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In June 2017, in The “Sunsetting” Foundation: Trend of the Future? we wrote about the small but growing trend of foundations to “sunset”; that is, to choose to end activities and formal corporate existence by a certain date instead of going on “in perpetuity.”  When any corporation, for-profit or nonprofit, is formed, there is generally no mention at all of the duration of the entity. The default ending date for a corporation is – well…
In the past decade or so, charitable giving and fundraising have been turned upside by the swift and dramatic rise of the internet.  As quickly as new means of asking for and giving money to charity have developed, legislators and government officials have responded as swiftly as possible to keep up with developments in this brave new electronic world.  The individual states – rather than the Internal Revenue Service – have primary responsibility and authority…
One Sherlock Hibbs, a 1929 graduate of the University of Missouri (MU) was a successful financier and a lifelong fan of the Ludwig von Mises Austrian School of Economics. “Austrians emphasize private property, entrepreneurship, free markets, and sound money as the key drivers of economic performance.”  He wanted future students at his alma mater to become fans and followers of this philosophy as well. So he (with his attorney, presumably), concocted an estate plan that…
In Philanthropy Thought Leaders: Hot Topics (June 24, 2019), we included Rhodri Davies, a leading commentator on philanthropy, whose recent article for the World Economic Forum begins: “Philanthropy is at a crossroads…”  There are huge “challenges,” he points out, “…, including global climate change…,” technological advancement and disruptions, “shifting demographics and social trends [that] are changing our notions of community, society and nationhood beyond recognition.”  And the “concept of philanthropy” itself is “coming…
The Attorney General of California issued a July 24th press release announcing the lawsuit against Sacramento-based Move America Forward, Inc. beginning in a remarkably understated manner. Xavier Becerra has moved against this nonprofit, formed in 2004, that “sends care packages to combat troops” and describes itself on its website as the “nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization dedicated to support the brave men and women” of the Armed Forces. “The lawsuit alleges that Move America Forward’s…
About every two years, BoardSource conducts its “signature study” of the board practices and policies of U.S. charitable organizations. The most recent one, Leading with Intent: 2017 National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, includes participation by the nation’s museums in cooperation with the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). Leading with Intent prides itself with being the “only survey to gather information from both chief executives and board chairs on their experiences in the nonprofit…
Philanthropy in the United States is at a crossroads. After many decades of fairly static models of charitable giving, there is considerable innovation and change, particularly among the new generation of young tech billionaires. They are moving to alternative structures including donor-advised funds (DAFs) and limited liability companies (LLCs) to support their philanthropic activities.  While DAFs have been in the spotlight recently, the LLC trend is quietly picking up steam, too – all the more…
There’s new information separating fact from myth about where American charitable foundations are making grants these days and for what purposes, courtesy of San Francisco-based Fluxx.  “Fluxx is the cloud platform that powers giving and impact in philanthropy.” Its vision is to “democratize philanthropy.” Through a free app, “givers and doers” are connected. “[H]undreds of the world’s largest foundations and tens of thousands of nonprofits rely on Fluxx to streamline their funding…
In 13 Famous TV Cliffhangers That Still Get Fans Talking, we’re reminded that Hollywood executives take delight in leaving fans over the long hot summer with the agony of worrying about the fate of a beloved (or hated) television-series character.  Perhaps the most sensational cliffhanger in TV history is the final scene of the 1979-80 season of the CBS hit, “Dallas.” J.R. Ewing, played by the late Larry Hagman, was the scion of an…
Recently, the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), noticed a shift in the focus of many foundations away from a historical reluctance “to embrace advocacy.” Governments have become less willing or able to tackle societal problems because of gridlock and dysfunction, coupled with a policy of budget cuts, so “funders are increasingly turning to policy advocacy as a lever for change.” CEP’s mission is to develop “data and insight” to help foundations better address and solve…