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.

Helping Haitians to Rebuild and Restart the Economy

Helping Haitians to Rebuild and Restart the Economy

Reeta Roy   |   July 13, 2010

At the six-month anniversary of the Haiti earthquake, it is natural to stop and reflect on the international donor community's role in the rebuilding effort. Many have criticized programs that do not empower local organizations and rebuild infrastructure....

Impacting Jewish Lives

Impacting Jewish Lives

Al Levitt   |   June 3, 2010

Since our founding in 2006, the Jim Joseph Foundation has granted nearly a quarter of a billion dollars to organizations that foster compelling, effective learning experiences for young Jews in the United States. It's an impressive figure, to be sure.... 

Changing the World Through Philanthropic Prizes

Changing the World Through Philanthropic Prizes

Dwayne Spradlin   |   May 6, 2010

The most compelling aspect of open innovation is its power to better our world and create global impact, which means that as nonprofit organizations embrace crowdsourcing, the potential for everyone to make a difference becomes exponential....

Building Greenways Through Philanthropy

Building Greenways Through Philanthropy

Tom Woiwode   |   April 21, 2010

I went for a walk today. It's a walk I take often. Typically, I walk along the Detroit River from the Renaissance Center to the Rivard Plaza and back. Sometimes, I even walk the entire three-and-a-half-mile route each way along the riverfront....

Should Foundations Engage in Public Policy?

Should Foundations Engage in Public Policy?

Colleen Horton   |   April 7, 2010

While many foundations are asking this question, it may be the wrong question. Instead, they should be asking, "What policy work are we already engaged in and is there a more effective way for us to approach public policy?"...

Corporations Must Consider Haiti's Long-Term Needs

Corporations Must Consider Haiti's Long-Term Needs

Jane Madden   |   March 10, 2010

It has been two months since a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated the nation of Haiti, and the outpouring of corporate assistance for relief and recovery efforts there has been heartening....

Social Entrepreneurs: Friends or Foes?

Social Entrepreneurs: Friends or Foes?

Julie Chapman   |   February 8, 2010

Earlier this year, Lisa Novick and I launched a social entrepreneurial company together. Our online company provides tools and resources that help parents, schools, and community and faith groups promote volunteerism among young kids....

A Helpful Guide to Failure in Philanthropy. Use Carefully.

A Helpful Guide to Failure in Philanthropy. Use Carefully.

Larry Blumenthal   |   January 7, 2010

Recently, at a conference on building communities online, I was asked to discuss the biggest mistake I had made in social media. I was last in line on the panel so I had time to think, but I couldn't come up with anything other than sweat rings under my arms....

Social Media Can Open Door to Philanthropy's Future

Social Media Can Open Door to Philanthropy's Future

Larry Blumenthal   |   November 4, 2009

In retrospect, I'm not sure I would try this exercise again. A few months back, I began a workshop for staff from a variety of foundations by asking them to shout out all of their whiny, cry-baby excuses for not getting involved in social media....

Performance Measurement: Put a Stake in the Ground

Performance Measurement: Put a Stake in the Ground

Andrew Wolk   |   September 30, 2009

If you are a nonprofit leader operating in today's hardscrabble environment, you're undoubtedly spending an exceptional (and unacceptable) amount of time looking for support and fiercely competing for shrinking philanthropic dollars....

Where the Healthcare System Falters, Philanthropies Step In

Where the Healthcare System Falters, Philanthropies Step In

Stephen Weiner   |   September 15, 2009

While healthcare reform has been an on-and-off priority of the United States government for more than four decades, charitable organizations have worked diligently to provide for the unmet needs of many Americans who simply could not wait for change....