Global Giving Round-Up
Overviews of best-practices around the world and links to learn more about them
Small overseas charities feel brunt of 9/11 aftereffects
New guidelines by the US Treasury Department meant to curtail overseas charitable organizations that may be funding terrorist organizations are impacting small foreign charities that cannot easily comply. The guidelines ask donors to provide detailed information about organizations they're supporting, including names of directors, key employees and subcontractors. For small, somewhat informal organizations, these recommendations can be very difficult to meet because subcontractors may be local organizations without the type of formal contact information the Treasury Department wants. Some US funders that support new and smaller groups say they may have to suspend their support to these groups, and critics say that the guidelines are having a "chilling effect" on international giving to valid grassroots organizations operating outside the US. Eileen Growald, chair of the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (www.rockpa.org), states, "If these guidelines become the de facto standard of best practices for giving abroad, we might very well have to stop making grants outside the United States." (New York Times, August 5, 2003)
...but 9/11 spurs also spurs new domestic approach to philanthropy
A new organization, One Day's Pay (www.onedayspay.org), has been established as what its founders hope will become a movement in which people take time from their workday every year on September 11 to give something back to their communities. More than 55,000 people have signed an online pledge to volunteer or make a donation to charity on that day. In 2002, when the concept was introduced, 12,000 people signed on. More than 200 nonprofit organizations are helping to publicize this initiative, and corporations are now being recruited to take part. One Day's Pay is the creation of David Kratz, CEO of Magnet Communications in New York City, and David Paine, a California businessman. (Crain's New York Business, August 25, 2003)
Art initiative aims to support needy in Liberia
Liberian artist Doughba Hamilton Clarinda-Martin III, who founded and heads Project Momentum Liberia (www.projectmomentumliberia.org), a fundraising initiative, will donate 25 percent of the proceeds of sales from a one-man gallery showing to the project. The show, which opened in early September at the Gale-Martin Fine Art gallery in New York City, features paintings, monographs, photos and other works by Martin-Martin focusing on conflicts in Liberia and elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa. Project Momentum is comprised of business leaders, artists, activists, and scholars working together to fundraise to help Liberians by channeling funds to existing humanitarian groups that need immediate assistance. Project Momentum partners with local organizations and California-based Direct Relief International, a medical assistance group that's bringing aid to ELWA Hospital, near Monrovia in Liberia. The show closes on October 25.
Seattle group teams up with local Ethiopians to fund drought relief
A Seattle relief organization, Northwest Medical Teams (www.nwmedicalteams.org) has teamed up with Ethiopian Famine Relief Fundraising Committee, a coalition of Ethiopian-American groups, to send $350,000 in supplies to help starving people in Ethiopia who have fallen victim to a season of severe drought. Members of the 20,000-strong Ethiopian community in King County, Washington State presented a $25,000 check to Northwest Medical Teams. The money will be used to provide rehydration kits, antibiotics and drugs to combat malaria, acute respiratory diseases and other illnesses brought on by malnourishment, relief organizers said. Many Ethiopians in King County, according to community leaders, earn just minimum wage in the US but want to provide help as a way of showing gratitude for past help from US donors. Some say that this year's drought is far worse than the 1984-85 famine that led to 300,000 deaths (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 25, 2003)
Dominican business leader shows that socially responsibility makes money
Being socially responsible also makes money, Frank Rainieri, president of Grupo Punta Cana, has shown in his approach to developing Punta Cana and Club resort in the Dominican Republic. In the late 1960s, with investment from US-based labor lawyers and union leaders, Rainieri's company bought 30 square miles of undeveloped land that they turned into a luxury resort. The partnership also developed the world's first privately owned international airport in order to bring tourists to the resort. Revenue from the resort has been used to fund amenities for employees, including a trilingual school open to the children of both executives and laborers; college loans for employees' children; health education on HIV/AIDS awareness; and employee housing -- new houses are being built that employees will eventually be able to own over a 20-year period using payroll deduction. The resort also houses an ecological reserve. Rainieri, who was educated in the US, is among a handful of business leaders in the Dominican Republic who incorporate social responsible approaches into their business practices. (New York Times, August 29, 2003)
Mexican philanthropist honored for humanitarian achievements
Mexican philanthropist José Ignacio Avalos Hernández -- a member of The Synergos Institute's Global Philanthropists Circle -- was named the 2003 winner of the Luis Elizondo Prize for his humanitarian achievements in creating Un Kilo de Ayuda (www.unkilodeayuda.org.mx), a program aimed at addressing childhood malnutrition by selling, at competitive prices, high-quality food and household essentials and then plowing the profits into social and nutritional programs. The products are manufactured by major companies but use the Kilo de Ayuda brand name. The prize, given by Mexico's Monterrey Institute of Technology, has just one other category, honoring achievements in science and technology. In addition to his role in creating of Un Kilo de Ayuda, Mr. Avalos was cited for his leadership in organizing Gente Nueva, a youth network that promotes social activism, and Compartamos, a micro-finance program. Mr. Avalos was profiled in Global Giving Matters issue 9, December2002-January 2003.
Purple dinosaur's creator helps fund international youth initiative
Sheryl Leach, who created the TV character Barney, a purple dinosaur who promotes values of friendship and trust among young children, and who founded Shei'rah Foundation, is helping to fund "Chat the Planet" (www.chattheplanet.com), a weekly TV show aimed at promoting dialogue on current issues among young people worldwide. Co-produced by New York-based NextNext Entertainment and South Africa-based Rapid Blue, the show will broadcast conference calls among youth mainly between the ages of 17 and 23 on topics such as war, materialism, immigration and family values. The show will also feature prerecorded video segments related to the topics. (Philanthropy News Digest, July 16 2003)
Despite hard times, British giving in 2002 reached new high
British charities received a record 7.3 billion pounds in 2002 (up from from 6.9 billion pounds in 2001), based on interviews with a more than 1,000 Britons by the Charities Aid Foundation (www.caf.org) and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations (www.ncvo-vol.org.uk), despite economic uncertainties. The study also showed, however, that a third of respondents gave nothing. (The Mirror, August 20, 2003)
Italian soccer star raises money for charity -- with jokes at his expense
A best-selling collection of jokes about Italian soccer star Francesco Totti -- which he has published -- is helping children's charities in Africa. Entitled Tutte le Barzellette su Totti (Raccolte Da Me) (All the Jokes about Totti [Collected by Me]), the joke book has sold more than 600,000 copies in Italy. Half the proceeds are designated to help street children in Kinshasa, Congo, through Unicef, while the remainder will help build a home for elderly people in Rome. Mr. Totti, a leading player on Italy's national soccer team, has been the brunt of jokes from the media and fans for his thick accent and public antics. Mr. Totti has served as a good-will ambassador for Unicef. By mid-August, book sales had already netted more than Cdn $775,600. (Canada.com, August 18, 2003)
Daniel Pearl Foundation to hold Music Day to honor slain journalist
A foundation formed to honor Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter murdered in Pakistan in 2002, will hold a music day in his honor on October 10, to benefit various organizations supporting global tolerance. Musicians around the world will join forces on what would have been Mr. Pearl's 40th birthday, but concerts can be part of the program any time from October 7 through 19. During last year's inaugural Daniel Pearl Music Day, more than 100 concerts were held in 18 countries. This year's program will focus on music that can bridge cultural divisions, with emphasis on Arab-Israeli musical ensembles.
Philanthropy Ink: Remembering what philanthropy is supposed to do
In an article for The Washington Post entitled "Philanthropy Where it Counts," David Stern, the great-grandson of philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, who made the Sears company into a major national retailer in the US, contends that too many family foundations are so concerned with self-preservation that they lose sight of their main goal -- to "make the world a better place." Arguing in favor of proposed Congressional legislation that would change the way foundations operate -- and funnel more of their monies into nation's charities rather than into overheads and salaries -- Stern says foundations could have more impact without significantly affecting their operations. In fact, he says, studies show that foundations could currently pay out more and still sustain operations at their current rates. Stern is president of the Stern Family Fund, which was created 11 years ago upon his father's death, and notes that the fund will spend its remaining assets over the next five years. (The Washington Post, September 8, 2003)
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