Immigration Reform is About Empowerment

May 22, 2013

By Catherine Eusebio Kathy is an undocumented Thai-Chinese immigrant from Arizona. She wrote to me about her lifetime of isolation. The label “illegal” made her feel unwelcome despite living in the U.S. since childhood. And while her state is infamous for its antagonistic treatment of immigrants, Kathy did not know a single undocumented person in […]

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Beyond Grantmaking: Program-Related Investing and Modern Philanthropy

October 31, 2012

New Treasury regulations on program-related investments (PRIs) are generating renewed interest among private foundations seeking a more market-based way to further their charitable purposes.  PRIs are an exception to the excise tax on jeopardizing investments, allowing private foundations to serve as venture capitalists, business incubators, and “social entrepreneurs” in furtherance of their exempt purposes. The […]

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A Side Order of Philanthropy

June 6, 2012

What happens when you bring a group of friends together for food or drinks and add a side dish of philanthropy?  You build communities at the grassroots level and from there the possibilities are endless. In the last decade, giving circles have sprouted up across the nation among donors of all backgrounds and income levels.  […]

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Family Values Influence Philanthropy

February 22, 2012

I just returned from the Council on Foundations Family Philanthropy Conference in Miami, a three-day event focused on education, the arts, impact investing, advocacy and family dynamics.  Amidst all of that great discussion, I was struck again by the importance of communicating family legacy.   A family’s beliefs, behaviors and messages are carried down through generations, […]

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Keep Your Hands Off of Fiscal Sponsorship's Third Rail

February 17, 2012

As the recent debacle at International Humanities Center clearly shows, there’s a right way and a wrong way to provide fiscal sponsorship services to groups getting new civic and social ventures up and running.  IHC appears to have overlooked the fact that there’s a published set of recommended best practices to guide fiscal sponsors.  If […]

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Family Philanthropy

January 18, 2012

Being civically and financially responsible are habits formed in youth that last a lifetime. Why is it so important to instill these values in our children? How can we encourage generosity and civic-mindedness within families and kids? As discussed in the Giving in L.A. blog during the holidays, giving is multiplied when you do it […]

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A New Way of Doing Business

January 11, 2012

Last week, California became the seventh state to adopt a law allowing companies to legally structure their social and environmental efforts as part of their missions, and so put these efforts on par with profit making goals for the company and its shareholders. The idea for “benefit corporations,” as they’re called, isn’t new – this […]

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Funding for Affordable Homes Vanishes with Redevelopment Agencies

January 4, 2012

Last week, the California Supreme Court ruled to abolish redevelopment agencies and with them the largest single state source of funding for affordable housing in California. The loss of about $1 billion annually for affordable housing will drastically increase the number of people living on the streets and in overcrowded or substandard conditions in California.

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What pushes us to give?

December 30, 2011

American Public Media’s Marketplace does a series on philanthropy every year around the holidays.  This year, Kai Ryssdal interviews Dean Karlan, professor of Economics at Yale, to talk about giving – why people do it and the state of giving in general.  Do people give for tax benefits or sincere altruism? How much (or little) […]

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Looking Back on 2011

December 28, 2011

We are about to usher in 2012, so let’s try to take stock of the last 12 months. Let’s recall both our blessings and our misfortunes to remind us of what we learned and what we still need to do. 2011 was a roller coaster. I will dispense with all of the hackneyed weather analogies […]

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