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.

Modern Philanthropy: The Challenge of Effectiveness

Modern Philanthropy: The Challenge of Effectiveness

Maxwell King   |   May 18, 2007

One hundred years ago, Andrew Carnegie famously declared that a person who died rich, died disgraced. Then he proceeded to change the nature of philanthropy in America and the Western world....

Beyond Optimism: Success in Our Lifetime

Beyond Optimism: Success in Our Lifetime

William C. Bell   |   May 11, 2007

If asked, most of us in the human services field would likely suggest that we are optimists. It is hard to imagine any of us dedicating our professional careers to improving child and family outcomes if we thought the situation was hopeless....

Crumbs for Children?

Crumbs for Children?

C. Eugene Steuerle   |   April 20, 2007

Kids are a priority in almost every family's budget. From the moment we hold our newborns in our arms, feeding, clothing, housing, and educating them trumps everything else. But in the federal budget, the reverse is true....

Helping Indigenous Peoples Benefit From Philanthropy

Helping Indigenous Peoples Benefit From Philanthropy

Rebecca Adamson   |   March 27, 2007

Indigenous Peoples have a combined population that is greater than that of the entire United States and live in more than ninety countries, yet they are invisible to most of the developed world....

On the Road to an Aging America

On the Road to an Aging America

Robin Talbert   |   March 16, 2007

We've arrived in the twenty-first century living longer, healthier lives than ever before, which is cause for celebration. It means we've put science and technology to good use....

It's Time to Reassess Venture Philanthropy 2.0

It's Time to Reassess Venture Philanthropy 2.0

Susan Herr   |   February 28, 2007

During the heady days of the Internet Revolution, venture philanthropy became a darling of the business press. Pierre Omidyar was lauded on the cover of Forbes  and Christine Letts was keynoting corporate CEO gatherings across the country....

America's Growing Poverty Crisis Must Become a National Priority

America's Growing Poverty Crisis Must Become a National Priority

Larry Snyder   |   January 25, 2007

The promise of America has been that if you work hard, you can provide a better life for yourself and your family. Unfortunately, too many people in this country are working hard but falling further behind with the dream of a better tomorrow deferred....

Nonprofits at the Nexus of Free Speech and Public Policy

Nonprofits at the Nexus of Free Speech and Public Policy

Tiziana Dearing   |   December 21, 2006

With Election Day 2006 now history and the future fraught with possibility, it's time for nonprofits and foundations to consider their position with respect to the nexus of free speech, public policy, and tax-exempt status....

Framing Foundations' Future in the 110th Congress

Framing Foundations' Future in the 110th Congress

Steve Gunderson   |   November 29, 2006

If one word can define the new Congress's attitude toward our sector it is "partnership." When Congressman Becerra spoke to the Community Foundations Conference in Boston earlier this fall, he conveyed the message that legislators will help philanthropy grow if...

Grantmakers, Nonprofit Boards Can Help Prevent Executive Burnout

Grantmakers, Nonprofit Boards Can Help Prevent Executive Burnout

Julie Rogers   |   November 9, 2006

Even under the best circumstances, serving as the executive director of a nonprofit organization is a challenge. Executive directors are expected to have programmatic expertise, fundraising skills, and financial acumen....

What Recent Tax Law Reforms Mean for Art Donors

What Recent Tax Law Reforms Mean for Art Donors

Bill Fleming   |   October 25, 2006

Over the past several years, Congress has grown increasingly concerned about "loopholes" in charitable contribution deductions. These concerns have been fueled, in part, by IRS audit results and articles in the mainstream press....

Corporate Funders Should Entrust Arts Funding to Their Employees

Corporate Funders Should Entrust Arts Funding to Their Employees

Mary Pickard   |   October 18, 2006

Corporate philanthropy serves shareholders, employees, customers, and communities. Supporting the cultural heritage of the company's hometown and embracing the way in which one's community is changing are key to building goodwill....