Category: Opinion

Cart before the horse (or car, in this case)

Quebec judge refused to hear case of woman who wouldn’t remove her hijab; now a crowdfunding effort on her behalf illustrates the “mixed blessing of flash philanthropy”.… MORE >>

“Do churches fail the poor?”

Ross Douthat looks at recent criticisms from Barack Obama and social scientist Robert Putnam, who claim churches are too wrapped up in the culture war. “Last week two prominent Americans — an eminent social scientist and the president of the United States — decided to answer the question: How have America’s churches failed the poor?… MORE >>

Donors proceed with caution in VA

Columnist (and Sweet Briar alumna) urges caution giving to Virginia nonprofits, noting that donor-rights issues surrounding college closing leave some chastened. “Making charitable donations to tax-exempt organizations in the Commonwealth of Virginia could actually be risky.… MORE >>

Donor-advised funds to Nepal’s rescue

Howard Husock discusses how donor-advised funds are “boon to philanthropy”– in recent Nepalese disaster they allowed nonprofits to spring into action. “In the days immediately after Americans learned of the devastating earthquake in Nepal, they began to send millions of dollars in donations to organizations prepared to put disaster-relief boots on the ground in that historic Himalayan kingdom….… MORE >>

We won’t have NFL to kick around anymore

In the Atlantic, Joe Pinsker speculates on one reason the NFL discarded its nonprofit status: Now the public has “one less thing to criticize” them for.… MORE >>

Bad new trend

As Rick Cohen notes, “pay-to-play” philanthropy can easily turn dangerous, as last week’s Tulsa shooting of an unarmed man by police donor demonstrates. “The horrific news of the week was the incident from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a 73-year-old reserve deputy shot and killed an unarmed black man.… MORE >>

“I suspect my motives”

Columnist says he hesitates giving to charity in part because it makes him “uncomfortable”; its inherent “selfishness” is about making the giver feel better about himself.… MORE >>

Perennial question

Columnist asks perennial question, “Do the poor give more than the rich?”; notes how studies show less wealthy give at higher ratio (and usually don’t even get a tax deduction).… MORE >>

“Poverty & hunger aren’t Jeopardy categories”

No one needs the competitions currently proposed as philanthropic “Shark Tanks,” because they ultimately demean seriousness behind charity. “It was hard to believe it when the Council on Foundations announced last week that it was inviting nonprofits to join in a competition at its annual conference next month where groups would publicly suggest their best ideas to win $40,000 for a project to jump-start the economy, nationally or locally….Has organized philanthropy jumped the shark?… MORE >>

Naming rights (and naming wrongs)

The case of Lincoln Center and David Geffen (and scrubbing off the name of an original donor) highlights old debate between the 3 schools of giving.… MORE >>

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