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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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July 23, 2007

News Briefing: Low-Key Recall of AIDS Drug Hits World’s Poor

  • A total recall of an important AIDS drug has disrupted treatment for tens of thousands of the world's poorest patients.  [New York Times]
  • Clinton launches a program to make subsidized malaria drugs in Tanzania.  [Reuters]
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll plans to take over the New America Foundation, a Washington public policy institute.  [New York Times]
  • The selection of a Chinese sculptor to carve a Washington monument to Martin Luther King Jr. sparks an outcry.  [Los Angeles Times]
  • Rising temperatures facilitates the spread of malaria in Africa.  [Los Angeles Times]

May 17, 2007

News Briefing: Billionaire Donates $100M, Hopes to Challenge Other Alumni

  • T. Boone Pickens donates $100 million - with unususal strings attached.  [Associated Press]
  • Prudential Financial donates $1M to the Martin Luther King Memorial.  [Washington Post]

April 25, 2007

News Briefing: Wal-Mart Widow Leaves Shares to Charity

  • A significant portion of Helen Walton's fortune will be donated to charity, says family.  [Associated Press]
  • Melinda Gates kicks off new campaign designed to get presidential candidates to pay more attention to education.  [ABC News]
  • IBM to participate in a Nature Conservancy project.  []

April 19, 2007

News Briefing: Sumner Redstone Donates $105 Million

  • FEMA will replace the Red Cross as the agency in charge of coordinating disaster aid.  [Washington Post]
  • Billionaire Sumner Redstone donates $105 million to three medical centers.  [Los Angeles Times]

April 18, 2007

News Briefing: $300 Million Raised for WTC Memorial

  • American Red Cross names Mark W. Everson, commissioner of I.R.S., as its new Chief Executive.  [New York Times]
  • Over $300 million has been raised for the WTC Memorial, says Bloomberg.  [Associated Press]

March 01, 2007

Is Paul Allen Really Cheap?

That's the controversial question raised by Wall Street Journal writer Robert Frank in his The Wealth Report blog. Can a man who gave away "$900 million over the course of his life" be considered stingy? Frank clearly does, because he raises the question - and argues that it's all relative. He writes:

Now $900 million may sound like an awful lot to most people, and it is. But compared with Bill Gates, who’s pledged to give away the bulk of his $51 billion fortune to his family foundation, Mr. Allen’s gifts might appear relatively light.

It doesn’t help that Mr. Allen is known for his personal luxuries: He reportedly spent more than $250 million for his latest yacht, Octopus. Add to that his fleet of private jets, his other two mega-yachts, and his sports teams, and Mr. Allen could certainly be in the running for the Conspicuous Consumer of the Year award.

But the post really gets interesting in comments. Here's one typical reaction (keep in mind, this is the WSJ):

It’s his money and he has given away 900 millon and you infer he is not doing enough–GET BENT !!!

Others are more thoughtful, noting that among billionaires, some aim to change the world now (Gates) and some plan to divest later on (Buffett). And at least one pointed out that Allen invests in for-profit enterprises that have philanthropic aims, a la Richard Branson. Interestingly, the cause of all this was the Chronicle of Philanthropy's annual list of most generous Americans. Do we need a new definition of  "generous" for our changing world?

January 05, 2007

Charity Pledges Smash all US Records

The Financial Times:  Warren Buffett’s historic $31bn (€23.5bn) donation to the Gates Foundation made 2006 a banner year for US charitable giving, smashing previous records by a huge margin.

January 02, 2007

Wealth and Philanthropy: Who Gives (and Why)

Boston Globe:  Some have charged New Englanders with giving less to charity than people in other regions. Others say secular donors give less than the faithful. Yet such assertions are less informative than this statistic: Two-thirds of all philanthropic gifts made by U S households come from the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans.

December 19, 2006

Behind 34 Million Meals, 34 Million Tales

New York Times:  Antonia Hernandez’s neighbors call her abuela, grandma in Spanish. Her age and her weight are in total harmony: 87. She is originally from the Dominican Republic, from San Pedro de Macorís, “where the good baseball players come from,” she said.

December 07, 2006

Podcast: 10 Tips for Young Fundraisers

Internet media star Sarah Ruegger - get used to the sound of it. Sarah (our colleague here at Changing Our World) stars in a terrific podcast at, one of the Web’s best nonprofit podcasts. Covering her Top 10 Tips for Young Fundraisers from FLiP, Sarah discusses major gifts fundraising in-depth with host Corey Pudhorodsky - click here and listen to Sarah or download to your iPod. By the way, Corey runs a terrific podcast - we're fans! Check out his other shows.

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