The false dichotomy of policy vs. charity

Tax incentives for charity, government contracts to nonprofit organizations, and centuries of vibrant civil society embedded within American history render any sharp dichotomy between policy and charity erroneous.… MORE >>

Can Bloomberg get the New York Times, at any price?

Michael Bloomberg shocked many late last year when he reclaimed the reins of power at Bloomberg L.P., the $8 billion media and financial software corporation he helped create in 1981.… MORE >>

The “restlessness of Americans” and civil society

A generation ago, a regular pleasure of childhood was the chance to explore your neighborhood by yourself or with your buddies. No longer so! It’s so exceptional to let kids wander on their own that a ten-year-old brother and his six-year-old sister walking home from a local park were stopped by police.… MORE >>

Charity and churlishness under the Golden Arches

People are suspicious of clowns. This distrust seems to be rooted in a perceived lack of sincerity—always smiling, always funny, always ready to entertain, the clown can’t really be what he so visibly presents himself as.… MORE >>

404 IRS data not found

Last week, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported on a U.S. District Court hearing in San Francisco regarding access to IRS Form 990’s public data. Although reading the minutiae of the case has a soporific effect, the expected ruling’s sunlight is sure to awaken more than just GuideStar’s webmaster.… MORE >>

Fig-leaf philanthropy and the costume of chaste concern

A few weeks ago I wrote about a problem that arises when generosity is kept neatly and conveniently aloof from the means that make generosity possible.… MORE >>

Restore Thrift Week!

Thrift is a peculiarly American virtue—or, to be more precise, thinking of thrift as a virtue rather than just a practical necessity is peculiarly American. We can see this in the conspicuous place that Benjamin Franklin assigns to thrift and frugality in the list of thirteen virtues that Franklin commends to his fellow Americans in his Autobiography.… MORE >>

The wrong reasons for ending the charitable tax deduction

Fran Quigley’s recent Commonweal article on philanthropy in America has created a minor buzz since its publication last week. Philanthropy Daily’s own Alex Podkul has already responded in part, indicating a number of practical shortcomings in Quigley’s argument.… MORE >>

Banning jobs for the poor

Lots of nonprofits “advocate” for the poor, the underpaid and unemployed. They would surely voice their outrage if a lawmaker stood up and said, “It should be illegal to hire the poor!” How odd, then, that many of the poor’s self-proclaimed advocates have in fact worked and advocated so hard to make it illegal to hire large numbers of those who most need jobs.… MORE >>

Beneficence: Public or private?

Ending the charitable tax deductions present in the U.S. tax code would drastically alter the contours of today’s ever-growing nonprofit industry. Considering the nonprofit sector accounts for 5.5 percent of GDP and nearly 10 percent of all wages and salaries paid in the United States, a structural change such as ending charitable tax deductions would have significant consequences to both donors and recipients of charitable giving.… MORE >>
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