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"Didn't Lady Gaga just donate a million dollars to you guys?"

The Red Cross' Secret Disaster — ProPublica and NPR report on the American Red Cross' poor responses to Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Oct 29, 2014 - 91 comments

How The Simpsons Co-Creator Sam Simon Is Facing His Own Tragedy

Diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago, and given only months to live, Sam Simon is still alive and still racing to spend the fortune he made as co-creator of The Simpsons on causes he loves, whether he is rescuing grizzly bears (and chinchillas and elephants) or funding vegan food banks. Sam Simon and philanthropy previously on Metafilter
posted by ellieBOA on Sep 29, 2014 - 7 comments

Pizzendämmerung

Monaghan and Ilitch barely know each other. The Domino’s founder says in an interview he can’t recall ever tasting a Little Caesars pizza, “though I must have a long time ago.” A sculpture hanging in the archives at Little Caesars’ headquarters makes fun of a Domino’s slice as having “hard, tasteless crust, topped with artificial, flat, and runny cheese.” It’s a fluke that the chains emerged from the same corner of Michigan at roughly the same time more than 50 years ago. Yet, in different ways, Domino’s and Little Caesars changed the way Americans eat pizza, helping to make it one of the country’s most popular foods. The pizza barons were great at selling pies. Now one wants to save Detroit, and the other wants to save everything else.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 8, 2014 - 36 comments

"By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been."

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation explains 3 Myths that Block Progress for the Poor in their 2014 annual letter. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jan 21, 2014 - 101 comments

New News is Good News

Pierre Omidyar announces his Next Adventure in Journalism and plans to ‘free’ independent journalism. Jay Rosen interviewed him.
posted by adamvasco on Oct 18, 2013 - 26 comments

Bloomberg has given 1.1 billion to Johns Hopkins

To date, Michael Bloomberg has donated a total of $1.1 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, making him the most generous living donor to any educational institution in the United States.
posted by deathpanels on Jan 30, 2013 - 40 comments

social impact bonds

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 - 29 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

Gates

The Gates Foundation's Leveraged Philanthropy: Corporate Profit Versus Humanity
Part I on the Gates Foundation's international aid projects and II on Gates' domestic education projects. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Jul 16, 2012 - 18 comments

We are the one percent. We stand with the 99 percent!

We are the one percent. We stand with the 99 percent!
posted by ennui.bz on Oct 12, 2011 - 211 comments

John Passmore Edwards

"He did more good in his time than almost any other of his contemporaries" This week marks the 100th anniversary of the death of John Passmore Edwards. Philanthropist, activist, MP, journalist, editor and proprietor, chartist and pacifist, campaigner for peace, for the abolition of capital publishment and flogging and for provision of free libraries. His autobiography. [more inside]
posted by biffa on Apr 23, 2011 - 3 comments

Burt's Bees Co-Founder Wants to Donate National Park

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 - 49 comments

Why value the donations of rich people more than those of the poor?

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 - 39 comments

To Bigoted Politicians, From Target: "Merry Christmas!"

The anti-gay donations that Target apologized for? They never stopped.
posted by hermitosis on Dec 21, 2010 - 92 comments

Giving What We Can

Giving What We Can is a movement founded by Toby Ord , a 31 year old Oxford academic on slightly more than average income who plans to give away a million pounds during his lifetime. [more inside]
posted by philipy on Dec 13, 2010 - 52 comments

Asian of the year, humble and generous vegetable vendor, Chen Shu-chu

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 - 17 comments

Finally someone says it.

The College as a Philanthropy
posted by bardophile on Nov 10, 2010 - 53 comments

Money IS A Thang

Jay-Z, Buffett and Forbes on Success and Giving Back
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Sep 27, 2010 - 10 comments

"Every single child is entitled to a life full of possibilities."

A New Career of Caring, Started in Death on 9/11. Brooke Jackman was a 23 year-old assistant bond trader who was one of 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees to die on the morning of 9/11/2001. In her memory, her family created a Foundation in her name, dedicated to promoting literacy, especially among elementary school children in New York City. Today, 'first responders' from New York's Police and Fire Departments "took some time off from their day jobs to read aloud to children at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan, as part of the first ever Brooke Jackman Foundation read-a-thon." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 7, 2010 - 11 comments

A Back to School Surprise in California

"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 - 82 comments

Making a Difference

"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 - 4 comments

Amarillo's Marsh Art

"Art is a legalized form of insanity, and I do it very well."
Amarillo, Texas is home to the Cadillac Ranch, artist & sculptor Lightnin’ McDuff’s “Ozymandius,” the Amarillo Ramp and the “Dynamite Museum” project, which gave residents the opportunity to order fake, fun road signs and place them on their properties.  Over 5000 signs (Someone did a study!) have been erected throughout town.  But what do all of these projects have in common? They’re all elaborate art works commissioned by Stanley Marsh 3rd, eccentric millionaire, philanthropist and inveterate prankster. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 13, 2010 - 28 comments

The $600 Billion Challenge

"Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett are asking the nation's billionaires to pledge ... at least half their net worth to charity, in their lifetimes or at death."
posted by grumblebee on Jun 16, 2010 - 145 comments

Field of Schemes?

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 - 6 comments

Cos I'm a Gypsy, are you coming with me?

She recently made a speech at the Speech at the Oxford Union; her philanthropy gets a big “pass” from aidwatchers. She tells the Wall Street Journal about it, and she’s spending millions on schools in her home country and beyond. Also she has some wealthy friends joining her. Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll and Pies Descalzos the foundation she founded when she was 18.
posted by adamvasco on Apr 26, 2010 - 54 comments

Would you tell him your story for $10?

Giving away $10 every day to a different stranger for a year isn't as easy as it sounds, but Reed Sandridge is attempting to do just that, for a project he's calling "The Year of Giving." He then documents their stories and what they plan to do with the money on his blog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 21, 2010 - 33 comments

Kristof's Advice for Saving the World.

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 - 50 comments

Questioning Kiva

Kiva transparency commentary: "I suspect that most Kiva users do not realize this." The controversy is summarized by the NY Times. [more inside]
posted by kmennie on Nov 16, 2009 - 78 comments

Save the most people by reporting potholes

Last year, Google launched Project 10^100, a call for world-changing ideas to be funded to the tune of 10 million. At the time, MetaFilter was generally sceptical and Slashdot irreverent. The shortlist has been announced for voting.
posted by outlier on Sep 30, 2009 - 49 comments

“Tom Williams, The Kid”

Tom Williams: Hired by Apple at 14. His full story? — not quite… What he doesn't mention in his monologue is that his current project is reminiscent of GiveWell, with similar origins in high finance. He responds. (via)
posted by blasdelf on Jul 7, 2009 - 45 comments

Grifters, Oil Men, Tabloids, The Scrappy Ingenue, The Titans and the Hardass: An American Story

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 - 33 comments

The Fallacy of Examples

The Fallacy of Examples, and the problems of extrapolating from media. [Via RConversation]
posted by homunculus on Jul 7, 2008 - 5 comments

Birthright Israel

Birthright Israel, funded by the Israeli government and Jewish philanthropists, provides free all-inclusive 10-day trips to Israel for Jewish young adults. The program's goal is to promote Israel along with general Jewish unity and engagement. The blog Jewlicious has a category about these trips. (Scroll down past many promotional entries for the interesting stuff.) Some question its efficacy and results, while some Jews subvert the program. The trips end with a "Mega Rally" featuring entertainment, giant inflatable Stars of David, and speeches by dignitaries including PM Ehud Olmert. Here is video coverage (FLV) of the most recent rally. There is also a satirical Something Awful report.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim on Jun 26, 2008 - 43 comments

this was our president

Bill Clinton on Charlie Rose - on display: Thoughtful Visionary as well as Political Animal; cf. Howard Dean and Jimmy Carter.
posted by kliuless on Dec 16, 2007 - 55 comments

LA Times Tags Gates Foundation for Harmful Investments

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 - 56 comments

Branson puts his money where his mouth is

Branson makes $3bn climate pledge Following, perhaps, the recent philanthropic example of Warren Buffett, Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Group has pledged to donate 100% of the profits from his transportation interests for the next ten years to fight global warming. Given California's recent lawsuit against auto manufacturers for contributing to global warming (previously), could this be a way to blunt similar criticisms and liability generated by contributions from Virgin Group's own activities?
posted by kcds on Sep 21, 2006 - 27 comments

Look upon my frozen blue face, ye Mighty, and Despair!

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 - 52 comments

Google Philanthropy

Don't Be Evil is Google's motto. But now they're putting their money (approx. $1.1 billion) where their mouth is. The man in charge of Google's new philanthropic arm is Dr. Larry Brilliant, a man of exceedingly humanitarian endeavors.
posted by Like the Reef on Feb 23, 2006 - 61 comments

Pepsi Blue?

davos 2006: Is Red the new blue? GAP, NIKE, American Express and Bono get together to save Africa from Aids. Bono, asked if he was being used by big business, replied that he was not a "cheap date."
posted by twistedonion on Jan 26, 2006 - 55 comments

Can you spare a dollar or two billion for the lesser off?

Bill Gates or Steve Jobs? Who is changing the world more for the better? Some people believe Bill Gates and Microsoft are the Spawn of Satan, while others praise him for his philanthropy. [subs. req'd] Steve Jobs has more buzz on the internets than Bill Gates and a near religious following for his products with Apple. One might not give like the other, but one definitely is much more Zen-like.
posted by Mijo Bijo on Jan 25, 2006 - 92 comments

Persons of the year

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 - 123 comments

Don't hang up on Texas!

Have a good day Ms. Beyer! "Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address." Texas Telemarketer sends a threatening letter to a hanger-upper.
posted by wfrgms on Dec 7, 2004 - 39 comments

Merry Oprahmas

Oprah I've never cared for her. Except today she gave away 276 new cars to her studio audience, members of which were selected based on need. I now like Oprah. A lot.
posted by Ynoxas on Sep 13, 2004 - 169 comments

Cathy O'Dowd

What do you do after you climb Mt. Everest? Climb it again from the other side, of course. The first woman to accomplish that feat. And then what? Cathy O’Dowd calls it the E to E Challenge. Everest to Everyday.

So let’s round up a couple of friends, hitch up the dogs and mush from Styggedalen to Nordkapp across 650 km of Arctic wilderness to support the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. And why not blog it daily with a website run from the back of a sled? Today, the sled fell in a river. Sure makes my life seem dull.
posted by Geo on Apr 16, 2004 - 3 comments

Gift Hub

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 in Chicago. 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 - 2 comments

baby birds looking for worms

Donors Choose "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 - 14 comments

Spark

Spark 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 - 6 comments

Gates the Philanthropist

Bill Gates, the philanthropist. It's not mentioned enough that the world's richest man, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has donated more than $3.2 billion to combat disease and improve education for the poorest people of the world. Bill and his wife Melinda have pledged to give most of their money away before they die -perhaps following Carnegie's philosophy "The Gospel of Wealth" in which he states that the rich have a moral obligation to give away their fortunes.- Just last week they donated $168 million to combat Malaria in Africa, this came "atop $120 million" they already gave towards fighting the disease. Not only is "Malaria, the Terrorist's Friend," but worse every year it sickens 300 million and kills 1.1 million. -does donating Linux to the world make Linus Torvalds a Philanthropist?
posted by giantkicks on Sep 27, 2003 - 50 comments

Philanthropist

$15 million burning a hole in his pocket. Having made millions in real estate, this Philadelphia philanthropist is using the money as an object lesson to his children by giving it all away. Now that all the money is pretty much gone, he's in the hospital today giving away a kidney to a complete stranger. Will his children get more out of this example than they might have out of college? Could you do what this couple is doing? (Before you answer, note: they don't even have cable!)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Jul 22, 2003 - 41 comments

The politics of philanthropy

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 - 28 comments

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