House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is widely expected to take over as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, recently expressed his support for not implementing a cap on the charitable deduction, according to a report from Politico. Ryan stated that the charitable deduction is “the one area where I believe we should not have a top cap.”
Aug 20, 2014
Fraser Nelson, executive director of the Community Foundation of Utah, and Jeramy Lund, a Utah private investor, co-wrote an editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune on August 16 urging Utahns to contact their elected officials this month while members of Congress are home. Lund and Nelson explain the importance of constituents letting elected officials know how the decisions they make will affect the nonprofit sector.
Aug 19, 2014
1999 Gates Millennium Scholars
Just before the turn of the millennium, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation put into operation a major college scholarship program for minority students, with an initial grant of a cool billion dollars that was later increased to $1.6 billion. Every year, the Millennium Scholars program selects 1,000 new African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American college prospects and offers them good-through-graduation scholarships (set at various levels to cover their need). These can be used at any college the student chooses. The program particularly aims to encourage minorities to enter scientific fields like computer science, math, public health, and engineering (where they are underrepresented), and any Millenium Scholar in good standing who finishes an undergraduate degree and wants to continue on to grad school in one of these technical fields will also have their graduate education paid for by Gates.
Aug 14, 2014
By Howard Husock
It’s not often that President Obama faces criticism from the liberal left regarding his Administration’s policy initiatives in matters involving race and disadvantage. Which is what makes so notable an opinion piece in the latest Chronicle of Philanthropy criticizing My Brother’s Keeper, the President’s program, announced this past February, “to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color.” That focus was a cause of concern for NoVo Foundation executive director Pamela Shifman and former Schott Foundation program manager Nakisha Lewis, who wrote that Brother’s Keeper inappropriately overlooks the “dire straits” of many “minority women and girls”, including “epidemic levels of of domestic violence.”. The article goes further in criticizing Brother’s Keeper for “elevating a patriarchal conception of a “good” family—boys of color will grow up to be fathers and heads of households that are made up of nuclear families.”
Aug 13, 2014
Private charitable giving has played a significant role in the United States in preserving our country’s historical culture and landmarks. For example, David M. Rubenstein is one of many well-known philanthropists who share a passion for preserving American history. According to a recent Washington Post article, Rubenstein, who agreed to cover $7.5 million of the cost of restoration for the Washington Monument after the 2011 earthquake, has also made a donation of $12.35 million to restore Gen. Robert E. Lee’s home at Arlington National Cemetery.
Aug 11, 2014
1882 Great Libraries From Enoch Pratt—and Others
Enoch Pratt arrived in Baltimore from a Massachusetts farm with nothing but $150 in his pocket, but he was frugal and industrious and eventually thrived in a variety of businesses. In 1882 he offered to give the city of Baltimore a major circulating library for free public use, along with 32,000 books, plus four branch libraries in different quarters of the city, and an endowment of $1,058,333 for upkeep and future expansion. Once built, the Pratt almost immediately became one of the most heavily used libraries in the country, and it thrived over the century and a quarter since. Andrew Carnegie described it in The Gospel of Wealth as the best such institution in the country, and he cited Pratt as his exemplar for his own nationwide library program which he launched the year Pratt’s main library opened. In fact, two decades after the initial opening of the Pratt Library, Carnegie donated a half-million dollars to Baltimore to allow the building of 20 additional branches—part of his wider campaign that paid for the erection of more than 2,500 libraries (see the 1881 Carnegie Library entry in our companion list of major achievements in the arts and culture).
Aug 4, 2014
2005 - Montana Meth Project
Early in the new millenium, Montana was one of the top 10 states in methamphetamine usage. Fully 53 percent of kids in foster care were there because of meth, 50 percent of adults in prison had committed meth-related crimes, and the drug was costing the state tens of millions every year—not to mention human lives
Jul 31, 2014
Joanne Florino, senior vice president for public policy at the Philanthropy Roundtable, asks House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan about private philanthropy during a recent event hosted by the American Enterprise Institute.
Jul 29, 2014
1933- Bringing the Science Museum to America
One of the favorite places that Chicago philanthropist Julius Rosenwald ever visited with his family was the Deutsches Museum in Munich—which (then as now) was the world’s foremost exhibit of technology and science. The inspired Rosenwald resolved to bring America its first great science museum, replete with a full-size re-created mine, huge machines, and clever interactive exhibits. To bring the project to fruition during the 1920s and ‘30s, he pledged $3 million of his own money (ultimately increased to $5 million).