Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sex, Drugs and . . . Philanthropy?!?

It's hard to figure out what exactly is going on in philanthropy... the series of articles below illuminated some issues, but clouded others.

This first one struck me as so remarkable... that I am clearly not seeing the man behind the curtain. Where is his pointy little head, poking his beady eyes out from the foundation's ivory tower?

Give and Take: Foundations Seeking Outside Ideas. Every grant writer plays armchair quarterback when it comes to having an opinion on what foundations should do with their money.... this is your chance to tell them!

Perhaps I am just overly pessimistic. After all...

Philanthropy Today: Charity Comes Naturally to Humans, Some Studies Find: Neuroscientists studying human empathy, altruism, and morality often find that doing good is hard-wired into the brain — and is an action that often produces pleasure, reports The Washington Post.

Perhaps that is why . . .

Philanthropy Today: Most Wealthy Americans to Spend Money on Charity This Summer: Many wealthy people plan to give to charity this summer, according to a new study whose results were summarized by The Wall Street Journal.

Of course, when digging into the story below this headline, we see that...

"The study of 198 people with a net worth of $10-million or more shows that 98 percent of them plan to donate an average of $82,000 to charity this summer. Those same people also plan to spend $384,000 on yacht charters, $56,000 on entertaining, and $24,000 on wine for entertainment."

Hmmm... perhaps this is why so few include charity in their wills.

Philanthropy Today: Most Rich Americans Don't Attach Strings to Wills: "Only 30 percent of wealthy Americans who leave money to heirs include any stipulations about the inheritance, a new survey has found, reports the Financial Times....Of those who do include restrictions, 16 percent have identified funds to be used for specific charitable donations."

I wonder... could there be a tie to....

Philanthropy Today: Food Banks Struggle to Get Donated Groceries: Food banks across the country are receiving fewer food donations as food manufacturers become more efficient and have less surplus to distribute, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Perhaps there is no need for philanthropy... just effective design and efficient prices.
Philanthropy Today: Museum Showcases Cheap Design for the World's Poor

(I promise, the fact that all these articles came from the Chronicle of Philanthropy is not intentional.... Peter Panapento is just totally on top of his game over there. No kickbacks are coming my way, I promise. Of course, if Peter is reading this, I will happily send him my mailing address for any check that he feels is appropriate).