Good Giving

Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

2014: Rehabilitating Arlington


When Robert E. Lee sided with his state instead of his nation and took command of the Confederate army, the U.S. seized his family estate located on a hill overlooking the nation’s capital from the south bank of the Potomac. Lee’s home—Arlington House, which was built as a tribute to his relative George Washington and modeled on the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens—was turned into a military headquarters. The grounds became the residence of several thousand liberated slaves, and then, in the third year of the war, a cemetery for men killed in the fight to preserve the Union.

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No Good Donation Goes Un-Sniped At

By Joanne Florino

Image © Heatherwick Studio
Image © Heatherwick Studio

As I read David Callahan’s November 30, 2014 New York Times opinion essay about the private philanthropy behind the planned Pier 55—a new offshore public park in a previously industrialized section of the Hudson River—I was reminded of one the old phrase: No good deed goes unpunished. While conceding that park-giving generosity is “admirable,” Mr. Callahan worries that “it also poses a threat to the ability of everyday Americans to have an equal voice in civic life” and “is part of a larger story about rising inequality and shrinking democracy.”

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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

1991: Campaign Against Tobacco Use


Each year more than 440,000 Americans die of tobacco use—the nation’s largest cause of preventable death, accounting for about one out of every five U.S. deaths according to the Centers for Disease Control. About two-thirds of smokers say they want to quit, but only about 5 percent succeed in a given year. In 1990, the new president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Dr. Steven Schroeder, aimed his organization squarely at reducing “the harmful effects, and the irresponsible use, of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs.”

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Good Giving | Success Stories

Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

2012: Speeding Safe Shale-gas Production

In 2012, two major philanthropists—oil-and-gas pioneer George Mitchell and Wall Street entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg—announced a joint effort by their foundations to encourage safe and efficient production of natural gas via shale fracking. They proposed to head off problems through “common-sense” state rules and voluntary adoption of best practices by the industry. The two foundations put up millions of dollars for efforts to improve fracking by minimizing water concerns, reducing methane leaks, optimizing well construction, disclosing chemical usage, and reducing local impacts on roads, land, and communities.

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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

2002 - Boosting Electronic Health Records

PAW22
Electronic health records that are consistent, interchangeable, and accessible by consumers and health professionals from anywhere will be essential to many future advances in health care, including medicine that is personalized to the patient, better quality control, and reduction of duplication and waste that inflates prices. It’s estimated that electronic health records could save more than $100 billion in unnecessary medical costs.

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ACR News 06.27.14—Tax Reform, Giving USA, Upcoming Interview with Patrick Rooney

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: New Senate Finance Committee Chairman Wyden Holds His First Tax Reform Hearing
>> Federal: Wyden Sets Tax Reform Timeline
>> Federal: Ways and Means Continues Piecemeal Approach
>> Federal: Upcoming ACR Interview with Dr. Patrick Rooney
>> Consider This: Mixed Messages
>> Top Reads: Giving USA 2014: Highlights


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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

2011 Malaria Vaccine

Maleria
Malaria remains one of the most intractable diseases in the developing world, killing one million people a year and damaging the economic productivity of many more. Large resources have already been poured into combatting the disease, yet a McKinsey study has noted that $11 billion more would be needed to end malaria deaths in the 30 worst-affected African countries. One promising alternative funded with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a vaccine. In 2011, the first-ever malaria vaccine was announced. It is still in trial stages, but so far seems to prevent severe symptoms in half of the individuals who receive it, while offering extra protection to infants and toddlers. While efficacy rates need to be improved before the vaccine is put into wide use, the initial findings have begun discussions about the long-dreamed-of possibility of widespread immunization in endemic countries.

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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

1982 - Land Trusts Take Off

Land Trusts Take Off
Land trusts, or conservancies, are private nonprofits that protect land directly by owning it. Though their roots go back to the 1890s, in just the last generation land trusts have become one of the fastest growing and most successful elements of environmental conservation in the U.S. The grandaddy of land trusts is the Nature Conservancy (see 1951 entry), but there are others operating on a national level, like the American Farmland Trust, the Wetlands America Trust affiliated with Ducks Unlimited (see 1930 entry), the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and trusts with specialized missions like the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Civil War Trust.

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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation

Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty may be the best known monument in the world, and the adjoining Ellis Island immigration halls are among America’s most historic sites. Both venues have been restored and revamped for mass visitation entirely by private philanthropy. In 1982, as the centennial of the statue approached, President Ronald Reagan appointed Lee Lacocca, then chairman of Chrysler Corporation, to lead a private-sector effort to fund restoration and preservation; the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation was born.

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Philanthropic Achievement of the Week

Saving Fisheries Through Catch Sharing

Concerned about the decline of the world’s fish population and the abysmal failures of existing government interventions to solve the problem, Barrett Walker decided to use market-based techniques and funding from his family’s Walker Foundation to attack the problem. He started a chain reaction of philanthropy that in less than ten years transformed solutions to overfishing.

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