Altruism Today

Is the Atlantic Philanthropies $200M fellowship a donation to Rhodes Trust?

June 5th, 2016  |  Source: Philanthropy Daily

The latest move, which definitely feels like a finale, came yesterday as Atlantic announced $200 million in investments to create a community of leaders that can promote equity on a global scale. Nearly half of that money will establish a new Atlantic Fellows program at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The larger half, $106 million, is a 15-year grant to create the Atlantic Institute, which the foundation says will be a “nexus” for the fellows to collaborate as they work to make the world a better place.""We told you there were going to be “fireworks” as Atlantic Philanthropies wrapped up its grantmaking this year, concluding an epic $8 billion giveaway of Chuck Feeney’s duty-free fortune.

"The latest move, which definitely feels like a finale, came yesterday as Atlantic announced $200 million in investments to create a community of leaders that can promote equity on a global scale. Nearly half of that money will establish a new Atlantic Fellows program at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). The larger half, $106 million, is a 15-year grant to create the Atlantic Institute, which the foundation says will be a “nexus” for the fellows to collaborate as they work to make the world a bette place.""

 


Is Charity Navigator’s Revised Rating System an Improvement?

June 2nd, 2016  |  Source: NPQ

Sources; The Journal News and the New York Times

NPQ has been covering the controversial role of nonprofit watchdog agencies for years. Among other things, we’ve looked at the confusing picture they present to donors, as each has its own methods of measurement. Rick Cohen took this on in 2013 in an article that looked at how the top three rated the embattled Wounded Warrior Project very differently.

One of these watchdogs, Charity Navigator, announced changes to its rating system thatwent into effect yesterday, and we would love to hear what our readers think of the changes.

Charity Navigator looks at two broad performance metrics: financial health and accountability and transparency. In this update, called CN 2.1, only the financial health rating system was changed, which includes seven metrics. To summarize:

·       Program ExpensesAdministration ExpensesFundraising ExpensesFundraising Efficiency, and Working Capital Ratio went from being calculated based solely on the previous fiscal year to an average of the last three fiscal years.

·       Primary Revenue Growth, which measures growth in income from the work that a charity does (e.g., grants, donations, program fees) was removed from the rating system. Charity Navigator decided this metric did not truly represent the financial health of an organization, as a nonprofit might recognize a large gift one year yet actually receive the funds over several years.

·       Program Expense Growth, conversely, measures the growth in expenses incurred from doing the work of the nonprofit measured over the last three to five fiscal years. There was no change to this metric.

·       A new metric that was added to the rating system is the Liabilities to Assets Ratio, based on the most recently completed fiscal year. The intent of including this ratio in the assessment is to call attention to excessive debt.

An important change that is not reflected in the metrics themselves is how Charity Navigator is now looking at overhead costs. Previously, an organization could not get a perfect score if it had any administrative expenses. This isn’t a realistic standard to hold nonprofits to, as Charity Navigator’s former CEO Ken Berger said in a 2013 letter he co-signed addressing the “overhead myth.” Under CN 2.1, as long as an organization’s overhead expenditure falls within a given range depending on the type of nonprofit, they can receive a perfect score.

Overall, the new system seems fair and offers a more accurate picture of the health of an organization, which is exactly what Charity Navigator was aiming for. Elizabeth Searing, a nonprofit expert and member of the task force charged with updating the rating system, said, “All of the changes they made are definitely improvements.”

For instance, looking at expenses over time as opposed to just one year allows for consideration of outlier years, such as anniversary years, when organizations tend to spend more on fundraising and promotion.

Even with the new system, only about 25 percent of the organizations rated by Charity Navigator had a rating that changed. However, donors and other individuals involved with nonprofit organizations are encouraged to take these ratings with a grain of salt. According to Sandra Miniutti, vice president of marketing for Charity Navigator, “We don’t advocate that a donor jump ship if a rating changes. Rather, a change suggests that donors should seek more information from the charity and see if it offers a good explanation. In that way, donors can education themselves about the charity and decide over time if they want to continue supporting it.”

One thing that Charity Navigator did not change in the update is its stance on Joint Program Allocations, which has been controversial in some instances (like WWP) but in our opinion is justified. Here is what they say about that:

Consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), some organizations that follow SOP 98-2 or ASC 958-720-45 report a portion of their specific joint costs from combined educational campaigns and fundraising solicitations as program costs. The IRS requires that these organizations disclose the allocation on the Form 990. In most cases, charities utilizing this technique allocate a small percentage of their solicitation costs to program expenses from fundraising expenses. However, we believe that donors are not generally aware of this accounting technique and that they would not embrace it if they knew a charity was employing it, nor does Charity Navigator. Therefore, as an advisor and advocate for donors, when we see charities using this technique we factor out the joint costs allocated to program expenses and add them to fundraising. The exceptions to this policy are determined based on a review of the 990 and the charity’s website (in some cases we review data provided to us from the charity directly). We analyze these items to see if the organization’s mission includes a significant education/advocacy program or other type of program that would directly be associated with joint costs. If that is the case, we inspect in further detail the charity’s expenses in regards to those specific programs. Finally, we review the charity’s website to confirm that there is clarity for a potential donor that the organization in question employs the types of programs that entail joint cost activity.

Where we may not agree on the direction Charity Navigator is taking, its intent—not yet come to fruition—is to try to reflect programmatic outcomes on its platform. Michael Thatcher, president and CEO of Charity Navigator, says that the long-term goal of the organization is to include a “results reporting” metric that would take into account how effective nonprofits are at achieving their mission. However, as each organization is different and may use different criteria to assess mission progress, creating such a standardized rating system has been difficult. NPQ’s opinion is that if the watchdogs have taken this long to understand the problems in emphasizing overhead, their efficacy in being able to measure the more complex picture of outcomes may be nearly nil.


Nonprofit Devoted to Historical Preservation Hooks Up with Airbnb

June 1st, 2016  |  Source: NPQ

Source; Fast Company, “CoDesign”

For those of us who didn’t get the memo, modern entrepreneurship has brought a new twist to the European lodging services offered by an established nonprofit, The Landmark Trust, and we all want to go right now.

It appears one of the best-kept secrets in the travel industry (from the Americans) is…a nonprofit. For a number of years, The Landmark Trust has been unassumingly buying, restoring, and renting out historic properties all around Europe to travelers for an affordable price.

Thanks to Airbnb, it is easier to rent than ever. Want to stay in a romantic lighthouse cottage or isolated castle for your anniversary? Or how about a night in a medieval well chapel? Just click, book, and pack your bags, because you are in. The properties themselves have a rich history that sometimes even collides with pop culture due to their famous guests. Their Twitter feed boasts a photo of the Rolling Stones in front of their Swarkestone Pavilion property for a photo shoot in the 1960s.

The Landmark Trust nonprofit offers a balance between tearing down old buildings or letting them go to pot and the extensive and expensive upkeep of simply preserving them for people to look at or build a museum around. Besides, let’s be honest—people like to touch things they shouldn’t.

History doesn’t get any more hands-on than sleeping in a historic cottage and grumbling to your spouse about making weak coffee in it. And we like to stay places that make people jealous when we post about them. The booking menu even tells would-be travelers which properties are dog friendly. This is another example of the nonprofit sector filling a need and beautifully preserving history for all to enjoy in a unique and fun way.


Speaking Truth to the Power of the MacArthur Foundation

May 31st, 2016  |  Source: NPQ

Source, Crain’s Chicago Business

Phillip Jackson of the Black Star Project began his Crain’s op-ed, “MacArthur Foundation is ducking on Chicago’s most crucial issues,” with this terse rebuke:

The heads of foundations think they’re gods. And they can never understand why people, who are economically subjugated by their grant making, would complain about their treatment by the Foundation Gods.

Jackson goes on to suggest that MacArthur’s grantmaking for Chicago should reflect the face of Chicago: 33% should go to the black community and 29% to the Latino community. Instead, Jackson argues, “Over 70 percent of its (Chicago) 2015 grantees were arts, culture, and research organizations.” Unimpressed, Jackson calls MacArthur’s newBenefit Chicago collaborative the “Benefit White Chicago” initiative. Jackson estimates that only one-tenth of one percent of MacArthur’s giving reaches Chicago’s black-led organizations. He calls this form of segregation redlining.

Jackson, a “History Maker,” is anything but naïve. In 1999, Jackson, as Mayor Daley’s“handpicked choice to run the CHA,” Chicago’s current mayor, Rahm Emanuel, as CHA’svice chairman, and MacArthur’s current president, Julia Stasch, as Mayor Daley’s chief of staff, were working together in a dustup with HUD.

The timing of Jackson’s op-ed shows shrewd calculation. With the homicide rate in Chicago up 62 percent since last year, with 216 people killed so far in 2016, Jackson charges that MacArthur should be “at the forefront of reducing Chicago’s violence and murders”; however, “it is not even at the table.” More than 50 people were shot this past weekend. The Chicago Tribune maintained a live blog that tracked Chicago’s Memorial Day weekend violence. Last November, a video showed a white officer shooting a black teenager, Laquan McDonald, 16 times. That led to protests and to this blistering report, exposing the nation’s second-largest municipal police force as being plagued by systemic racism and a lack of accountability.

MacArthur’s answer is the recent soiree, “America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege and the Bridge to a New America,” and expensive studies that offer what Jackson could likely share over a cup of coffee. Jackson writes, “The black community does not want to fight with MacArthur Foundation, but we don’t want to be treated as fools.”

Foundation redlining” is not a new allegation, and proposing grantmaking based on population percentages is not overly simplistic: “With payouts to rural America so ridiculously small, shouldn’t the current rural capacity and safety net crisis warrant a percentage payout increase, as a good faith gesture from America’s largest foundations to rural America?” Redlining, the practice of denying services based on race, extends toeducationsupermarkets, and healthcare as well as to banking and real estateThe Greenlighting Institute documents startling gaps in foundation support of communities of color and nonprofits led by people of color. Research abounds on the challenges that particularly Black-led organizations face. Jackson is in smart company.

“Foundation gods?” At least “the nakedness of this autocratic and insistent emperor” called strategic philanthropy calls for atonement. Except for the requirement to give away at least 5 percent of investment income including administrative expenses, MacArthur operates with few limitations. MacArthur is a cathedral surrounded by postulants. Its1894 sanctuary consists of wrought-iron stairways, Tiffany glass mosaics, bronze-gilt reliefs, and a terra cotta molding that crowns the building. With assets of nearly $6.5 billion and global influence and presence, the MacArthur Foundation is adored and all-powerful.

A MacArthur evangelist afire to help steward humanity, all smile and poise but with no name or contact information, made this April 2016 “On the Ground in Chicago”announcement:

The Chicago Commitment team is now working in earnest to develop and refine our priorities for Chicago. We know that we will retain our historic focus on the vibrant Arts and Culture sector. In addition, we will consider how the Foundation can contribute to peace, prosperity, and opportunity for the city’s residents, and the vitality of the communities where they live.

Here’s how Crain’s editorial board began its April 2016 announcement:

Not to sound hyperbolic, but there’s blood in the streets of Chicago this year. More than 775 people have been shot in the city so far in 2016—80 percent more than at this time last year and by far the most in the first quarter of any year this decade…and the hot summer months, when shootings typically rise, are still ahead of us.

If foundations are the font of new ideas that pools around obedience and a society that rewards its leaders with power, the world’s fifth-wealthiest foundation may be the first to break from orthodoxy. By exclusively addressing inequality, the Ford Foundation is showing that we need reminders of whose lives matter.

Jackson offers valid solutions to systemic racial inequality that are admittedly slow leavens of a better order. Jackson’s 2014 Black Star Project salary of $46,520 does not compare to the MacArthur president’s 2014 salary of $2,202,509, but Jackson’s personal knowledge of places, names, and memories that MacArthur-sponsored studies are machine-tooled to erase and that lead to the death of trust is worth more than MacArthur’s endowment.


FDA approves new way to treat opioid addiction – under the skin

May 27th, 2016  |  Source: Washington Post

The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the first implantable drug to deliver long-lasting medication to people addicted to opioids such as OxyContin and heroin.

"Opioid abuse and addiction have taken a devastating toll on American families," FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said in a news release. "Today's approval provides the first-ever implantable option to support patients' efforts to maintain treatment as part of their overall recovery program."

The implant, which has four matchstick-size rods that are inserted under the skin of the upper arm, administers the anti-addiction drug buprenorphine in a continuous dose for six months. That medication is available now only as a daily pill or a thin film that dissolves under the tongue. The implant, called Probuphine, is intended for people who are already stable on low doses of the drug. 

Amid an epidemic of opioid addiction, the implant has touched off an intense debate. Supporters say it will be a helpful addition to the nation's limited toolbox of treatments, while critics warn that it remains largely unproven and could carry a hefty price tag.  

[Some states are requiring doctors to do some research before prescribing highly addictive painkillers]

Maryland psychiatrist David Pickar, who sits on the FDA advisory committee that in January voted 12-5 to recommend approval, applauded Thursday's action as the right move.

"It's not a perfect drug, but it has advantages over previous treatments. Number one, it takes away the problem of the patient not taking the medication," which he said is a "huge" issue when treatment depends on addicts remembering to take their medication daily. With the implant, "they will know that it will be with them for six months."

In addition, the implant essentially is "a drug that can’t be abused," meaning that accidental ingestion by children or illegal re-sale on the street are no longer worries.

"I bet this saves some people’s lives," Pickar said.

But some, including former advisory committee chair Judith Kramer, a professor emeritus of medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, had argued against approval. Kramer said the implant's clinical trial data did not prove it is safe and effective. She noted that even some trial participants needed supplemental buprenorphine for relief, which suggested that the implant dose was too low and that it would be tough to eliminate pills altogether.


Website helps people divest their money from gun stocks

May 25th, 2016  |  Source: Springwise.com

Goodbye Gun Stocks is a searchable website that lets users make sure none of their investments are tied to the gun industry.

As consumers become more ethically aware, we have seen a big rise in the number of tools that enable customers to find out more about companies’ business practices. There is an app for diners concerned about sustainable produce, another for shoppers who want to avoid brands whose histories clash with their principles, and a browser plugin that hides any product associated with child labor. Now, for those who oppose guns, there is Goodbye Gun Stocks, a searchable website that enables visitors to make sure none of their investments or retirement funds are tied to the gun industry.

Though many investors are not aware, 35 percent of US stock funds are tied to gun and ammunition makers and sellers. Goodbye Gun Stocks has analyzed nearly USD 6 trillion of investments against gun stocks, and created a searchable database that enables users to find alternative investments if their stocks are not gun-free. The database covers more that 24,000 mutual funds, ETFs and TSP funds for federal employees. When users enter their fund name into the search box, the site generates comprehensive results. These tell the investor how much gun-related stock the fund holds, and with what companies the stocks are associated. The platform also offers equivalent alternative investments so that the customer can move their money somewhere more suitable to their ethical beliefs.

The website is part of a larger campaign to encourage investors to divest their money away from gun stocks, and is available to use for free for the next month. Are there other transparency tools that could enable consumers to spend more ethically?

Website: www.goodbyegunstocks.com
Contact: goodbyegunstocks@hellomoney.co


Are Hillary’s Philanthropic and Political Roles Too Close for Public Comfort?

May 24th, 2016  |  Source: NPQ

Source, New York Times

On May 16thNPQ asked “Is There a ‘There’ There?” in response to yet another accusation that the Clinton Foundation is corrupt. Albert Hunt at the New York Times now asks whether there is “an inherent conflict of interest should Mrs. Clinton become president” or even now as a candidate.

NPQ has reported many times (such as herehere and here) on the seemingly endless controversies the Clinton Foundation inspires. What the NYT asks is whether it is possible for the Clinton Foundation to pursue its philanthropic work above suspicion, even with absolute transparency. It would be difficult to find anyone anywhere in the world without an opinion.

The (Bill, Hillary & Chelsea) Clinton Foundation (not to be confused with the family foundation) is an operating foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code. The money raised by the Foundation is spent directly on programs. The Foundation works principally through partnerships with individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments, often serving as an incubator for new programs. Through 2014, the foundation raised $2 billion from donors across the world.

Charity Navigator says it has “determined that this charity’s atypical business model cannot be accurately captured in our current rating methodology. Our removal of The Clinton Foundation from our site is neither a condemnation nor an endorsement of this charity. We reserve the right to reinstate a rating for The Clinton Foundation as soon as we identify a rating methodology that appropriately captures its business model.”

When they moved out of the White House in 2001, the Clintons were “dead broke”because of legal fees. Today, they are worth more than $100 million. Because of polling in the current election cycle, we know that “Hillary Clinton’s ‘honest’ and ‘trustworthy’ numbers are lower than ever.” The numbers are likely to go even lower with this new documentary entitled “Cash Money” (trailer here) that just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich may prove to be especially troublesome because major news organizations, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Fox News have exclusive agreements with the author to pursue the story.

Bill Clinton was the youngest ex-president since Theodore Roosevelt. His global relationships, intellect, and many talents meant he could achieve more than most charitable organizations. Should he and his family not be given that chance? Among his predecessors, George Washington was worth $525 million and Thomas Jefferson was worth $212 million (in 2010 dollars). It could be argued that the Clintons are achieving more for the world today than any presidential predecessor.

When Hillary Clinton became secretary of state in 2009, she pledged complete transparency to President Obama to ease worries about foreign influence on the nation’s top diplomat: “Out of [an] abundance of caution and a desire to avoid even the appearance…of a conflict, Clinton said, the foundation would agree to strict rules: It would disclose all its donors and clear new contributions from foreign governments with the State Department.” Only that did not happen.

Perhaps the most important policy a nonprofit board can adopt is one governing conflicts of interests. The IRS is very clear about what the government means byinurement/private benefit. Nonprofit leader and author Jan Masaoka takes it a step further by recommending nonprofit boards take “a 3-dimensional view,” that “more than written policies, board and staff leadership must establish by example and attitude an atmosphere of personal integrity.”

The challenge for the Clintons is that no matter what they do, they are not likely to please everyone, or even most people. The Clinton Foundation is so big and strange that Charity Navigator cannot understand it. It is impossible for the Clintons not to receive money from donors who have no connections to foreign governments. As the NYT suggests, are the two roles just too entwined for the comfort of an already untrusting public?


Why Work for Welfare Doesn’t Work

May 23rd, 2016  |  Source: PS Magazine

Challenging our policies and perspectives on welfare and hunger.

Hi, you’ve reached Just Harvest, this is — — — speaking, how may I help you today?”

Variations of this refrain were basically background noise in the Pittsburgh office of the anti-hunger non-profit where, until recently, I worked as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow. They were background noise until, both slowly and suddenly, they weren’t.

As fall turned into winter, I was increasingly the recipient of the calls, as it was my job to try to make sense of the return of a food stamps policy that was confusing thousands in Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County as well as across the country. And while, in answering these calls, I learned a lot about policy exemptions and reporting requirements, my biggest takeaway was how American policy views its welfare recipients, and what it expects from them: namely, work.

On April 1, hundreds of thousands of childless Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”) recipients were cut off from their benefits. Childless adults without disabilities — or “able-bodied adults without dependents,” ABAWDs — are limited to receiving food stamps for just three months in a three-year period, unless they are working at least 20 hours a week.

This provision has actually not been seen by much of the country for the past several years due to high unemployment rates, which allow states to receive geographic waivers of the rule for specific areas. But since unemployment is falling, 22 states saw the policy come back this January.

ABAWDs who aren’t meeting the requirement are allowed three months of food stamp benefits.

Three months. January. February. March.

The orientation of public assistance around work is a long-held vestige of how we assign responsibility for one’s poverty. There are, we think, those who are “deserving of assistance” — children, the elderly, people with disabilities — and those who are not: the able-bodied poor, or, really, those who are expected to work. This is not a new idea in America: Cotton Mather (Puritan minister circa 1700) summed up this view quite succinctly when he wrote, “For those who indulge themselves in idleness, the express command of God unto us is, that we should let them starve.”

This way of thinking continues today, and it informs our policy. Perhaps invoking the ghost of Cotton Mather, Representative Steve Southerland of Florida once told a woman who was at risk of losing her food assistance, “I believe that if you are going to eat, you should bring something to the table.”

And so we have the ABAWD policy.

But this view is making an assumption about what it’s like to be poor in America, and this assumption does not match up with the reality of poverty and work. The reality is that people experiencing chronic poverty (the average income of a person affected by the ABAWD rule is 17 percent of the poverty line) are often not the most employable because of the symptoms of poverty that wreak havoc on their lives: In my time in Pittsburgh, I encountered clients hampered by lack of adequate access to transportation, lack of education or employable skills, criminal records, homelessness, and limited language skills.

The orientation of public assistance around work is a long-held vestige of how we assign responsibility for one’s poverty.

But it isn’t only that our societal stigma against people in poverty informs our policies and punishes poor people; our policies are actively working against the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency by not providing the grounding for people to gain skills and find employment.

States have no obligation to support individuals affected by the ABAWD policy through work training program placements. Hungry individuals are left to find their own employment when they are already suffering from hunger, which increases susceptibility to disease, limits concentration and focus, and causes severe stress. And since job search alone does not count as a work activity, those who are actively looking for work may also suffer under the ABAWD policy.

This blatant disregard for what it’s like to be poor continues in the communication between the government and those on public assistance. Thanks to the Pennsylvania budget impasse, the state’s Department of Human Services didn’t have the allocated funds to send out advance notice of the policy change. So it was up to DHS’s “community partners,” like Just Harvest, to spread the word in the interim. When the state’s notice finally did come out, merely three weeks before the three-month clock was about to start, a friend who worked at an anti-hunger non-profit herself asked me what her two-sentence notice meant. The disconnect between policy, government workers, and the people affected by poverty would be laughable if we weren’t talking about people literally losing access to food.

The larger issue is this: Work-centered policies like the ABAWD policy validate the idea that people who receive welfare benefits do so because they prefer “a handout” to working for themselves. In fact, most welfare recipients prefer work to receiving aid from the government or their family. And, in actuality, many (if not most) people who will be affected by the ABAWD rule are probably already working — just not in a way that satisfies the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service. Remember, this rule punishes people who aren’t working at least 20 hours per week, which means that an employee who works 15 hours a week is not exempt. And reporting requirements are so complex that seasonal workers and workers who are paid non-traditionally (such as caregivers) may have difficulty proving that they are working.

But the problem isn’t that most SNAP recipients, contrary to popular belief, are already working — it’s that there’s a public perception that they’re not, and that that perception is mirrored in our policies. Welfare stigma makes it easier to enact policies that hurt the poor, when public opinion is distorted to believe that welfare recipients are lazy, drug-addicted criminals. Again, these policies don’t match the real struggles of low-income families, or the evidence. American welfare policies use work requirements as a means to push people off of assistance instead of alleviating the barriers that make it so hard for people to find work in the first place — that’s perhaps the biggest problem of all.

Hunger isn’t an incentive to work; it’s a barrier to work. The purpose of public assistance programs should be to help people overcome the multitude of barriers that exist in their lives, not to hurt them by setting up new ones. But we can’t do that until we recognize that those barriers are there, and that our perceptions and policies based on stigma and stereotypes are keeping them there for much more than three months every three years.


Somalia bank gives microfinancing to rebuild economy hit by war

May 20th, 2016  |  Source: Mail & Guardian Africa

INTERNATIONAL Bank of Somalia said it’s lending citizens as much as $1,000 to start businesses such as grocery stalls, as the Horn of African nation recovers from decades of civil war that ruined the economy.

The lender, based in the capital, Mogadishu, has distributed about $600,000 in cash to some 700 recipients since it began the programme this year, according to Chief Executive Officer Hassan Ahmed Yusuf. The loans range in value from $100 to $1,000 and are given interest-free, with women representing 89% of recipients, he said Tuesday in an interview at his office in the city.

“Our purpose is to provide small loans to very poor people for self-employment projects that generate income, allowing them to take care of themselves and their families,” Yusuf said. “We do not want any profit in return for the loans—this is an initiative we began to encourage small-scale businesses and to reduce the alarming amount of unemployment in the country.”

Somalia has been embroiled in civil war since the ousting of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991 and its institutions have largely collapsed.

The country’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, is seeking to attract investors as its army, supported by African Union peacekeepers, pushes back al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants from the country’s main urban areas.

IBS began operations in October 2014 and is the first lender in Somalia to handle foreign transactions. It provides retail, private, corporate and investment banking services.


MacArthur’s $25M to nonprofit journalism outlets includes NPR, ‘Frontline’

May 19th, 2016  |  Source: Current.org

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced a major expansion of its support for nonprofit journalism at the PBS Annual Meeting Wednesday.

Twelve organizations including NPR, Public Radio International, the Center for Investigative Reporting and Frontline will receive a total of nearly $25 million in unrestricted, five-year general operating grants from the Chicago-based foundation.
“We together, PBS and the MacArthur Foundation, need to keep asking: Are we doing all we can to keep citizens informed, empathetic, activated and thinking critically?” said foundation President Julia Stasch at the meeting.
Stasch said the contribution is to help keep nonprofit news organizations “free from commercial and partisan pressures.”

“This is our enduring commitment to work that is deep, fair and compelling,” she noted, “work that informs and inspires and can make a difference.”
Stasch also urged public television stations “to take small steps. … Find money for at least one local project or a beat you’re not covering right now. If you can’t add staff, collaborate with other local news organizations.”

In its announcement, Kathy Im, MacArthur’s director of journalism and media, said unrestricted funding is especially important to help nonprofit news organizations “experiment and innovate, and enables journalists and editors the independence to pursue important stories that do not make commercial sense, particularly in the costly realms of investigative and international reporting.”
The recipients:
Frontline at WGBH, $4.2 million for the PBS investigative journalism series;
NPR, $4 million for investigative and international reporting;
The World at PRI, $1.75 million for the network’s signature news program;
The Center for Investigative Reporting, $3.5 million for researching, reporting and disseminating in-depth investigative reports;
The Center for Public Integrity, $2 million for its investigative reporting;
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, $2.5 million for international enterprise reporting;
Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, $1.5 million for its Investigative Reporting Program;
The Foundation for National Progress, nonprofit publisher of Mother Jonesmagazine, $1.5 million for investigative and explanatory journalism;
American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, $1.5 million to produce original reports on a variety of topics (Current is an independent journalism center of AU’s School of Communication);
The Global Press Institute, San Francisco, $1.25 million for recruiting and training local women as journalists for its 21 foreign desks;
The Nation Institute, New York City, which works to strengthen independent press and advance social justice and civil rights, $750,000 for its Investigative Fund; and
Round Earth Media, Minneapolis, $500,000 for its global reporting project that pairs early-career U.S. journalists with their counterparts in other countries to work on stories together.
Related stories from Current:
• MacArthur-backed nonprofit aims to create “new ecosystem” for teen education
• Firelight Media receives MacArthur grant for reserves, innovation fund
• MacArthur Foundation grants $2 million to documentary projects




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