May 25, 2015

The Cohen Report

Political Grandstanding Overwhelms Reason at Judiciary Committee Hearing on Policing

RacismNine months after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and more than three years after the killing of Trayvon Martin, the House of Representatives finally held a committee hearing on the deteriorating relations between police departments and black communities. Based on the grandstanding that ensued in the hearing, no progress whatsoever was made.

Join the Conversation Read more

A Twitter’s-Eye View of President Obama’s Poverty Summit

BirdsTweets from President Obama’s Poverty Summit at Georgetown University last week may signal specific areas of attention for nonprofits and foundations. 

Join the Conversation Read more

On Human Creativity and the Liberal Arts: Walter Isaacson on Philanthropy

Walter IsaacsonIn its obsession with metrics and technology, the foundation sector seems to chronically undervalue the liberal arts. The Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson advised the audience at the 2015 Council on Foundations annual meeting to appreciate and value the liberal arts as some of the greatest scientific geniuses of our day, like Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs did. 

 

Join the Conversation Read more

A New Scheme for Judging Corporate “Just”-ness, Starring…

JonesAdd billionaire Paul Tudor Jones II to the list of people who think they have a better way of rating and ranking corporations for their social responsibility—and, in the course of which, elevate their behavior and market attractiveness.

Join the Conversation Read more

The Bradley Foundation’s Agenda Setting: The Intersection with Partisan Politics

WalkerBradley Foundation president and CEO Michael Grebe’s comment that he tries to maintain a clear boundary between his personal political engagement in Republican Party (and Scott Walker) politics and the nonpartisan activities of the conservative foundation he runs raises questions about how difficult that challenge might actually be—especially at Bradley.

Join the Conversation Read more

More Thinking about Contest Philanthropy: Market-Based Approaches

CrownsAn interesting defense of the proposed philanthropic contest at the Council on Foundations has emerged from the Case Foundation, touting contests as “market-based approaches” that can find innovative solutions to social phenomena such as local or national economic conditions—and somehow democratize philanthropy in the process. 

Join the Conversation Read more

Hail to the Houndstooth: The Distinctive Charitable Fundraising Arm of the University of Alabama

HoundstoothThe unusual situation of the Crimson Tide Foundation isn’t just that it purchased the home of University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban and ferries him and potential ’Bama players around during recruiting trips in a foundation-owned airplane, but that the 501(c)(3) foundation doesn’t feel the need, legally or otherwise, to file a Form 990 with the IRS.

Join the Conversation Read more

The Murky “Progressive” Politics in Social Enterprise: Thoughts from Two Conferences

ProgressiveProgressives tend to be conflicted about social enterprise and broader issues of corporate social responsibility. The Cohen Report pulls the issues apart in this review of two social enterprise-focused conferences from earlier this year.

Join the Conversation Read more

What’s Behind the Scathing Critique of NeighborWorks America?

Storms aheadWhen a nonprofit is criticized by House Republicans as “left-wing community organizers,” our antenna goes up to sense an over-the-top attack. NeighborWorks America, the most unlikely “left-wing” group you’ll ever meet, got slapped with that epithet as part of an agenda to defund community-based housing counseling nonprofits.

Join the Conversation Read more

A Different Vision of Rural Philanthropy from Nebraska’s Jeff Yost

YostIn this edition of the Cohen Report, Rick talks with the Nebraska Community Foundation’s Jeff Yost in a wide-ranging conversation about everything from rural community building to approaches to rural philanthropy from the perspective of a community foundation that thinks like a community developer.

Join the Conversation Read more

50 Years Since Selma: Judith Browne Dianis on the Right to Vote and Changes in Civil Rights Organizing

SelmaOn the 50th anniversary of the historic “Bloody Sunday” event in Selma, there’s still a fight around voting rights and related issues of racial discrimination and inequity. Judith Browne Dianis of the Advancement Project explains what is similar, what has changed, and where this nation has to go to rectify racial injustices in voting and more.

Join the Conversation Read more

Exponent Philanthropy Survey Offers Insights into the World of Small Foundations

ChrystalExponent Philanthropy’s 2015 Foundation Operations and Management Report offers important insights into the world of foundations with only a handful of professional staff—or none at all.

Join the Conversation Read more

Havana Dreams: Nonprofits and the Realities of Reinstating Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

HavanaAfter decades of isolation, the doors of Cuba are flinging open, with nonprofits and social enterprises among those who hope to rediscover the island 90 miles away. Both Cubans and Americans might be well advised to take it slowly.

Join the Conversation Read more

Philanthropic Activism on the Ferguson Commission: An Interview with The Deaconess Foundation’s Starsky Wilson

Starsky

Since November, Rev. Wilson has worn three hats—UCC minister, CEO of the Deaconess Foundation, and co-chair of the Ferguson Commission. But his activism extends far beyond those roles.

Join the Conversation Read more

The 2016 Federal Budget: What Nonprofits Should Know

ObamaNPQ provides a review of what in Obama’s proposed budget will affect your work and needs your attention and advocacy.

Join the Conversation Read more

Political Poverty-phobia and the Future of Community Action: An Interview with Denise Harlow

HarlowCommunity action agencies, over 1,000 of them with roots in America’s War on Poverty, have to address the nation’s political leadership that is reluctant to talk about, much less act on poverty today. That’s what Denise Harlow faces as she takes the helm of their trade association, the Community Action Partnership.

Join the Conversation Read more

7 Key Nonprofit Themes in the State of the Union 2015

ObamaIn his one-hour State of the Union, President Obama offered some important policy proposals on tax reform and jobs and skipped other issues. The combination should be a template for mobilization and action by the nonprofit sector.

Join the Conversation Read more

Nonprofits and Cuba: Past and Future

Cuba policyNonprofits have doggedly laid the groundwork for normalization with Cuba for many decades. What must happen next?

Join the Conversation Read more

Rick Cohen’s 10 Predictions for Nonprofits and Foundations in 2015

Black Lives Matter protestNot to be missed, Rick Cohen’s yearly predictions for nonprofits and philanthropy are usually weirdly prescient. This year, he looks at everything from what we can expect from the presidency and the prospects of charitable giving incentives to the future of “slacktivists” and billionaire philanthropy.

Join the Conversation Read more

Reflections from Kresge’s Rapson as Detroit Exits Bankruptcy

DetroitAt the Washington offices of the Aspen Institute, Kresge Foundation head Rip Rapson talked not just about Detroit, but broad philanthropic trends for the future.

 

 

Join the Conversation Read more

What Ails Rural Philanthropy and What Must Be Done

RuralRural areas lag behind metro counties in their recovery from the depths of the recession, and the gap continues to grow. Where is philanthropy?

Join the Conversation Read more

Ferguson’s Grand Jury Verdict: How to Weigh In, Wherever You Are

Ferguson marchWhat can you do to protest, to get involved, to weigh in on the non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson?

Join the Conversation Read more

10 General Guidelines for Greater Foundation Transparency

TransparencyHere are ten general guidelines upon which transparency across all types of foundations can be based.

Join the Conversation Read more

Educating the New (Very Homegrown) Congressional Class

Educating CongressBy their own descriptions, the new Senators and Representatives whose election will expand Republican control of Congress seem to have little knowledge of, or contact with, nonprofits. To teach them, we’ll have to get to know them.

Join the Conversation Read more

“Small” Philanthropy a Big Exponential Deal to Democracy

Exponent“They are agile, close to the ground, and responsive to their community’s needs. They are passionate and knowledgeable about the causes they choose to fund. Their giving is decidedly personal.”—Henry Berman, CEO of Exponent Philanthropy

Join the Conversation Read more

Eds, Meds & Communities—Where’s the Connective Tissue?

NeighborsThe new Center for American Progress report covers working with universities and hospitals to bring social progress and development to local communities.

Join the Conversation Read more

Does “Pay for Success” Actually Pay Off? The ROI of Social Impact Bonds

Abstract SIBsSocial Impact Bonds are so popular that politicians try to score points by including them in their campaign platforms. But is there a “there” there yet?

Join the Conversation Read more

Corporate “Big Green” Behind the Climate Change Marches

ClimateWhat is the role of big corporations in climate change activism? They want you to see them as advocates and allies but at what risk?

Join the Conversation Read more

Round 2 for the Affordable Care Act: The Agenda for Nonprofits

ACAMuch of what the ACA accomplished in its first year is attributable to the nonprofit sector. Here’s what nonprofits will confront in Year 2.

Join the Conversation Read more

Seven Challenges for Philanthropy in the Wake of Ferguson

Hands UpIn this commentary, we suggest that foundations need to pay attention to the problems of inner-ring suburbs and invest in organizing.

Join the Conversation Read more

More Articles...