boca Raton, Fla., is searching for four students and two faculty members who were part of team that arrived in Haiti hours before the quake to provide housing and food aid.
The head of global aid group IMA World Health returned to his Maryland home Saturday after being trapped for 50 hours in the Hotel Montana wreckage, reports The Washington Post. Rick Santos and several other survivors were pulled from the rubble by French firefighters Friday.
The Haitian charity founded by the musician Wyclef Jean is coming under scrutiny for the amount it spends on administrative activities instead of philanthropic programs, The Washington Post reports.
In addition, the organization has made payments to businesses owned by Wyclef Jean and a board member of the charity, the newspaper said.
Dean Zerbe, a former Senate aide who specializes in nonprofit issues, advised donors to be cautious about giving to the charity because of questions about how it uses its money. “Consider the significant number of charities that have been doing good work in Haiti that don’t have those question marks,” he told the newspaper.
Hugh Locke, president of Yele Haiti, the musician’s charity, told the newspaper that it hopes to reduce its administrative spending as it gains more experience. But he said all the money donated to earthquake relief will be spent on charitable purposes.
Update: On Saturday night Wyclef Jean posted a response to charges raised about this charity on his group’s blog.
(Read an article about Wyclef Jean’s charity from The Chronicle’s archive.)
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush joined President Obama at the White House on Saturday to announce that they would work together to raise money for the Haitian relief effort from corporations, foundations, and American citizens, The New York Times reports.
Already, President Clinton’s foundation has raised nearly $7-million for the relief effort, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.
The earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday has prompted a flurry of donations that exceeds the amount raised for previous catastrophes — including Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunamis — over the same number of days. So far, donors have contributed more than $71-million to U.S. relief groups, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.
- Sources of information: How to decide where to give to aid Haiti.
- A sampling of grants for disaster relief in Haiti.
For a complete guide to the The Chronicle’s Haiti coverage, click here.
Ensuring that the donations pouring into Haiti are spent properly poses a challenge given the country’s poor infrastructure and history of corruption and government instability, the Associated Press reports.
Despite receiving billions of dollars in aid from foreign governments and nonprofit institutions, Haiti remains mired in abject poverty, with many homes lacking electricity, sewage disposal, or safe drinking water even before Tuesday’s devastating earthquake.
Beyond immediate search-and-rescue and public-health needs, “I think there’s going to be a number of questions that arise” about where aid money goes, said Rep. Russ Carnahan, a Missouri Democrat and chairman of a House subcommittee on international organizations and human rights.
The music star Wyclef Jean’s Yele Haiti Foundation, a major engine of the unprecedented post-earthquake fund raising via social media and cellphones, might not be the most efficient destination for donations, reports the Christian Science Monitor.
Emergency-aid experts and watchdog groups say bigger, more established charities have the expertise and experience to make the most of their resources in a large-scale relief operation, while smaller organizations such as Yele are more effective in areas such as education in more-stable times.
Read more updates on the response to the Haiti crisis in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
(Free registration is required to view the Associated Press story on the Washington Post Web site. A paid subscription or temporary day pass is required to read Chronicle articles.)
Giving in Britain dropped by nearly 10 percent last year, according to a survey by a U.K.-based bank, Third Sector Online reports.
Based on a poll of more than 2,000 randomly selected British residents, Investec Private Bank estimated total 2009 giving at about $8.67-billion, down 9.7 percent from 2008. December donations accounted for 18 percent of last year’s total.
(Free registration is required to view this article.)
The gunman who killed one person and wounded five others in a July 2006 attack at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without possibility of parole, reports the Associated Press.
Naveed Haq, 34, was convicted in December of murder and attempted murder charges in what has been described as Washington State’s worst hate crime. Pamela Waechter, the charity’s fund-raising chief, was killed when Mr. Haq opened fire at the organization’s headquarters.
New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo filed a lawsuit Thursday against a prominent immigration activist and his nonprofit organizations, saying the groups provided bogus legal services to clients, The New York Times reports.
Mr. Cuomo alleges Edward Juarez-Pagliocco, a high-profile personality in New York’s Spanish-language media, supported a lavish way of life with money from his International Immigrants Foundation and International Professional Association. According to the lawsuit, the groups employed people who falsely claimed to be lawyers, harming rather than helping immigrants who came to them to obtain legal residency or citizenship.
A judge issued a temporary restraining order freezing the organizations’ assets and preventing them from doing business. A lawyer for Mr. Juarez-Pagliocco and his foundations said they “intend to vigorously defend themselves.”
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In the Arts: N.Y. Legislators Debate Museum Sales of Artwork; U.K. Watchdog Raps Lloyd Webber Charity
Museum executives and legislators gathered in a Manhattan hearing room on Thursday for an unusual public discussion about whether institutions can or should sell their holdings in times of financial need, The New York Times reports.
Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky — whose bill to ban museums from selling art and artifacts to cover normal operating expenses prompted the roundtable meeting — said he feared “a massive privatization of art.” But museum officials, backed by some legislators, said that amid the current financial crisis institutions faced the prospect of closure if they could not raise new revenue.
In other arts news, Britain’s Charity Commission faulted the Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation for displaying one of the masterworks it owns at a theater showing one of its founder’s musicals, reports the Telegraph.
A commission report said there was a “perception of public benefit” for the composer in showing the foundation-owned J.W. Waterhouse’s “St. Cecilia” at a London playhouse. The work is one of four masterpieces the charity has purchased with funds provided by Mr. Lloyd Webber, composer of Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, and other blockbusters.
Also, Britain’s Conservative Party says it will cut arts spending and use tax breaks to encourage cultural philanthropy if it wins the forthcoming U.K. election, the Guardian reports.
And The Wall Street Journal assesses the financial affairs of the Judith Rothschild Foundation, which made news this week over its failure to pay any of its promised 2009 grants to small arts organizations.
(Free registration is required to read the New York Times article. A paid subscription is required to view the Journal article.)
- With large companies giving more than $30-million to Haiti, an adviser to donors is urging business leaders to not give products and to think about assisting with the long-term recovery process, not just with immediate needs, notes Give and Take’s daily digest of the best blog posts about the nonprofit world.
- Charity Navigator, a nonprofit watchdog, discusses how text donations work.
- Why the nonprofit world needs to do a better job of educating people about the alternatives to starting a new charity.
- New information on the finances of MinnPost, a nonprofit newspaper in Minneapolis.
In the first 36 hours after the earthquake in Haiti, donors contributed more than $7-million via text messages, according to the Mobile Giving Foundation, reports Prospecting, The Chronicle’s fund-raising column.
The Council on Foundations, an association of grant makers, is asking the Internal Revenue Service to declare Haiti a “qualified disaster,” a move the group says would help corporations assist their employees who were affected by the earthquake, reports The Chronicle’s Government and Politics Watch column.
The Chronicle has just posted more than $245-million in new grants listings that are available exclusively to subscribers of the newspaper and of its Guide to Grants.
Among the highlights:
- The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has awarded $200,000 to the Huffington Post Investigative Fund for its investigative-reporting efforts.
- The Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund has awarded $35,000 to GreenBlue to develop a Web site listing environmentally friendly chemicals suitable for use in cleaning solutions.
Send news about grants to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The earthquake that hit Haiti on Tuesday has prompted more donations than many aid groups say they have seen since Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunamis — and is setting records for giving through text messaging, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.
Aid agencies worldwide spent Wednesday mobilizing supplies and staff members to aid earthquake-stricken Haiti, but massive logistical difficulties are complicating relief efforts, The New York Times reports.
Humanitarian organizations already operating in the country are still trying to account for missing workers, medical and telecommunications facilities on the island have been badly damaged or destroyed, and operations at ports and airports were severely limited, making it difficult for aid workers to get into Haiti.
Led by rap star and Haiti native Wyclef Jean, who arrived in Port-au-Prince Wednesday, celebrities have lined up to make and urge donations, reports USA Today. Many, including Mr. Jean, Paris Hilton, and Ben Stiller, are using Twitter for fund-raising appeals, with Mr. Jean’s tweets generating so much response that the Web site of his Yele Haiti charity crashed. Movie-star couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie pledged $1-million to the medical charity Doctors Without Borders for Haiti relief, according to E! Online.
Read more coverage of Haitian relief efforts in The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
(Free registration is required to read the Times article.)
The Hall Family Foundation has committed $18-million toward the University of Kansas’s effort to win federal recognition for its cancer center, reports The Kansas City Star.
The gift amounts to nearly a fifth of the school’s $92-million goal in its campaign to achieve a National Cancer Institute designation. Two-thirds of the money from the Kansas City foundation will be used to recruit scientists and researchers to the center; the remainder pays for a building the foundation purchased in 2008 and is donating to house a clinical-trials facility.
A 92-year-old Ohio University graduate has committed $13-million to establish a center for arts education after her death, reports the Columbus Dispatch.
Violet L. Patton, class of 1938, will place the money in a charitable trust and live off the interest until her death, at which time the funds will pass to the school. The funds will be used for construction, scholarships, fellowships, and residencies for visiting artists.
In other arts news, a British arts charity predicts spending on U.K. cultural activities will remain depressed for at least two more years, with small organizations suffering the most, Bloomberg reports.
A survey by Arts & Business found donations by companies, individuals, trusts, and foundations declined by 7 percent in the year ending last March 31. Colin Tweedy, the organization’s chief executive, said government subsidies are likely to be cut following the British election in June.
Also, Long Beach Symphony Orchestra officials are threatening to cancel the remainder of the ensemble’s season unless musicians agree to pay cuts, reports the Long Beach Press-Telegram.