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Against the Romance of Community — University of Minnesota Press
"An unexpected and valuable critique of community that points out its complicity with capitalism

Miranda Joseph explores sites where the ideal of community relentlessly recurs, from debates over art and culture in the popular media, to the discourses and practices of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations. She shows how community legitimates the social hierarchies of gender, race, nation, and sexuality that capitalism implicitly requires. Exposing the complicity of social practices, identities, and communities with capitalism, this truly constructive critique opens the possibility of genuine alliances across such differences."

[via:
https://twitter.com/iebrisson/status/1101938531260395521
https://twitter.com/LabSpecEth/status/1097518720270794753 ]
mirandajoseph  community  capitalism  2002  art  culture  nonprofit  nonprofits  ngos  hierarchy  gender  race  nationalism  racism  sexism  sexuality  socialpractice  identity  differences  canon 
7 weeks ago by robertogreco
The Stories We Were Told about Education Technology (2018)
"It’s been quite a year for education news, not that you’d know that by listening to much of the ed-tech industry (press). Subsidized by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, some publications have repeatedly run overtly and covertly sponsored articles that hawk the future of learning as “personalized,” as focused on “the whole child.” Some of these attempt to stretch a contemporary high-tech vision of social emotional surveillance so it can map onto a strange vision of progressive education, overlooking no doubt how the history of progressive education has so often been intertwined with race science and eugenics.

Meanwhile this year, immigrant, refugee children at the United States border were separated from their parents and kept in cages, deprived of legal counsel, deprived of access to education, deprived in some cases of water.

“Whole child” and cages – it’s hardly the only jarring juxtaposition I could point to.

2018 was another year of #MeToo, when revelations about sexual assault and sexual harassment shook almost every section of society – the media and the tech industries, unsurprisingly, but the education sector as well – higher ed, K–12, and non-profits alike, as well school sports all saw major and devastating reports about cultures and patterns of sexual violence. These behaviors were, once again, part of the hearings and debates about a Supreme Court Justice nominee – a sickening deja vu not only for those of us that remember Anita Hill ’s testimony decades ago but for those of us who have experienced something similar at the hands of powerful people. And on and on and on.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) kept up with its rosy repetition that social equality is surely its priority, a product feature even – that VR, for example, a technology it has for so long promised is “on the horizon,” is poised to help everyone, particularly teachers and students, become more empathetic. Meanwhile, the founder of Oculus Rift is now selling surveillance technology for a virtual border wall between the US and Mexico.

2018 was a year in which public school teachers all over the US rose up in protest over pay, working conditions, and funding, striking in red states like West Virginia, Kentucky, and Oklahoma despite an anti-union ruling by the Supreme Court.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) was wowed by teacher influencers and teacher PD on Instagram, touting the promise for more income via a side-hustle like tutoring rather by structural or institutional agitation. Don’t worry, teachers. Robots won’t replace you, the press repeatedly said. Unsaid: robots will just de-professionalize, outsource, or privatize the work. Or, as the AI makers like to say, robots will make us all work harder (and no doubt, with no unions, cheaper).

2018 was a year of ongoing and increased hate speech and bullying – racism and anti-Semitism – on campuses and online.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) still maintained that blockchain would surely revolutionize the transcript and help insure that no one lies about who they are or what they know. Blockchain would enhance “smart spending” and teach financial literacy, the ed-tech industry (press) insisted, never once mentioning the deep entanglements between anti-Semitism and the alt-right and blockchain (specifically Bitcoin) backers.

2018 was a year in which hate and misinformation, magnified and spread by technology giants, continued to plague the world. Their algorithmic recommendation engines peddled conspiracy theories (to kids, to teens, to adults). “YouTube, the Great Radicalizer” as sociologist Zeynep Tufekci put it in a NYT op-ed.

And yet the education/technology industry (press) still talked about YouTube as the future of education, cheerfully highlighting (that is, spreading) its viral bullshit. Folks still retyped the press releases Google issued and retyped the press releases Facebook issued, lauding these companies’ (and their founders’) efforts to reshape the curriculum and reshape the classroom.

This is the ninth year that I’ve reviewed the stories we’re being told about education technology. Typically, this has been a ten (or more) part series. But I just can’t do it any more. Some people think it’s hilarious that I’m ed-tech’s Cassandra, but it’s not funny at all. It’s depressing, and it’s painful. And no one fucking listens.

If I look back at what I’ve written in previous years, I feel like I’ve already covered everything I could say about 2018. Hell, I’ve already written about the whole notion of the “zombie idea” in ed-tech – that bad ideas never seem to go away, that just get rebranded and repackaged. I’ve written about misinformation and ed-tech (and ed-tech as misinformation). I’ve written about the innovation gospel that makes people pitch dangerously bad ideas like “Uber for education” or “Alexa for babysitting.” I’ve written about the tech industry’s attempts to reshape the school system as its personal job training provider. I’ve written about the promise to “rethink the transcript” and to “revolutionize credentialing.” I’ve written about outsourcing and online education. I’ve written about coding bootcamps as the “new” for-profit higher ed, with all the exploitation that entails. I’ve written about the dangers of data collection and data analysis, about the loss of privacy and the lack of security.

And yet here we are, with Mark Zuckerberg – education philanthropist and investor – blinking before Congress, promising that AI will fix everything, while the biased algorithms keep churning out bias, while the education/technology industry (press) continues to be so blinded by “disruption” it doesn’t notice (or care) what’s happened to desegregation, and with so many data breaches and privacy gaffes that they barely make headlines anymore.

Folks. I’m done.

I’m also writing a book, and frankly that’s where my time and energy is going.

There is some delicious irony, I suppose, in the fact that there isn’t much that’s interesting or “innovative” to talk about in ed-tech, particularly since industry folks want to sell us on the story that tech is moving faster than it’s ever moved before, so fast in fact that the ol’ factory model school system simply cannot keep up.

I’ve always considered these year-in-review articles to be mini-histories of sorts – history of the very, very recent past. Now, instead, I plan to spend my time taking a longer, deeper look at the history of education technology, with particular attention for the next few months, as the title of my book suggests, to teaching machines – to the promises that machines will augment, automate, standardize, and individualize instruction. My focus is on the teaching machines of the mid-twentieth century, but clearly there are echoes – echoes of behaviorism and personalization, namely – still today.

In his 1954 book La Technique (published in English a decade later as The Technological Society), the sociologist Jacques Ellul observes how education had become oriented towards creating technicians, less interested in intellectual development than in personality development – a new “psychopedagogy” that he links to Maria Montessori. “The human brain must be made to conform to the much more advanced brain of the machine,” Ellul writes. “And education will no longer be an unpredictable and exciting adventure in human enlightenment , but an exercise in conformity and apprenticeship to whatever gadgetry is useful in a technical world.” I believe today we call this "social emotional learning" and once again (and so insistently by the ed-tech press and its billionaire backers), Montessori’s name is invoked as the key to preparing students for their place in the technological society.

Despite scant evidence in support of the psychopedagogies of mindsets, mindfulness, wellness, and grit, the ed-tech industry (press) markets these as solutions to racial and gender inequality (among other things), as the psychotechnologies of personalization are now increasingly intertwined not just with surveillance and with behavioral data analytics, but with genomics as well. “Why Progressives Should Embrace the Genetics of Education,” a NYT op-ed piece argued in July, perhaps forgetting that education’s progressives (including Montessori) have been down this path before.

This is the only good grit:

[image of Gritty]

If I were writing a lengthier series on the year in ed-tech, I’d spend much more time talking about the promises made about personalization and social emotional learning. I’ll just note here that the most important “innovator” in this area this year (other than Gritty) was surely the e-cigarette maker Juul, which offered a mindfulness curriculum to schools – offered them the curriculum and $20,000, that is – to talk about vaping. “‘The message: Our thoughts are powerful and can set action in motion,’ the lesson plan states.”

The most important event in ed-tech this year might have occurred on February 14, when a gunman opened fire on his former classmates at Marjory Stone Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, killing 17 students and staff and injuring 17 others. (I chose this particular school shooting because of the student activism it unleashed.)

Oh, I know, I know – school shootings and school security aren’t ed-tech, ed-tech evangelists have long tried to insist, an argument I’ve heard far too often. But this year – the worst year on record for school shootings (according to some calculations) – I think that argument started to shift a bit. Perhaps because there’s clearly a lot of money to be made in selling schools “security” products and services: shooting simulation software, facial recognition technology, metal detectors, cameras, social media surveillance software, panic buttons, clear backpacks, bulletproof backpacks, … [more]
audreywatters  education  technology  edtech  2018  surveillance  privacy  personalization  progressive  schools  quantification  gamification  wholechild  montessori  mariamontessori  eugenics  psychology  siliconvalley  history  venturecapital  highereducation  highered  guns  gunviolence  children  youth  teens  shootings  money  influence  policy  politics  society  economics  capitalism  mindfulness  juul  marketing  gritty  innovation  genetics  psychotechnologies  gender  race  racism  sexism  research  socialemotional  psychopedagogy  pedagogy  teaching  howweteach  learning  howwelearn  teachingmachines  nonprofits  nonprofit  media  journalism  access  donaldtrump  bias  algorithms  facebook  amazon  disruption  data  bigdata  security  jacquesellul  sociology  activism  sel  socialemotionallearning 
december 2018 by robertogreco
Anand Giridharadas on How Liberal Philanthropy Backfired
"Why Philanthropy Is Bad for Democracy Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All, on how well-meaning liberals paved the way for Trump"
anandgiridharadas  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  charitableindustrialcomplex  charity  democracy  governance  government  nonprofit  nonprofits  2018  nicktabor  power  inequality  control 
october 2018 by robertogreco
AIDependence - Trailer on Vimeo
"Major humanitarian crises caused by civil wars or natural disasters such as recently in Haiti mark humans and cause a wave of solidarity. But do our generous donations actually have the desired effect or do they conversely provoke an unhealthy dependence?

In the form of a film documentary choosing the example of Haiti, we will examine the issue of necessity and usefulness of traditional development assistance and offer solutions for improvement. If, thanks to development aid, houses and roads are built – does it actually stimulate the efforts of the locals? Or could it be the opposite?"

[See also:
https://vimeo.com/67296710

"WATCH THE MOVIE NOW ON: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/aidependence

https://facebook.com/Aidependence

No other country in the world has more NGOs per capita than Haiti, yet the country still remains an impoverished and fragile state. Why is foreign aid not being more effective?
Beschreibung

The award-winning photographer Alice Smeets and the Belgian cinematographer Frederic Biegmann have been living on the Caribbean island, where they've not only supported, but also initiated development projects. This allowed them to get a deeper insight into the dynamics of the aid system.

In „AIDependence“, the filmmakers explore why development aid in Haiti is not working in a sustainable way. Smeets and Biegmann interview Haitian as well as international experts, show appalling examples of failed projects and accompany young inhabitants of Haiti's poorest slum, Cité Soleil, who have decided to take their fate into their own hands; they refuse imposed projects, but develop their own ideas to strengthen the community - even if the ideas may seem crazy, like the construction of a small Eiffel Tower right in the middle of Cité Soleil.

"AIDependence" shows clearly: Haiti's devastating earthquake of 2010 is in no way the cause the problem; it has only aggravated the situation. Thus, the documentary raises urgent questions and encourages the audience to form their own opinion.

a NEOPHILEAS-Production"]
charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  poer  governance  government  haiti  aid  humanitarinaid  dependence  control  nonprofit  nonprofits  donations  charity  philanthropy  2012  development 
october 2018 by robertogreco
This City Runs on Donations – Next City
"Small family foundations are increasingly funding parks, neighborhood revitalization, education and more. What’s next for urban-focused philanthropy?"
capitalism  flint  michigan  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  charity  nonprofit  nonprofits  davidcallahan  2016  government  governance  democracy  power  control  scottatkinson 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Anne Trubek on Twitter: "This is the single biggest problem of the entire Rust Belt, I’ve come to believe. Our cities are run by non-profits, not elected officials… https://t.co/5ZHeJlpzkn"
"This is the single biggest problem of the entire Rust Belt, I’ve come to believe. Our cities are run by non-profits, not elected officialsAnne Trubek added,
Anna Clark

[quoting: @annaleighclark
https://twitter.com/annaleighclark/status/1049697553296580608

"The power of philanthropy in Detroit can't be underestimated. (Eg: https://www.elle.com/culture/a37255/forgotten-rape-kits-detroit/ …; https://detroithistorical.org/learn/encyclopedia-of-detroit/grand-bargain …) Money that was denied to the city over decades -- tax base, loans, mortgages, investment, state revenue sharing -- comes back as charity. A loaded…

As in other cities where philanthropists take responsibility for basic public services, it can fill an immediate, urgent need. (Water! Lights!) It also comes at a cost to transparency and shifts our expectations, bit by bit, of our democratic leaders & institutions.

Detroit is, in many ways, ground zero for this model. From 2012:
"Welcome to Your New Government: Can Non-Profits Run Cities?"
https://nextcity.org/features/view/welcome-to-your-new-government

But see also Flint:
"This City Runs on Donations
Small family foundations are increasingly funding parks, neighborhood revitalization, education and more. What’s next for urban-focused philanthropy?"
https://nextcity.org/features/view/philanthropy-money-foundations-city-funded

Here's a provoking take from @DavidCallahanIP
"A Foundation Gives $1 Billion in One City and Things (Mostly) Get Worse. What’s the Lesson?"
https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2017/6/27/a-foundation-gives-away-1-billion-in-one-city-and-things-mostly-get-worse-whats-the-lesson "]

...and I want to publish on this topic but everyone I ask...works for a non-profit so cant b/c of fear of losing their job....

Not to mention the arts...what percentage of working artists are funded by non-profits? Ppl are actually surprised by the concept of being an artist and *not* be grant funded...nor have many thought about possible downsides to taking that $

And according to one very persuasive argument, it led to Trump (cc @annaleighclark—still best analysis of this issue I’ve read)

[but if you wanna give me some of that sweet foundation money DMs are open]

And as Randy Cunningham persuasively argues, in Cleveland the non-profits bought out activists in 80s by creating CDCs

FULL DISCLOSURE I AM PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF A NON-PROFIT (also I own a business that is....not a non-profit. We all live in contradictions."
annetrubek  annaclark  rustbelt  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  economics  inequality  democracy  nonprofit  governance  charity  philanthropy  nonprofits  capitalism  power  control 
october 2018 by robertogreco
Homelands Productions
"Homelands Productions is an independent, nonprofit journalism cooperative. Our work brings the voices of ordinary people to tens of millions of listeners, viewers, readers, students, and teachers around the world.

Since our founding in 1989, we have reported from more than 60 countries, produced nine special series for public radio and television, and won 22 national and international awards.

We work in radio, video, photography, print, and on online platforms. We also teach, speak, write books, consult, and serve as fiscal sponsor for projects that move us."
documentary  journalism  media  nonprofit  ruxandraguidi  bearguerra  radio  video  srg  photography  photojournalism  nonprofits 
september 2018 by robertogreco
Gospels of Giving for the New Gilded Age | The New Yorker
"Are today’s donor classes solving problems—or creating new ones?"



"
We live, it is often said, in a new Gilded Age—an era of extravagant wealth and almost as extravagant displays of generosity. In the past fifteen years, some thirty thousand private foundations have been created, and the number of donor-advised funds has roughly doubled. The Giving Pledge—signed by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, Larry Ellison, and more than a hundred and seventy other gazillionaires who have promised to dedicate most of their wealth to philanthropy—is the “Gospel” stripped down and updated. And as the new philanthropies have proliferated so, too, have the critiques.

Anand Giridharadas is a journalist who, in 2011, was named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. The institute is financed by, among other groups, the Carnegie Corporation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Gates Foundation. The fellowship, according to its Web site, aims to “develop the next generation of community-spirited leaders” by engaging them “in a thought-provoking journey of personal exploration.”

Giridharadas at first found the fellowship to be a pretty sweet deal; it offered free trips to the Rockies and led to invitations from the sorts of people who own Western-themed mansions and fly private jets. After a while, though, he started to feel that something was rotten in the state of Colorado. In 2015, when he was asked to deliver a speech to his fellow-fellows, he used it to condemn what he called “the Aspen Consensus.”

“The Aspen Consensus, in a nutshell, is this,” he said. “The winners of our age must be challenged to do more good. But never, ever tell them to do less harm.” The speech made the Times; people began asking for copies of it; and Giridharadas decided to expand on it. The result is “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” “I hadn’t planned to write a book on this topic, but the topic chose me,” he writes."



"Inside Philanthropy is a Web site devoted to high-end giving; its tagline is “Who’s Funding What, and Why.” David Callahan is the site’s founder and editor. If Giridharadas worries that the super-wealthy just play at changing the world, Callahan worries they’re going at it in earnest.

“An ever larger and richer upper class is amplifying its influence through large-scale giving in an era when it already has too much clout,” he writes in “The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.” “Things are going to get worse, too.”

Part of the problem, according to Callahan, lies in the broad way that philanthropy has been defined. Under the federal tax code, an organization that feeds the hungry can count as a philanthropy, and so can a university where students study the problem of hunger, and so, too, can a think tank devoted to downplaying hunger as a problem. All these qualify as what are known, after the relevant tax-code provision, as 501(c)(3)s, meaning that the contributions they receive are tax deductible, and that the earnings on their endowments are largely tax-free. 501(c)(3)s are prohibited from engaging in partisan activity, but, as “The Givers” convincingly argues, activists on both sides of the ideological divide have developed work-arounds.

As a left-leaning example, Callahan cites Tim Gill, who’s been called “the megadonor behind the L.G.B.T.Q.-rights movement.” A software designer, Gill became rich founding and then selling a company called Quark, and he’s donated more than three hundred million dollars toward promoting L.G.B.T.Q. rights. While some of this has been in the form of straight-up political contributions, much of it has been disbursed by Gill’s tax-exempt foundation, which has financed educational efforts, message testing, and—perhaps most important—legal research. “Without a doubt, we would not be where we are without Tim Gill and the Gill Foundation,” Mary Bonauto, the attorney who argued the 2015 Supreme Court case that legalized gay marriage, told Rolling Stone last year.

On the right, Callahan points to Art Pope, the chairman of a privately held discount-store chain called Variety Wholesalers. Pope has used his wealth to support a network of foundations, based in North Carolina, that advocate for voter-identification—or, if you prefer, voter-suppression—laws. In 2013, pushed by Pope’s network, the North Carolina state legislature enacted a measure requiring residents to present state-issued photo I.D.s at the polls. Then the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law—another Pope-funded group—led the effort to block challenges to the measure. (The I.D. law was struck down, in 2016, by a federal appeals court that held it had been “passed with racially discriminatory intent.”)

It is difficult to say what fraction of philanthropic giving goes toward shaping public policy. Callahan estimates that the figure is somewhere around ten billion dollars a year. Such an amount, he says, might not sound huge, but it’s more than the annual contributions made to candidates, parties, and super-pacs combined. The result is doubly undemocratic. For every billion dollars spent on advocacy tricked out as philanthropy, several hundred million dollars in uncaptured taxes are lost to the federal treasury.

“It’s not just that the megaphones operated by 501(c)(3) groups and financed by a sliver of rich donors have gotten louder and louder, making it harder for ordinary citizens to be heard,” Callahan notes. “It’s that these citizens are helping foot the bill.” That both liberals and conservatives are exploiting the tax code is small consolation.

“When it comes to who gets heard in the public square, ordinary citizens can’t begin to compete with an activist donor class,” Callahan writes. “How many very rich people need to care intensely about a cause to finance megaphones that drown out the voices of everyone else?” he asks. “Not many.”"



"
Critiques of “The Gospel of Wealth” didn’t have much impact on Andrew Carnegie. He continued to distribute his fortune, to libraries and museums and universities, until, at the time of his death, in 1919, he had given away some three hundred and fifty million dollars—the equivalent of tens of billions in today’s money. It is hard to imagine that the critiques of the new Carnegies will do much to alter current trend lines.

The Gates Foundation alone, Callahan estimates, will disburse more than a hundred and fifty billion dollars over the next several decades. In just the next twenty years, affluent baby boomers are expected to contribute almost seven trillion dollars to philanthropy. And, the more government spending gets squeezed, the more important nongovernmental spending will become. When congressional Republicans passed their so-called tax-reform bill, they preserved the deduction for charitable contributions even as they capped the deduction for state and local tax payments. Thus, a hundred-million-dollar gift to Harvard will still be fully deductible, while, in many parts of the country, the property taxes paid to support local public schools will not be. It is possible that in the not too distant future philanthropic giving will outstrip federal outlays on non-defense discretionary programs, like education and the arts. This would represent, Callahan notes, a “striking milestone.”

Is that the kind of future we want? As the latest round of critiques makes clear, we probably won’t have much of a say in the matter. The philanthropists will decide, and then it will be left to their foundations to fight it out."
philanthropicindustrialcomplex  charitableindustrialcomplex  2018  elizabethkolbert  charity  philanthropy  inequality  andrewcarnegie  gildedage  inequity  disparity  wealth  inheritance  hughpricehughes  society  williamjewetttucker  patronage  ethics  wealthdistribution  exploitation  billgates  warrenbuffett  michaelbloomberg  larryellison  anandgiridharadas  aspenconsensus  georgesoros  socialentrepreneurship  laurietisch  darrenwalker  change  democracy  henrykravis  billclinton  davidcallahan  power  taxes  thinktanks  nonprofit  activism  timgill  publicpolicy  politics  economics  us  influence  artpope  votersuppression  law  superpacs  donaldtrump  equality  robertreich  nonprofits  capitalism  control 
august 2018 by robertogreco
DAVID GRAEBER / The Revolt of the Caring Classes / 2018 - YouTube
"The financialisation of major economies since the '80s has radically changed the terms for social movements everywhere. How does one organise workplaces, for example, in societies where up to 40% of the workforce believe their jobs should not exist? David Graeber makes the case that, slowly but surely, a new form of class politics is emerging, based around recognising the centrality of meaningful 'caring labour' in creating social value. He identifies a slowly emerging rebellion of the caring classes which potentially represents just as much of a threat to financial capitalism as earlier forms of proletarian struggle did to industrial capitalism.

David Graeber is Professor of Anthropology, London School of Economics and previously Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Yale and Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His books include The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy (2015) Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011) and Fragments of an Anarchist Anthropology (2004). His activism includes protests against the 3rd Summit of the Americas in Quebec City in 2001, and the 2002 World Economic Forum in New York City. Graeber was a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement, and is sometimes credited with having coined the slogan, 'We are the 99 percent'.

This lecture was given at the Collège de France on the 22nd March 2018."
davidgraeber  care  caring  teaching  nursing  economics  capitalism  labor  work  employment  compensation  resentment  bullshitjobs  finance  politics  policy  us  uk  workingclass  intellectuals  intellectualism  society  manufacturing  management  jobs  liberalism  values  benefits  nobility  truth  beauty  charity  nonprofit  highered  highereducation  activism  humanrights  os  occupywallstreet  opportunity  revolution  revolt  hollywood  military  misery  productivity  creation  creativity  maintenance  gender  production  reproduction  socialsciences  proletariat  wagelabor  wage  salaries  religion  belief  discipline  maintstreamleft  hospitals  freedom  play  teachers  parenting  mothers  education  learning  unions  consumption  anarchism  spontaneity  universalbasicincome  nonprofits  ubi 
may 2018 by robertogreco
The Uni Project
"The Uni Project is a nonprofit that brings learning opportunities to public space in New York City. Using custom-designed installations, we pop up in parks, plazas, and other public spaces to offer reading, drawing, and hands-on activities that let New Yorkers embrace the act of learning. We partner with community organizations and city agencies, and we prioritize underserved locations."

[via: https://twitter.com/findtheuni/status/886749020684791808 ]
nyc  sfsh  openstudioproject  lcproject  making  creativity  pop-ups  learning  nonprofit  mobile  portable  classideas  schooldesign  workinpublic  nonprofits 
july 2017 by robertogreco
The Giving Code — Open Impact
"Over a year ago, our team embarked on a research-initiative-turned-passion-project that kept us working nights and weekends for many months. So we are grateful, humbled, and relieved that the resulting report, The Giving Code: Silicon Valley Nonprofits and Philanthropy, has sparked an important conversation in Silicon Valley and beyond about the role of the social sector in addressing the needs of the least well off.

The report continues to gain momentum, garnering local and national media attention and a roster of events designed to engage others in this discussion. As social impact advisors, we are eager to understand how The Giving Code is both contributing to more informed conversations and to actual impact on the ground. We are in conversation with local partners and funders about next steps, and will keep you posted on our progress.

MORE ABOUT THE GIVING CODE

NEWS MEDIA

Bloomberg TV: Learning from Silicon Valley’s Wealth Gap Problem
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2016-11-16/learning-from-silicon-valley-s-wealth-gap-problem

Business Insider: Silicon Valley’s Prosperity Paradox Explains How 76,000 Millionaires and Billionaires Fail to Fix Local Poverty
http://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-valleys-prosperity-paradox-explained-2016-12

Financial Times: Bitter Charity
https://www.ft.com/content/8a87ca78-abdf-11e6-ba7d-76378e4fef24

BuzzFeed: Silicon Valley’s Latest Innovation: Free Market Philanthropy
https://www.buzzfeed.com/nitashatiku/tech-moguls-found-a-winner-with-free-market-philanthropy

Fast Company: Who Silicon Valley Givers are Leaving Out
https://www.fastcompany.com/3066662/future-of-philanthropy/who-silicon-valleys-givers-are-leaving-out

San Francisco Chronicle: Nonprofits Struggle to Adjust as Tech Donors Take Center Stage
http://www.sfchronicle.com/business/article/Nonprofits-struggle-to-adjust-as-tech-donors-take-10823591.php

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Bridging the Divide Between Nonprofits and Philanthropy in Silicon Valley
https://ssir.org/articles/entry/bridging_the_divide_between_nonprofits_and_philanthropy_in_silicon_valley

PODCASTS

KQED Forum:
What to Consider When Donating to A Charity
https://ww2.kqed.org/forum/2016/12/21/what-to-consider-when-donating-to-a-charity/

TinySpark: The Giving Code: Silicon Valley’s Prosperity Paradox
http://www.tinyspark.org/podcasts/the-giving-code-silicon-valleys-prosperity-paradox/

Next In Nonprofits:
Next In Nonprofits 53 – The Giving Code with Open Impact
http://www.nextinnonprofits.com/2017/01/givingcode/

Rob Harter:
The Nonprofit Leadership Podcast
http://robharter.com/2017/02/15/heather-mcleod-grant/ "

[via: "Not incidentally, a recent report found that fully 90 percent of philanthropic dollars from local donors leave the region."
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/08/opinion/sunday/silicon-valley-architecture-campus.html ]
siliconvalley  sanfrancisco  philanthropy  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  charitableindustrialcomplex  charity  inequality  nonprofit  nonprofits  capitalism  power  control 
july 2017 by robertogreco
SF Beautiful
"Our mission

Since 1947, San Francisco Beautiful, a non-profit 501c3 organization, has been instrumental in creating and delivering community-centered artistic public benefit and preserve neighborhood character. San Francisco Beautiful is a trusted partner to the city’s diverse neighborhood communities and the only organization in San Francisco that brings community based organizations together with regional government, philanthropic, and business sectors to improve and artistically beautify the public realm. We count on and efficiently leverage public, private, and philanthropic funds, volunteers and gratefully accept in-kind contributions that enable us to continue to keep San Francisco Beautiful.

Accomplishments
We are proud of our history and our impact. Some of our successes include:

• Saving San Francisco's cable car system.
• Launching the first citywide tree planting program.
• Capping the number of billboards in the city.
• Legalizing sidewalk seating.
• Creating developer and business tax set asides to fund public art & greening.
• Bringing art to our Muni buses."
sanfrancisco  green  art  classideas  sfsh  muni  trees  nonprofit  nonprofits 
april 2017 by robertogreco
togetherlist
"TogetherList is a comprehensive database of women’s rights, POC, LGBT+, immigrant, Muslim-American and climate change advocacy groups that need your support.

We aim to make it simple for people who want to volunteer or donate money to social justice organizations to jump right in.

By connecting engaged people to the causes that interest them and the groups that need their help, we’ll streamline the process of finding where the work needs to be done, so we can all just get to work.

We must stand in solidarity to fight for our rights, our freedoms, and our planet now more than ever. The stakes are too high for there to be any time to waste."
activism  donations  nonprofits  politics  charities  togetherlist  poc  gender  race  immigration  socialjustice  freedom  women'srights  advocacy  lgbt  nonprofit 
november 2016 by robertogreco
We need to stop treating nonprofits the way society treats poor people | Nonprofit With Balls
[via: https://twitter.com/tiffani/status/755092034243928064

"This is a good list of reasons (except in one instance) I've basically stayed away from foundations in fundraising for The @HumanUtility. Not to mention too many foundations are slow, conservative, + not interested in funding things that stray too far from stquo. And when you're a new organization w/ a very small staff, still trying to streamline operations, small, yet restricted grants are dangerous. I read an essay a few weeks ago about a large foundation that basically ran a startup into the ground w/program requirements. The foundation's program officers didn't seem the least bit contrite. It was weird. One literally said they didn't regret what they did smh. Of course, it was also on the startup's leadership to have planned to not have the foundation's funds become a distraction, but still. They who have the gold make the rules, but you have to be wary of processes that excessively distract you from the work to get the gold. I sat with someone for 30mins once + landed a gift of $25K. Then I got back in the car and went back to work. Now, that was from a (very) warm intro, but they didn't want letters of inquiry or 30-pg proposals. OTOH, a foundation I talked to in Maryland was interested in our work, but wanted a letter of inquiry just for permission to ask for $25K."]

"Many leaders, from both nonprofit as well as foundations, have been speaking up against restricted funding for years now—here’s a compelling piece by Paul Shoemaker [https://philanthropynw.org/news/reconstructing-philanthropy-outside ]—and I’m glad to see that it is starting to make some progress. But it is still slow, and it makes me wonder why this is. Why is general operating so difficult for many to accept? Why is it OK for us to be OK with the fact that millions of hours each year are wasted by nonprofits trying to comply with some funders’ unrealistic, and frankly, destructive [http://nonprofitwithballs.com/2016/02/the-myth-of-double-dipping-and-the-destructiveness-of-restricted-funding/ ] requirements?

I think the answer may be that there is a strong parallel between how we treat nonprofits, and how society treats low-income people. I don’t think it is intentional. Like implicit racial or gender biases, most people are not even aware that it’s affecting their behaviors. But it’s important for us to examine these parallels, so we can better understand and change them:

The teach-a-man-to-fish paternalism. This philosophy, so ingrained in our culture, is patronizing and often ineffective, sometimes harmful. It assumes one person is a fount of knowledge while the other is an ignorant, empty vessel to be filled with wisdom. It ignores systems and environmental variables. We can teach someone to fish, but if they have no transportation to get to the pond, or if the pond is polluted, or if better-equipped corporations have been destroying aquaculture through over-fishing, then they’re still screwed while we feel good about ourselves. We see the same dynamics in funding via this belief that nonprofits can be self-sustaining if we just teach them to earn their revenues instead of constantly asking for free fish in the form of grants and donations.

The Bootstrap Mentality: This belief that people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps has been plaguing our low-income families for decades. It manifests in individuals who have found success to think they actually did it all on their own, blaming poor people for their situations, never mind again the privilege and system issues. In the nonprofit sector, it is seen in people from for-profits having an inflated sense of superiority, thinking “If my for-profit was successful in generating revenues, why can’t these lazy nonprofits also pull themselves up by their bootstraps?” Never mind the fact that over half of for-profits fail and that nonprofits and for-profits are completely different from each other.

The assumption of inability for future planning. There is an assumption that poor people don’t know how to plan for their future. If they do, why are they so poor then? Obviously they suck at planning ahead. The same assumption plays out in our sector. There is a belief among many people that if we give nonprofits too much money, they won’t know what to do with it. A program officer once told me, “I don’t want to give multi-year funding, because I think that will stop nonprofits from being innovative.” Because nothing encourages innovation better than regular bouts of night-terror-inducing, morale-sinking cash-flow emergencies.

The lack of trust in people’s ability to manage money: Society thinks poor people don’t know how to spend the money we give them. That’s why we have to monitor how they do it. Let’s restrict their ability to spend their food stamps on junk food; left to their own devices, they’ll probably just guzzle beer while feeding their kids tons of Hot Cheetos. Same with nonprofits. We need to monitor every penny they spend; otherwise, they’d probably waste money on fancy chairs and blinged-out business cards. And if we can’t protect these irresponsible organizations from themselves, then at least let’s make sure our own money is not being used to fund these things.

The No-Free-Lunch: There have been idiotic proposals by clueless politicians designed to punish the poor for violating whatever ridiculous expectations are set out for them. Like taking away food stamps if their kids don’t get good enough grades or if they’re not volunteering or seeking out employment, despite the fact that there are only so many volunteer and paid positions to go around. In our sector, our funding gets threatened if we don’t comply with various requirements, such as working toward “sustainability.” A colleague mentioned a grant that won’t pay for staff wages and other indirect expenses, and applicants have to demonstrate that they will be completely self-sustaining within a year. That gave us all a good chuckle.

The punishment of success. Ironically, while we expect poor people to work and save up money so they can stop being dependent, we punish them when they succeed at that, removing their benefits if they earn close to an amount where they may actually be able to no longer need the benefits. It’s weirdly paradoxical, demotivating, and insulting. In nonprofits, many funders expect sustainability and yet punish nonprofits for having a strong reserve, which is probably the most important factor for sustainability. You need to be sustainable, but if you are too successful at that, we’re not funding you, or we take away the money we gave you. I remember frantically trying to spend some left-over money because it otherwise would have had to be returned, per the requirement of this funder, even though the reason we had leftover was because we were spending it wisely; that money we saved would have greatly helped our programs if we had been allowed to put it into reserve.

The avoidance of eye contact. Poor people make the general public sad. That’s why most people avoid eye contact with individuals experiencing homelessness. And in our sector, it leads to some donors and foundations to avoid nonprofits, creating barriers in the form of “safe space” that prevent those doing the work from communicating and collaborating with those funding the work.

The expectation of gratitude: Every single time I bring up some sort of feedback regarding ineffective, time-wasting funding practices in our sector—such as requiring board chair signatures on grant applications (Why? Whyyyyy?!)—inevitably some people will counter with things like, “So people are giving you their hard-earned money, and you’re whining? You should just be grateful and comply.” It’s the same as poor people being expected to just be happy and appreciative of whatever scraps they manage to get."



"So many funding and accounting practices are anchored in a severe and pervasive distrust of nonprofits, the same distrust we heap on individuals with low-income. It goes without saying that these myths and philosophies are destructive, toward both our low-income community members and toward nonprofits. We must begin with trust as the default, or our community loses. If we are going to effectively address society’s numerous, complex problems—and recent tragedies and violence nationally and internationally highlight just how complex and serious things are—the way we currently view nonprofits must change. The relationships between funders, donors, nonprofits, for-profits, media, and government must change. We must see each other as equal partners with different but complementary roles to play. We must understand where philosophically our requirements come from and how they are affecting our partners, how it helps or hampers their work. We must be able to provide each other honest feedback and push one another to do better for our community. "
nonprofit  nonprofits  2016  funding  foundations  paulshoemaker  fundraising  restrictedfunding  sustainability  grantwriting  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  charitableindustrialcomplex  money  power  control  gratitude  trust  management  administration  leadership  planning  capitalism 
july 2016 by robertogreco
CREARTE
"Jóvenes en CREARTE
Conocer más acerca de nuestra escuela alternativa (bajo el Proyecto C.A.S.A. del Departamento de Educación de Puerto rico); sobre los requisitos de admisión y las próximas actividades. La Escuela Alternativa Jóvenes en CREARTE ofrece servicios en modalidad acelerada a jóvenes entre los 16 y los 21 años que interesan completar su 4to año."



"CREARTE, Inc. es una institución organizada bajo las leyes del Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico e incorporada como una sin fines de lucro el 16 de febrero de 2000. Sus oficinas corporativas se encuentran localizadas en Río Piedras y se constituye por una Junta de Directores que, a su vez, está regida por su propio reglamento. Mediante donativos de diferentes agencias privadas y gubernamentales, así como a partir de propuestas sometidas y contrato con el Departamento de la Familia, CREARTE opera desde el 26 de septiembre de 2001. CREARTE ofrece servicios dirigidos a la formación de valores y carácter a través del buen manejo del tiempo libre y de las artes y el compromiso con el aprendizaje. Además, ofrece servicios de orientación social, así como orientación y educación a la comunidad."

[See also: https://twitter.com/creartepr ]

[via: https://www.instagram.com/p/BHSt07KA_wW/

"Xavier Varcárcel and his coworkers have known to go weeks without pay, sometimes not having enough to afford for gas to make it to work. Varcárcel is the Director of Arts Programming at CREARTE, Inc., a nonprofit organization that offers after school programming and alternative education institutions in two towns of the island.

The young artist is working to implement a membership dues model for the organization to raise independent funds. CREARTE depends on the Puerto Rican government to cover up most of their budget. Currently many local nonprofits have been affected by the delay in the release of funds having to keep their employees unpaid or worse."]
sanjuan  puertorico  xaviervarcárcel  education  art  nonprofit  alternative  afterschoolprograms  nonprofits 
july 2016 by robertogreco
One Stone | US
"One Stone is a student-led and directed nonprofit that makes students better leaders and the world a better place. Our program empowers high school students to learn and practice 21st century skills through experiential service, innovative initiatives and social entrepreneurship.

Our work is rooted in design thinking, a creative problem solving and innovation discovery process developed at Stanford University’s d.school. Using design thinking, we can uncover new ideas that allow us to disrupt for good – improving the status quo for lasting change. Through this, students learn and practice critical 21st Century skills: empathy, collaboration, communication, leadership, innovation, critical thinking, adaptability and creativity.

One Stone does not charge membership dues or fees, ensuring that our programs are accessible to any high school student who wants to be a better leader and make the world a better place."



"Welcome to the Big Idea – the One Stone free, independent high school.

Only it really isn’t anything like a high school — it’s more of an “un-school.” No classes or grades; no teachers or classrooms. Instead, One Stone is a collaborative place where coaches help each student explore their passions. Students learn by doing. Building on years of experience with project-based learning and the successful delivery of 21st century skills, One Stone has curated a learning experience for students.

Building on the successful foundation of One Stone, all learners work on One Stone ventures that provide real-world experience while helping to fund the school and its programs. They understand the power of innovation and iteration and acquire a highly-personalized understanding of the world—including how they relate to it and how they can fully participate in it.

Learners develop multiple solutions to problems and discover the importance of combining, exploring, and creating new opportunities and innovations. They learn that solutions depend on perspective, and that only by empathizing with multiple stakeholders can they fully explore the terrain of possibilities. Our graduates are better equipped not just to go on to post-secondary education but to thrive, start a business, or follow other passions. They are innovative thinkers and doers. They are financially literate and will successfully employ life skills. They make informed decisions about thought, speech, and action that are grounded in their authentic story.

One Stone learners are able to navigate the ethical dilemmas facing our time with creativity, cultural competency, and compassion. They lead with empathy through difficult conversations and are aware of what they can bring to any context. One Stone will graduate an army of talent—leaders who will make change and make the world a better place."
boise  idaho  schools  education  unschooling  nonprofit  designthinking  alternative  learning  nonprofits 
may 2016 by robertogreco
Universities Are Becoming Billion-Dollar Hedge Funds With Schools Attached | The Nation
" Students are beginning to urge divestment."



"All told, hedge funds have over $3 trillion worth of assets under management globally. In theory, they exist to provide a “hedge” to protect investor portfolios in tough times. Hedging, seen in this light, is simply one investment strategy among many. In practice, however, they are alternative investment vehicles that tend to be housed offshore to avoid oversight and taxes, which means they are largely unregulated, face minimal disclosure requirements, and can engage in all sorts of risky bets and market manipulations.

Not long ago universities were, in the words of one report, “careful stewards of endowment income” and avoided such shenanigans. In the early seventies Harvard and Yale spearheaded committees on investor responsibility and devised ethical investment policies for endowments that considered things like social impact. In the nineties things began to change. Many schools, private and public, have become high-risk gamblers, with finance overtaking fundraising as the main engine of endowment growth. A more aggressive approach to investing paid off—until the economy melted down and caused some endowments to lose up to 30 percent of their value.

But experts and activists have other concerns. Some commentators, for example, are troubled by public tax-exempt educational institutions doing business with companies notorious for dodging taxes in offshore havens. More generally, tax exemption is a giant government subsidy that disproportionately benefits elite schools (the ones that attract the biggest donations and earn the largest investment returns), thus further polarizing an educational system already separated into haves and have-nots.

And it gets worse. In a report called “Educational Endowments and the Financial Crisis,” Joshua Humphreys, president and senior fellow at Croatan Institute points to an even more disturbing consequence of risky investment practices. By embracing speculative trading tactics, exotic derivatives, hedge funds and private equity, “endowments played a role in magnifying certain systemic risks in the capital markets,” Humphreys writes. What’s more, their initial success encouraged other institutional investors (think pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, and foundations) to follow in their footsteps, amplifying the system’s overall volatility and instability. In other words, endowments were not just innocent victims of the 2008 financial crisis, but actually helped enable it.

“Hedge funds, as they were initially conceived, have a potential role to play in a long-term endowment seeking to ‘hedge’ certain risks,” Humphreys told me, making clear he’s hesitant to write them off entirely. “But their arbitrarily high fee structures, the excessive compensation of their managers, and their deliberate evasion of taxes and transparency make hedge funds easy targets for stakeholders rightly concerned about the simmering crisis of higher education today.”"



" The time has come for students to connect the dots between ballooning student debt, the poor treatment of campus workers, and the obscene wealth of hedge fund oligarchs. Once they do, they can fight back by following in the footsteps of recent mobilizations against the financial sector. In 2013, a group called Kick Wall Street Off Campus forced Minnesota’s Macalester College to move some, though not all, of its money out of Wells Fargo to protest the bank’s role in community foreclosures. In June of last year, Santa Cruz County pulled together to get its money out of five giant banks—including Citicorp and JPMorgan Chase and Barclays—that pleaded guilty in the spring to felony charges that they rigged the world’s foreign-currency market. Similar campaigns could easily be waged against university endowment partnerships with hedge funds.

Of course, kicking hedge funds of campus won’t solve the college crisis or instantly reform the financial sector. Nevertheless, targeting hedge funds remains a promising tactic for uniting students and workers against hedge funds’ efforts to increase inequality, and using our tuition dollars and public subsidies to do so. This tactic would be especially effective at public institutions where divestment campaigns should be coupled with calls for increased state funding for higher education and better pay for low-wage workers.

“It’s easy to feel powerless, but hedge funds need university endowments, just like they also need public pensions. If that money was taken away, it would really affect them,” Strain says, and he’s right. Campus divestment movements have a proven track record, going back to campaigns against Apartheid in the 1980s. Over the last few years, climate activists have pressured school trustees to divert trillions of dollars from fossil fuels, and last year Columbia became the first university to divest from private prisons. Hedge funds deserve to be next on the chopping block."
astrataylor  education  neoliberalism  2016  universities  colleges  endowments  divestment  finance  politics  money  hedgefunds  highered  highereducation  nonprofit  taxes  taxation  funding  inequality  ivyleague  harvard  princeton  stanford  yalconflisctsofinterest  nonprofits 
march 2016 by robertogreco
Why Harvard should be taxed ["Harvard is a 'hedge fund with a university attached to it'"] - Business Insider
"“The joke about Harvard is that it’s a hedge fund with a university attached to it,” Mark Schneider tells me. It’s a quip that, for obvious reasons, has become pretty popular in recent years.

In 2014, the university’s legendary endowment, overseen by a team of in-house experts and spread across a mind-bending array of investments that range from stocks and bonds to California wine vineyards, hit $36.4 billion.

“They’re just collecting tons, and tons, and tons of money,” says Schneider, a former Department of Education official who is currently a fellow at the American Institutes for Research.

Of course, normal hedge funds have to pay taxes on their earnings. Because it’s a nonprofit, Harvard doesn’t. And since bestowing tax exemptions is the same as spending cash from the government’s perspective (budgeteers call them “tax expenditures” for a reason), that means the American public effectively subsidizes Harvard’s moneymaking engine.

The same goes for Stanford (endowment: $21.4 billion), Princeton (endowment: $21 billion), Yale (endowment$23.9 billion), and the country’s other elite institutions of higher education.

Aiding wealthy research universities that cater to largely affluent undergraduates might have been acceptable in a more flush era. But at a time when state colleges are still suffering from deep budget cuts that have driven up tuition and politicians are stretching for ways to make school more affordable for middle-class students, clawing back some of that cash to spend on needier schools is starting to sound awfully appealing. Which is why it might just be time to start taxing Harvard and its cohort.

This isn’t a new idea by any stretch—in 2008, lawmakers in Massachusetts considered slapping a 2.5 percent tax on large university endowments—but Schneider has made an especially intriguing case for it."



"Another quandary: Today, the government generally doesn’t tax savings. It taxes income. So why take a cut of wealth from colleges when we don’t do it to individuals? As Kim Rueben, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, put it to me, “We’re going to tax Harvard, but we’re not going to tax Warren Buffet?”

And, of course, there might be unintended consequences. Even with write-offs for financial aid, taxing endowments could encourage schools to spend less on things society generally likes, such as new research labs. The government could tax schools and require them to spend a minimum amount, which is how it treats private foundations. But then you have to consider to what creative lengths Harvard might go to avoid the IRS.

Cutting down the tax advantages of rich schools, obviously, would not be simple. But it still worth seriously considering the idea. Maybe we should consider taxing the Met as well. Maybe the government could stick to what it knows and tax Harvard’s capital gains instead of its whole endowment. Maybe we could learn to live with a little tax avoidance. However we choose to do it, I think we’d all like to spend a little less money sending other people’s kids to Harvard."
colleges  highered  highereducation  nonprofit  universities  money  finance  taxes  taxation  funding  inequality  ivyleague  harvard  endowments  princeton  stanford  yale  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  government  hedgefunds  jordanweissmann  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  capitalism  power  control 
february 2016 by robertogreco
Silicon Valley’s New Philanthropy - The New York Times
"THE enduring credo of Silicon Valley is that innovation, not money, is its guiding purpose and that world-changing technology is its true measure of worth.

Wealth is treated as a pleasant byproduct, a bit like weight loss after rugged adventure travel.

The tech world is home to some of the planet’s wealthiest entrepreneurs and most dynamic philanthropists, 21st-century heirs to Carnegie and Rockefeller who say they can apply the same ingenuity and zeal that made them rich to making the rest of the world less poor. San Francisco also has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the nation, with the wealth distortion most concentrated among the very people who are driving the economy as a whole.

A similar paradox seeps into philanthropy. Tech entrepreneurs believe their charitable giving is bolder, bigger and more data-driven than anywhere else — and in many ways it is. But despite their flair for disruption, these philanthropists are no more interested in radical change than their more conservative predecessors. They don’t lobby for the redistribution of wealth; instead, they see poverty and inequality as an engineering problem, and the solution is their own brain power, not a tithe.

As Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist and philanthropist who invested in, among other things, Twitter and Airbnb, put it in a Twitter post: “Thanks to Airbnb, now anyone with a house or apartment can offer a room for rent. Hence, income inequality reduced.”

Increasingly, though, idealistic tech leaders find themselves giving back to a world that complains that they took too much in the first place. The skepticism is all the more wounding because some tech luminaries ardently believe their businesses can solve social ills."



"But second-guessing in Silicon Valley is a pesky inevitability. As Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, put it at a Vanity Fair tech conference in San Francisco in October, “Basically, everything impactful you want to do has some controversy.”

In Silicon Valley, there is pious disdain for Wall Street’s showy, status-seeking ways of giving. “The primary reason my wife and I give to charity is to accomplish some change in the world,” said Elie Hassenfeld, who quit his job at a hedge fund to help create GiveWell, a San Francisco-based charity-evaluating service that guides the philanthropical choices of, among others, Dustin Moskovitz, one of the founders of Facebook. “We don’t attend galas or give to my alma mater.”

Those may not be such big distinctions. “There is a bit of delusion in Silicon Valley that they are not like the other rich because their technology is ‘making the world a better place,’ ” said Steve Hilton, a former aide to Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and a co-founder of Crowdpac.com, a political start-up. “But McDonald’s and Walmart also think that their businesses help society. Walmart says it lowers the cost of living for poor families. All corporations think they are having a positive impact.”"



"“The techno-utopianism of hackers has already transformed our lives,” Mr. Parker wrote. “But the greatest contribution that hackers make to society may be yet to come — if we are willing to retain the intellectual and creative spirit that got us this far.”

Bay Area nonprofits pride themselves on efficiency and “scalability,” applying sophisticated metrics to assess the success of social programs. Give Directly, for example, is a charity that uses cellphones to give unconditional cash transfers to poor people in Africa without government bureaucracy, corruption or costly overhead. The program relied on a 2013 study in rural Kenya that used satellites to distinguish thatched roofs from tin ones, because villagers with thatched roofs are poorer. It also monitored how the income was spent and even how it made recipients feel: the villagers’ saliva was collected to see if their cortisol levels decreased, a sign of reduced stress. The report concludes: “We document a 0.19SD increase in happiness.”

Back home, happiness is in the eye of the beholder. “There’s a lot of giving and impact investment and caring, but those people are not looking to change the fundamental rules of how power operates,” said Michael Gast, a consultant for social justice nonprofits in Oakland.

The disaffection isn’t merely manifested in a few protesters blocking Google shuttle buses or in Tesla-hating, or in labor unions fighting the “sharing economy.” Nor is it just the economists who complain that tech companies like Google and Facebook are monopolies — the Standard Oils of the moment.

Academics and relief workers have been grumbling for a while about so-called philanthrocapitalists who try to micromanage their giving. The writer David Rieff questions the tech-centric approach to fighting global poverty of the Gates Foundation in a new book, “The Reproach of Hunger.” In “The Prize,” the journalist Dale Russakoff looks at what went wrong with Mr. Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Newark to resurrect its schools.

And the transformative power of Silicon Valley is slapped down by one of its own in “Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology,” written by a Microsoft apostate, Kentaro Toyama.

Rob Reich, a political-science professor at Stanford who is also a co-director of the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, notes that the tax deduction that comes with a billionaire’s grant to charter schools is essentially money that won’t be spent on public schools, calling Silicon Valley largess “an exercise of power that is unaccountable, nontransparent and tax-subsidized.”

While tech titans champion efforts to strengthen the social safety net for the most disadvantaged, many express less concern for the stagnating middle class. Alec Ross, who was an innovation adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton when she was secretary of state and is the author of “The Industries of the Future,” notes that entrepreneurs privately complain about workers, skilled and unskilled, who haven’t kept pace with the new tech-based economy.

“You hear derision for the working- and middle-class people who think that their education ends at the age of 22,” Mr. Ross said. “People who want their work to stay the same without doing anything to improve themselves.”

Nor is there much talk in these circles about taxing the rich to even the playing field. A few tech billionaires like Reed Hastings, a Netflix founder, have said they support raising taxes on the wealthy. There are many more who don’t publicly oppose a tax increase but feel they are paying plenty already. There is also a libertarian streak in parts of Silicon Valley that allows some to believe they can spend their tax dollars better than the government ever will.

There are, of course, some in Silicon Valley who blend tech savoir faire with old-school Carnegie-style philanthropy."
philanthropy  2015  siliconvalley  technolosolutionism  charity  nonprofits  inequality  middleclass  marbenioff  marcandreesen  marksukerberg  billgates  gatesfoundation  wallstreet  seanparker  economics  taxes  taxation  robreich  nonprofit 
november 2015 by robertogreco
David Geffen's $100 million gift to UCLA is philanthropy at its absolute worst - Vox
"Music mogul David Geffen is very, very bad at being a philanthropist. His past donations have mostly taken the form of massive gifts to prominent universities and cultural institutions, rather than to poor people or important research or even less famous, more financially desperate universities and arts centers. And his charitable giving usually comes with a major branding component. This past March, he committed $100 million to renovate a concert hall at Lincoln Center — but only after the center paid $15 million to the family of Avery Fisher, the hall's former namesake, so that Geffen could have his name plastered on it. It's like renaming a sports stadium, except that Geffen gets a massive tax write-off for it.

But his latest gift really takes the cake. Geffen is giving $100 million to UCLA to set up a private middle and high school on its campus. You see, the UCLA Lab School only serves students — many of them faculty brats — up to the sixth grade, and poor old UCLA has "not been able to attract certain talent because of the costs of educating their children." In particular, Geffen worries that UCLA's medical school — excuse me, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA — isn't able to compete with Harvard and Johns Hopkins because of the lack of a nearby private high school.

The LA Times's Larry Gordon adds that Geffen "declined to discuss his views on public education in Los Angeles." You don't say.

Geffen might as well have just set $100 million on fire

It's hard to know where to start in explaining why this gift is such a grotesque waste. For one thing, it genuinely doesn't matter to anyone without a sentimental attachment to UCLA whether its medical school is competitive with Harvard and Johns Hopkins. The faculty members that Geffen is trying to recruit away are certainly doing important research that will save lives — but they're doing it wherever they teach. Why should anyone care whether that happens at UCLA or at Johns Hopkins? Unless one genuinely believes that the climate of southern California can effect a meaningful boost in the productivity of biomedical researchers, relative to Baltimore or Cambridge, improved recruitment for UCLA accomplishes precisely nothing for the world at large.

But at least the faculty brats will get a free education, right? Other than the existing free education they could get by enrolling their children in the LA public school system? Nope! The education won't be free. "Many details about the school remain to be decided, including tuition and admissions criteria," Gordon reports, but half of the school's 600 students will be children of UCLA employees, and about 40 percent of students will get financial aid. So even if nobody gets tuition assistance except UCLA faculty, a fifth of the faculty kids who get educated at the school will pay full freight. Their parents will benefit not in financial terms but through improved convenience. The problem being solved isn't that other private schools are too expensive; it's that they make it too hard to pick up and drop off kids.

It's worse than that, though. Gordon writes that UCLA employees already have a convenient, free option: "A special agreement with the Los Angeles Unified School District allows children of UCLA professors and other employees to attend several well-regarded public schools in and near Westwood, no matter where they live." The city government has gone out of its way to give UCLA faculty access to good, conveniently located public schools. But that's not enough for David Geffen, for some reason.

The only rationale for the school that has even the patina of plausibility is the claim by UCLA chancellor Gene Block to Gordon that it will provide a place for UCLA's education school to test different learning and teaching methods. That indeed sounds admirable. But you know where else UCLA education researchers can do that? The UCLA Community School, a public school that, unlike the Lab School or the new Geffen Academy, is able to test learning methods on children of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. And while the Lab School can only test on students up to sixth grade, the Community School is K-12.

If David Geffen had a sincere interest in improving the quality of research on K-12 pedagogy, he would've given to the Community School, or perhaps paid for the establishment of a new school like that for UCLA or another school with top-tier education researchers. But Geffen does not, obviously, have any kind of sincere interest in improving research. He just wants to help a school with his name on it win a pissing match with Harvard and Johns Hopkins.

This is worse than not giving at all

That said, it doesn't seem particularly likely that investing in pedagogical research is the most cost-effective donation Geffen could make. Instead, he could give $100 million to distribute bednets in sub-Saharan Africa, a highly cost-effective way to save lives. He could give $100 million directly to poor people in Kenya and Uganda through GiveDirectly. He could give $100 million to deworming efforts that spare children ailments that can cause immense pain and poverty. He could give $100 million to the Open Philanthropy Project or the Gates Foundation or another group doing careful, rigorous work to determine the best ways to use charitable resources to make the world a better place. He could, in fact, do all of the above, because he's crazy stupid rich.

Instead he decided that what LA really needed was a new private school. "Yes, charity is better than no charity," Gawker's Hamilton Nolan writes in an excellent post on the Geffen gift. "But no, all charitable giving is not created equal." I'd go further than Nolan. This gift is actually worse than no charity. No charity at least doesn't actively undermine the LA public school system by encouraging affluent parents to defect from it — in particular affluent parents who are already being specially induced to put their kids in public school. Geffen is actively making education in Los Angeles worse because he wants the medical school named after him to rise in the US News rankings. It's indefensible.

VIDEO: Helping poverty is a better use of $100 million"
philanthropy  nonprofits  charitableindustrialcomplex  2015  davidgeffen  dylanmatthews  losangeles  schools  education  gatesfoundation  charity  us  money  ucla  uclalabschool  larrygordon  provateschools  independentschools  inequality  uclacommunityschool  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofit  capitalism  power  control 
november 2015 by robertogreco
The Best Gifts Don't Come With Lots of Strings Attached - Voice of San Diego
"One of my guilty pleasures on Sundays is reading the Modern Love column in The New York Times. It’s in the same section that has the wedding announcements. A while back I read a piece called “Swearing off the modern man.” It was written by a college student who dated a man who wasn’t connected to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. She described how, unlike her other relationships that were chronicled online in a constant stream of witty posts and photos, it was deliciously old-fashioned because it was private.

That night I woke up at 2:30 a.m. thinking about how her story had a lot of parallels to modern philanthropy.

What struck me was how, in the rush to embrace technology (which always seems so seductive) or technology’s proxy (the next new thing), it’s easy to lose sight of strategies that have served us well for decades.

Older forms of formal philanthropy, and here I’m talking about philanthropy during the past century, involved donors of all types making grants or gifts to nonprofit causes because they believed in the work that was being carried out or needed to be done. In the case of larger gifts, that often meant a donor trusted the leader of an organization.

Their thinking was something like this: Joe Schmo’s been working in the trenches a long time. He’s smart and passionate about this issue and certainly knows more about it than I do. I want to support his organization because I trust him and believe they do good work.

Today, that rarely happens.

Instead, in our desire to “do good,” we go online to research what nonprofits we should contribute to and land on websites of charity rating agencies that instruct us to penalize organizations that they determine spend too much on administration. That leaves us second-guessing organizations we thought did good work and suddenly wagging fingers at them.

So what do we do? We confine our giving to the basics, restricting our gifts for specific purposes to prevent the organization from using any of our money for admin.

Imagine if your boss said, “I’ll let you use your paycheck for clothes, food, rent and gas but don’t you dare spend a penny on anything else.” That, in essence, is what many of us do when we give to nonprofits. We restrict the ability of organizations to spend our money in a way that will best serve their mission.

Many of us are riding the wave of “donor-controlled philanthropy,” where donors of all types – big and small – want to determine exactly how their money will be spent before giving it away. The thinking goes that our money should be dedicated for specific programs that help real people or make real things happen, and not for superfluous things like administrative or overhead expenses.

The problem is that many people don’t stop to think about how nonprofits operate. It’s really quite simple: Just like every other organization on the planet, good nonprofits must have a strong administrative backbone to support the mission-driven activities they offer. That means they need money for things like computer hardware and software, staff to handle human resources and accounting, for organizational and strategic planning, and so on.

According to GuideStar, a renowned institution that collects and disseminates information on every nonprofit registered with the IRS, “it is relatively rare to find an organization that over-invests in administrative expenses.”

The second thing that’s important to know about nonprofit work is this: Serving people isn’t exactly like serving burgers. Success isn’t necessarily measured by the number of people assisted but by the results achieved from the service provided (and, yes, evaluation is considered to be an administrative cost).

Evaluation is tricky. For example, if 200 kids participate in a gang prevention program, does that mean it’s a success? If a veteran’s service organization finds more homeless vets on the street this year than last, does that mean it was unsuccessful? If a theater doesn’t sell out a show, does that mean the play or performance was bad? If researchers dedicate years to finding a cure for a disease do we consider their efforts to be futile or do they hold promise?

The types of issues and problems that nonprofit organizations tackle are complex by their very nature. And although there have been some recent isolated attempts to profit from or commodify these activities (see philanthrocapitalism), for the most part, nonprofit work is difficult and unglamorous.

So during this season of gift-giving, let’s treat our contributions to nonprofits like real gifts. Let’s celebrate and appreciate the work that so many women and men do in our community and beyond to make the world a better place by believing in them and supporting them generously."
philanthropy  via:lizette  patlibby  charity  inequality  charitableindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofit  capitalism  power  control 
november 2015 by robertogreco
Tax private schools.
"My colleague Allison Benedikt has a worthy rant attempting to use moral suasion to persuade people not to send their children to private school. She's absolutely right. She also very reasonably says that private school should not be made illegal. Freedom, after all, counts for something.

That said for the public policy literalist in your life, I would say that the relevant issue here is taxes. Private elementary and high schools are, like many other classes of nonprofit institution in the United States, subject to some very favorable tax treatment. One part of this is that donations to private schools can be deducted from your income tax bill. For normal people, the charitable tax deduction isn't a particularly large subsidy. But for the kind of people who send their children to private schools and who pay very high marginal income tax rates, this can be extremely valuable. Second, non-profit institutions are generally exempted from property taxes which, again, can be a big deal in expensive cities.

I'm a little bit skeptical about both of these practices in general. But as applied to private schools it seems totally and obviously outrageous. A private high school may be a non-profit organization, but it's certainly not a charity. It's a private club for the benefit of the families involved. At best private school is a private consumption good like buying your kids expensive clothes or fancy toys. There's no reason municipal tax codes should encourage land to be used for private schools rather than houses or regular businesses and there's no reason the income tax code should encourage rich parents to spend money on private school tuition rather than anything else. John Cook's view that private school should be illegal goes too far, but I'm skeptical that hectoring alone is enough to solve this problem. Make prep schools start paying property taxes, and deny their donors lavish tax subsidies for their donations and I think we'll start to see some real change."

[See also: “There's a Simple Solution to the Public Schools Crisis”
http://gawker.com/5943005/theres-a-simple-solution-to-the-public-schools-crisis
privateschools  education  schools  charitableindustrialcomplex  allisonbenedikt  matthewyglesias  economics  taxes  nonprofit  policy  johncook  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  capitalism  power  control 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Museum admission should be free: The state of art in 2014 - LA Times
"Recently I visited six prominent art museums in two states (Texas and Ohio) and saw a wide variety of rewarding special exhibitions and exceptional permanent collections. Aside from individual works of art, which included some of the most important paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, illustrated books and decorative objects made in the entire history of world civilization, I was struck by something else: Admission to five of the six art museums was free.

That is as it should be.

Yes, every art museum needs multiple sources of revenue. It does cost money to run the place.

However, because they are tax exempt, art museums already count the public as a major, indirect source of revenue. Required admission fees add a second hit — a kind of "double jeopardy" — and it is one that falls harder on those who can least afford it.

The simple fact that I was struck by not having to pay for the privilege of entering tax-exempt, not-for-profit art institutions on my recent journeys suggests how unusual the experience is. That's because most of my museum time is spent in Los Angeles. Until this year, only one of the city's six most important art museums hasn't had a tariff for the public to see its art — even though the public at least nominally supports or owns it.

In February L.A. got its second free museum. UCLA's Hammer Museum joined the J. Paul Getty Museum (and the Getty Villa) in having no entry cost. The Hammer raised funds to bridge the immediate funding gap, and it has been working toward expanding memberships for added revenue. But here's the true measure of success: In the 10 months since dropping admission fees, the museum reports a hefty attendance jump of 25%.

Museums like to say that they are eager to engage new audiences, and no doubt they are. Growing attendance by a quarter without tinkering with the program is a pretty good working definition of new audience engagement.

Admission policies often have an unacknowledged influence on museum programs too, and it isn't always healthy. Admission fees turn visitors into customers, and relying on customers turns an educational enterprise — which is what a museum is — into a public entertainment. Quantity of response trumps quality of response, and in the short run the surest way to juice quantity is to popularize the program.

For example: It probably isn't an accident that each of the last three directors at the Museum of Contemporary Art (general admission $12) has chosen to host an exhibition revolving around Andy Warhol. Contemporary art is not popular with the public, but Warhol is a household name — a celebrity. What Monet or Picasso is for Modern art, Warhol is to contemporary art.

The most famous artist of the last half-century is presumably a popular draw. Here's the catch: None of MOCA's three Warhol shows added much of any significance to our already established understanding of a major artist's work. And each exhibition was less interesting than the one before it. The slide was palpable.

Museums might say they're interested in engaging new audiences, but sometimes it seems they're actually eager to engage more paying customers. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, mostly free since 1941, just announced it would zoom from zero to $18 a head.

Ironically, when it comes to admissions we're not even talking about a huge revenue generator. Nationally, the portion of an art museum's annual operating budget that is covered by visitors pushing cash across the counter at the admissions desk hovers in the vicinity of 5%. That's beyond modest, relatively speaking.

Free admission is already the norm at several smaller, more specialized institutions around the city, including the California African American Museum, the Annenberg Space for Photography, the UCLA Fowler Museum and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Save for the Getty, however, the most imposing art museums in town swing far in the other direction.

In addition to MOCA, there's the Huntington (general admission $20 to $23), Los Angeles County Museum of Art ($15 to $25) and Norton Simon Museum ($12). You could certainly get free entry at any of them if you were a member, but I doubt many people sign up at all four: Together, the lowest individual rate for that would be $340.

One comparative test of the admission practice will come next fall, when the Broad Collection opens downtown on Grand Avenue. Happily, the Broad administration announced this year that, like the Getty and the Hammer, its collection of blue-chip contemporary art will be open free to the public.

It has been hoped that the splashy new attraction will also benefit MOCA, the Broad's edgier neighbor across the street. Interest in one might generate interest in the other. Soon we'll know whether MOCA's admission fee is a barrier — and if so, how much."
museums  2014  admissions  funding  cost  money  revenue  nonprofits  free  getty  hammermuseum  moca  ucla  christopherknight  art  losangeles  accessibility  access  nonprofit 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Coming Showdown Over University Endowments: Enlisting the Donors [.pdf]
"This Essay focuses on the discordance between universities with particularly large endowments and what is occurring in the rest of higher education, particularly with respect to skyrocketing tuition and a growing institutional wealth gap. The Essay considers absolute endowment values, the amount of endowment per student, and expense-endowment ratios at sixty private universities. It concludes that a small number of schools have an excess endowment, and then provides a convenient proxy for determining when an endowment is so large that it should receive less preferential tax treatment. The Essay then considers the effects that large endowments have at their home institutions and throughout higher education, the arguments in defense of large endowments, and some frequently proposed modifications to the tax code. The Essay recommends that policymakers modify the charitable deduction for gifts to universities with mega-endowments, as part of a multifaceted effort to spur endowment spending and control tuition."

[See also: https://pinboard.in/u:robertogreco/b:5dcd8b659f56 ]
sarahwaldeck  charities  nonprofit  2009  law  legal  finance  universities  colleges  wealth  taxation  taxes  endowments  charity  nonprofits 
december 2014 by robertogreco
National Institute for Play
"The National Institute for Play is a 501c(3) non-profit public benefit corporation committed to bringing the unrealized knowledge, practices and benefits of play into public life. It is gathering research from diverse play scientists and practitioners, initiating projects to expand the clinical scientific knowledge of human play and translating this emerging body of knowledge into programs and resources which deliver the transformative power of play to all segments of society.

Our Organization

The National Institute for Play is led by the founder, Dr. Stuart Brown. The Board of Directors includes those with long experience in the business, academic, professional sports and non-profit sectors. The Institute has also established a Council of Advisors consisting of distinguished scientists from many science disciplines as well as play practitioners.

Our Founder, Dr. Stuart Brown

Trained in general and internal medicine, psychiatry and clinical research, he first discovered the importance of play by discerning its absence in a carefully studied group of homicidal young males, beginning with the University of Texas Tower mass murderer, Charles Whitman. He later became founding Clinical Director and Chief of Psychiatry at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center and an Associate Professor at UCSD in San Diego, California. Over the course of his clinical career, he interviewed thousands of people to capture their play profiles. His cataloging of their profiles demonstrated the active presence of play in the accomplishments of the very successful and also identified negative consequences that inevitably accumulate in a play-deprived life.

As he ended his clinical career, he believed that play could be the key to discovering the giftedness that is in everyone, but he realized that identifying the importance of play hadn’t really fully revealed what play is. So, in 1989 upon leaving clinical medicine, he decided to pursue play in greater depth.

He was surprised that much of the play-related research he reviewed was fragmented and lacked quantitative confirmation of factors readily observed clinically. A science and evidence-based way of understanding and suggesting how to improve play hygiene was and still is lacking. He turned to animal play research to gain insights into human play.

With the support of the National Geographic Society and Jane Goodall, he observed animal play in the wild. He became acquainted with the premier animal play experts in the world, and began to see play as a long evolved behavior important for the well being and survival of animals. He subsequently came to understand that humans are uniquely designed by nature to enjoy and participate in play throughout life."

[See also: http://www.centerforchildhoodcreativity.org/about/advisors/dr-stuart-brown/
http://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_brown_says_play_is_more_than_fun_it_s_vital ]
learning  play  design  anthropology  research  stuartbrown  wellness  health  sandiego  ucsd  nonprofit  nonprofits 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Part of the club : Columbia Journalism Review
"Voice of San Diego’s membership model has once again earned the organization a place in the national spotlight. If the model succeeds in San Diego, can it succeed elsewhere?"
voiceofsandiego  2014  journalism  nonprofit  sandiego  news  nonprofits 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Sam Hamill :: NewPages.com Interview
"NP: How did the press take off from there?

Hamill: In the fall of 1973, I met with Bill Ransom, who lived in Port Townsend. He and Joe Wheeler, who invented a non-profit arts organization called Centrum, were putting together a Port Townsend Symposium—they changed the name when it was pointed out that Symposium meant “to gather and drink.” They invited me to come and work with Centrum. They gave me a building in Port Townsend that was, for several years, rent-free. So I came here in utter poverty and lived in a travel-trailer, cleared some land, built my own house, and lived for several years. I had no regular income. I was basically supporting us and helping to support the press by teaching in prisons part time, in Artists in the Schools Programs, and working with battered women and children.

NP: Did that ever change, where Copper Canyon Press was making enough money that you didn’t have to support it?

Hamill: It changed in the 90s but it also radically changed the nature of the press, which is why I’m no longer there. It became a corporation, which creates corporate behavior, which is a kind of poison. People get involved in power and money and they lose sight of the real work. You have employees rather than real people who want to give something. That’s just the nature of corporate consciousness and I suppose it has to be because that’s what it’s there for. People make middle class incomes and live bourgeois lives. For the first 20 years of the press’s life, we lived “Buddhist economics,” which means we were not paid. That changes radically when you get a board of directors. You suddenly get bourgeois values and practices, a capitalist practice, in something that hadn’t been that way before.

It’s not that Copper Canyon makes money. Non profit corporations don’t make money. 40-50% of every book that you buy from Copper Canyon or other nonprofit presses comes from fundraising and donations.

NP: So you’ve thrown out “corporate culture” as an appropriate kind of work environment. What kind of work environment do you think a literary press should create and cultivate in its stead?

I didn’t “throw it out.” I simply pointed out that “incorporation” creates a board of directors that may change the direction, the focus and practice, of the organization."



"NP: What are some of the experiences along the way that have proved rewarding?

Hamill: All of the above.

NP: Including leaving Copper Canyon?

Hamill: Well, I chose to go out on my feet [rather] than remain on my knees.

If I didn’t learn anything else in 32 years, I learned to stand up for something against powerful bourgeois forces, and whether that something was as broad and indefinable as poetry or whether it’s really a simple system of ethics, it’s what has sustained me most of my adult life. I’m sure most of that goes back to Zen practice, but I liked being in the service of poetry, and I did a lot of homework so I could do it efficiently and well."



"NP: What are the most common difficulties you encountered? How did you solve them?

Hamill: As presses age, as it were, the major problem is dealing with boards of directors and the eternal fundraising problem, and it’s cyclical, and it’s infinite, and it’s consuming, and it really isn’t very healthy, this perpetual begging for money. I’m not opposed to it—I’m a good Buddhist—but I also think you need to work in the garden.

The “garden” is the labor- and time-intensive investment in our future, whether as working artists or as publishers. What I plant and nourish this year may bear fruit five years down the line. It’s work done for its own sake, for investment in one’s convictions.

Boards of directors are composed mostly of business people who also care about the arts. They want “success,” which means sales, reducing poetry to a commodity for the masses. Great poets rarely reach the masses during their lifetime. Nobody, really, read Whitman or Dickinson, for instance, until the mid-twentieth century. Sometimes the best poets sell in very low numbers during their lifetime. So there’s likely to be conflict in defining “success,” conflict between a visionary editor and his or her support system.

NP: Can a press that publishes poetry forgo that “begging for money”—in a country where people don’t buy poetry?

Hamill: You can’t say that. Part of the problem is that so much poetry is being published—over 2,000 titles each year. You don’t have to sell very many of each before you have a very large audience, but it’s a very eclectic audience. It can’t rival readers of pop fiction, but that’s why we’re nonprofit. We just need to find more efficient ways for the literati to have more control. There’s frankly too much bad poetry being published these days. Every graduating MFA has a fistful of publishable poetry, certified publishable by the institution. That’s foolish. It sets up a lot of false expectations. Most of those people cozy up to academia, where they live comfortable lives outside the mainstream of humanity. And they all publish and publish.

There’s a reason why sacrifice is such a major theme in poetry around the world. It’s a kind of religion. It’s the “vision thing.” We’re losing the tribal knowledge of the sacrifice that it takes to be a poet. We [poets] do this out of love. That is more important than a $60,000 salary. Desktop publishing is both wonderful and a horrible curse, because everything becomes immediately publishable.

Why do people who want to write not know anything about the history of writing? Why don’t they know anything about letter forms? I learned about those things because I wanted to write. I thought you should know where words come from and where letters come from. Did these letter-forms just suddenly appear? People talk about Chinese pictographs—but our D comes from the Greek, probably from Sumerian before that, and is a diagram of a door swinging on a hinge. Our A is from the Greek Alpha, which is a bull’s head turned upside down. So a lot of the letters in our alphabet go back to pictographic sources. We have such a wonderful hodgepodge of ideas in our writing, odds and ends of Greek and Spanish and Japanese. All these words creep into our language and sometimes change and sometimes connect with deep roots to their foreign cultures. It seems to me writers should know about that stuff, but we spend all our time on self-expression.

A good editor goes to school on language, on its sources and traditions, as well as on the poetry. The idea situation would be an endowed press, like New Directions, that allows a brilliant editor to be brilliant without the conflict between the numbers game and the vision of the practice."



"NP: OK, but I still want to know whether for-profit poetry presses can survive today. How did Copper Canyon survive for so many years before going non-profit?

We had an “umbrella organization” in Centrum that allowed us to get grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and we learned to master the arts of poverty. We studied hard and worked hard and made sacrifices for the good of the press."
samhamill  poetry  bookmaking  publishing  nonprofit  buddhism  buddhisteconomics  printing  economics  centrum  porttownsend  bourgeois  corporations  corporatism  organizations  power  money  coppercanyonpress  2006  capitalism  writing  mfa  nonprofits 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Throwing cold water on the phenomenon — The Message — Medium
"Lou Gehrig’s Disease is horrible; on this everyone agrees. And anything that might hasten the development of treatments or even a cure is inarguably worth supporting. But.

That damned ice bucket challenge. Celebrities, athletes, business executives, that annoying self-promotional person in your Facebook network —they’ve all embraced the charity campaign, becoming particularly inescapable in the last month. And it’s worked, with the ALS Association reporting a more-than-tenfold increase in donations since the campaign took off, yielding over $30 million in proceeds. [Update: Felix Salmon makes a credible case for donations reaching $100 million.]

It’s extraordinarily rare to see many people publicly criticizing a charity campaign, given the risks of being seen as heartless or obnoxious. That’s especially true given the record-breaking success of the ice bucket challenge. Yet many reasonable, caring people have voiced some skepticism or concern about the particulars of this charity effort. Something about the way the ice bucket challenge has taken off rubbed many of us the wrong way, even as we’ve been pleased by its success.

In the interest of understanding how even an undeniably meritorious effort could grate on the sensibilities of good people, I solicited specific reasons that the ice bucket challenge was annoying. Dozens of people replied, offering complaints that fit neatly into a few different (presumably not ice-filled) buckets. They are presented here, sorted from least legitimate to most legitimate.

It’s getting out of giving

At least in its most common incarnations, the premise of the ice bucket challenge was that the participants were dumping ice on their heads to avoid donating to the cause. Now, the majority of extremely wealthy people who have done the challenge have chosen both to dump ice on their heads and to donate to the cause. But the setup being anti-charity stuck in many people’s minds as a fairly offensive premise. This objection seems a bit more dubious, given that nobody is actually using the challenge as an excuse not to give to the cause, but it certainly helped color the conversation for those who were already skeptical.

[examples]

Charity Ought Not Be Public
That thine alms may be in secret: and
thy Father which seeth in secret
himself shall reward thee openly.

That exhortation to give in private was courtesy of Aaron Williamson, epitomizing this class of objections.

[examples]

Annoyance at the Participants

The rich are, of course, constant and often worthy targets of our scorn. And when they do anything to advertise themselves as being paragons of virtue, that’s a quick road to opprobrium. Even worse is when we combine that with egotistical celebrities nakedly expressing self-regard, thanking themselves for their own generosity. Rising naturally from the earlier objections to any public charity are even more strident objections to hyper-public charity.

[examples]

Objecting to the Manipulation

When a friend or colleague publicly asks one to participate in a charity effort, it’s of course a deeply coercive action. There’s no suitable response other than yes, unless one is willing to look insensitive or cruel in public.

[examples]

The Insensitivity of Mirth

Because ALS is a brutal, exhausting disease that ravages both those who are afflicted as well as their families and loved ones, the lighthearted tone of many videos from the challenge seemed tone-deaf. This becomes doubly true when so many on social media this week have been focused on profoundly troubling events around the world, from Missouri to Syria.

[examples]

No real focus on ALS

One of the most pervasive threads of criticism is that the participants seemed largely disconnected from harsh reality of ALS, saying almost nothing about the disease, the Association dedicated to helping those with the disease, or even where people watching the video could choose to donate themselves.

[examples]

Fundamental Funding Problems Are More Important

The most compelling, inarguable justification for objecting to the ice bucket challenge is that it shouldn’t be necessary in the first place. As many have pointed out, many elected officials who were willing to perform the stunt in ostensible solidarity with people who have ALS were also willing to cut funding to fight the disease.

[examples]

Surprisingly, this wasn’t one of the most popularly-articulated reasons for objecting to this viral campaign. But it is clearly the one which bears the most mention, and it’s well worth reckoning with the serious issue of how our society will fund basic research on enormously devastating diseases.

How to address ALS

This final focus on the funding and research about the disease is the point most often overlooked in extremely viral online campaigns — because it leads to the sort of complexity that isn’t very much fun to share on Facebook.

But many charities that have been fortunate enough to experience a surge of online donations have also struggled with the after-effects. Like the lottery winners who, unaccustomed to managing wealth, find themselves broke a few years later, very few small non-profits have the skill to manage an onrush of funding that is both unexpected and unrepeatable. In the best case, they might be able to create an endowment that will yield a modest but significant annual return in the future. Those aren’t the kind of results that will get celebrities posting on YouTube, meaningful though they may be.

And for those of us not directly impacted by ALS, participating in these sorts of campaigns, rather than voting for broader medical research or supporting more substantive funding, can lead to an even more serious issue. Online campaigns are very effective in encouraging moral licensing, that phenomenon where we feel we’ve “scratched our itch” in regard to charity, and then give ourselves permission to be less charitable overall.

The most fundamental issue raised by the success of the ice bucket challenge is that ALS is an incredibly difficult disease to live with, and one that has seen few significant advances in its treatment. There is no cure. These realities are not going to change without an ongoing, extended, significant engagement by professionals who are dedicated to making progress through research.

We should never give in to cynicism, and we shouldn’t be afraid to participate in campaigns that are for a good cause. But it’s just as important we listen to the skeptics and the critics over the long run. Because ALS will be with us for a long time, but the gimmick in these videos is never going to work again."
als  charity  philanthropy  charitableindustrialcomplex  2014  icebucketchallenge  stunts  anildash  viral  lougehrig'sdisease  giving  virtue  funding  fundraising  criticism  manipulation  morallicensing  skepticism  nonprofit  charities  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  capitalism  power  control 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The cold, hard truth about the ice bucket challenge - Quartz
"The key problem is funding cannibalism. That $3 million in donations doesn’t appear out of a vacuum. Because people on average are limited in how much they’re willing to donate to good causes, if someone donates $100 to the ALS Association, he or she will likely donate less to other charities.

This isn’t just speculation. Research from my own non-profit, which raises money for the most effective global poverty charities, has found that, for every $1 we raise, 50¢ would have been donated anyway. Given our fundraising model, which asks for commitments much larger than the amount people typically donate, we have reason to think that this is a lower proportion than is typical for fundraising drives. So, because of the $3 million that the ALS Association has received, I’d bet that much more than $1.5 million has been lost by other charities.

A similar phenomenon has been studied in the lab by psychologists. It’s called moral licensing: the idea that doing one good action leads one to compensate by doing fewer good actions in the future. In a recent experiment, participants either selected a product from a selection of mostly “green” items (like an energy-efficient light bulb) or from a selection of mostly conventional items (like a regular light bulb). They were then told to perform a supposedly unrelated task. However, in this second task, the results were self-reported, so the participants had a financial incentive to lie; and they were invited to pay themselves out of an envelope, so they had an opportunity to steal as well.

What happened? People who had previously purchased a green product were significantly more likely to both lie and steal than those who had purchased the conventional product. Their demonstration of ethical behavior subconsciously gave them license to act unethically when the chance arose.

Amazingly, even just saying that you’d do something good can cause the moral self-licensing effect. In another study, half the participants were asked to imagine helping a foreign student who had asked for assistance in understanding a lecture. They subsequently gave significantly less to charity when given the chance to do so than the other half of the participants, who had not been asked to imagine helping another student.

The explanation behind moral licensing is that people are often more concerned about looking good or feeling good rather than doing good. If you “do your bit” by buying an energy-efficient lightbulb, then your status as a good human being is less likely to be called into question if you subsequently steal.

In terms of the conditions for the moral licensing effect to occur, the ice bucket challenge is perfect. The challenge gives you a way to very publicly demonstrate your altruism via a painful task, despite actually accomplishing very little (on average, not including those who don’t donate at all, a $40 gift, or 0.07% of the average American household’s income): it’s geared up to make you feel as good about your actions as possible, rather than to ensure that your actions do as much good as possible."



"Cannibalism of funding among charities is a major problem. However, there is a solution. The moral licensing phenomenon doesn’t always happen: there is a countervailing psychological force, called commitment effects. If in donating to charity you don’t conceive of it as “doing your bit” but instead as taking one small step towards making altruism a part of your identity, then one good deed really will beget another. This means that we should tie new altruistic commitments to serious, long-lasting behavior change. Rather than making a small donation to a charity you’ve barely heard of, you could make a commitment to find out which charities are most cost-effective, and to set up an ongoing commitment to those charities that you conclude do the most good with your donations. Or you could publicly pledge to give a proportion of your income.

These would be meaningful behavior changes: they would be structural changes to how you live your life; and you could express them as the first step towards making altruism part of your identity. No doubt that, if we ran such campaigns, the number of people who would do these actions would be smaller, but in the long term the total impact would be far larger."
economics  psychology  charitableindustrialcomplex  charity  philanthropy  morallicensing  commitmenteffects  funding  nonprofit  2014  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  capitalism  power  control 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Why Talking About The Future of Museums May Be Holding Museums Back | Know Your Own Bone
"Many resources focusing on “the future” are actually communicating about emerging trends that are happening right now…and when we call them “the future” we do our organizations a grave disservice.

Here’s why:

1. Things that are characterized as the future within the museum industry generally are not about the future at all

Check this out: Embracing millennials, mastering community management on social media, opening authority, heightening engagement with onsite technologies, breaking down ivory towers with shifts from prescription to participation, engaging more diverse audiences, utilizing mobile platforms, understanding the role of “digital,” breaking down organizational silos…These are things that we frequently discuss as if they are part of the future. But they aren’t. In fact, if your organization hasn’t already had deep discussions about these issues and begun evolving and deploying new strategies at this point, then you may arguably be too late in responding to forces challenging our sector today.

2. Calling it the future excuses putting off issues which are actually immediate needs for organizational survival

What if we called these things “The Right Now?” Would it be easier to get leadership to allocate resources to social media endeavors or deploy creative ways to grow stakeholder affinity by highlighting participation and personalization? Are we excusing the poor transition from planning to action by deferring most investments to “The Future?”

Basically, we’ve created a beat-around-the-bush way of talking about hard things that separates successful and unsuccessful organizations. For many less successful organizations struggling to find their footing in our rapidly evolving times, their go-to euphemistic solution for “immediate and difficult” seems to be “worth thinking about in the future.” When we call it “the future,” we excuse ourselves from thinking about these issues right now (which is exactly when we should be considering if not fully deploying them).

Contrast this deferment strategy with those of more successful organizations who invariably and reliably “beat the market to the spot.” It isn’t pure chance and serendipity that underpins successful engagement strategies – these are the product of ample foresight, planning, investment and action…all of it done many yesterdays ago!

3. The future implies uncertainty but trend data is not uncertain

Moreover, common wisdom supports that “the future” is uncertain. “We cannot tell the future.” Admittedly, some sources that aim to talk about the future truly attempt to open folks’ brains to a distant time period. However, much of what is shared by those we call “futurists” is not necessarily uncertain. In fact (and especially when it comes to trends in data), we’re not guessing. I’ve sat in on a few meetings within organizations in which trends and actual data are taken and then presented as “the future” or within the conversation of “things to discuss in the future.” Wait. What?

Certainly, new opportunities evolve and trends may ebb with shifting market sentiments…but why would an organization choose uncertainty over something that is known right now?

4. We may not be paying enough attention to right now

I don’t think that referring to “right now trends” as “the future” would be as potentially damaging to organizations if we spent enough time being more strategic and thoughtful about “right now trends” in general. Many organizations seem to be always playing catch-up with the present. If organizations are struggling to keep up with the present, how will they ever be adequately prepared for the future?

5. Talking about the future sometimes provides a false sense of innovation that may simply be vanity

To be certain, we all need “wins” – especially in nonprofit organizations where burnout is frequent and market perceptions are quickly changing. The need for evolution is constant and the want for a moment’s rest may be justified. That said, it seems as though talking about “the future” (which, as we’ve covered, is actually upon us) is often simply providing the opportunity for organizations to pat themselves on the back for “considering” movement instead of actually moving. To have the perceived luxury of being able to think about the future may give some leaders a false sense of security that they aren’t, in fact, constantly trying to keep up with the present.

Talking about “the future” seems to mean that you are talking about something that is – yes – perhaps cutting edge, but also uncertain, not urgent, not immediate, and somehow a type of creative brainstorming endeavor. While certainly brainstorming about the actual future may be beneficial (there are some great minds in the museum industry that do this!), it may be wise for organizations to realize that most of what we call “the future” is a too-nice way of reminding organizations that the world is turning as we speak and you may already be a laggard organization.

Think about your favorite museum or nonprofit thinker. My guess is that you consider that person to be a kind of futurist, but really, you may find that they are interesting to you because they are actually a “right-now-ist.” They provide ideas, thoughts, and innovative solutions about challenges that are currently facing your organization."
museums  innovation  future  futurism  now  programs  excuses  vanity  change  procrastination  certainty  uncertainty  2014  strategy  talk  leadership  administration  socialmedia  communitymanagement  authority  millennials  engagement  technology  edtech  mobile  digital  organizations  nonprofit  personalization  obsolescence  colleendilen  nonprofits 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The Common Core Commotion
"We can assume that if Goals 2000 or NCLB or any of the other reform programs had been effective, the reformers could congratulate themselves for a job well done and go off to find another line of work. They haven’t, which brings us to the third reason that educational reform is an enterprise without end. 

It has to do with the old rule that supply creates its own demand. Over the last two generations, as the problem became unignorable and as vast freshets of money poured from governments and nonprofit foundations, an army of experts emerged to fix America’s schools. From trade unions and think tanks they came, from graduate schools of education and nonprofit foundations, from state education departments and for-profit corporations, from legislative offices and university psych labs and model schools and experimental classrooms, trailing spreadsheets and PowerPoints and grant proposals; they found work as lobbyists, statisticians, developmental psychologists, neurological researchers, education theorists, entrepreneurs, administrators, marketers, think tank fellows, textbook writers—even teachers! So great a mass of specialists cannot be kept idle. If they find themselves with nothing to do, they will find something to do. 

And so, after 40 years of signal failure, the educationists have brought us the Common Core State Standards. It is a totemic example of policy-making in the age of the well-funded expert."



"The foundation’s generosity seems indiscriminate, reflecting the milky centrism of its founder. Evidently Bill Gates doesn’t have a political bone in his body. His intellectual loyalty lies instead with the ideology of expertise. His faith is technocratic and materialist: In the end he believes the ability of highly credentialed observers to identify and solve problems through the social sciences is theoretically limitless. “Studies” and “research” unlock the human secret. This is the animating faith of most educationists, too. All human interactions can be dispassionately observed and their separate parts identified, isolated, analyzed, and quantified according to some version of the scientific method. The resulting data will yield reliable information about how and why we behave as we do, and from this process can be derived formulas that will be universally applicable and repeatable.

“One size fits all” may be a term of mockery used by people who disdain the top-down solutions of centralized power; in the technocratic vision, “one size fits all” describes the ideal.

A good illustration of the Gates technocratic approach to education reform is an initiative called “Measures of Effective Teaching” or MET. (DUH.) The effectiveness of a truly gifted teacher was once considered mysterious or ineffable, a personal transaction rooted in intuition, concern, intelligence, wisdom, knowledge, and professional ardor, combined in a way that defies precise description or replication. Such an old-fashioned notion is an affront to the technocratic mind, which assumes no human phenomenon can be, at bottom, mysterious; nothing is resistant to reduction and measurement. “Eff the Ineffable” is the technocrat’s motto."



"Exciting as it undoubtedly is for the educationist, MET research tells us nothing about how to improve the world that students and teachers inhabit. It is an exercise by educationists for educationists to ponder and argue over. Three hundred and thirty five million dollars can keep a lot of them busy."



"In the confusion between content and learning, the Standards often show the telltale verbal inflation that educationists use to make a simple idea complicated. The Standards for Reading offer a typical example. They come in groups of three—making a wonderful, if suspicious, symmetry. Unfortunately, many of the triplets are essentially identical. According to the rubric Key Ideas and Details, a student should “read closely to determine what the text says explicitly.” Where one standard says the student must be able to “analyze the development of central ideas,” the next standard says the student should be able to “analyze” “how ideas develop.” One “key detail” is to “learn details.” Under Craft and Structure, the student should be able to “analyze” how “portions of text” “relate to each other or the whole.” Another says he “should cite specific textual evidence” and still another that he should “summarize the key supporting details.” All of this collapses into a single unwritten standard: “Learn to read with care and to explain what you’ve read.” But no educationist would be so simple-minded.

There are standards only an educationist could love, or understand. It took me a while to realize that “scaffolding” is an ed-school term for “help.” Associate is another recurring term of art with a flexible meaning, from spell to match, as when third graders are expected to “associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.” This seems like students are being asked to spell vowels, but that can’t be right, can it? And when state and local teachers have to embody such confusing standards in classroom exercises, you’re likely to wind up with more confusion."



"THE RISE OF THE RIGHT

Most of the criticism of the Standards has come from the populist right, and the revolt of conservative parents against the pet project of a national educationist elite is genuine, spontaneous, and probably inevitable. But if you move beyond the clouds of jargon, and the compulsory gestures toward “critical thinking” and “metacognitive skills,” you will begin to spy something more interesting. There’s much in the Standards to reassure an educational traditionalist—a vein of subversion. At several points, Common Core is clearly intended as a stay against the runaway enthusiasms of educationist dogma.

The Standards insist schools’ (unspecified) curriculums be “content-rich”—meaning that they should teach something rather than nothing. They even go so far as to require students to read Shakespeare, the Preamble and First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and works of Greek mythology. Phonics is the chief means of teaching reading in Common Core, rejecting the notorious “whole language” method first taken up in the 1970s and—research shows!—a likely culprit in the decline in reading scores. The Standards discourage the use of calculators, particularly in early grades where it has become a popular substitute for acquiring basic math. The Standards require memorization of multiplication tables as an important step in learning arithmetic, striking a blow against “fuzzy math.” Faddish notions like “visual literacy” are nowhere to be found.

Perhaps most impressively, at least in language arts, the Standards require students to read and write ever larger amounts of nonfiction as they move toward their high school diploma. Anyone familiar with the soupy “young adult” novels fed to middle- and high-school students should be delighted. Writing assignments, in tandem with more rigorous reading, move away from mere self-expression—commonly the focus of writing all the way through high school—to the accumulation of evidence and detail in the service of arguments. The architect of the Language Arts Standards, an educationist called David Coleman, explained this shift in a speech in 2011. He lamented that the most common form of writing in high school these days is “personal writing.”

It is either the exposition of a personal opinion or it is the presentation of a personal matter. The only problem, forgive me for saying this so bluntly, the only problem with those two forms of writing is as you grow up in this world you realize people really don’t give a shit about what you feel or what you think.

Now, it is hard to imagine a more traditionalist sentiment than that. Yet conservative Common Core activists single out Coleman as a particularly sinister adversary, perhaps for his potty mouth. The populist campaign against the Standards has been scattershot: Sometimes they are criticized for being unrealistically demanding, at other times for being too soft. Even Common Core’s insistence on making the Constitution part of any sound curriculum has been attacked as insidious. Recall that students will be required to read only the Preamble and the First Amendment. That is, they will stop reading before they reach the Second Amendment and the guarantee of gun rights.

Coincidence? Many activists think not. "



"Conservative hostility to the Common Core is also entangled with hostility to President Obama and his administration. Joy Pullman, an editor and writer who is perhaps the most eloquent and responsible public critic of Common Core, wrote recently in thefederalist.com: “I wager that 90 percent of the debate over Common Core would instantly dissipate if states adopted the top-rated standards from, say, Massachusetts or Indiana and dropped the Obama administration tests.”

While the personal hostility to Obama might be overwrought, the administration’s campaign on behalf of the Standards has borne all the marks of the president’s other efforts at national persuasion."



"THUNDER ON THE LEFT

The administration’s bullying and dishonesty might be reason enough to reject the Standards. The campaign has even begun to worry its natural allies, who are losing trust in assurances that the Common Core is an advance for progressive education. Educationists on the leftward edge point to its insistence that teachers be judged on how much their students learn. This bears an unappealing resemblance to NCLB requirements, and they worry it will inject high-pressure competition into the collegial environment that most educationists prefer. Worse, it could be a Trojan horse for a reactionary agenda, a return to the long-ago era when students really had to, you know, learn stuff.

“The purpose of education,” says … [more]
education  reform  edreform  anationatrisk  nclb  georgewbush  georgehwbush  ronaldreagan  barackobama  jimmycarter  money  policy  experts  commoncore  curriclum  2014  andrewferguson  via:ayjay  1990  2000  1979  departmentofeducation  edwardkennedy  tedkennedy  goals2000  1983  gatesfoundation  billgates  arneduncan  bureaucracy  markets  aft  nonprofits  centralization  standards  schools  publicschools  us  ideology  politics  technocracy  credentialism  teaching  howweteach  measurement  rankings  testing  standardizedtesting  abstraction  nonprofit 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Chapter 4 of An Autobiography: The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas K. Gandhi
[Wayback: https://web.archive.org/web/20171227051615/http://www.columbia.edu:80/itc/mealac/pritchett/00litlinks/gandhi/part3/304chapter.html ]

"This sad situation developed after my departure from South Africa, but my idea of having permanent funds for public institutions underwent a change long before this difference arose. And now after considerable experience with the many public institutions which I have managed, it has become my firm conviction that it is not good to run public institutions on permanent funds. A permanent fund carries in itself the seed of the moral fall of the institution. A public institution means an institution conducted with the approval, and from the funds, of the public. When such an institution ceases to have public support, it forfeits its right to exist. Institutions maintained on permanent funds are often found to ignore public opinion, and are frequently responsible for acts contrary to it. In our country we experience this at every step. Some of the so-called religious trusts have ceased to render any accounts. The trustees have become the owners, and are responsible to none. I have no doubt that the ideal is for public institutions to live, like nature, from day to day. The institution that fails to win public support has no right to exist as such. The subscriptions that an institution annually receives are a test of its popularity and the honesty of its management, and I am of opinion that every institution should submit to that test. But let no one misunderstand me. My remarks do not apply to the bodies which cannot, by their very nature, be conducted without permanent buildings. What I mean to say it that the current expenditure should be found from subscriptions voluntarily received from year to year."

[Related:
http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2011/12/why-do-universities-have-endowments.html
http://ethicist.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/28/should-you-give-to-harvard/
http://harvardpolitics.com/hprgument-posts/investing-future/
http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/ethics_and_nonprofits ]

[More on endowments:
http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/dartmouth-controversy-reflects-quandary-for-endowments/
https://ideas.repec.org/a/ebl/ecbull/eb-11-00531.html
http://www.pgdc.com/pgdc/issues-and-opportunities-endowment-fundraising
http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/05/28/the-problems-with-university-endowments/
http://www.universitybusiness.com/article/endowments-new-questions-new-normal
http://www.changemag.org/Archives/Back%20Issues/January-February%202010/full-the-truth.html
http://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4428&context=flr (.pdf)]
endowments  money  finance  colleges  universities  nonprofit  gandhi  institutions  power  control  democracy  management  permanent  funds  publicopinion  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropy  capital  wealth  organizations  permanence  impermanence  ephemeral  ephemerality  legacy  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  capitalism 
july 2014 by robertogreco
imMEDIAte Justice
"imMEDIAte Justice is a movement to inspire a new, youth-driven media conversation about sex, gender, love and relationships. We are a volunteer-led organization that empowers girls to access truth and create positive sex ed films in a supportive, feminist workshop space. imMEDIAte Justice provides girls with the close community, resources, and training they need to become powerful storytellers and changemakers. Our IMJ Summer Camps create empowered female filmmakers who are writing their own narratives, informing their peers, and changing the face of global media and current sex ed."

"Changing the world, one girl at a time.

We are organizing one girl at a time to transform our sex ed, media and world. At imMEDIAte Justice, we are not afraid to embrace love and pleasure, broadcast truth, and follow our dreams. We play, learn, and work hard to produce fresh, relevant films that empower our peers with the resources and information they need to

think critically and be healthy. imMEDIAte Justice moves sex ed from misinformation to truth, from isolation to community, from restriction to freedom, from insecurity to self-love. When we empower one girl to tell the truth about her life, she lifts her community and becomes a force for health and change."



"Our mission is to encourage girls to imagine a just world by telling their untold stories of gender and sexuality through film. We believe young women can have a strong and positive impact on their communities if given the tools to amplify their voice."
nonprofits  immediatejsutice  gender  queersex  sexed  feminism  losangeles  girls  empowerment  media  sex  sexuality  parenting  nonprofit 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Partner Voices | Voice of San Diego
"Whether it's protecting the environment, inspiring kids to achieve, fostering innovation or feeding the hungry, nonprofits strive to make San Diego better. Partner Voices gives these nonprofits a platform to showcase their contributions to the community in a more interesting format than traditional promotions. These messages are paid for by the nonprofits themselves, or by local businesses or philanthropists who support their efforts. They are not products of Voice of San Diego's editorial staff.

Give your organization a voice! Contact us for more information."
sandiego  voiceofsandiego  nonprofit  pr  press  nonprofits 
may 2014 by robertogreco
18. Webstock 2014 Talk Notes and References - postarchitectural
[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/91957759 ]
[See also: http://www.webstock.org.nz/talks/the-future-happens-so-much/ ]

"I was honored to be invited to Webstock 2014 to speak, and decided to use it as an opportunity to talk about startups and growth in general.

I prepared for this talk by collecting links, notes, and references in a flat text file, like I did for Eyeo and Visualized. These references are vaguely sorted into the structure of the talk. Roughly, I tried to talk about the future happening all around us, the startup ecosystem and the pressures for growth that got us there, and the dangerous sides of it both at an individual and a corporate level. I ended by talking about ways for us as a community to intervene in these systems of growth.

The framework of finding places to intervene comes from Leverage Points by Donella Meadows, and I was trying to apply the idea of 'monstrous thoughts' from Just Asking by David Foster Wallace. And though what I was trying to get across is much better said and felt through books like Seeing like a State, Debt, or Arctic Dreams, here's what was in my head."
shahwang  2014  webstock  donellameadows  jamescscott  seeinglikeastate  davidgraeber  debt  economics  barrylopez  trevorpaglen  google  technology  prism  robotics  robots  surveillance  systemsthinking  growth  finance  venturecapital  maciejceglowski  millsbaker  mandybrown  danhon  advertising  meritocracy  democracy  snapchat  capitalism  infrastructure  internet  web  future  irrationalexuberance  github  geopffmanaugh  corproratism  shareholders  oligopoly  oligarchy  fredscharmen  kenmcleod  ianbanks  eleanorsaitta  quinnorton  adamgreenfield  marshallbrain  politics  edwardsnowden  davidsimon  georgepacker  nicolefenton  power  responsibility  davidfosterwallace  christinaxu  money  adamcurtis  dmytrikleiner  charlieloyd  wealth  risk  sarahkendxior  markjacobson  anildash  rebeccasolnit  russellbrand  louisck  caseygollan  alexpayne  judsontrue  jamesdarling  jenlowe  wilsonminer  kierkegaard  readinglist  startups  kiev  systems  control  data  resistance  obligation  care  cynicism  snark  change  changetheory  neoliberalism  intervention  leveragepoints  engagement  nonprofit  changemaki 
april 2014 by robertogreco
An Administrator's Lament — Casey's Notes and Links
"A businessman approached with the idea of a sporadic institution might be see it as something on the brink of collapse or failure. That’s because the ephemeral institution’s default state is not growing, profitable, comfortable, boring, tense inertia…but: potential energy. A resting network of individuals, resources, and ideas awaiting the charter of its next constellation.

There’s a weight to having resources and a freedom in forcing yourself to shut down and start over early and often. You can tell you’re thinking in terms of Return On Investment if that sounds backwards to you.

Starting something is hard enough, so it’s scary to consider building a framework in which you intentionally shut yourself down like clockwork to rehustle as if you’re just starting out. Self-sabotage?! Self-inflicted trauma!? (The warnings of smart and kind but still capitalists.)

Again, this sounds crazy, but: if you’re liked well enough, you won’t be able to run fast enough to outpace support. The gradual decline into comfortable, boring, tense, rich, ignorant, trapped — at some point forever imposed on you.

The-most-fucked-up-thing-of-all: time accrues. No matter how small you try to stay fiscally, bureaucratically — time grows you up. Simply by virtue of having existed for consecutive minutes, months, years you’re expected to legitimize (as if you didn’t start off running from its logical conclusion): a storage unit, taxes, insurance, payroll, audits, correspondence. Whole industries around not letting experiments stay young forever.

Maybe in a year there’ll be a staff of 25 and franchises from Shanghai to Dubai. I can only see that kind of future when I squint beyond the horizon of some twisted alternate universe. But I’ve lived it before, so when I meet with our accountant it literally hurts to think I’ll live it again."
caseygollan  2014  ephemeral  ephemeralinstitutions  pop-ups  inertia  potential  sfpc  schoolforpoeticcomputing  schools  openstudioproject  lcproject  time  bureaucracy  capitalism  nonprofits  freedom  returnoninvestment  roi  ephemerality  nonprofit 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Why I care — Zero Net Positive
"So why do I care to spend time exploring the core ideas of the Zero Net Positive Initiative? At the center is a selfishness – I’d really like to put my energy something that efficiently does good for the world. So I’d like to work for one of these new types of companies, and if there were great examples right now I’d jump on them.

At the essence of this desire is a strong feeling that I want the surplus value of the energy I spend on work to go directly to positive ends. To improving the human condition and making the world a better place. It feels inefficient to me for all the extra value I create to go primarily to people who are already wealthy enough to be able to invest their own excess capital. Many will just spend those returns on fancier cars, bigger houses and other luxuries. The wealthiest among them do often end up giving much of their money to great causes, like Gates, Carnegie, Rockefeller and more. But that feels inefficient to me – years accumulating capital, then many more years to try to give it all away."



"I actually don’t have an interest in making gargantuan amounts of money. Sure, I’d like security, and to be able to support myself and my family. But I don’t think that requires a billion dollars, or even $20 million. And so I don’t want to spend all my energy making millions for other (already wealthy) people, who run venture funds or put their money in to those funds. If my work does generate a lot of value I’d like some control over where the excesses go, but I don’t need it personally. What I care about much more is meaningful work, and I don’t believe large amounts of money are going to lead me to happiness, or even to meaningful work.

I believe there is at least a small minority of people who feel like I do. And I believe most of them are too busy trying to change the world in some positive way to try to invent for themselves structures that do better. So they fall in to one of the existing options and retain control to have the flexibility to do what they want.

My hope is to spend the next couple years researching and thinking about out alternate structures that can work. Generalizing the unique structures that have come before to make templates for others. I hope that the research of the zero net positive initiative will be useful to others who also want a structure that lines up more with their values, who don’t want to sell ownership of their life work to entities whose primary concern is the return of their capital. And even if no one else is interested, I hope at least to be able to put my energy towards such a structure."

[via: http://manso.jed.co/post/74627759206/i-want-the-surplus-value-of-the-energy-i-spend ]
zeronetpositive  charitableindustrialcomplex  sustainability  chrisholmes  wealth  efficiency  inefficiency  capitalism  nonprofit  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  power  control 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Suit Filed in Leadership Dispute at Military School in Carlsbad - Los Angeles Times
"Travel-trailer magnate Johnnie R. Crean was a roughhewn candidate for Congress who was so unpalatable that after winning the Republican nomination in 1982, GOP activists successfully backed a write-in candidate.

Today, Crean is under fire again, this time from parents and faculty revolting against his 10-year chairmanship of the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad, California's only private military boarding school.


A lawsuit filed in late February against Crean, 53, describes him as unsafe, reckless, bizarre, erratic, violent, vulgar, despotic and paranoid. A parents group and academy president Stephen M. Bliss want to oust Crean and his board of directors and appoint a trustee for the nonprofit school.

The lawsuit, filed in San Diego County Superior Court, cites Crean's misdemeanor conviction last year for carrying a loaded gun into the Orange County courthouse in Santa Ana -- a crime he dismissed as a "senior moment" shortly after his arrest. In 2001, the school's former dean of admissions accused Crean of sexual harassment, and the academy paid an undisclosed sum to settle the case.

The new lawsuit alleges that edicts from Crean, such as barring adult chaperons from living in dorms that house nearly 300 boys, endanger cadets' safety and the school's accreditation. His profit-sharing plan, which shifted fund-raising duties to faculty, is illegal and threatens the school's nonprofit status, the suit also contends."



"Last week, Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Nugent extended an order keeping Crean and his six-member board from firing or disciplining employees. The case is scheduled for trial this summer.

Most of the school's faculty and staff of 80, as well as the boards of a parent support group and the alumni association, signed petitions demanding that Crean and the board resign. They complained of high turnover among students and faculty, and of a " 'Lord of the Flies' mentality" where drug use, hazings and theft were rampant.

In one instance, Crean "laughed and joked about an incident on campus that involved his nephew having very young and very naked girls in the nephew's dorm room," the academy's director of parent affairs, Carol Hannasch, wrote in a sworn declaration.

"Had I known that the academy was basically held hostage by an inept board of directors and a chairman with questionable and even dangerous character traits, I would never have enrolled my son," said Dana Hogan of Monarch Beach, who is spearheading the parents' challenge."



"Crean's record as a student at the academy was spotty, he acknowledged in correspondence in the court file. He chafed at authority and military routine and was often in trouble. After five years, when other classmates had risen in military rank, he graduated still a private, according to school records.

In a lengthy e-mail sent to Bliss and other directors in January, Crean predicted the lawsuit would be "fun" and defended himself and the board against the allegations."



"In the late 1980s, Crean responded to a plea from his former school to help raise money. Armed with a hefty donation from his father, he joined the board in 1991 with a former classmate, according to board minutes. In 1995, he recruited three other 1960s classmates to become directors.

Crean took over as board chairman and the academy's CEO in 1994. Since then, he has became a fixture on campus, driving a red Bentley with the license plate "RICH DAD.""
johnniecrean  2003  armyandnavyacademy  carlsbad  boardantics  nonprofits  education  schools  nonprofit 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Birdland Jazz » FAQ
"What is your business model?

Our business model is to lose money every bbq/jazz event; and we are very good at it; so good at it that we have expanded bbq/music programming to three days a week and will soon add Thursday nights when we get another neighborhood dog to volunteer to clean up after rib bones in the venue. We are not for profit nor are we non-profit. We are a for loss social venture. It is based on an old Northwestern Native American tradition of competitive wealth destruction called Potlatch where members of the tribe or community destroy their wealth occasionally and shower the entire community with food and gifts; in our case we shower our members with food and music three times a week. Even if that means the week’s sponsor eats Top Ramen or sardines in a can the entire week to pay for the weekend’s bbq, our sponsors in the neighborhood will do it.

How can I support Birdland?

1. Sponsorship: Don’t eat for a week or eat top ramen and sardines, save that money and pay for the bbq that weekend.

2. Weekly Funraisers: Jazzistas are all about raising the level of fun, hence fun raisers, get it? So bring your positive vibe and fun energy to Birdland. Come to Birdland not to wind down from the week’s beatdown from work but to wind up and energize the folks around you.

3. Donation: Support the musicians at the door with your donation while you eat free bbq for 10 hours(9pm-6am, look at our menu–it’s straight, no chaser comfort food) and drink non alcoholic drinks, usually aqua frescas. You don’t need to bring food since it’s a POTLATCH, not potluck. BYOB to share with other jazzistas. If you don’t share your beer or wine, jazzistas will gossip about you and will call you all sorts of names behind your back and look at you like you just stole from their mothers.

4. Email List: Pinky, the beagle and Herschel, the black lab/mastiff mix have not learned how to type or use the internet; they are too busy eating leftover ribs on the sidewalk, the backyard, and the park so good luck getting an email from both of them. You know where Birdland is and when the party is going on and the websites: we have an alternative website:http://jazzista.org/

5. Wish List:

- Jazzistas should take their naps so they can stay up later in the night…ideal time to go home is 3am, at least.

- Jazzistas should have a voracious appetite for BBQ, music, and conversation.

- Jazzistas should be generous with other human beings and throw their plates and beer bottles in the right container and give their rib bones to the neighborhood dogs that attend.

- Jazzistas have 30 minute(that usually means it takes one hour to say goodbye at Birdland)goodbye conversations;

- Jazzistas don’t leave without saying goodbye to the new friends they met at Birdland.

- Jazzistas leave the last piece of meat for someone else who might be hungry or offer their last beer to some other stranger even if they really need another drink.

- If all else fails, go back to grandmother; she’ll put some common sense into your head. As my grandma used to tell me, “Use your common sense, boy!!!!!”

6. Volunteer: Clean up after yourself at the social club. Didn’t your momma train you right that you treat somebody else’s house like you treat your own house? Take two minutes before you leave each time you come to clean up after yourself, your friends, and other Jazzistas.

7. Sponsor a bbq because sometimes the bbq sponsors in the neighborhood are broke on that weekend too. But give from the heart without expecting something in return. We can always party with hot dogs and hamburgers but we prefer our seafood and ribs, chicken, and hot links. Either way, the party will continue with or without new bbq sponsors, but it sure would be nice. We had one new one this year in 2011, yayayayyyy."
bridlandjazz  nonprofits  loss  potlatch  wealthdestruction  via:javierarbona  community  canon  nonprofit 
august 2013 by robertogreco
Millennials Support Causes, Not Institutions, Survey Finds | PND | Foundation Center
"Millennials — young men and women born between 1979 and 1994 — passionately support causes rather than the institutions working to address them; are highly selective about which organizations to follow on social media; and value the intrinsic benefits of volunteering such as networking and gaining professional expertise, a new report from Achieve and the Case Foundation finds.

Based on survey responses from more than twenty-six hundred individuals, the report, 2013 Millennial Impact Report (34 pages, PDF), found that 73 percent of millennials volunteered for a nonprofit organization in 2012. When asked about their motivations, 79 percent said they were passionate about the cause or issue, 67 percent felt they could make a difference for a cause they cared about, and 56 percent wanted to connect and network with like-minded people. The survey also found that in a crowded and noisy media landscape, 49 percent of millennials actively follow one to five nonprofits on social media, 80 percent like it best when nonprofits have mobile-friendly Web sites, and 59 percent like receiving news or action-oriented updates with links to more information and next steps."

[If true, this bodes well for Kickstarter culture, pop-up culture, and the like.]
trends  millenials  causes  institutions  pop-ups  2013  nonprofit  commitment  engagement  nonprofits 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Erin Watson: nonprofits, startups, and the middle place
"That center – where internet culture, creativity, and social justice intersect – is where we want to live, but neither of us knows how there’d be money in it. And that’s the real frustration: it seems like startup culture contains this vast pit of money and talent going towards selling ads and mining data. How do you get to the middle place? How do you build a life and thrive there? Thinking larger, how do we make a culture that values communities and their human needs over the next big thing? (I’m counting creativity among these human needs: I believe in the arts as an external immune system and a vector for transformative change.)

Because isn’t the real root issue that there’s no common denominator of what we value beyond how much money we make? There’s no atomic unit of satisfaction, or of social good, in the dark crevasse of late capitalism. There’s no winning at doing charity."
erinwatson  nonprofit  startups  middlegrounds  middleplaces  2013  art  community  socialactivism  change  creativity  culture  socialjustice  labor  work  latecapitalism  capitalism  satisfaction  socialgood  income  charity  charitableindustrialcomplex  vectors  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofits  power  control 
july 2013 by robertogreco
Boom's time? : Columbia Journalism Review
"Boom started as a way for researchers to converse with the public about California studies, but, Christensen says, he hopes to expand the magazine’s reach, so it speaks to people outside the state as well, addressing the idea of “California in the world.” He also hopes the journal can help break down, if not do away with, the mutual suspicion—some might say disdain—that often characterizes the relationship between academics and journalists. So far, Christenson says, he’s been heartened by the response from humanities scholars, social scientists, journalists, and independent writers taking part in the fall issue of Boom, which focuses on the 100th anniversary of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, which has carried the water LA needed to grow from the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains and been a center of controversy through much of its life. (For the pop culture version of part of the controversy, revisit the film Chinatown.) The issue is partly supported by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation’s Metabolic Studio."
boom  journalism  nonprofit  2013  journals  california  californiastudies  nonprofits 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Poetry, Fiction, Literary Non-Fiction : Small Press Distribution
"When you buy a book from Small Press Distribution, you don't just get something terrific to read: you help independent publishers and writers keep more money from their projects, which in turn helps nurture and sustain the literary arts as a whole.

Because we're a nonprofit, everything we do is aimed at helping essential but underrepresented literary communities participate fully in the marketplace and in the culture at large. We do this by offering book distribution, information services, and public advocacy programs to hundreds of small publishers.

Buy a book from SPD, enjoy a great read, and support the literary community!
At SPD, we connect readers with writers through independently published literature. Founded in 1969, SPD is currently the only distributor in the country dedicated exclusively to independently published literature."
books  literature  publishing  smallpressdistribution  publishers  independent  nonprofit  distribution  spd  poetry  fiction  nonprofits 
february 2013 by robertogreco
The AjA Project
"Mission:
The AjA Project provides photography-based educational programming to youth affected by war and displacement; students think critically about their identities, develop leadership skills, and become agents of personal and social transformation.

Overview:
The AjA Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization headquartered in San Diego, California. Utilizing participatory photography methods and an assets-based model, AjA’s after-school and in-school programs transform the lives of displaced youth."
aja  photography  youth  sandiego  education  nonprofit  afterschoolprogram  displacedyouth  participatoryphotography  nonprofits 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Fundación Chile
"Somos una corporación privada sin fines de lucro creada en 1976, cuyos socios son el Gobierno de Chile y BHP Billiton-Minera Escondida.

Misión

Nuestra misión es introducir innovaciones de alto impacto y potenciar el capital humano para aumentar la competitividad de Chile, promoviendo y desarrollando la economía a través de transferencias tecnológicas y en alianza con redes de conocimiento locales y globales.

En FCh creemos que en nuestro país también podemos hablar de innovación y estamos convencidos que es posible convertir a Chile en un polo de innovación y emprendimiento.

En nuestros 36 años, nos hemos consolidado como un “do tank”, siendo pioneros en habilitar nuevos sectores a través de un portafolio de empresas demostrativas, programas que crean capacidades y servicios tecnológicos.

Nuestras principales áreas de desarrollo son: Alimentos y Biotecnología, Acuicultura, Agua y Medio Ambiente, Energía y Cambio Climático, Capital Humano, Educación y Digitalización…"

[via: http://www.helsinkidesignlab.org/search?q=chile ]
bhp  innovation  entrepreneurship  technology  dotank  water  environment  digitalization  education  humancapital  climatechange  energy  food  biotechnology  biotech  aquaculture  nonprofit  chile  nonprofits 
december 2012 by robertogreco
The Book Thing of Baltimore, Inc. - Home
"Are the books really free?
Yup.

Really?
Yes.

Absolutely free?
Yes.

What's the catch?
All the books have been stamped "not for resale". That's it.

Is there a limit to how many books I can take?
You can only take 150,000 per day, per person."
nonprofits  community  free  baltimore  books  nonprofit 
october 2012 by robertogreco
Lance Armstrong and Livestrong | Lance Armstrong | OutsideOnline.com
"If Lance Armstrong went to jail and Livestrong went away, that would be a huge setback in our war against cancer, right? Not exactly, because the famous nonprofit donates almost ­nothing to scientific research. BILL GIFFORD looks at where the money goes and finds a mix of fine ideas, millions of dollars aimed at “awareness,” and a few very blurry lines."
misrepresentation  fraud  awareness  via:rodcorp  billgifford  fundraising  charity  nonprofits  2012  cancer  livestrong  critique  lancearmstrong  gregmortenson  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofit  capitalism  power  control 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Purpose: 21st Century Movements
"Purpose creates 21st century movements. We deploy the collective power of millions of citizens and consumers to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems. We develop and launch our own social and consumer movements using our model of movement entrepreneurship, and we work with organizations and progressive companies to help them mobilize large-scale, purposeful action.

Purpose was born out of some of the most successful experiments in mass digital participation. Our principals are co-founders of Avaaz, the world’s largest online political movement with more than 15 million members operating in 14 languages, and the creators of Australia’s GetUp!, an internationally recognized social movement phenomenon with more members than all the country’s political parties combined. Purpose has helped to create significant new efforts to fight cancer, eliminate nuclear weapons and change our food culture. We’ve recently launched All Out, a global movement to win historic rights and…"
action  consumermovements  socialmovements  peopepower  allout  getup!  purpose.com  purpose  grassroots  politics  policy  branding  marketing  nonprofit  activism  nonprofits 
july 2012 by robertogreco
The Dill Pickle Club | Portland, Oregon
"The Dill Pickle Club is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that organizes educational projects that help us understand the place in which we live. Through tours, public programs and publications, we create nontraditional and interactive learning environments where all forms of knowledge are valued and made readily accessible. Founded in 2009, we are a volunteer-driven organization, with a shared belief in the vitality of community education and democracy."
democracy  education  community  future  history  nonprofit  oregon  portland  nonprofits 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Craft3 - Non-Profit CDFI Lending
"Craft3 is a non-profit community development financial institution with a mission to strengthen economic, ecological and family resilience in Pacific Northwest communities. We do this by providing loans and assistance to entrepreneurs, non-profits, individuals and others who don’t normally have access to financing. We then complement these financial resources with our expertise, networks and other advocacy for our clients. Learn more about our business strategy.

Most importantly, we pride ourselves on creating oversized outcomes from our limited resources. For examples, read our Stories of Change. [http://www.craft3.org/About/StoriesOfChange ]"
local  funding  ilwaco  business  incubator  entrepreneurship  loans  financing  craft3  community  resilience  nonprofits  lending  washingtonstate  oregon  cascadia  astoria  nonprofit 
july 2012 by robertogreco
potlatch: how not to save a tiger
"But there is something more troubling about this, than just standard marketing mendaciousness. Adam Smith was concerned by the fact that human beings seem to feel less sympathy for others, the further they are away (see this interesting piece in the LRB on how this problem manifests itself in climate change). This is not a problem that can be easily solved or got round. But the strategy of these charities is not to work on increasing the level of sympathy, but of trivialising the nature of the problem. In the advert above, it is assumed by Amnesty that human beings…have very little capacity to imagine the situation of others, to sympathise over distance or to adopt an unconditional moral position. Rather than nurture imagination, sympathy or moral sentiment, the advertisement effectively suppresses those things by containing them within the solipsistic realms of the ego-phone. The individual's solitary comfort zone is reinforced by this, rather than rattled in any way."
ethics  charities  ads  2012  worldwildlifefund  half-truths  sympathy  truth  advertising  willdavies  amnestyinternational  ngo  nonprofits  charity  nonprofit 
june 2012 by robertogreco
The Philanthropic Complex
"The truth is that organizations whose missions foreground the “sociological and spiritual” go mostly without funding. Take for instance the sad tale of the Center for the New American Dream (NAD), created in 1997 by Betsy Taylor (herself a funder with the Merck Family Fund). NAD’s original mission statement gave a priority to “quality of life” issues.

We envision a society that values more of what matters—not just more…a new emphasis on non-material values like financial security, fairness, community, health, time, nature, and fun.

This is exactly the sort of “big picture” that philanthropy has been mostly unwilling to fund because, it argues, it is so difficult to provide “accountability” data for issues like “work and time” and “fun” (!). (To which one might reasonably reply, “Why do you fund only those things that are driven by data?”)…

One of the most maddening experiences for those who seek the support of private philanthropy is the lack of transparency…"
nonprofits  halclifford  orion  markets  publicadvocacy  nad  newamericandream  95-5  corruption  investment  conflictsofinterest  gatesfoundation  transparency  anonymity  self-preservation  wealth  thephilanthropiccomplex  privilege  mediocrity  influence  wallstreet  2012  riskmanagement  ngo  biggreen  environmentalism  change  government  policy  environment  restrictedgifts  control  fear  foundations  jacobinmag  progressivism  power  money  capitalism  philanthropy  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  nonprofit 
june 2012 by robertogreco
REV-
"REV- is a non-profit organization that furthers socially-engaged art, design, and pedagogy. REV- produces projects that fuse disciplines, foster diversity, and vary in form (workshops, publications, exhibitions, design objects, etc.). Engaged with different communities and groups, REV-‘s projects involve collaborative production, resource-sharing, and a commitment to the process as political gesture. The organization derives its name from both the colloquial expression “to rev” a vehicle and the prefix “rev-“ which means to turn—as in, revolver, revolution, revolt, revere, irreverent, etc."
nonprofit  sociallyengaged  design  openstudioproject  resourcesharing  lcproject  collaborativeproduction  interdisciplinary  collective  projects  politics  community  nyc  pedagogy  activism  art  nonprofits 
february 2012 by robertogreco
HYPE Los Angeles
"Helping Young People Excel — Los Angeles (HYPE) provides talented low-income students in Los Angeles with the guidance and resources to qualify for admission at elite college-prep independent high schools.  HYPE provides a blend of intensive programming and services to help students gain admission, finance their education, and succeed in high school and beyond."
losangeles  hype  hypelosangeles  education  youth  lcproject  nonprofit  nonprofits 
november 2011 by robertogreco
Heart of Los Angeles - HOLA - Every Child Deserves A Chance!
"Over 20 years ago, Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) was started on a simple premise: Every child deserves a chance.

Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) has provided thousands of underserved and at-risk youth with free and exceptional after-school programming in academics, arts and athletics. This year HOLA is providing over 1700 at-risk youth with alternatives to unhealthy behaviors by offering hope and inspiration in lieu of gangs, crimes and disenfranchisement.

In an area where kids sometimes seem forgotten, HOLA provides an oasis of safety and encouragement to the children of Los Angeles' inner city. At HOLA children learn that anything is possible."
losangeles  lcproject  volunteering  nonprofit  education  learning  youth  heartoflosangeles  projectideas  nonprofits 
november 2011 by robertogreco
OMG Everywhere! |
"OMG Everywhere! was born when a few of us music video folks decided we wanted to share what we did with the next generation. We set out to organize a week-long series of workshops, the goal being to provide kids with a unique opportunity to experiment creatively, develop artistically, and learn new skills. We’d hoped that by looking through the lens of a camera, they’d be able to expand their worldview and start seeing the universe as a place subject to their own creativity, open to manipulation by their imaginations.

But after our pilot program, we realized we couldn’t just go back to the old way of doing things. We missed our kids! So we took a look at our schedules, wrangled the crew back together, and decided to give the nonprofit business a whirl. As OMG Everywhere, we hope to establish our program as a place for kids to collaborate, develop confidence in their work, and just be kids for awhile."
omgeverywhere  lcproject  nonprofit  education  learning  projectideas  film  video  creativity  nonprofits 
november 2011 by robertogreco
New services offered at A Word with You Press
"…graduate of UCSC…has used technology as a sword for social change in a career dedicated to helping empower the dis-advantaged. He will bring his experience directing non-profit organizations not only to A Word with You Press, but to Kid Expression, our sister program housed in the same facilities here in Oceanside. (For those of you new to the site, Kid Expression is our non-profit program to help young writers become accomplished authors.)

When Morgan was five I delivered him to his first day of school in Borneo (Hey, Barack did his first year in school there, too, and was also an advocate for social justice before he got his current paying gig). I handed him over to the principal & kindergarten teacher in the American school with these instructions: “Do your best to teach him to conform, & I will do my best to teach him not to.” Morgan grew into manhood living with that paradox, & will bring a lot to our site."
morgansully  parenting  conformity  conformism  socialchange  kidexpression  sandiego  oceanside  paradox  empowerment  nonprofit  2011  nonprofits 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Winterhouse
"In January 2009, Winterhouse Institute began a two-year project, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation with a $1.5 million grant, to develop collective action and collaboration for social impact across the design industry - and encompassing a range of other institutions that work on the needs of poor or vulnerable people. The funding will be used to develop specific programs for social impact by the design community, to host a major conference at Aspen in 2009, to develop case studies with the Yale School of Management, and to create an editorial website to monitor progress in the zone of design and innovation around social issues."<br />
<br />
[Related: http://winterhouse.com/symposium_2011/index.html ]
education  design  social  change  innovation  socialchange  winterhouse  winterhouseinstitute  nonprofit  designthinking  integrativethinking  ngo  socialentrepreneurship  lcproject  nonprofits 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Austin Bat Cave
"Austin Bat Cave is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides children and teenagers (ages 6-18) with opportunities to develop their creative and expository writing skills. We connect a diverse population of young writers and learners with a vibrant community of adult volunteers in Austin. All of our programs are free.

At ABC, we understand that public school teachers are the hardest-working people in town. With all our programs, we strive to be a resource, mobilizing volunteers to help teachers accomplish what they might not be able to accomplish on their own."
writing  reading  kids  826  nonprofit  austin  texas  lcproject  austinbatcave  teaching  learning  mentoring  nonprofits 
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Healing Powers of a Pie Shop - NYTimes.com
"PieLab opened in a makeshift space…Project M team members…at the invitation of the Hale Empowerment & Revitalization Organization (HERO), a housing-advocacy nonprofit, which also sponsored community-minded local initiatives. The Project M team conceived of their pie shop as a pop-up — a temporary cafe — describing it as a “negative-energy inverter, fueled by pie.”…
PieLab = a neutral place + a slice of pie.A neutral place + a slice of pie = conversation.
Conversation = ideas + design.Ideas + design = positive change.

…operated out of temporary quarters for four months…Within a few months of opening…PieLab-inspired efforts popped up in [other] cities…"

[Article also outlines misteps.]

"All the attention buoyed the PieLab collaborators. But it also created problems. When Project M first arrived in Greensboro, some folk bristled at the language it employed."

[Slide show: http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/10/10/magazine/pielab.html?ref=magazine ]

[See also http://mmm.pielab.org/ (nice touch on the URL) AND http://vimeo.com/9386150 ]
alabama  greensboro  popuprestaurants  pop-uprestaurants  lcproject  community  humanitariandesign  designimperialism  projectm  amandabuck  food  glvo  srg  pielab  halecounty  conversation  problemsolving  designbasedsolutions  nonprofit  cultureclash  language  blackbelt  us  change  ideageneration  studios  popup  pop-ups  thirdspaces  cafes  openstudioproject  nonprofits 
august 2011 by robertogreco
The Telling Room: the place where stories grow
"The Telling Room is a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine, dedicated to the idea that children and young adults are natural storytellers. Focused on young writers ages 6 to 18, we seek to build confidence, strengthen literacy skills, and provide real audiences for our students’ stories. We believe that the power of creative expression can change our communities and prepare our youth for future success."
writing  education  maine  creative  stories  storytelling  nonprofit  lcproject  portland  youth  826  nonprofits 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Your Handbook for Building and Running a Young Writers Program « Conventioneers!
"This handbook aims to inspire you to build a free writing program for under-served youth in your community. It contains mostly instructions and resources, and is written out of my own experiences and research. I am a senior at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, where I have concentrated on writing and education. For the past five months, I have been leading an after-school writing program at a middle school in Holyoke, a depressed urban area in western MA."
teaching  writing  tutoring  howto  826  lcproject  nonprofit  nonprofits 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Drive - by Daniel Pink | Derek Sivers
"Your best approach is to have already established the conditions of a genuinely motivating environment. The baseline rewards must be sufficient. That is, the team’s basic compensation must be adequate and fair - particularly compared with people doing similar work for similar organizations. Your nonprofit must be a congenial place to work. And the people on your team must have autonomy, they must have ample opportunity to pursue mastery, and their daily duties must relate to a larger purpose. If these elements are in place, the best strategy is to provide a sense of urgency and significance - and then get out of the talent’s way.

Any extrinsic reward should be unexpected and offered only after the task is complete. Holding out a prize at the beginning of a project - and offering it as a contingency - will inevitably focus people’s attention on obtaining the reward rather than on attacking the problem."

[via: http://gaiwan.tumblr.com/post/7206114293 ]
books  drive  danielpink  motivation  extrinsicmotivation  teams  teamwork  autonomy  nonprofit  urgency  significance  talent  work  management  administration  congeniality  howwework  nonprofits 
july 2011 by robertogreco
The IRC in San Diego
"The IRC provides opportunities for refugees to thrive in America. Each year, thousands of refugees are invited by the U.S. government to seek safety and freedom.  Forced to flee conflict or persecution, many have survived for years against incredible odds. They step off the plane with next to nothing but their dignity, hope and determination.  In San Diego and many other regional offices across the country, the IRC helps refugees to rebuild their lives."
irc  sandiego  refugees  nonprofit  nonprofits 
january 2011 by robertogreco
GOOD Design Daily: Architecture For the Public Good - Design - GOOD
"In 2005, Public Architecture launched The 1%, asking architects to give at least one percent of their time to pro bono projects. Since then, a growing number of designers have dedicated this small but significant amount to helping nonprofits, organizations and schools: Public Architecture estimates that the firms enlisted under "The 1%" donate approximately $25 million in services each year. Their new book The Power of Pro Bono features 40 projects which showcase the rage of designers doing good."
humanitariandesign  publicarchitecture  architecture  design  nonprofit  books  nonprofits 
december 2010 by robertogreco
The 1% pro bono design program of Public Architecture - Home
"The 1% program of Public Architecture connects nonprofit organizations in need of design assistance with architecture and design firms willing to donate their time on a pro bono basis. The program is inspired by groups such as the Taproot Foundation, a leader in pro bono service by business professionals. The 1% program is made possible thanks to crucial financial support from the corporate and private foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Herman Miller, Humanscale, Shaw Contract Group, Teknion, as well as leading firms such as HOK, HKS, McCall Design Group, and Perkins+Will."
architecture  design  activism  nonprofit  community  lcproject  humanitariandesign  nonprofits 
december 2010 by robertogreco
somamexico.org
"SOMA es un espacio para el arte contemporáneo que busca establecerse como contrapunto a la dinámica existente de escuelas, museos y galerías.

SOMA surge de la iniciativa de un conjunto de artistas que, aprovechando las experiencias de La Panadería, Temistocles 44 y otros espacios de artistas, han unido sus esfuerzos dando como resultado una plataforma única en el ámbito cultural.

SOMA consta de tres partes:

. Un sistema de residencias para artistas nacionales e internacionales.

. Un programa para la profesionalización de artistas.

. Un foro para conferencias, discusiones y eventos semanales

SOMA es una organización sin fines de lucro."
mexico  df  education  art  unschooling  deschooling  alternative  lcproject  mexicodf  soma  conferences  events  nonprofit  culture  contemporary  non-institutional  non-institutionalartschools  schools  machineproject  mexicocity  nonprofits 
december 2010 by robertogreco
La Cocina » San Francisco Incubator Kitchen
"Mission Statement
The mission of La Cocina is to cultivate low-income food entrepreneurs as they formalize and grow their businesses by pro­viding affordable commercial kitchen space, industry-specific technical assistance and access to market opportunities. We focus primarily on women from communities of color and immigrant communities. Our vision is that entrepreneurs will become economically self-sufficient and contribute to a vibrant economy doing what they love to do.

San Francisco’s First Incubator Kitchen La Cocina is a ground-breaking business incubator designed to reduce the obstacles that often prevent entrepreneurs from creating successful and sustainable small businesses. By providing shared resources and an array of industry-specific services, business incubators ensure small businesses can succeed."
bayarea  sanfrancisco  nonprofit  entrepreneurship  food  incubator  streetfood  women  cooking  diy  commercialkitchen  foodcarts  business  gender  nonprofits 
november 2010 by robertogreco
Project: Interaction - INVENT DESIGN CHANGE
"Project: Interaction is a 10-week after school program that teaches high schoolers to use design to change their communities.

They will learn valuable skills in storytelling, communication, creative thinking and problem solving while being exposed to interaction design as a potential career opportunity. Using New York City as a catalyst for creative thought and exploration, we will challenge students to approach problems using a variety of design methods. Students will be encouraged to tackle issues that matter to them with the prospect of creating viable solutions."
sustainability  education  change  highschool  storytelling  design  curriculum  community  classes  socialchange  interactiondesign  nyc  nonprofit  interaction  designthinking  lcproject  classideas  nonprofits 
november 2010 by robertogreco
SPUR - San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association
"Through research, education and advocacy, SPUR promotes good planning and good government in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SPUR's history dates back to 1910, when a group of young city leaders came together to improve the quality of housing after the 1906 earthquake and fire. That group, the San Francisco Housing Association, authored a hard-hitting report which led to the State Tenement House Act of 1911."
sanfrancisco  urbanplanning  urbanism  urban  planning  bayarea  architecture  environment  nonprofit  community  culture  design  transportation  sustainability  advocacy  development  nonprofits 
september 2010 by robertogreco
FrontlineSMS
"FrontlineSMS allows you to text message with large groups of people anywhere there is a mobile signal.
activism  advocacy  ngo  nonprofit  communications  sms  phones  mobile  messaging  socialmedia  software  telecom  text  development  opensource  wireless  communication  ict  free  nonprofits 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Voice of San Diego - Wikipedia
"voiceofsandiego.org is a nonprofit, independent online newspaper focused on issues impacting the San Diego region.

The newspaper's mission is to consistently deliver ground-breaking investigative journalism for the San Diego region, to increase civic participation by giving citizens the knowledge and in-depth analysis necessary to become informed advocates for good government and social progress."
voiceofsandiego  scottlewis  sandiego  journalism  news  media  nonprofit  nonprofits 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Nonprofit journalism on the rise - CSMonitor.com
"The Voice of San Diego, a nonprofit online media outlet, doesn't have enough journalists to field a softball team. Yet it has managed to take on the powerful with the panache of a scrappy big-city paper.

It provides "the best coverage of city politics that we've had in years," raves Dean Nelson, a journalism professor at San Diego's Point Loma Nazarene University.

The success of the tightly focused Voice, which relies on donors, offers a ray of hope for a troubled industry. Plagued by shrinking circulations and advertising, newspapers are shedding staff and downsizing their offerings. Even the pages have gotten smaller.

By contrast, several nonprofit newspapers – though rare and often tiny – have sprung up in recent years both online and in print, funded largely by foundations and individual donors.

The strategy of nonprofits like the Voice "may be one of the ways to preserve the integrity of journalism," says Mr. Nelson."
voiceofsandiego  nonprofit  media  journalism  digitalstorytelling  democracy  business  scottlewis  sandiego  nonprofits 
june 2010 by robertogreco
Web Sites That Dig for News Rise as Watchdogs - NYTimes.com
"Over last 2 years, some of this city’s darkest secrets have been dragged into light — city officials with conflicts of interest & hidden pay raises, affordable housing that was not affordable, misleading crime statistics.

Investigations ensued. The chiefs of 2 redevelopment agencies were forced out. One faces criminal charges. Yet the main revelations came not from any of SD’s television & radio stations or its dominant newspaper, SD Union-Tribune, but from handful of young journalists at nonprofit website run out of converted military base...

As America’s newspapers shrink & shed staff, & broadcast news outlets sink in the ratings, a new kind of Web-based news operation has arisen in several cities, forcing the papers to follow the stories they uncover.

Here it is VoiceofSanDiego.org, offering a brand of serious, original reporting by professional journalists — the province of the traditional media, but at a much lower cost of doing business."
voiceofsandiego  sandiego  journalism  nonprofit  scottlewis  nonprofits 
june 2010 by robertogreco
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