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Buzz is Changing Our World's news and commentary blog, covering the latest stories and updates in the world of philanthropy.

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December 28, 2010

News Briefing: Brands Help Fight Childhood Obesity

Big brands are steering millions in charitable dollars to building neighborhood playgrounds for children to help fight Childhood Obesity.  [New York Times]

Boston Foundation grant will pay for teacher development, curriculum development in math and literacy, and a clicker system that will boost participation.  [Boston Globe]

December 18, 2007

News Briefing: Unintended Victims of Gates Foundation Generosity

  • Gates Foundation's efforts to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria in Africa have had mixed influences on key measures of societal health.  [Los Angeles Times]
  • Corporate neighbors respond to the $30 million capital campaign undertaken by St. Bartholomew's Church.  [New York Times]
  • State Bank & Trust in North Dakota gives each employee $1,000 - to donate to people in need. [Associated Press]
  • New graduate programs teach management principles to leaders of churches and religious nonprofit agencies.  [New York Times]
  • The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation files a trademark lawsuit against Smithfield Foods for the use of its "Deli for the Cure" logo.  [Associated Press]

December 17, 2007

News Briefing: Rules Sought on Retailers’ Ties to Charities

  • Senator Robert Menendez wants tighter regulations on embedded giving, the practice of building a gift to charity into everyday purchases.  [New York Times]
  • The tenants of studios above Carnegie Hall allege nepotism in the $150 million renovation project of the famous concert building.  [Associated Press]
  • Frustration at the U.N. peacekeeping force and the dozens of aid organizations working in eastern Congo rises as violence increases.  [New York Times]
  • One individual's quest to identify worthy causes leads to a Web site that puts an abundance of information about charities online.  [Chicago Tribune]
  • Razoo joins other Web site builders trying to reinvent how people give money to charity.  [Washington Post]
  • The global wealth boom has created a new breed of billionaire...and philanthropist.  [New York Times]

December 13, 2007

News Briefing: Study Faults Charities for Veterans

  • The Case Foundation embarks on an effort to test the potential of online technologies in the charity field.  [New York Times]
  • Some question the practice of building a donation into the purchase of items, wondering how much actually goes to the nonprofit.  [New York Times]
  • A new report by the American Institute of Philanthropy claims that several veterans charities spent relatively little money on soldiers.  [Washington Post]
  • Damien Hirst donates four major works to Britain's Tate Gallery.  [Reuters]

November 06, 2007

News Briefing: Smithsonian Questions $5 Million In Oil Money

  • David Beckham, Anthony LaPaglia, and others play in a charity soccer game to raise funds for wildfire relief.  [Associated Press]
  • Smithsonian halts $5 million donation from the American Petroleum Institute after two members of the Board question an oil-industry sponsorship of an ocean exhibit.  [Washington Post]
  • Pink marketing strategy brings in money for breast cancer awareness, but lack of regulation on who raises what worries some advocacy groups.  [Los Angeles Times

August 09, 2007

News Briefing: Red Cross Sued for Use of Cross Emblem

  • Johnson & Johnson sues the American Red Cross for its use of the red cross emblem on certain commercial products.  [Associated Press]
  • The Rockefeller Foundation will invest $70 million over the next five years to help Asia and Africa with the effects of global warming.  [New York Times]
  • The spiraling use of earmarks - and recent criminal case of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff - has put a spotlight on the process.  [Bloomberg]
  • LA's Museum of Contemporary Art will include a Louis Vuitton boutique as part of its retrospective on artist Takashi Murakami, raising the question:  is it business or art?  [Los Angeles Times

August 06, 2007

News Briefing: Amex Project Sets Donors to Compete

  • American Express's Members Project to announce winner on Tuesday.  [New York Times]
  • Donations from grateful patients help advance American health care.  [New York Times]

May 24, 2007

News Briefing: Experts Worry About Shopping for Charity

  • Shopping for charity has become increasingly popular - but is it effective?  [Associated Press]
  • Brad Pitt, George Clooney raise money for Darfur refugees; using Ocean's Thirteen press to draw attention to the cause.  [Reuters]
  • Medical researchers and hedge fund managers team up to fight cancer.  [Reuters]

March 05, 2007

Bono's Red Campaign Faces Criticism

AdAge, the industry bible of marketing and advertising, has a critical article about the ballyhooed Red campaign to benefit the Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Only $18 million has been raised, despite the hoopla a a $100 million investment, and some critics are saying that the millions invested in advertising has no paid off in real fundraising terms.

The disproportionate ratio between the marketing outlay and the money raised is drawing concern among nonprofit watchdogs, cause-marketing experts and even executives in the ad business. It threatens to spur a backlash, not just against the Red campaign -- which ambitiously set out to change the cause-marketing model by allowing partners to profit from charity -- but also for the brands involved.

The Fund's supporters point out that the Red campaign also raises consciousness, and that its success can't be measured in pure fundraising numbers. But AdAge's Mya Frazier asks, "is the rise of philanthropic fashionistas decked out in Red T-shirts and iPods really the best way to save a child dying of AIDS in Africa?" And she points out that Red's minimal economic return ha already spawned a parody:

"Shopping is not a solution. Buy less. Give more," is the message at, which encourages people to give directly to the Global Fund.

"The Red campaign proposes consumption as the cure to the world's evils," said Ben Davis, creative director at Word Pictures Ideas, co-creator of the site. "Can't we just focus on the real solution -- giving money?"

February 05, 2007

Bono Targets HIV in Africa with Licensing Deals

Los Angeles Times:  The fifth-floor restaurant at the Harvey Nichols store in London's Knightsbridge is pulsating. Arriving guests run a flashing, shouting gantlet of paparazzi. Inside, the scene is straight out of "The Devil Wears Prada" — impossibly slim women clutching cocktails and men with expensively distressed hair bearing champagne flutes.

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