Archive for the ‘philanthropy’ Category

Western Style Philanthropy

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Michele Fugiel poses some great questions about the private quality of "western" style philanthropy.

Why do we separate how money is injected to non-profits and profits from a role that quite often elsewhere is closely associated with the priorities of the government?

Foundation resources are money that would otherwise be added to federal and state treasuries, money otherwise taxed and used for public benefit. For this reason alone, the public should know more about how foundations are managed. (mitpress looks into "deep diversity")

Is there room for change? Big ups to Pierre and Pam Omidyar for "unleashing human potential" (among the other most generous 49 philanthropists) and Jeff Skoll for initiating Social Edge.

Could an Amazon share algorithms with a Pandora? An Amazon branched with a Pandora couldn’t happen because Amazon is Amazon, however to think that there couldn’t be an Panazon is ridiculous. How can market data be shared to promote social entrepreneurialism?

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Knowing how the art business revolves one could go out on another limb and wonder why types of "museums" are the beginning and end recipients of "arts benefaction"… who’s in the middle you ask? Thousands if not millions of well-trained artists who do not know that they are artists…..

When given a theoretical $100 billion and asked how hea€™d spend it, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales offers the profound a€" and controversial a€" idea of distributing funds widely and letting people decide what they need on their own, even if ita€™s another Jack Daniels. via

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Mystery on Fifth Avenue

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THINGS are not as they seem in the 14th-floor apartment on upper Fifth Avenue. At first blush the family that occupies it looks to be very much of a type. The father, Steven B. Klinsky, 52, runs a private equity company; the mother, Maureen Sherry, 44, left her job as a managing director for Bear Stearns to raise their four young children (two boys and two girls); and the dog, LuLu, is a soulful Lab mix rescued from a pound in Louisiana.

They are living in a typical habitat for the sort of New Yorkers they appear to be: an enormous a€™20s-era co-op with Central Park views (once part of a triplex built for the philanthropist Marjorie Merriweather Post), gutted to its steel beams and refitted with luxurious flourishes like 16th-century Belgian mantelpieces and custom furniture made from exotic woods with unpronounceable names.

But some of that furniture and some of those walls conceal secrets a€" messages, games and treasures a€" that make up a Rube Goldberg maze of systems and contraptions conceived by a young architectural designer named Eric Clough, whose ideas about space and domestic living derive more from Buckminster Fuller than Peter Marino.

The apartment even comes with its own book, part of which is a fictional narrative that recalls a€oeThe Da Vinci Codea€A (without the funky religion or buckets of blood) and a€oeFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,a€A the childrena€™s classic by E. L. Konigsburg about a brother and a sister who run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and discover a€" and solve a€" a mystery surrounding a Renaissance sculpture. It has its own soundtrack, too, with contributions by Kate Fenner, a young Canadian singer and songwriter with a lusty, alternative, Joni Mitchell-ish sound, with whom Mr. Clough fell in love during the project. via

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Posted: July 16th, 2008
at 6:30am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,bling,music,art,home,games,architecture,design,real life news,boredom killer,philanthropy

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The Graffiti of the Philanthropic Class

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That’s what the New York Times, via an article today by theater critic Charles Isherwood, calls the various plaques and signs honoring philanthropists’ donations to cultural venues, schools, hospitals, charities, libraries, parks, museums, etc.

With his personal interest focused on performing arts, Isherwood concentrates primarily on the "naming" of theatrical venues; but the implications of his lede line: "WHATEVER happened to Anonymous?" include the many other instances in which benefactors are identified by name.

One can only wonder if the Times’s resentment of the practice might stem in some small part from the curious absence of the name Sulzberger on any local buildings or public facilities. Certainly, there are no hospital wings, university labs, concert halls, or charitable organizations widely known for affiliation with the Sulzbergers — even in the weekly Sunday Styles pages of the family’s own newspaper, a reader would be hard pressed to see any photo of Pinch or pAAre among the attendees at charity balls, galas, and fundraisers. Which makes it unlikley that he and his family are anonymous donors.

Indeed, as far as a quick mental review by this lifelong New Yorker extends, there is no recollection of any public involvement of the Sulzbergers — certainly one of the city’s premier business dynasties — in any philanthropic endeavors save one. That’s the Times’s annual "Neediest Cases" drive, in which readers are asked to donate money for which the Times later takes credit by turning the funds over to various organized charities.

In a city where names from Andrew Carnegie to more recent philanthropists like Weill, Rose, Paley, Tisch, and many others are firmly attached to the walls and canopies of so many public structures, would it be so terrible if the Times’s Isherwood stopped whining so loudly about the recognition given to public-spirited citizens and spent his energy entreating his boss to become one of them?

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Is Steven Seagal under siege?

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There are many facets to Steven Seagal - actor, musician, martial artist, philanthropist. I know this because I read it on his website. With so many good things going on in his life you’d think Seagal would be one of the happiest men alive and yet it seems there’s trouble in paradise. Steven is mad-vexed at the Feds for ruining his film career with accusations that he intimidated journalists and has links to organised crime. The Bureau has a history of waving its jurisdiction in the faces of ordinary Americans but messing with a legend? Sounds like they’ve gone too far this time.

It’s easy to sympathise with Seagal, as it is with any fading star. In his early 90s peak his movies could gross upwards of $150m and now he spends his time churning out straight-to-DVD clinkers (although, being the winner he is, he manages to excel at that too).

While he’s right that stories of links to organised crime and strong-arming of the press can make a studio twitchy, there has always been a bottom line in Hollywood - if people were clamouring to see his movies than the Feds couldn’t touch him. Threatening the media certainly never did Russell Crowe’s career any harm and hanging a photographer out of a hotel window didn’t stop Sean Penn winning an Oscar.

The sad truth is that the action movie genre has moved on since Seagal averted nuclear war in Under Siege. It is just possible that at 56, Seagal is too old for the action movie game. Those roundhouse kicks and smackdowns just don’t come as fluidly as they used to. He should not despair though. He’s got his music, his Peta activism and Steven’s Lightning Bolt (a drink which "promotes energy and vitality", fact fans). This is before I even mention his Reincarnation of the Treasure Revealer Chungdrag Dorje of Palyul Monastery.

It may very well be that Seagal is just a bit too classy, a bit too spiritual and a bit too philanthropic for the ugly materialistic ideals that prevail today. Either that or he’s a sociopathic thug who bullies journalists and makes unwatchable movies. I really can’t make up my mind. Help me out here. Who is the real Steven Seagal? via

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Posted: April 14th, 2008
at 9:00am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: hood status,myninjaplease,life,celebrity,film,mnp is for the children,real life news,9th dan,philanthropy

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Grantwriting Jargon

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capacity-building — This is a particular category of grant, where the non-profit seeks funding which will expand their reach or make them more self-sustaining. One example of a capacity-building grant is obtaining funds for a development person who can raise money from other sources and move the organization toward being self-sustaining.

sustainability — Once you get started, how will you continue this project or program? Will you be dependent on the funder for some time into the future? This is an important consideration for foundations in particular. Foundations in particular seem to be averse to funding operational costs of existing programs, preferring to fund new projects or provide seed money. One of our guest speakers characterized this as a subject of growing debate in the philanthropic community, and it’s possible that they may be more open to funding operational concerns in the future. Government grants and corporate sponsorship don’t seem as averse to this type of funding.

cost-sharing — A popular term, if you can use it. Basically it means that someone else is putting up some of the money, and thus the foundation gets more bang for their buck.

dissemination — How you will share the project with others. Will an article be published in the New York Times? Will you present results at conferences? Historically, this is of particular concern to agencies that fund basic research, but over time this is also more of a concern for foundations.

leverage — Another popular term, if applicable. Will foundation money enable you to better use existing resources?

cultivation — the process of forming the very particular type of professional relationship between funder and fundee. As described in the course, this seems like a truly complicated art. Our instructor emphasized the need to be "non-cheesy" — slick, stereotypical salesmen types will lose out to genuine but strategic human beings in this business. Funding agencies prefer projects which are both aspirational and realistic.

stewardship — the process of taking care of a grant and its funder after the grant is made. Thank-you notes, progress reports, and invitations to view the results of the work are all appropriate. Getting a grant from a funder more than once is impossible without this.

more words at connect.educause

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Posted: November 7th, 2007
at 11:33am by Koookiecrumbles


Categories: bling,business,weaponry,philanthropy

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