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April 13, 2011

News Briefing: Michelle Obama, Jill Biden to Lead Effort to Help Military Families

  • The Home Depot Foundation refocuses its giving to support veterans' organizations and rehabilitating houses.  [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
  • Five new high schools in New Jersey have been awarded nearly $1M in grants from Mark Zuckerberg.  [Associated Press]
  • Michelle Obama and Jill Biden launch a national initiative to support service members and their families.  [The Washington Post]

May 18, 2009

News Briefing: Fannie, Freddie Scale Back Gifts to Charity

  • The Colorado Veterans Alliance disbands after learning its founder lied about his military service.  [New York Times]
  • Dr. Paul Farmer may oversee U.S. global initiatives for the Obama administration.  [Boston Globe]
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced charitable giving by more than 40 percent from 2006 to 2008.  [Washington Post]

January 02, 2008

News Briefing: James Brown's Children Challenge Will

  • Two aid workers abducted in northern Somalia last week are released.  [Associated Press]
  • Five of James Brown's children challenge his will, which leaves the bulk of his money to charitable trusts.  [Associated Press]
  • Two humanitarian workers, employed by Action Against Hunger, are shot in Burundi.  [Associated Press]

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]

July 31, 2007

News Briefing: Kenyan Farmers’ Fate Caught Up in U.S. Aid Rules

  • Report from Oxfam International says poverty, hunger, and public health continue to worsen in Iraq.  [New York Times]
  • Entrepreneur philanthropists are changing the face of charitable giving in the U.S.  [Fortune Small Business]
  • Many museums search for new leaders and face difficulty filling post. [New York Times]
  • Long-term projects to help Africa's rural poor feed themselves are chronically underfinanced, charities say.  [New York Times]

June 27, 2007

News Briefing: Google to Help Non-Profits With Maps

  • Google helps nonprofits use map and satellite images to raise awareness, recruit volunteers, and encourage donations.  [Associated Press]
  • Stars of Ocean's Thirteen raise $5.5 million for U.N World Food Program, Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee, and Oxfam.  [Associated Press]
  • Florida charity's use of telemarketers comes under fire.  [Boston Globe]
  • A California teen thanks troops the old-fashioned way; by sending letters - 4 million of them.  [Associated Press]

June 08, 2007

News Briefing: Deficits Prompt Cutbacks at NAACP

  • Arab pop stars perform series of concerts to aid Darfur.  [Reuters]
  • AIDS study suggests that India has millions fewer victims than had been widely believed.  [New York Times]
  • George Clooney, Matt Damon use premiere of Ocean's 13 to talk about Darfur.  [Associated Press]
  • The NAACP is cutting roughly 40% of its staff and closing seven regional offices to cover three years of budget shortfalls.  [Baltimore Sun]

June 04, 2007

News Briefing: Charity Unites Troops in Iraq With Kin

  • Parents, alumni, and corporations increasingly donate private money to public schools.  [New York Times]
  • Freedom Calls Foundation enables soldiers to participate in milestone events with their families - through video conferences.  [Associated Press]
  • Paul Newman donates $10 million to Kenyon College.  [Reuters

April 18, 2007

Do Foundations Ignore the War?

Foundation executives tend to be a progressive crowd, politics aside, and believe themselves up-to-date on the latest issues in our society, whether they grant locally, nationally, or internationally. But a prominent philanthropy blogger argues on the eve of the big Council on Foundations conference in Seattle that the foundation executives are near-silent on the biggest issue of our day - the war.

Argues the writer of Philanthropybeat:

Foundation leaders have been cowed by a political environment that demonizes dissent; their fortitude [if they had any in the first place] sapped by a need to not be seen as partisan or unpatriotic. They've turned their backs on one of the tenants of private foundations: providing an independent voice unfettered by government or profit-making influences.

That COF can't hold even a single open discussion about the war in Iraq simply confirms how foundations have lost their way entirely when it comes to looking honestly at how government policies impact the lives of those individuals foundations claim to help.

It's not Bush-bashing, the blog suggests, to at least have a serious discussion among the leaders of American foundations. Is it true that it's too "dangerous" for foundation leaders to speak out on Iraq and its consequences? And aren't there needs both here and overseas to address as the war enters its fifth year? It's a great question - let's hope the COF has a public answer.

December 19, 2006

Kidnappers Strike Red Crescent's Iraq Office

Washington Post:  The kidnappers had left his father's cellphone on a wooden desk in the Iraqi Red Crescent Society office Sunday morning. But Wathiq Adnan did not know that as he stood in the front yard, his face as gloomy as the cold, rain-soaked sky.

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