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.

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....

Make a Socially Responsible Investment in Young Black Men

Make a Socially Responsible Investment in Young Black Men

Cedric Brown   |   August 14, 2009

Although young black men in our communities have tremendous potential, too often that potential is not being recognized or maximized. So we decided to do something: We launched an effort to invest in the phenomenal minds that exist in our communities....

A Philanthropist Reviews 'The Philanthropist'

A Philanthropist Reviews 'The Philanthropist'

Diana Campoamor   |   July 31, 2009

I'm determined to give NBC's new show, The Philanthropist,a fair chance. Sure, I've seen the first episodes. Did it perfectly reflect the reality of the majority of the philanthropists we represent or work with? Probably not....

The Changing Role of Philanthropy and Aging

The Changing Role of Philanthropy and Aging

J. Barry Griswell   |   July 15, 2009

An estimated 77 million Americans are part of the "baby boom" generation. We are in our late fifties and early sixties, thinking about retirement but not wanting to retire from a life with purpose. We face a choice between "aging" and "saging"....

Challenge to Our Workforce: Young Adults and Low Literacy

Challenge to Our Workforce: Young Adults and Low Literacy

Peter Kleinbard   |   July 7, 2009

Nearly 70 percent of youth who drop out of school have poor literacy and other core skills. Indeed, this is the primary reason why they leave school. Yet most funding for dropouts is targeted to those who are most job ready.... 

Students Face Uncertainty After Graduation

Students Face Uncertainty After Graduation

Stacie Spector   |   June 5, 2009

As state funds for education continue to decline, public universities and community colleges increasingly must rely on supplemental funding....