May 6, 2011

Showtime’s The Big C soundtrack fundraiser for Stand Up To Cancer

Posted in Philanthropy at 8:33 pm by philanthropynews

Showtime and Epic Records join forces with Sony Pictures Television to Stand Up to Cancer and will release the soundtrack for “The Big C” on June 7th.

“The Big C” soundtrack is the ultimate collection of songs from and inspired by the ground-breaking series. The series stars Laura Linney in her Golden Globe Award-winning role as Cathy Jamison, a reserved suburban wife/mother/teacher whose cancer diagnosis forces her to shake up her life and find hope, humor and the light side of a dark situation. Oliver Platt stars as her immature but well-meaning husband, Gabriel Basso as her bratty teenaged son and John Benjamin Hickey as her mentally imbalanced brother. Special guest stars include Gabourey Sidibe as Cathy’s student and Cynthia Nixon as her flaky, long-lost friend.

(Read more via Monsters and Critics.)

May 2, 2011

Newsday Charities Awards Family Service League $90,000 Grant

Posted in Philanthropy at 8:28 pm by philanthropynews

Newsday Charities, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, has generously awarded Family Service League a $90,000 grant in support of two of its vital programs.

Part of the $90,000 grant from one of Family Service League’s most generous supporters will help fund the organization’s camp program which provides a summer camp experience to children from low-income families.

Funded entirely through private, foundation, and corporate donations, the camp program allows children to be able to experience numerous adventures and learning experiences they would not otherwise encounter. Summer camp provides opportunities for these children to swim, play sports, learn new skills, sleep away from home, study nature, make new friends, and much more.

(Read more via PNN Online.)

April 29, 2011

Beyond Financial Oversight: Expanding the Board’s Role in the Pursuit of Sustainability

Posted in Philanthropy at 8:26 pm by philanthropynews

Throughout the ten years prior to the recession, it seemed that whenever anyone talked about boards and finances in the same sentence they were making a point about accountability. They were warning us that our Form 990s were now on GuideStar, so we’d better make sure that our boards were reading them. They were telling us to have an audit committee and a “Conflict of Interest” policy. They were telling us that we should study Sarbanes-Oxley and apply whatever we could to our own boards. They were making constant reference to a handful of nonprofit fraud cases, suggesting that this was what awaited us if our boards did not get very serious about oversight and accountability.

(Read more via The Non-profit Quarterly.)

April 25, 2011

Transparency as a Tool in Vetting Good Nonprofit Work

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:31 pm by philanthropynews

In the wake of the fallout from last week’s “60 Minutes” investigation into Greg Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute, nonprofit watchers are more closely examining sector spending. Reporter D.K. Row of The Oregonian, which has a nonprofit newsbeat, interviewed two well respected international development and relief nonprofits based in the Pacific Northwest – Mercy Corps and Medical Teams International – about their operations.

While the two programs differ in how they spend and report use of funds, both model financial transparency far beyond federal and state reporting requirements. Because of that, potential donors can clearly see how spending patterns align with mission and program focus.

(Read more via The Nonprofit Quarterly.)

April 22, 2011

High Point millions: two approaches to philanthropy

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:16 pm by philanthropynews

N.C. State announced today it will dedicate the $72 million Randall B. Terry, Jr., Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center on May 6.

It’s named for the late High Point Enterprise publisher and furniture showroom owner whose charitable foundation made a gift of $20 million per Terry’s wishes.

By coincidence, we have another story today about High Point benefactors of higher education: “4 families give $10 million each to High Point University.”

I’ve written a number of times here about Terry’s foundation. At last report, it had market value exceeding $120 million — greater than Greensboro’s Joseph M. Bryan Foundation. Yet its primary contributions — millions each year — go to the vet school at State and to Woodberry Forest, a private prep school for boys in Virginia. Rarely, if ever, does any spare change fall to a worthy cause in High Point, where Terry accumulated all his wealth.

Terry, who was not married at the time of his 2004 death and had no children, kept several golden retrievers.

(Read more via News Record.)

April 18, 2011

Concerns that well-meaning non-profits could make situation in Japan worse

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:10 pm by philanthropynews

The scenes from Japan are almost unbearable to watch. More than 450,000 homeless. Shortages of gas and food. A crippled nuclear facility that seems to grow more unstable by the day.

It’s the type of calamity that makes you want to send a check to a relief organization. But philanthropic experts say there are more effective ways to spend your charitable dollars. And there are concerns that well-meaning nonprofits could make the situation in Japan even worse.

Through March, U.S. charities had raised $87 million for relief efforts, far less than the $210 million raised in the six days after an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

(Read more via USA Today.)

April 13, 2011

Smart Money Kids / Sowing seeds of philanthropy

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:11 pm by philanthropynews

While April usually means showers to you, it’s a good time for those in financial literacy — it’s Financial Literacy Month. And an important component of teaching our kids financial literacy is introducing them to philanthropy.

A reader came to me a few weeks ago and asked about the topic.

“Tom, we are giving allowance to our children so that they can have money in their pocket to practice,” he said. “What is the best way to take that portion of that allowance our son is saving and give it away in the most effective manner?”

Here’s an option. Take a look at the website

This organization was created by Charles Best, a teacher at a high school in the Bronx, in response to a scarcity of learning materials in the school. Donors Choose aims to connect people whose schools lack necessary materials with charitable-minded individuals who want to ensure that their contributions are directed to classrooms in need.

(Read more via Westport News.)

April 11, 2011

Collaboration: More Than a Buzzword In the Nonprofit Sector

Posted in Philanthropy at 3:07 pm by philanthropynews

As a tangible sign of the new importance of collaboration within the nonprofit sector, on Monday the Lodestar Foundation named the Adoption Coalition of Texas the 2011 winner of the $162,500 Collaboration Prize. This year nonprofit organizations nationwide submitted a record-breaking 807 applications for the competition, which a selection panel of foundation leaders then narrowed down a pool of eight finalists, all of whom will receive $12,500.

Equipped with a $63,000 planning grant from the Austin Community Foundation in 2003, a group of representatives from five nonprofit child-serving agencies and the Texas Department of Child Services came together to share their resources and to figure out a way to increase the overall number of adoptions from the state’s foster care system.

(Read more via The Nonprofit Quarterly.)

April 8, 2011

Progress! Two Maryland Anti-Trafficking Bills Head to Governer, More Advocacy Still Needed

Posted in Philanthropy at 2:40 pm by philanthropynews

Great headway is being made in the fight against human trafficking in Maryland. Two important bills, which provide funding for education on human trafficking and investigations of the crimes, have passed both the House and Senate and are now headed to the Governor’s desk for signatures. However, three critical bills remain in need of support. Will you join the over 26,000 members fighting for an end to human trafficking in Maryland?

The two bills in most critical need of support are HB418/SB247, which would allow Maryland to seize the ill-gotten profits (asset forfeiture) of human trafficking to help victims and HB1304, which would post the National Human Trafficking Hotline in truck stops and rest areas around the state. Both bills must move forward by Monday, April 11 at midnight.

The Asset Forfeiture bill (HB418/SB247) has passed the Senate and is awaiting a vote in the House Judiciary Committee. However Chairman Vallario of the House Judiciary Committee has indicated he might not bring the bill to a vote at all. You can ask him to bring this bill up for a favorable vote by calling 800-492-7122, ext. 3488 or 410- 841-3488 or 301-858-3488.

(Read more via

April 4, 2011

Restore’s Freedom Campaign: Long-Term Aftercare for NYC Trafficking Victims

Posted in Philanthropy at 2:38 pm by philanthropynews

New York City, one of the world’s human trafficking hubs, has no long-term aftercare facilities for international trafficking victims. This despite it’s 2007 Anti-Human Trafficking Law, hailed as one of the toughest in any state, which outlines the need for victim services. Fortunately, Restore NYC, a non-profit organization and part of the mayor’s anti-trafficking task force, is going to change that.

Restore provides case management and specialized legal, medical, and employment services for victims. New York’s two major women’s shelters offer help to trafficking survivors, but do not focus on providing any sort of long-term care. Sanctuary for Families offers “intensive legal, counseling and psychiatric support to victims of this horrific form of modern-day slavery, while doing extensive outreach and trainings.” Safe Horizon has a trafficking hotline and offers education as well. Neither are equipped to offer the kind of aftercare victims of human trafficking desperately need.

As blogger Amanda Kloer pointed out, many trafficking victims have a greater need for safety and emotional and mental rehabilitation than the average domestic violence survivor. Traffickers, AKA “extremely dangerous, gun-toting criminals,” don’t take kindly to losing their lucrative human property and can head straight for domestic violence shelters to reclaim their victims. Not to mention that most international victims don’t speak English, don’t have job skills, have no idea how to care for themselves in America, and no way to protect themselves if they’re sent back home.

(Read more via

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