Unreliable trafficking statistics leave fundamental questions unanswered

Surf to the site of the Walk Free Foundation, created by Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest, and you’ll learn that slavery is one of the great evils of our time.… MORE >>

Charity vs. philanthropy: an age-old battle

It’s one of the oldest questions in the history of philanthropy. What’s the best way to help the poor? Is it through charity—giving cash directly—or through philanthropy, programs designed to give poor people the skills they need to advance in life?… MORE >>

Democracy, Philanthropy, and School Reform

Reforming public education is hard—really hard. Dale Russakoff details the challenges in The Prize: Who’s In Charge of America’s Schools, her justly acclaimed examination of what went awry when Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Governor Chris Christy, and Facebook founder and philanthropist Mark Zuckerberg came together to attempt “transformation” reform of Newark’s dismal public school system.… MORE >>

Big-Scale Philanthropy, Small-Scale Philanthropy, and The New York Times

This past Sunday’s New York Times included a special section titled “Giving” that showcases a certain elite view of philanthropy as a big-scale, progressive enterprise. The front page says it all: No more small ball: Now the big foundations are going for systemic change, taking on hot-button (and progressive) issues like inequality, injustice and global warming.… MORE >>

More bipartisanship, exemplified by criminal justice reform, badly needed

As a Baby Boomer, I’ve been around for a while. I remember in eighth grade how Mr. Futtrell had a paddle, which was inscribed “Board of Education.” I don’t believe that Mr.… MORE >>

New and globally imposed (but not too improved) cookstoves

Wooster’s First Law of Poverty-Fighting is, “listen to the poor and give them what they want, not what you think they need.” It’s a constant of philanthropic history that well-meaning do-gooders have gone into the field in Detroit, Dhaka, or Darfur, armed with the answers, laboriously acquired at great expense in New Haven, London, or Turtle Bay, only to be frustrated when poor people don’t do what the experts say they need to do because they have their own preferences about how to succeed in life.… MORE >>

The Challenges of Helping Our Brightest Students

Last week brought headlines that new results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show U.S. students losing ground in reading and mathematics. Average scores in mathematics fell, while average scores in reading fell for eighth-graders and held level for fourth graders.… MORE >>

A sign of hope amid the decline of clubs

Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam made his reputation with his 2000 book Bowling Alone, which famously noted that fewer people were joining clubs and civic associations than they once did.… MORE >>

Behavioralists: scientists convinced by non-replicable evidence

One of the many projects that foundations like to spend money on is coming up with new ideas for altering people’s behavior. This is increasingly true as the left has had a crisis of confidence, retreating from socialism as the goal to running “nudge” programs that will convince people to admire government.… MORE >>

Bill Moyers responds to Martin Morse Wooster

[Editor’s note: Below is the response from Mr. Bill Moyers to Mr. Martin Morse Wooster’s article, in which Mr. Wooster criticized Mr. Moyers for a lack of transparency.… MORE >>
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