July 14, 2014

Government Nonprofit Relations

A Look into the Massive Expansion of Health Centers under ACA

NebulaAs with any major growth, the expansion of community health centers is challenging and creates some opportunity for failure.

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UK Opposition Favors Public Service Delivery by Social Enterprises

PenIn its zeal to replace big government by creating a new Big Society, David Cameron’s Conservative coalition government took steps to wrest the provision of public services away from the public sector.

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The Philanthropic Problem with Hillary Clinton’s Huge Speaking Fees

ClintonsThe lucrative six-figure speaking fees being paid to Hillary Clinton for speeches at universities have attracted much criticism—too high, too much money being paid to a presidential candidate. Our concern is different: The speaking fees being paid to Clinton (which she says she turns over to the Clinton Foundation) constitute the “repurposing” of donations and tax payments to colleges and universities for the Clinton family’s own philanthropic agenda and might in some cases be purchases of recognition and face time with an expectation of future favors should Hillary Rodham Clinton become the second President Clinton.

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Foundation Head Urges More Philanthropic Consistency in Approach to US Ed. System

AbstractIn a recent conversation with Philanthropy News Digest, the Spencer Foundation’s Michael McPherson elaborated on his view of the underlying importance of research in the field of education and the need for more communication among funders about what is and isn’t working.

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NYC Political Funding Shenanigans with Hispanic Federation and City Council Speaker

Mark-ViveritoThe much-criticized practice of discretionary political grantmaking by New York City political leaders is unfortunately alive and well, though dressed in new clothing and sold with a new spin. The latest example involves a long-respected Latino organization, the Hispanic Federation, earning some criticism of its reputation in the process.

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Zuckerberg’s Attempt at Immigration Reform Appears Stalled

ZuckerbergIt appears the efforts of Zuckerberg’s FWD.us to appeal to both Democrats and Republicans on the matter of immigration reform have caused the political group to stall out.

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Husock on Crony Corporate Philanthropy

RegThe Manhattan Institute’s Howard Husock and this newswire writer have crossed ideological swords at many times over the years and will likely to do so many times more in the future. But Husock’s column in Forbes criticizing “crony philanthropy” as practiced by corporate foundations resonates with us.

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Will Hobby Lobby Feel Financial Blowback from Customers?

Hobby LobbyWill Hobby Lobby feel any financial blowback from that portion of their potential customer base that finds the recent SCOTUS decision unpalatable?

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Is IRS Denying Nonprofit Status to Open Source Software Groups?

IRSThis article in Network World suggests the IRS may be averse to approving nonprofit status for nonprofit groups making Open Source software.

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Carmel Tea Party Argues for Municipal Transparency

TeaEven the Tea Party can get something sort of right. In Carmel, Indiana, a local Tea Party group is pushing for enhanced standards of municipal government transparency.

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Moneyball Philanthropy – Is the Work of the Nonprofit Sector Like Baseball?

MoneyballShould charitable contributions be tied to a metric system similar to the one often used to build baseball teams?  Are we moving from strategic philanthropy to “Moneyball Philanthropy”?

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Profile of an Unusual Major Donor

TreeThe Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut has just been made the beneficiary of an $8 million gift which will be used to protect animals and the environment. It is the largest gift the foundation has ever received by far and it came from a local man whose life style certainly did not reflect the wealth expected of a major donor. 

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“Who Owns the Art?” and Other Questions Lingering at the Intersection of Culture, Class, and Money

MOCAAs two nonprofit museums and their respective cities await the final results of mediation to resolve issues about ownership of the collections, one observer raises important questions that relate to North Miami, Detroit, and no doubt other places where minority populations sometimes have to fight to preserve access to cultural treasures.

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Municipal Bankruptcies Loom: Will Foundations Step Up for the Next Detroit?

MoneyIt may be hard to hear, but Detroit is in some ways very fortunate. The city has several large and creative foundations that were willing to come together to work on the city’s fiscal and overall community revival. Other nearly bankrupt cities don’t have the likes of Kresge, Ford, Mott, Kellogg, Knight, and Skillman to turn to for ideas, partnership, and resources.

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Legacy of a Failed Foundation Initiative: inBloom, Gates and Carnegie

SunflowerEarlier this year, NPQ wrote about inBloom, one of the more expensive failed foundation initiatives ever. With a Gates grant of $100 million, inBloom managed to get and lose a number of contracts with public schools in just 15 months. In so doing, they did the country a favor by motivating a left/right backed movement of parents who object to the indiscriminate placement of details about their children in a national database.

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Pennsylvania Cities & Nonprofits Continue to Struggle with PILOTs

NewsThree small and mid-sized cities in the northeast quadrant of the state of Pennsylvania have different experiences seeking support for their services from local nonprofits.

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Community Foundation CEO Steps Down After 20 Years and Leaves Ideas for the Future

LightsBefore Nancy Kieling accepted a job at the Princeton Area Community Foundation twenty years ago, she had never heard of a community foundation. In six months, she will leave behind an organization that has established strong community ties between donors and nonprofits that her successor will be charged with cultivating and expanding beginning January 1st.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Grantmaking Focus

RWJFReflecting changes in healthcare delivery, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is moving away from medicine-centered program support and embracing community wellness efforts and the importance of allied health professionals. One challenge with the new focus on a “Culture of Health” is the increased difficulty in measuring success.

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SCOTUS to Rule on Future of Public Sector Unions

UnionIt has been a very consequential run of decisions by the Supreme Court. This week, expect the court to make a momentous statement about the future of public sector unions.

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Illinois Statewide Anti-Violence Initiative a Mess

EurosAn embarrassing state government screw-up in Illinois shows up in troubled nonprofit performance, but the roots of the problem are in the faulty design and inadequate implementation of an important anti-violence initiative.

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Time for an Independent Review to Fix the IRS

IRSThe news that the IRS rejected the 501(c)(4) application of a liberal-leaning group in Arkansas is more evidence that the IRS was examining more than just Tea Party organizations during the days of the Lois Lerner scandal. Nonetheless, the recent performance of the IRS on a number of issues, particularly the lost Lerner emails, suggests that it is time to take this brouhaha out of the hands of an overly politicized Congress and give it to an independent counsel, not just to figure out who might have been culpable for doing things wrong, but to resurrect the Service as a vital federal agency that Americans should be able to rely on and trust.

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Occupy Activists Pitch Lessons for Future Movement Building

125In the continuing flow of articles about the future of the Occupy movement, two Occupy activists think that the future is something like the Tea Party’s role in the Republican Party.

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Pittsburgh Suburb Tries to Restrict Door-to-Door Solicitors

SolicitorsA lot of people don’t like people who solicit door-to-door, whether they are commercial solicitors or representatives of nonprofits. But to restrict nonprofit, charitable, or religious solicitors, as the Pittsburgh suburb of Baldwin is trying to do through a local ordinance, runs counter to a bigger law—the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment of the Constitution.

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What Can We Learn from New York’s Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013?

NYCAs the Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013 takes effect in New York, is there anything we can learn from it, or are there any trends we should watch out for?

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United Way’s Weird Toilet Paper Drive

tpWould you rather your local United Way ran a toilet paper drive or decided what the funding priorities are for your region? Just asking.

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Lessons in Strategic Philanthropy: How To Do Things With Humans

HumansAlbert Ruesga, the CEO of the New Orleans Community Foundation, never holds back in his blog, White Courtesy Telephone, when he believes that something in philanthropy or among nonprofits is awkwardly awry. Here, he weighs in on the strategic philanthropy debate in his own inimitable way.

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Facing the Limitations of Scale in Philanthropy—Some Thoughts for Bill and Melinda Gates

WaterDespite the challenges of over-scaling, there is no need to despair so long as the Gates Foundation is willing to accede a modicum of control and share some responsibility for the ultimate distribution of its largesse. Buzz Schmidt shares grantmaking strategies Gates might attempt that would be at once highly effective and transformative for philanthropy.

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The Koch Bros. Meet with Other Billionaires to Plan for the Nation’s Future

KochWe’re pretty sure that billionaires like one another’s company and bump into each other on occasion at fancy resorts with delicious food. Recently, at just such a place, the Koch brothers convened billionaires with shared interests to explore what they might do to guide the nation toward their view of what the United States should do in economics and politics.

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Ethical Dilemmas and the Really Big Bucks

RuthBig grants are definitely getting bigger, what with all the billionaires running around—and the goals for capital campaigns are getting much bigger, too.

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Objection to Social Impact Bonds Raised in Rhode Island

NewsUnions raise objections as legislation for a pilot social impact bond program is considered by a Rhode Island Senate committee.

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