Rick Cohen | February 28 2014
The contours of nonprofit advocacy have been changing in recent years. This issue of the Cohen Report talks about three current issues in consumer advocacy—consumer advocates helping make government programs work, helping create new and crucially important regulatory and oversight functions, and the problem of phony consumer advocates created and funded by corporate interests.
Rick Cohen | March 28 2013
In House and Senate budgets, we see two very different visions of America’s future, and by extension, diverging visions of how the nonprofit sector will function. What role will government play in helping and protecting vulnerable people?
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The 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.
This is the second of a two-part series on how African-American museums in the U.S. are faring amidst the competition for foundation, charitable, and governmental resources. Part I was an overview of the issues and challenges facing black museums; this piece examines the sources of funding and the strategies that some museums are using to survive and thrive.
It is very difficult to find examples of people in responsibility actually taking responsibility for the crises and failures of the organizations they lead. In the wake of the resignation of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and Mary Barra’s recent announcement of the results of an internal probe of automobile recall problems at General Motors, it may be appropriate to ask where the buck stops in those large entities—and in our own.
Among some promoters of social impact bonds, one might find a tendency toward irrational exuberance. They’ll slip into language that suggests the market discipline purportedly inserted into social programming by private capital is much more broadly applicable to a range of social problems than experience so far bears out. We have some enthusiasm-tempering considerations that SIB advocates and critics might reflect upon.
In the midst of debates over Detroit’s future coming out of an unprecedented big city bankruptcy, the fate of cultural institutions rose to the forefront, largely focused on the future of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Would foundations, would the community rally around an equally important Detroit cultural institution, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History? The future for the Wright Museum reminded us that there are numerous African-American museums throughout the nation facing challenges but playing important roles in their communities and for arts and culture nationally. This is the first of a two-part review of the conditions, challenges, and prospects of African-American museums.
What exactly are L3Cs, how are they currently operating, and what potential problems do they pose for the nonprofit sector?
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