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Soros Gives To Match Federal Funds for New York Needy
Aug 10, 2009; Wall Street Journal | Philanthropist George Soros (known in nonprofit circles for his Open Society Institute) has donated $35 million on behalf of the state of New York to leverage a 4:1 match in stimulus funds for 850,000 children receiving public assistance and food stamps. The children (or their families) will each receive lump-sum payments of $200 for back-to-school supplies (although these are “no-strings” payments, so there is no guarantee how they will be used; note that Republican and conservative critics have criticized this as a “helicopter drop” of money without any guarantees that the money would be used for the intended school supplies.)  Philanthropic advisors are touting the Soros donation as the model for a new kind of foundation partnership with government. Without Soros, New York State said it didn’t have the money to put up to get the stimulus money.  Philanthropists will have to be careful, however, about a potential downside of state governments starting to “write in” expectations for private philanthropy to fill budget gaps. —Rick Cohen

Ever Want to Create Your Own Public Health PSA?
Aug 9, 2009; The New York Times | definitely does not rank among the top websites produced by the design-oriented Obama administration, but no matter, you have a chance to script your own flu prevention public health PSA in their new contest, described in the video below:

Andre from the public health blog Pulse + Signal is incredibly excited about the prospect of spreading the Department of Health message. A recent column from The Agitator tackled the question of similar online contests for nonprofits.  How do you incite the same reaction in your supporters? —James David Morgan

White House Objects to Poster That Invokes Obama Children
Aug 11, 2009; Washington Post | DC-based nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is refusing to pull a media campaign that mentions the president’s daughters in their message for nutrition policy reform. White House officials intimated legal action may follow. —Timothy Lyster

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