• Michal Nortness

    I know next to nothing about the other giving organizations mentioned, but I would add that United Way seems to be declining (especially in rural areas like the one in which I run a small, struggling literacy coucncil.) due to the cost of their money in admin. costs, staff time for reporting and writing proposals, ‘command performances’ at every event UW has, and a bullying attitude toward its ‘member agencies’. really frustrating. maddening, in fact.

  • stacy palmer

    Thanks Ruth and Jim for all the attention you provided to the release of The Chronicle’s Philanthropy 400 rankings.

    To clarify questions that have been raised about our approach: For the past 26 years, we have ranked all 501(c)(3) charities that solicit the public by the amount they raise from private sources. Our goal has always been to help charity officials — and indeed all Americans — better understand how very different types of organizations – Harvard, Feeding America, the Nature Conservancy, compare. Th corporate-sponsored donor-advised funds like Fidelity and Schwab are now part of that world – with
    their designation as charitable entities that raise money from the individuals, just like the other organizations on our list.

    It’s this diversity of fundraising organizations that makes our rankings so valuable; readers can see
    changes in the makeup of who’s garnering the most donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations. There’s plenty of room to discuss whether these changes are good or bad for philanthropy and society — so thank you for promoting this discussion among NPQ readers and you can see the same kinds of questions being debated among philanthropy.com readers. And you can find out more about The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s methodology at https://www.philanthropy.com/article/How-the-2016-Philanthropy-400/238166

    — Stacy Palmer, Editor, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

  • Rob Mitchell

    I’ve invited to debate Al Cantor, Ray Madoff, Bob Hartsook, or any other opponent of Donor Advised Funds, at any venue, at any time, and with any moderator on the subject of the contribution of DAFs. So far, none have responded because they have no data to support their position. The offer is still open.

    • Actually, Rob, as you may recall I participated in a debate on the subject on your web radio show, I believe last November. That is: I debated you on your very own show, about a year ago. Either you have a very short memory, or I didn’t make much of an impression.

      I have also debated the subject publicly with Eugene Steurle of the Urban Institute at the International Conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Conference in Baltimore in March 2015; with Howard Husock of the Manhattan Institute at a CASE conference in NYC in June 2015; and with Joanne Florino of the Philanthropy Roundtable and Attorney Victoria Bjorklund at the October 2015 Donor-Advised Fund Conference in Washington DC sponsored by the Boston College Law School’s Forum on Philanthropy and the Public Good. (I was joined on my side by Professor Roger Colinvaux of Catholic University.)

      I can promise you that I haven’t been playing hard to get. But I will add that, though Eugene, Howard, Joanne, and Victoria offered strongly contrasting opinions to my own on the subject, they were utterly respectful of my point of view. Our debates were very civil. They didn’t accuse me of not having data to support my opinions. They simply chose to interpret the data differently, to introduce other evidence, and to emphasize different aspects of the argument. By contrast, your dismissive tone — here and elsewhere — is not one that would encourage an open and respectful debate.

  • Paul Guba

    I suspected that was the case Alan. Living in New Jersey there are several 501(c)(3) charities run by hedge fund managers and investment lawyers. They seem more concerned with retaining assets they distributing them. This came to my attention when several of these ran large donation campaigns after Super Storm Sandy and didn’t immediately distribute funds to those in need. All the while holding 100’s of millions in reserve. The cultural vision is still one of accumulation and retention of assets.