Commentary and Opinion

Philanthropy News Digest invites opinion and commentary on topics of importance to the philanthropic sector. For more information, contact Kyoko Uchida, PND's features editor, at kyu@foundationcenter.org.

Restoring Eyesight: Leveraging Tech to Empower People

Restoring Eyesight: Leveraging Tech to Empower People

Jennie Phillips, Kate Maguire, Shirley R. Steinberg, Shujaat Wasty   |   June 30, 2015

Jadi Begum Bi lives in a small mud house near Sargodha, Pakistan. She may never meet Shakil Khan, a member of a displaced community near Syedpur, Bangladesh, or Raju Sharma, a laborer in Patna, India. They all have one thing in common, though: they had been blind for years, until their eyesight was restored and their lives transformed as part of RS Foundation's ocular procedures program....

The Future of 'Community' for Community Foundations

The Future of 'Community' for Community Foundations

Emmett D. Carson   |   June 15, 2015

Community foundations have existed for more than a hundred years by adhering to a simple proposition: they exist to serve their local communities. Today, this proposition is being challenged by an increasingly global, twenty-first century mindset....

Narrowing the Excellence Gap Requires a Multifaceted Approach

Narrowing the Excellence Gap Requires a Multifaceted Approach

Natalie Rodriguez Jansorn   |   May 20, 2015

Changing demographics means we will be able to tap the most diverse workforce in the history of the world....However, we continue to overlook one of our most promising talent pools: high-achieving, low-income students....

Calling the Piper's Tune

Calling the Piper's Tune

Mark Rosenman   |   May 1, 2015

Nonprofit endorsements for sale? That might be the takeaway when more than thirty charities in the District of Columbia write to government regulators in support of a popularly opposed regulatory action sought by a local funder....

Want To Improve Health?  Help People Use and Share Their Data

Want To Improve Health? Help People Use and Share Their Data

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey   |   April 10, 2015

In 1823, a young French physician, Pierre Charles Alexandre Louis, published a controversial article urging doctors to compile, share, and study statistics about their patients. He said that by recognizing larger trends across a community, physicians could more effectively treat individual patients....

Why 'Crowdfunding' Government Is a Bad Idea

Why 'Crowdfunding' Government Is a Bad Idea

Mark Rosenman   |   March 11, 2015

Increasingly, government is competing with charities for private-sector donations using crowdfunding and other individual donor-focused techniques. That's a problem not just for nonprofits, but for all who depend on government to address our shared needs....

Shifting the Discourse Around Black Men and Boys

Shifting the Discourse Around Black Men and Boys

Rashid Shabazz   |   February 26, 2015

In February 2015, the Open Society Foundations officially spun off the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) with a five-year seed grant aimed at realizing a long-term commitment to addressing a multi-generational problem....

Federal Court Orders IRS to Release Computer-Readable Forms 990

Federal Court Orders IRS to Release Computer-Readable Forms 990

Jeffrey S. Tenenbaum   |   February 12, 2015

A federal judge on January 30 handed the Internal Revenue Service a significant defeat in its fight to not have to release IRS Form 990 information returns in a format that can be read by computers, thereby making information about tax-exempt operations more easily accessible....

Nonprofits Are Not Doing Enough to Help Young Men of Color

Nonprofits Are Not Doing Enough to Help Young Men of Color

Lowell Perry   |   January 31, 2015

With the recent grand-jury decisions not to indict the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, protests over the excessive use of force by individual members of police forces across the country have made national news....

The Power of Crowdfunding to Fight Ebola

The Power of Crowdfunding to Fight Ebola

Alison Carlman   |   January 16, 2015

In December, TIME magazine named Ebola Fighters — doctors, nurses, caregivers, scientists, and medical directors "who answered the call," often putting their own lives on the line — as its "Person of the Year." We couldn't agree more....

Help Fight Hunger This Holiday Season

Help Fight Hunger This Holiday Season

Bob Aiken, Kerry Sullivan   |   December 16, 2014

For a majority of Americans, the holiday season is a time of celebration, feasting, and thankfulness. In the midst of our merriment, however, it's important to remember that while many of us are planning our holiday meals, millions of Americans will be wondering where they are going to get their next meal....