Back to the Future (Nov 07)

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Sometimes this author feels as though he is channeling Marty McFly, traveling back in time to understand the future of the nonprofit sector. You all remember Back to the Future, don’t you? The stories in this issue of CR feel like they were encountered in the DeLorean time machine of mad scientist Dr. Brown.

News of the Day

This month, the Senate Finance Committee took a look at the dubious “nonprofitness” of some nonprofit hospitals and found a few lacking and a few more reflexively defensive. It made us recall nonprofit hospitals we’ve known and how they treated-or failed to treat-poor people. We offer a few comments on the topic as the Cohen Report’s regular commentary on the news of the day.

Corporate Agenda

Then there was the reemergence of Hank Greenberg, whom we’ve covered in past Cohen Reports regarding his use of foundations to advance both personal and corporate agendas. This blending of agendas is back again, described in our regular commentary on corporate issues.

Politicians, Candidates, and Their Nonprofits

Who would have expected Alan Keyes, a contender in the Republican presidential primaries of 2000 and the Illinois senatorial opponent of Barack Obama in 2004, to become fodder for the Cohen Report’s regular nonpartisan coverage of the nonprofit connections of presidential candidates? Alan Keyes is back, he’s in presidential candidate forums and debates, he’s on a couple of primary ballots, and he’s tied to some suspicious nonprofits, particularly the nightmare known as the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and its financially dubious anti-immigrant work.

Philanthropy

Months past, we noted that foundations were somewhat deficient in their attention to workforce development issues. Word comes from a Council on Foundations press conference about foundations anteing up to help people connect to the labor force in productive ways. Our usual spot of commentary on foundations offers plaudits and questions to the funders so engaged.

Nonprofits and foundations, nonprofits and corporations, nonprofits and politicians, and nonprofits and current events: that’s the work of the Cohen Report. Tell us which nonprofit issues are on your mind. Your ideas give us stuff to do.