Are Social Impact Bonds a good way to invest in public services?
"Imagine a contract where private investors are paid by the government if there's a decrease in homelessness or convicts re-offending. It's a an idea that's taking shape in the UK and some US states. And now the Canadian government is considering piloting social impact bonds. Critics say it's a way of governments shirking their responsibilities." CBC's "The Current" reports. [more inside]
posted by flex
on Nov 20, 2012 -
The Gates Foundation's Leveraged Philanthropy: Corporate Profit Versus Humanity
on the Gates Foundation's international aid projects and II
on Gates' domestic education projects. [more inside]
posted by latkes
on Jul 16, 2012 -
In 1975, with $3,000 in savings Roxanne Quimby and her boyfriend moved to Maine
. They bought a tract of land on which they built a cabin and an outhouse. Near her Guilford homestead, Quimby later met beekeeper Burt Shavitz and used his beeswax to create candles (making $20,000 in her first year selling at local crafts fairs) -- and later their (yes, the two cofounded a company together
) best selling product Burt's Bees Lip Balm
(it's Burt's image
that still graces many of the company's products). With the phenomenal success that followed, she sold 80 percent of her shares in the company
to New York investors in 2003 (eventually the company was sold to Clorox
) to help fund significant land purchases
. For years Maine sportsmen have been outraged with Quimby for forbidding hunters, loggers, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles on the 120,000 acres of woodlands she now owns. Quimby has recently offered a compromise. She wants to donate 70,000 acres
to help create a new national park (Maine Woods National Park
) while "setting aside another 30,000 acres of woodlands
... to be managed like a state park, with hunting and snowmobiling allowed." [more inside]
posted by ericb
on Mar 28, 2011 -
How Private Is 'Private Charity'?
Private charity may be more accurately described
as "private donations coupled with involuntary, tax-financed public subsidies." And it's not fair
: "very low-income people paying only payroll taxes get hardly any leverage for their donations. Very high-income people in states with high income-tax rates – such as New Jersey and New York – can through the tax code virtually double the money funneled to a charity per dollar of their own sacrifice." (previously
posted by kliuless
on Jan 17, 2011 -
Chen has a daily routine—waking up at 3am, she makes her way to the vegetable wholesaler and sets up her stall, which she tends till seven or eight in the evening. The first to arrive in the dark, damp market and the last to leave, other stall-owners have fondly nicknamed her ‘market manager.’ Chen holds the stall her father left her dearly. Yuan-Jin Vegetables is her everything. Selling at “a bundle for 30 dollars*, three bundles for 50,” Chen earns only marginal profits. Yet, her frugality has allowed her to donate about NT$10 million (nearly Rs1.5 crore) [approx. US$330,000] towards various charitable causes, including helping schools, orphanages and poor children.
posted by nickyskye
on Dec 6, 2010 -
"Out of the blue, in the middle of a recession, the phone rang. What would it cost, the caller asked the founder of DonorsChoose.org
, to fund every California teacher's wish list posted on the Web site? The founder, Charles Best, thought perhaps the female caller would hang up when he tossed out his best guess: "Something over $1 million," he told her. A day later, Hilda Yao, executive director of the Claire Giannini Fund mailed a check of more than $1.3 million to cover the entire California wish list, 2,233 projects in all, with an extra $100,000 tossed in to help pay for other teacher needs across the country. (DonorsChoose: previously on MeFi) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 3, 2010 -
"Sure, Bono and Richard Branson can change the world. But there are millions of individuals making a difference who are not rich or famous." The Christian Science Monitor's ongoing Making a Difference
section focuses on "that unheralded community – 'to honor the decency and courage and selflessness that surround us.'” [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 2, 2010 -
Joeurt Puk (aka Joe Cook) is the father of Cambodian baseball. In this feature
by ESPN, Patrick Hruby looks into Cook's background and finds that Cook may not be the tireless philanthropist he claims to be. [more inside]
posted by reenum
on May 19, 2010 -
What would happen if aid organizations and other philanthropists embraced the dark arts of marketing spin and psychological persuasion used on Madison Avenue? We'd save millions more lives.
posted by lunit
on Dec 28, 2009 -
Corrupt U.S. Government officials leased the Teapot Dome oil field
to one Harry F. Sinclair in 1922 in a sleazy no-bid contract.
Turn back the clock. 27 years earlier, suspected grifter Gilmer Bonfils
had seized control of the Denver Post; he and his family turned it from a sleepy, staid paper into a
wild, brazen broadsheet
. So brazen they were shot by a furious lawyer. For an editorial page
, Tammen and Bonfils substituted invective, raked up so much scandal—a good deal of it true — that they kept a loaded shotgun in their office to discourage reader complaints. As the Post grew in power and prosperity, its proprietors branched into other fields; the Post became the first and last U.S. daily ever to own a circus (Sells-Floto), run a burlesque house and sell coal." [more inside]
posted by felix
on Aug 13, 2008 -
The LA Times tagged the Gates Foundation today
for harmful investment practices. The Gates Foundation
generally gets only positive PR for their great work on global health. But today the LA Times presented startling evidence that the foundation's own investments are actually causing much of the harm in the communities where the foundation is working. As the poster child of the free market capitalist system, is it time for Gates
to ask whether globalization
is a primary cause of the third world poverty his foundation is trying to fix?
posted by commonmedia
on Jan 6, 2007 -
What’s the best way to dispose of an accumulated fortune? Conventional wisdom tells us that you can’t take it with you. The inevitability of death has inspired otherwise ruthless men to contribute to the larger community with the goal of establishing a posthumous legacy. Carnegie built libraries. Bill Gates is working on global health initiatives. But the conventional wisdom on this matter could be wrong. And with that in mind, some wealthy men are choosing to turn themselves into cryonic popsicles
and put their wealth in trust funds in the hope that at some point in the future, Science will be able to revive them.
posted by jason's_planet
on Aug 21, 2006 -
Newsfilter: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates
and Paul Hewson
named by Time Magazine as their persons of the year in recognition of their efforts against HIV-1, malaria and debt in Africa. "For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Persons of the Year." said
the mag's editor-in-chief.
posted by docgonzo
on Dec 18, 2005 -
Gift hub - Connecting Funders, Active Citizens, and Advisors. Phil Cubeta
, who is known to many as the weblog world's Happy Tutor
(et al.), wants to stop just talking about philanthropy
and actually do something. Now this a Corporate Guy that I actually respect. He's recently decided to 'go from satire to sermon, from noting problems to working for solutions,' and brought together
some other smart and influential people
to talk about philanthropy, activism, volunteerism, charity, social movements, civil society, and emerging democracy
, and is one of the people organizing an Open Space for Giving Conference
. Can a webby philanthropic bridge
be built between the chaotic, emergent ferment in the wired world and the world of corporate wealth
? I don't know, but I wish him luck.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken
on Apr 13, 2004 -
"Public school teachers use Donors Choose to propose resources for their students. Concerned individuals like you can then select a proposal to fund."
posted by FunkyHelix
on Mar 22, 2004 -
is a new magazine about the good things that are going on all over the world, and the people working to create a brighter future for us all. (via WorldChanging
posted by stbalbach
on Mar 19, 2004 -
A plucky anti-abortion crusader
has convinced Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett to end
a philanthropic program that has donated $200 million over 2 decades. She is delighted. Does any of this (his decision, her delight) make sense? What are some other successful examples of small, grassroots movements exerting a major impact on philanthropy?
posted by stonerose
on Jul 22, 2003 -
Earth to Bill Gates: Thank you
This little editorial that appeared recently is (obviously) dancing on the fringe of cheesiness, but it begs an interesting question about philanthropy and the world's richest man. Gates appeared
on Bill Moyers' NOW
last night, and was reasonably candid (he used the phrase "failure of capitalism"), mentioning more than once that he intended to give away ~95%
of his wealth, mostly to aid public health. Our perceptions
of his politics aside, it would seem as if Gates intends to go out with a humanist bang.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly
on May 10, 2003 -
Bill & Melinda Gates' $24 Billion Charity
"The Gates Foundation often makes grants only on condition that governments or other nonprofits match them, and requires that recipients meet regular goals for performance—or risk losing their funding. (That hardball approach has met with criticism from some members of the philanthropic community, who argue that holding people to ambitious standards may make sense in Redmond but not in places where millions can’t read.) And experts have calculated that improvements in health care themselves have a huge ripple effect in the poorest countries: if parents believe their children will live longer, they save more and reproduce less. That will help create capital for investment, which will spur more development and so on, in a "positive feedback loop," as the techies like to say in Redmond."
posted by owillis
on Jan 31, 2002 -