Category: People & Projects

Helping the poor by feeding the rich

Suppose you run a restaurant that many food and wine magazines rate the world’s best, a place where you have to wait six months for a table.… MORE >>

Digital natives and their toys

Sarah Fallon writes in the current issue of Wired about how her two young sons navigate their identities as digital natives. One of her boys, age seven, plays with a obsolete but functional digital camera; the other, age three, does so with a brightly-colored, whizzing and beeping toy version of the same.… MORE >>

International aid groups and Haitian coffee farmers: why the best way to help the poor is to listen

Ian Williams, in his history of rum, explains that in the 1980’s there were only two businesses in Haiti that were productive. One was the Barbancourt rum distillery, which produces some of the world’s great rums.… MORE >>

Does the Inequality Paradigm Measure Up?

Ford Foundation president Darren Walker wrote last year about the need for a “new gospel of wealth,” nodding in the direction of Andrew Carnegie’s famous 1889 treatise that has for its part so shaped the modern philanthropic establishment.… MORE >>

MJ makes another major donation

A follow-up to an issue I covered in this publication a few weeks back: On Wednesday the Smithsonian Institution announced that it had received a $5 million gift from basketball legend Michael Jordan to support the fledgling National Museum of African-American History and Culture. … MORE >>

Trouble in Paradise: Dede Wilsey and the fate of the Fine Arts Museums

The New York Times reports on Diane Wilsey, the embattled chief of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco board who, after twenty years at the heart of the City by the Bay’s cultural-philanthropic nexus, is facing open revolt.… MORE >>

Conservative donors focus on economic inequality

At their semi-annual gathering, Charles Koch and his network of conservative philanthropists focus on economic mobility: “Koch said one of the network’s top priorities is providing equality of opportunity for those who feel left behind, adding that the organization was intensifying its investments to support communities, schools and the family structure. … MORE >>

A Lesson on Philanthropy from 1908

Late last year the idiosyncratic literary journal Lapham’s Quarterly published an exchange of letters from 1908 between then-president Theodore Roosevelt and philanthropist William Kent. TR was writing to thank Kent for his recent donation of some three hundred acres of land to the federal government, land that would become the Muir Woods National Monument.… MORE >>

Objectivism going strong

Despite Ayn Rand’s dim view of charity, her work and ideas receive generous funding: “Today, with record infusions of philanthropic cash—and amid a surge in the closely related ideology of libertarianism—objectivism is going strong…  While she didn’t oppose charity outright, Rand’s worldview denounces altruism as a primary virtue.… MORE >>

Leaving with a bang, not a whimper

Amid scandals, San Francisco’s “Philanthropy Queen” Dede Wilsey leaves her post as head of the Fine Arts Museum in yet another example of bad board governance: “… even as Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, toasted Ms.… MORE >>

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