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When is a church not a church?

NPR reporter John Burnett and investigator Samantha Sunne examine the finances of Christian TV network Daystar.
At NPR's request, the Trinity Foundation, a watchdog group in Dallas that monitors Christian broadcasters, compiled a list of the nation's 30 leading evangelist broadcasters. Twenty-two of them are designated churches, meaning they don't have to report anything to anybody. Of those, two-thirds have churches, while a third of them — including Daystar — hold no regular services.

posted by audi alteram partem on Apr 2, 2014 - 44 comments

 

Even a permethrin-treated bednet looks exciting next to Brad Pitt

The new TV show "The Samaritans" is a mockumentary inspired by The Office about the perils – and pleasures – of the “NGO world”. Created by a Kenya-based production company, it chronicles the work of Aid for Aid – an NGO that, in the words of its creator, “does nothing.” Over at Warscape, some wry advice for a "development officer of a not-for-profit yearning for a celebrity of your very own" after Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern flubbed her "African adventure," mixing up Dakar with Darfur. “We have to break in our new celebrities slowly,” confides Sarah Wilson, a World Vision representative who is chaperoning McGovern on the trip. “There will be lots of breaks so she doesn’t get overloaded.” (previously) (previouslier) (more previouslier)
posted by spamandkimchi on Feb 10, 2014 - 19 comments

Civic Crowdfunding

Rodrigo Davis of the MIT Center for Civic Media is currently researching crowdfunding for civic and community purposes. Some of the issues he covers includes the ethics of crowdfunding (including Kickstarter's seduction guide debacle and Gawker's attempt to crowdfund a video showing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack), a case study of Kansas City's crowdfunding campaign for their bikeshare program, a timeline of online crowdfunding since 2000, and how the Statue of Liberty was made possible via crowdfunding.
posted by divabat on Jan 19, 2014 - 8 comments

Bringing Unicorns Back to Our World

Nonprofits With Balls. Sometimes you just need to laugh to make it through. Nonprofit agencies, whatever their missions, face common problems such as outcomes, sustainability, budgets, and even the physical plant. Oh, and unicorns.
posted by Stewriffic on Jan 9, 2014 - 10 comments

Names for Change

Name this mouthwash. Name this winter coat. Name this urinal. Name the herb garden. Name this salt and pepper. Name this fire extinguisher. Name this Case Manager. Name this pie. [more inside]
posted by threeants on Nov 26, 2013 - 28 comments

Sex-trafficking, fraud and money at the Somaly Mam Foundation

Cambodia Daily just ran two controversial features on Somaly Mam, a well-known trafficking survivor and head of the anti-trafficking non-profit, the Somaly Mam Foundation that funds shelters in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Somaly Mam, Cambodia's most well-known anti-trafficking activist, partly due to Nicholas Kristof whose "live tweeting" a brothel raid with Somaly Mam was roundly criticised by other NGOs in Cambodia, is accused of false stories of abuse, murder and kidnapping of young women, and the organization of hugely over-paying top staff including Somaly Mam herself. [more inside]
posted by syncope on Oct 16, 2013 - 7 comments

The Method

"Obama’s new education policy neatly showcases the spectrum of choice we now have in our political system: to be ground down a bit at a time by technocrats who either won’t admit to or do not understand the ultimate consequences of the policy infrastructures they so busily construct or to be demolished by fundamentalists who want to dissolve the modern nation-state into a panoptic enforcer of their privileged morality, a massive security and military colossus and an enfeebled social actor that occasionally says nice things about how it would be nice if no one died from tainted food and everyone had a chance to get an education but hey, that’s why you have lawyers and businesses."
posted by anotherpanacea on Aug 24, 2013 - 51 comments

"The need for diapers is 'practically infinite'"

There have been days, since her son Ezekiel was born 11 months ago, that Los Angeles mom Beth Capper has gone without food to keep up her supply. One friend was arrested for stealing some. It's not drugs or alcohol or even baby formula that has put her in such a bind. It's diapers.
posted by the young rope-rider on Jul 30, 2013 - 335 comments

Do the Fiveish, Oorah!

Oorah is a non-profit Jewish organization providing year-round activities and educational opportunities to Jewish children and families (including funding for Kars4Kids. But they also have some amazing videos on YouTube.
posted by shakespeherian on Jul 16, 2013 - 27 comments

America's 50 worst charities

Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families. Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids... In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity's founder and his own consulting firms... But Kids Wish is not an isolated case... An old-fashioned investigative reporting piece into the worst charities in the US. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Jun 6, 2013 - 75 comments

Highest Ranked Charity in America Celebrates 27th Anniversary

As a young boy Henri Landwirth survived the death camp of Auschwitz. He lost his childhood to the war and was determined that this should not happen again in the future. Later, as a successful hotelier in Florida, he helped arrange free vacations for children with life-threatening diseases to Walt Disney World and SeaWorld. Sadly, the time it took to set up a vacation was long and when one child, Amy, died from leukemia before her wish could be fulfilled, Landwirth founded "Give Kids The World." [more inside]
posted by IndigoSkye on Mar 21, 2013 - 12 comments

No state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

Should A Church Be Treated Differently By The IRS From Other Non-Profits? The Freedom from Religion Foundation has sued the IRS claiming unequal treatment. Secular non-profit companies must file numerous and costly forms and reports to maintain their non-profit status. Religious companies even those that duplicate the functions of the secular non-profit are exempt from such requirements. The FFRF asks (pdf) that the laws be applied equally. Previously
posted by 2manyusernames on Jan 1, 2013 - 156 comments

Project Right Side

During his tenure as George W. Bush's campaign manager and later as chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), Ken Mehlman helped push an anti-gay agenda which eventually led to legislation that banned same-sex marriage in 21 states. He came out of the closet in 2010. Since then, he's openly supported gay marriage. Now, his newest endeavor, Project Right Side, is trying to attract conservatives to the fight for marriage equality. He discusses the non-profit's goals in a WSJ editorial: Making the Same-Sex Case. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 21, 2012 - 58 comments

Let Me Take You To The Max

Give to the Max Day is an attempt to boost local online philanthropy by aggregating all Minnesota nonprofits (and public schools) into a search engine and encouraging contributions on a single day.
posted by antonymous on Nov 15, 2012 - 11 comments

Biting back at Malaria...

A new malaria vaccine has been shown effective in large-scale field trials. After decades of disappointment, researchers think they're finally on track to unleash the first practical vaccine against malaria, one of mankind's ancient scourges. In the world's first large field trial of an experimental malaria vaccine, several thousand young children who got three doses had about 55 percent less risk of getting the disease over a year than those who got a control vaccine against rabies or meningitis. [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Oct 18, 2011 - 21 comments

They call her "mommy."

Four years ago, Katie Davis was homecoming queen at her high school in Brentwood, Tenn. She had a yellow convertible and planned to study nursing in college. But those plans changed just a little.Today, she's in Uganda, sharing her home with 13 orphaned or abandoned girls, ages 2 to 15.(second link has sound)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Jul 9, 2011 - 228 comments

A Complete Waste of Money That Succeeds Primarily At Keeping Westerners Employed

Michael Maren, an outspoken critic of foreign aid and development assistance, gave an interview to Might Magazine about the flaws in the current models for aid to Africa.
posted by reenum on Sep 29, 2010 - 17 comments

Trying to find out what human nature is all about.

The Saint Louis Bread Company Cares Cafe opened Sunday, as an experiment by Ron Shaich, former CEO of Panera Bread. Customers are asked to pay what they can afford. [more inside]
posted by Karmakaze on May 20, 2010 - 67 comments

Just ask!

Reggie Bibbs has neurofibromatosis, and he has made it his life's mission to educate people about the disfiguring disease. Besides going to lots of big public events, he's got a Facebook page, a Flickr site, a Myspace page, and a YouTube channel, and he founded a nonprofit to help raise awareness of NF.
posted by yiftach on Mar 16, 2010 - 12 comments

Advertising in the public interest

"What if America wasn't America?" That was the question posed by a series of ads broadcast in the wake of the September 11th attacks, ads which depicted a dystopian America bereft of liberty: Library - Diner - Church. Together with more positive ads like Remember Freedom and I Am an American, they encouraged frightened viewers to cherish their freedoms and defend against division and prejudice in the face of terrorism (seven years previously). The campaign was the work of the Ad Council, a non-profit agency that employs the creative muscle of volunteer advertisers to raise awareness for social issues of national importance. Founded during WWII as the War Advertising Council, the organization has been behind some of the most memorable public service campaigns in American history, including Rosie the Riveter, Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, and the Crash Test Dummies. And the Council is still at it today, producing striking, funny, and above all effective PSAs on everything from student invention to global warming to arts education to community service.

Additional resources: A-to-Z index of Ad Council campaigns - Campaigns organized by category - Award-winning campaigns - PSA Central: A free download directory of TV, radio, and print PSAs (registration req'd) - An exhaustive history of the Ad Council [46-page PDF] - YouTube channel - Vimeo channel - Twitter feed
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 11, 2009 - 69 comments

ROSA LOVES

ROSA LOVES is a non-profit t-shirt company. Their limited edition t-shirts are specifically designed to raise money for individuals in need. Each individual's story is told through a unique design on the front and also by actual text that appears on the inverse of the shirt, directly in line with the heart. They have been featured in GOOD Magazine, and AOL named them one of the top 12 businesses that could be the next big thing. Recently, they introduced a t-shirt to "support the reinforcement and perseverance of a home that nurtures the culture of music in New Orleans". [more inside]
posted by Houyhnhnm on Mar 28, 2009 - 8 comments

C-SPAN in its dirty thirties

March 19, 1979 - The United States House of Representatives goes live on television for the first time in history. Footage from the House floor aired on a network created by a consortium of American cable companies. The first member of Congress to speak? Al Gore (Sorry, only seems to be available on Real Player. Embedded video, in case weird link fails). [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Mar 23, 2009 - 17 comments

Non-profit industrial complex?

"Arguably...given their limited obligation and inclination to report to external audiences about operational or performance matters, foundations are the least accountable institutions in our society."
Some are pointing to the rise of a non-profit industrial complex (echoing Eisenhower's famous warning of a military industrial complex and the phrase's later application to the prison industry). What does it mean for the left if the revolution will not be funded?
posted by lunit on Feb 4, 2009 - 27 comments

Sunday Paper Pledge Drive?

Can nonprofit news models save journalism? The advertising-supported, for-profit institutional model of journalism (skip this ad) is on the wane. Except for a few large and successful outlets, investment in comprehensive reporting has suffered from a shrinking bottom line, even as the hoped-for development of citizen journalism has been generally underwhelming. But some see a solution taking shape in not-for-profit, independent, citizen-supported online news organizations that would employ skilled professional journalists. Pointing to the encouraging recent growth of NPR and PBS as news outlets, many industry thinkers are starting to agree that "The only way to save journalism is to develop a new model that finds profit in truth, vigilance, and social responsibility." Editors are beginning to experiment with models like that of Paul Stieger's ProPublica (a sort of reporting clearinghouse), Geoff Dougherty's ChiTown Daily News, The NYC Center for an Urban Future's City Limits, and Scott Lewis' Voice of San Diego. Great idea - will it work?
posted by Miko on Nov 23, 2008 - 35 comments

Hope Generator

Generations of Hope is a non-profit set up to bring kids out of foster care and into extended families with grandparents. The community of Hope Meadows was repurposed from housing on a closed Air Force base in Illinois. (The NYT article erroneously refers to the community by the non-profit's name. No matter. The story is still inspirational.) [more inside]
posted by yiftach on Sep 16, 2008 - 5 comments

We are weird. And somewhat echoey.

KnowHow2Go wants you to take on the tough classes - such as Biology, Foreign Languages, and Algebra II - to prepare yourself for college.
posted by divabat on May 26, 2008 - 31 comments

"Moving The Homeless Forward One Step At A Time"

"When we're running, you can't tell. When people look at us, they don't point and go, 'Yeah, he's homeless, she's not, she's educated.'" Mahlum explained, "You look and say, 'Oh, look at the runners.' That's a positive association, because there's no separation." [more inside]
posted by stagewhisper on Dec 21, 2007 - 8 comments

Osocio

Osocio is a blog that covers some of the best social marketing and non-profit advertising worldwide - whether it be through a careers fair, a "beauty" ad, or even through sex education.
posted by divabat on Dec 4, 2007 - 9 comments

The Most Curatorial Biennial of the Universe

The Most Curatorial Biennial of the Universe has nearly 450 local, national and international artists and curators (pdf) participating. Individuals place bids on the works of art in increments of $10. Online art auction to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation of NYC.
posted by RMD on Jul 14, 2007 - 3 comments

Retail Therapy

Creativity, Inc: Dave Eggers of McSweeney's is a proprietor. A shopkeeper. Perhaps even a franchise magnate! It was his keen perception of unmet needs in niche markets that led to the opening of a growing array of supply houses across the country. Among them: The Pirate Store, for the well-outfitted swashbuckler; The Boring Store, a subtle, unassuming purveyor of goods for secret agents; the Superhero Supply Store, in Brooklyn, carrying all the eyewear and accessories today's world-savers require; and Greenwood Space Travel Supply, where customers are reminded of the space-travel axiom "A lack of preparation is a prescription for mishaps." If these sound like curious business ventures for a celebrated author, there's a reason: the storefronts, though real, are just that - fronts. They're the streetside faces (and fundraising arms) of the nonprofit 826National, a family of learning centers for kids ages 6-18. The 826 'stores' provide free field trips, creatively themed writing workshops, publishing, and one-on-one instruction. Supported by an impressive field of cultural types (including Ira Glass, Sarah Vowell, Sherman Alexie, and others), the program is growing. Coming soon: Michigan 826 will open Monster Union Local 826, and 826LA will open the Echo Park Time Travel Mart.
posted by Miko on Jan 11, 2007 - 51 comments

to tackle big global challenges in bite-sized pieces

Webcasts from the Clinton Global Initiative conference (all wmv, archived of past 2 days and live tomorrow) --covering energy, healthcare, agriculture, poverty, religious and ethnic conflicts, etc. They're trying to turn "practical ideas into meaningful action". More here, including a cool waterpump/merry-go-round thing.
posted by amberglow on Sep 21, 2006 - 10 comments

Protect domain names for the Children!

"Each day, tens of thousands of our precious domain names are bought by greedy corporations and squandered for non-sustainable commercial development." But the Domain Name Preservation Society wants to help. Donate your names after you no longer need them, and they will retire protected within the sanctuary. Otherwise, what domains will our children be left with if we do not protect the endangered domain names of today?
posted by TwelveTwo on Jan 19, 2006 - 32 comments

Show me the money?

How We Got Homeland Security Wrong -- If all the federal homeland-security grants from last year are added together, Wyoming received $61 a person while California got just $14, according to data gathered at TIME's request by the Public Policy Institute of California, an independent, nonprofit research organization. Alaska received an impressive $58 a resident, while New York got less than $25. On and on goes the upside-down math of the new homeland-security funding. The TIME article uses AIR Worldwide Corp.'s Terrorism Loss Estimation Model.
posted by amberglow on Mar 22, 2004 - 20 comments

Kuro5hin launches a fund-raising drive and moves toward non-profit status.

Kuro5hin launches a fund-raising drive and moves toward non-profit status. (Via Blogroots.) Could this be a model for MetaFilter?
posted by timeistight on Jun 18, 2002 - 40 comments

HR-2357.

HR-2357. "The U.S.A. prides itself as being one of the most pluralistic societies on earth, with a stunning variety of houses of worship in many communities. But the right to engage in civic activities, and especially to engage in political speech, is severely curtailed among many faith groups because of the perception that the house of worship will lose its charitable status if 'politics' is discussed." That may be about to change...
posted by aaronshaf on May 21, 2002 - 20 comments

Do you really need a car all the time?

Do you really need a car all the time? Or do you need one (or another one) just a few times a month? Car sharing is getting some press lately. Most carsharing programs are for profit, but City Carshare in San Francisco is a nonprofit organization. Is there a carshare program in your city? Would it work for you?
posted by feckless on May 15, 2001 - 37 comments

What to do after you realize your dot com is never going to make money

What to do after you realize your dot com is never going to make money Apparently once you run out of other people's money one option is to stop spending extravagant amounts of money.
posted by rdr on Jan 7, 2001 - 13 comments

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