Altruism Today

The Philanthropy Workshop's new website

December 3rd, 2014  |  Source: The Philathropy Workshop

Founded in 1995, The Philanthropy Workshop leverages the strengths of forward-thinking philanthropists, advisors, and their founding organizations, including the Rockefeller and Hewlett Foundations and the Institute for Philanthropy, to bring educational programming, a diverse network, and a united position as the foremost influencers of strategic and innovative philanthropy in the global community.

With offices in San Francisco, New York, and London, the TPW member network of more than 350 philanthropists is the largest of its kind and unique to the field of philanthropy.

The Philanthropy Workshop web site is designed to provide journalists with access to the latest news, information, and story material related to TPW and its members and their organizations and related issues.

They invite journalists to follow them on Twitter @TPWgivebetter 



December 1st, 2014  |  Source:

We have a day for giving thanks and days for getting deals.

Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day for giving back.

On Tuesday Dec. 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday a day when people around the world will use the Internet & social media to share information about how they give and why. Click here to start your own campaign:

After a Scandal, Pearson Dissolves Foundation, pays $7.7-million to settle the investigation

November 21st, 2014  |  Source:

Pearson, the education-publishing company, is closing its scandal-plagued foundation and will begin asking its corporate-responsibility arm to make grants that more closely link giving with its global network and expertise.

One example of the new approach is Project Literacy, which Pearson announced in September. John Fallon, Pearson’s chief executive, describes Project Literacy as a social movement "that will make headway on giving every person access to the tools they need to become literate."

Pearson had been supporting the foundation through its commitment to give 1 percent of operating profits to the communities in which it works. In 2012, the latest year for which data are available, the foundation made grants worth $14.7-million. The funds that the company had been contributing to the foundation will now support Project Literacy and other nonprofit efforts.

In more tightly linking giving to its business interests, Pearson is joining a national trend in which corporations are making big commitments to causes that are close to their expertise.

"Given our role as the world’s largest education company, we have social purpose at the heart of our business model," says Kate James, a former top spokesman for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who joined Pearson as chief corporate-affairs officer in January. "It’s important that we think about how to maximize social impact. It doesn’t make sense to look through a foundation lens—an arm's length lens."

$7.7-Million Settlement

But the new strategy may raise some eyebrows after an investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman determined that the foundation had engaged in activities to aid its for-profit business.

The attorney general found in a December 2013 settlement that the foundation worked closely with a "prominent foundation"— Gates—to develop classroom materials and tests for the Common Core, new elementary and secondary academic standards that have been adopted by most states. Pearson executives believed that working with Gates would enhance Pearson’s reputation and enable the for-profit company to sell products for "tens of millions of dollars" in profit, the attorney general found.

The Pearson Foundation denied any legal wrongdoing but agreed to pay $7.7-million to settle the investigation.

Helping Grantees

The dissolution of the foundation, slated for the end of this year, won’t result in a transfer of assets out of the foundation. The grant maker has been in a position of negative equity since at least December 31, 2009. As of year-end 2012, it had net debt of $8.65-million, but a spokesman said that amount has narrowed since then and that the company has budgeted funds for eliminating the debt when the foundation closes.

Ms. James says the foundation has worked hard to help some of its grantees win support from other grant makers and in other cases will provide "bridge funding" to support organizations through 2015.

The foundation’s grants during 2012 included $500,000 to First Book, which provides books to children in need, $460,918 to the Smithsonian Institution, and $200,000 to the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations, a nonprofit that offers a framework for lifting student goals.

"Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy" Created to Transform Collaboration and Impact

November 20th, 2014  |  Source: Foundation Center

As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to a close and the global aid community embarks on the post-2015 development agenda, opportunities abound to introduce innovation and insight into the way we address the world's most pressing issues. Against this backdrop, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Foundation Center, and a committee of leading foundations guided by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) have launched a new initiative to facilitate stronger philanthropic input into the changing global development landscape.

The project, known as the Post-2015 Partnership Platform for Philanthropy, will enable philanthropy to better understand the opportunities for engaging in global development goal processes and will help governments and the UN system understand the value philanthropy can bring in driving greater impact for people.

"Partnerships will be even more vital in achieving the new sustainable development goals than they were for the MDGs. The Partnership Platform will take us and our government partners a step further in working with others in achieving sustainable development. And it will demonstrate how philanthropic contributions can also address other challenges such as building the capacity of our partners at the country level," said Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator.

The project aims to help funders have a voice in the post-2015 development agenda, playing a more active role in both planning discussions and the implementation. In doing so, the philanthropic field can serve as a strategic partner in these broader global processes.

Another key objective of the project is to develop country-level platforms that help inform and identify opportunities for collaboration. Planning workshops in various countries will kick start this process by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and laying the foundation for future engagement in the post-2015 agenda. The first workshop takes place on November 21 in Kenya, with representatives from philanthropic institutions, government, civil society organizations, and other regional and local networks. Additional pilot projects will roll out in Colombia, followed by Ghana, Indonesia, and Cambodia.

"Philanthropy is uniquely positioned to help convene multiple stakeholders and to amplify the voice and action of its civil society grantee partners in shaping and achieving the development targets within each country," said Steven M. Hilton, chairman, president, and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

This initiative will also deliver a new web portal called that makes data on philanthropic investments more accessible, in order to help funders track progress, find partners, and tell their stories.

"The website will combine Foundation Center's expertise in the philanthropic sector, data, and technology with the passion and insights of funders dedicated to making a difference," said Bradford K. Smith, president of Foundation Center. "The post-2015 development landscape looks much brighter when funders and other partners have the knowledge tools they need to be strategic and collaborative."

The Partnership Platform was launched during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly, at a side event at Ford Foundation entitled, "Strengthening Philanthropy's Engagement with the Post-2015 Development Agenda." Throughout the project, guidance and input will be provided by leaders from foundation and philanthropy support organizations comprising a Collaboration Committee, which currently includes the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Ford Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, and WINGS.

Follow us on Twitter: #phil2015


About the United Nations Development Programme 
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

About Foundation Center
Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center's website each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 470 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.

About Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors 
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) is a nonprofit organization that currently advises on and manages more than $200 million in annual giving by individuals, families, corporations, and major foundations. Founded in 2002 and continuing the Rockefeller family's legacy of thoughtful, effective philanthropy, RPA remains at the forefront of philanthropic growth and innovation, with a diverse team led by experienced grantmakers with significant depth of knowledge across the spectrum of issue areas. It has facilitated more than $3 billion in grantmaking to nearly 70 countries.

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world's disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton's support for the work of Catholic Sisters. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $92 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2013. The Foundation's current assets are approximately $2.4 billion. For more information, please visit

About Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 75 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. For more information, please

About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, global organization based in Toronto, Canada, with $7 billion in assets. Through collaboration with partner organizations in 49 countries, it is creating opportunities for all people to learn and prosper. The Foundation's programs promote financial inclusion and advance youth learning, mostly in Africa. Established in 2006 through the generosity of MasterCard Worldwide when it became a public company, the Foundation is a separate and independent entity. The policies, operations and funding decisions of the Foundation are determined by its own Board of Directors and President and CEO. For more information on the Foundation, please

WINGS is an independent not-for-profit global network of grantmaker associations and philanthropic support organizations. WINGS strengthens, promotes and provides leadership on the development of philanthropy and social investment around the world. WINGS gives voice to the many cultures of giving and provides its members and other participants with information, knowledge, and peer exchange. Our vision is of a strong, global philanthropic community that strives to build more equitable and just societies around the world.

5 Falsehoods That Keep Nonprofits From Making the Most of Social Media

November 19th, 2014  |  Source:

Nonprofit leaders face a dilemma: How can we work with people out in the world when the world is so unsafe?

Outside is a teeming, chaotic mass of people armed with social-media tools, shouting what they want any time they want. They’re off-message and uncontrollable, while we’re on-message and always in control.

But there’s another way for things to work, something I call "matterness," or the intersection of people and organizations when they come together in a positive and mutually beneficial way.

Matterness is:

·       The willingness and ability of individuals to speak and be heard.

·       The willingness of organizations to listen to people and to engage individuals, both inside and outside, as creative problem solvers and ambassadors.

·       The smart use of social media to connect people, both online and on land, in huge ecosystems of individuals and organizations that are filled with generosity and capital.

Instead of infusing their efforts with matterness, too many nonprofit organizations continue to hide behind their fortress walls, paralyzed by their fear of the world. This is how and why more than 70 percent of complaints about nonprofit organizations made on Twitter are ignored by organizations.

Five false assumptions are keeping leaders fearfully locked inside their organizations:

The online world is overflowing with whackadoodles.

Of course, whackadoodles, wingnuts, and crazy people exist, but not in the numbers or to the extent that organizations imagine they do. Organizations confuse the possibility of being attacked with the probability of it.

The far more likely scenario is that an organization will be ignored online rather than attacked.

The reality is that most organizations that step outside find a world filled with well-meaning people interested in helping to shape and support their cause.

Social media are making us less civil.

Bullying and uncivil behavior exist online, as do hoaxes, cons, catfishing, identity theft, and misinformation. Just as they do on land. Social media bring out the best in most of us and, sadly, make visible the worst in some of us.

However, there is no evidence that we are less civil online than we are on land. Social media have not made us kinder and more generous, but they do provide us with many more avenues to easily express and share our kindnesses. It is the responsibility of leaders to insist on civility online in the same way we do on land.

We are living on land or online.

The online and on-land worlds aren’t in competition with each other. We are living online and on land not in one space or the other but in both spaces simultaneously.

Whatever we do anywhere is our real world, and what we feel and know carries over to any other place or space we occupy. There is no evidence, no data, no research that proves we are different people when socializing online versus on land. We are who we are wherever we are. Organizations cannot relegate online engagement to second-class status.

Staff members cannot be trusted online.

On average, the cost of hiring a management-level person comes to more than $20,000 when you count the staff time it takes to do interviews and the cost of recruiting candidates.

Once hired, the first thing most organizations do is tell these smart, responsible, self-starting, creative people not to think for themselves or speak on behalf of the organization. Research shows that employees who work in cultures that value independence and creative problem solving stay longer.

Organizations shouldn’t muzzle their best ambassadors. AARP trains and supports dozens of staff people to openly engage with their constituents online, and nothing bad happens.

Plans are more important than people.

Plans, budgets, staff meetings, to-do lists, and discussions of what might go wrong create an overwhelming cacophony that I call the churn. The churn blocks out important stuff like matterness and ends up skewing groups to value plans over people. By recasting their efforts to focus on matterness, nonprofits can create their efforts with their own people, making them matter more than ever. Plans are timed; people are timeless.

Billions of people are acting kindly and generously online and on land every day without barriers, fanfare, or recognition. Nonprofit organizations need to tap into this goodwill and expand the matterness that will enable them to fully engage in their good work. Organizations do not need better people on the outside. They need better leaders on the inside.

Allison Fine, who hosts The Chronicle’s podcast What’s the Big Idea, is the author of"Matterness" (Legacy Books), which was published this week.

The generosity map of the world

November 18th, 2014  |  Source: The Independent [UK]

Ahead of the UK’s first #GivingTuesday on 2 December, the Charities Aid Foundation has released its annual World Giving Index, charting generosity around the globe.

The index ranks 135 countries, taking into account the percentage of people who gave money to charity, volunteered or helped a stranger.

It shows:

  • 1.4billion people donated money
  • 1billion spent time volunteering
  • There are just five countries in the top 20 who are members of the G20, which is a group made up of the world’s largest economies


  • 2.3billion: People who helped a stranger globally
  • 50 years +: Globally, older people are more likely to give to charity
  • 91 per cent of people in Burma had donated money in the previous month

More information about the World Giving Index

Red Cross Staff Survey Finds Low Morale and Distrust of Leaders

November 17th, 2014  |  Source:

An internal poll of American Red Cross employees found that less than 40 percent trust the charity’s senior leadership and feel supported as it undergoes organizational changes that are likely to include large-scale layoffs, according to ProPublica and NPR.

The news outlets, which published a highly critical report last month on the Red Cross’s responses to Hurricane Isaac and Superstorm Sandy in 2012, obtained a summary of the results of the survey conducted by IBM and completed by about half of the charity’s roughly 25,000 workers.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents agreed with the statement, “I trust the senior leadership of the American Red Cross.”

A similar proportion answered in the negative when asked if the charity “shows a commitment to ethical business decisions and conduct.” In an email to employees, Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern hailed the 61 percent positive response on the ethics question as “very high” but said of the survey generally, “Candidly, the results could have been stronger.”

Bill and Melinda Gates Should Focus on Fixing America’s Health-Care Problem

November 13th, 2014  |  Source:

Eliminating major diseases like AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis in poor countries has been a top grant-making priority of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It has poured billions of dollars into promoting global health and made a tremendous difference.

But why hasn’t the foundation given similar priority to improving the delivery of health services to low-income people in the United States?

The world’s biggest philanthropy could take inspiration from the Health Wagon, a heroic effort in Appalachia financed by a few donors and volunteers. The group’s work got attention this spring from "60 Minutes," which followed the organization’s bus, operated by two nurses, as they toured the hollows and blighted areas of the region dispensing medicine and treatment to people who could not afford health care or health insurance. Only a heroic effort by a few donors and volunteers has kept the bus running.

In the rest of Appalachia and in many other rural areas of the country, similar health conditions deny poor citizens the opportunity to receive essential health services and medicines. The cost of providing health buses, financing local clinics, and paying for physicians to work in deprived areas would be minimal by the Gates foundation’s standards.

Other low-cost opportunities abound. The Gateses could start a national program to subsidize the training of doctors and nurses for service for three or so years in parts of the country that lack sufficient medical services. Their money could resuscitate a federal program that once successfully channeled doctors and nurses to places where needy people had little access to health care, one that was eliminated in government budget-cutting fervor.

Or couldn’t they do something about the fact that in 25 states, a total of over 5 million people won’t be able to get Medicaid because legislatures and governors refused to take advantage of opportunities under the Affordable Health Care Act?

The foundation has spent more than $230-million to influence states to adopt the Common Core standards for public education. By giving loads of money to state departments of education, state politicians, think tanks, academic institutions, and media outlets, the Gateses have thus far persuaded the education establishment and the public to accept the standards, although a recent backlash against the program has forced the foundation to temper its efforts.

A similar campaign could be waged, at a much lower cost, to persuade recalcitrant states to extend their Medicaid coverage. Now that would be an extraordinary benefit to America’s shaky health system.

Given the priorities of the foundation, it seems fair to ask why it doesn’t focus on health in the United States. Are its more than 1,200 staff members too busy to pay attention to health problems at home? Does the foundation think the large global issues are so important, it is acceptable to ignore the plight of poor people suffering from a dysfunctional health system in America? What will it take for the foundation—as well as other grant makers—to take practical measures to give Americans better health? Millions of lives are at stake.

Pablo Eisenberg, a regular Chronicle contributor, is a senior fellow at the Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute. His email address is

Program in Rural Mont. Gives Veterans Solace and Fishing Lessons

November 11th, 2014  |  Source:

They come to learn fly-fishing amid postcard-perfect scenery. They come for home-cooked meals served in beautiful vacation houses. But most of all, the military service members come for a chance to forget their injuries, their troubles, their painful memories of war while they learn a new skill and, in the process, connect with one another.

"We build hope, restore confidence, and put them back on track to reintegration," says Seth Jordan, executive director of Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation, the group based in Bozeman, Mont., that runs the weeklong programs. "Many folks care about them getting back on that saddle and enjoying life again."

Since 2007, 350 military personnel have participated in the group’s outdoor recreation programs, which are served up with understated support and kinship. Started by a Marine colonel who found solace in the simple pleasure of catch-and-release fly-fishing after he returned home from the Vietnam War, the group seeks to offer similar peace to small groups of traumatically injured combat veterans from recent wars, as well as active-duty service members.

Roughly seven people participate in each session. They are outfitted with fly-fishing gear (which they keep) and assigned a fishing guide and a volunteer companion who can help lift a wheelchair into a stream or assist a blind soldier. No poking or prodding by doctors, no forms or surveys to fill out, no need to do anything but fish.

Although the group is not religious, its name comes from Psalm 23: "He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul."

"We are not a ‘kumbaya,’ pour-out-your-guts and talk group," says Mr. Jordan, a former military pilot. "It’s just good-old fashioned Americans having a good time and understanding that people care about you, life is worth living, and your outlook and perspective should be positive."

The group, which hired its first staff members last year, relies on an extensive volunteer network to provide meals, companionship, and gear. Most of its $650,000 annual budget comes from individual donations; a few foundations and small businesses provide a small portion.

Warriors and Quiet Waters now offers weeklong skiing and horseback-riding expeditions as well as the opportunity to return to the program with a spouse. Mr. Jordan says the group has reached a crossroads: It has to decide whether to serve as many soldiers as possible or develop a program to forge deeper ties with fewer participants.

The new grey power: Why older women are hot in fashion and beauty now

November 10th, 2014  |  Source: Globe & Mail

Last week, L’Oréal introduced its newest U.K. ambassador, a familiar if surprising name: Dame Helen Mirren. Of course, Dame Helen is gorgeous, but she’s also 69. In the past, the beauty brand has enlisted the likes of Jane Fonda and Diane Keaton for its ads, but more typical choices are of the under-30 variety, such as starlets Blake Lively and Lea Michele, also fronting the brand right now. Even so, L’Oréal welcomed Mirren to its stable with much fanfare, cementing a trend that industry watchers have noticed for months: Style is having a senior moment, embracing (and showcasing) the 65-plus set like never before.

Take NARS Cosmetics, which in August hired British actress Charlotte Rampling, 68, to be the face of its 20th-anniversary campaign. And Marc Jacobs Beauty, which earlier in the year tapped Jessica Lange, the 65-year-old star of American Horror Story, to represent the line. “It’s a healthy thing for women,” says Ann Fishman, president of Generational Targeted Marketing, a New York company that counsels clients on how to market to different generations. Besides tapping an underserved (and relatively affluent) demographic, says Fishman, presenting older women as paragons of beauty will likely click with younger consumers as well. “Generation X and Millennials also see these women as people they can relate to,” she notes, adding that many will be fans of Lange’s or Mirren’s work and can imagine growing older like them as both appealing and attainable.

That is probably why fashion brands are also getting in on the act. The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s luxe fashion line, featured Linda Rodin, a former fashion editor and stylist who now runs a skin-care company, in a recent lookbook. Last month, & Other Stories, Swedishbased H&M’s high-end sister brand, used Iris Apfel, the eccentric nonagenarian whose style has been the subject of many a fawning fashion-blog post, to front its U.S. launch; campaign images were shot in her eclectic Manhattan apartment.

“They bring confidence, and they bring expertise,” Ari Seth Cohen, who photographed Apfel for the & Other Stories campaign, says of her and her contemporaries. The 33-year-old lensman, who is best known for Advanced Style, the blog he launched six years ago to document the street style of the elderly, can be considered an early adopter of the old-is-beautiful mantra. “Growing up, my grandmothers were my best friends, the people I looked up to for advice, for friendship,” Cohen says over the phone from California. He was always surprised, he adds, “that my friends and other people didn’t have this kind of positive view of older people.”

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