It's been three years since Haiti, the poorest country in the Western hemisphere, was devastated by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. In the weeks and months following the disaster, individuals and the international donor community stepped up with more than $5 billion in cash and commitments for relief and recovery efforts. So where do things stand today? Mark Leon Goldberg, managing editor of UN Dispatch, provides some basic facts and figures.
Marie Deatherage, director of communications and learning at the Meyer Memorial Trust, curates a nice list of 2013 predictions for nonprofits, social entrepreneurs, and the social economy. Her list includes Lucy Bernholz's Philanthropy and the New Social Economy: Blueprint 2013, which is available as a free download from the Foundation Center's GrantCraft site; Pantheon president Mark Tobias ((@PanthTech) on "Ten Technology Trends to Watch in 2013"; and Nonprofit Revolution Now's "missing" predictions.
Writing in Democracy: A Journal of Ideas, Nick Penniman and Ian Simmons take philanthropy to task for its "chronic" underinvestment in political reform at a time when the "special interests that finance and influence the political process have amassed unprecedented power." What would be an appropriate amount? ask Penniman and Simmons. Their answer? One percent, or as they write:
Some $300 billion is donated annually to charitable causes. So, $3 billion for reform. Yes, $3 billion sounds like a lot of money. But 1 percent of philanthropy is not excessive -- especially not for a purpose as important as maintaining a government of, by, and for the people. We spend magnitudes more than that funding the arts and humanities, fighting infectious diseases, providing the poor and needy with the services they need, and trying to improve our educational institutions. Committing a sliver of philanthropy to making sure Washington and the state capitals are free of corruption -- both legal and illegal -- seems like a smart investment. Doing so should not be seen as merely advancing an abstract concept of “good government,” but as a concrete and necessary step in advancing solutions to the great challenges of our time -- solutions that the philanthropic sector often invests in but never sees actualized....
Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO and president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest healthcare philanthropy, is named one of New Jersey's most fascinating people and is profiled in depth by the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Chris McCrum, chief operating officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, argues that employee satisfaction is inextricably linked to feelings of empowerment and offers three lessons for foundation leaders looking to boost the sense of empowerment among staff.
And speaking of CEP, Nell Edgington has a nice Q&A with Phil Buchanan, the organization's president, on her Social Velocity blog.
For those who are tired of (or don't trust) Google and Google Analytics, the search giant's ubiquitous Web analytics package, Sharon Hurley Hall, a professional writer and blogger, looks at a number of alternatives. In addition to good overviews (including screenshots) of Clicky, GoSquared, Woopra, KissMetrics, and Crazy Egg, Hurley Hall also lists nearly a dozen other packages in less detail.
That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at email@example.com. And Best Wishes for a very Happy and Productive New Year!
-- The Editors