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.

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....

Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?: An Update

Is Grantmaking Getting Smarter?: An Update

J McCray   |   November 28, 2014

Over the past fifteen years, research by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations has demonstrated that certain grantmaking practices support nonprofits' capacity to achieve results. To track how these practices are changing, GEO conducts a national survey...

Traveling Toward Greater Impact

Traveling Toward Greater Impact

Julie Broome   |   November 24, 2014

Anyone who has ever traveled with me — even just across town — knows that I get lost easily. North becomes south, left becomes right. As such, I've developed a heavy reliance on maps to tell me where I am and to help me figure out where I'm going....

Losing the Red Cross Would Be the Real Disaster

Losing the Red Cross Would Be the Real Disaster

Beth Gazley   |   November 11, 2014

As a disaster researcher and scholar of nonprofit management, I've followed the (well-publicized) travails and (hardly publicized) successes of the American Red Cross over the years....

Moving From the Overhead Myth to an Overhead Solution: Next Steps

Moving From the Overhead Myth to an Overhead Solution: Next Steps

Jacob Harold   |   October 31, 2014

In 2013, I joined with partners at the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and Charity Navigator in writing an open letter to the donors of America explaining that "overhead ratios" are a poor way to understand nonprofit performance....