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18 posts categorized "Global Health"

Weekend Link Roundup (March 15-16, 2014)

March 16, 2014

Gopher_I_LiedOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector. Enjoy....

Communications/Marketing

Guest blogging on Nancy Schwartz' Getting Attention blog, Julie Brown, program director at the Findlay-Hancock County Community Foundation in Ohio, shares the steps she and a colleague have taken over the last year to achieve "storytelling success" and boost donor engagement at the foundation.

Community Improvement/Development

On the Huffington Post's Black Voices blog, Ashley Wood, Detroit editor for the HuffPo, takes a closer look at the hipsters-are-taking-over-Detroit narrative and uncovers a fascinating (and more nuanced) conversation. As Meagan Elliott, an urban planner and Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Michigan, says at the end of the piece: "I think everyone is open to change. That's what makes the conversation interesting. Everyone recognizes that things need to change here."

Corporate Philanthropy

In Fast Company, Stephanie Vozza explains why every company should pay its employees to volunteer.

Data

Writing on the Stanford Social Innovation Review blog, Foundation Center president Brad Smith looks at the three types of data (transactional, contextual, impact) foundations need and suggests that "for strategic philanthropy to realize its true potential, foundations need to learn how to manage information (data) to produce and share knowledge. Doing so," adds Smith, "will depend on changing internal incentive systems, in which foundations employ static data primarily as means for approving strategies and monitoring grants."

Giving

Nice infographic on the npEngage site illustrating highlights of Blackbaud's 2013 Charitable Giving Report. Click here to download (registration required) a copy of the report, which includes overall giving data from 4,129 nonprofit organizations representing more than $12.5 billion in total fundraising and online giving data from 3,359 nonprofits representing $1.7 billion in online fundraising.

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The Smartest Investment We Could Make: The Future of Girls

March 13, 2014

(Dr. Anand K. Parekh is an adjunct assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and deputy assistant secretary for health in the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. His family manages the Parekh-Vora Charitable Foundation.)

Girls_in_classroomAs the father of two young girls, there is no greater joy for me than to see them smile and thrive. This is why I often remember former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan’s words: "There is no policy for progress more effective than the empowerment of women and girls. A nation that neglects its children, especially girls, is a nation that neglects its future and development." Given this truth, the Parekh-Vora Charitable Foundation has initiated a focus on two areas particularly important to girls: water and sanitation, and primary school education.

We could have chosen many areas of need to focus on, so why girls, why water and sanitation, and why education?

To begin with, we were struck by the numbers: globally, 2.5 billion people live without basic sanitation, while 768 million people lack access to safe water. Every day, 2,000 children die from water-related diseases. And each year, 60 million children are born into homes without access to safe water and sanitation. It's estimated that improvements in these areas alone could vastly improve health outcomes, increase productivity, and reduce healthcare costs – while increasing a country's gross domestic product (GDP) by anywhere from 2 percent to 7 percent. Girls are disproportionately affected by the water and sanitation crisis, given that they frequently miss school or drop out altogether because of a lack of a private toilet in school. Tens of thousands of other girls and women spend hours at a time walking for miles while carrying water on their heads that can weigh up to forty pounds. Simply put, access to water, sanitation, and hygiene enables women and girls to take control of their lives.

The numbers around education are equally alarming: 793 million people worldwide are illiterate. Once again, girls and women are disproportionately affected and account for two-thirds of all illiterate persons. In the developing world, an estimated 42 percent of girls are not enrolled in school, while more than 60 million primary school-aged children of both genders do not have access to education and likely will never learn to read or write. The numbers are confounding, not least because we know that even a few years of basic education empowers women and girls to take control of their lives. Educated women are healthier (an extra year of  education for girls can reduce infant mortality by 5 percent to 10 percent) and earn more (an extra year of education boosts future wages by 20 percent). If every child were to receive an education, an estimated  171 million individuals would be lifted out of poverty.

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Big-Dollar Philanthropy Gets the Broad-Brush Treatment

December 03, 2013

(David Jacobs is director of foundation information management at the Foundation Center. In his last post, he claimed to be shocked – shocked! – that the IRS was subjecting conservative and Tea Party organizations applying for tax-exempt status to extra scrutiny.)

Blue_paintIs big-dollar, high-profile celebrity philanthropy really just for show? That's what Guy Sorman, a City Journal contributing editor and public intellectual in France, seems to think. Writing in the fall issue of CJ, Sorman cites a CNN story from March that begins: "Bill Gates is putting out a call to inventors, but he's not looking for software or the latest high-tech gadget. This time he's in search of a better condom."

"Incongruous as the story seemed," writes Sorman,

the former Microsoft titan had joined the struggle against sexually transmitted diseases. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was offering a $100,000 start-up grant to anyone who could design a condom that didn't interfere with sexual pleasure. Rachel Zimmerman, host of public radio’s CommonHealth, called the Gates Foundation's initiative "truly inspired." But was it? After all, the latex industry has pursued the same goal for decades and devoted many millions of dollars to the effort. What's the point of a philanthropist trying to do what the market is already doing?

Call this philanthropy for show, a kind of celebrity giving designed for a mediatized age, based on grand gestures, big dollars, and heartwarming proclamations -- but too little concern with actual results, which often prove paltry, redundant (as with the condom initiative), or even destructive. The American media often revel in controversy, so one might expect that the gap between expansive promises and disappointing outcomes would prompt intense journalistic interest. But for the most part, would-be statesmen-humanitarians -- such as Bill Clinton, Gates, and Al Gore, along with entertainment-world benefactors like Oprah Winfrey and academic superstars like Columbia development economist Jeffrey Sachs, have gotten a free pass for their good philanthropic intentions. They and their cohorts deserve closer scrutiny....

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[Infographic] Movember: The Moustache and Beard-Growing Month

November 23, 2013

Did you know "Mo" is Australian slang for "mustache"? Me, neither. Did you know prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer in men? Or that the cure rate for prostate cancer, if detected early and treated in time, is 90 percent?

These and other stats come courtesy of the Best Health Degrees and this week's infographic, Movember: The Moustache and Beard-Growing Month.

The idea behind the campaign is to raise awareness and funds for men's health issues by encouraging men to grow a moustache for the thirty days of November. Participants, known as Mo Bros, register on the Movember.com site and start the month clean shaven. After that, they don't shave again until December 1 (and good luck to anyone who feels moved to snuzzle with them). There's a parallel effort for women, who are known as Mo Sistas and do everything to raise funds and awareness that Mo Bros do, without a mo. 

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Weekend Link Roundup (October 4-5, 2013)

October 06, 2013

Shutdown_buttonOur weekly roundup of new and noteworthy posts from and about the nonprofit sector....

Arts and Culture

In recent years, school districts across the country have had to restructure their arts curriculums to meet the growing emphasis on standards and the Common Core, while trying to manage with shrinking resources and support for arts education. To celebrate Funding for Arts Month here at the Foundation Center, our colleagues at IssueLab have pulled together a unique collection of reports, case studies, evaluations and white papers focused on the potential benefits of arts education for students and communities alike, complete with examples of the creative ways school districts are dealing with their funding constraints and challenges.

Communications/Marketing

Guest blogging from the Communications Network 2013 Annual Conference in New Orleans earlier this week, Liz Wainger, president of the Wainger Group, reminds readers of Kris Putnam-Walkerly's Philanthropy411 blog that while "data is an essential part of storytelling,...without a narrative you simply have data -- no passion, no call to action, no inspiration. And without data, you have raw emotion hanging in the wind."

For more great coverage of the Commnetwork conference, check out these guest posts by Liz Banse, vice president at Resource Media; Norris West, director of strategic communications at the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Elizabeth Miller, communications associate at the Knight Foundation; and Avalee Weir, communications manager at the Ian Potter Foundation in Australia.

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Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (September 2013)

October 01, 2013

It's the first day of of a new month, which means it's time to look back at the most popular posts on PhilanTopic during the month just passed. And the winners are:

What did you read/watch/listen to in September that PhilanTopic readers should know about? Share your favorites in the comments section....

Philanthropy and the Millennium Development Goals

September 27, 2013

(Bradford K. Smith is president of the Foundation Center.)

Headshot_brad-smith2New York has been abuzz this week with the reconvening of the United Nations General Assembly and the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, and in the streets, cafes and restaurants you can hear people from all over the world taking about "the MDGs." Those who circulate in the acronym-laden universe of international development know that "MDGs" are the Millennium Development Goals -- the ambitious blueprint developed by the United Nations in the year 2000 to make serious progress on the pressing challenges of global poverty, health, education, and environment.

By one measure, "MDGs" is hardly a buzz phrase among America's philanthropic foundations. I just did a quick keyword search of three years' worth of 990-PF tax returns for close to 90,000 foundations and found just seven in which the term "millennium development goals" appeared. Then I tried an "only foundations" Google search on Glasspockets and got 3.65 million results!

But what people usually want to know about foundations is how much money they have spent on a cause or issue. It says a lot that only once in the years since the Millennium Development Goals were established has the Foundation Center been asked to map foundation funding to the eight goals. So this being a week where the MDGs are being discussed everywhere, we decided to pull some very quick data for 2011.

Goal Amount No. of Grants No. of Fdns.
Eradicate extreme poverty $770,761,183 1,663 318
Achieve universal primary ed 42,756,909 294 80
Promote gender equality 223,768,315 312 56
Reduce child mortality 456,276,756 337 54
Improve maternal health 211,008,135 215 38
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, other diseases 1,572,823,543 426 48
Ensure environmental sustainability 534,927,086 1,747 224
Develop partnership for global dev 278,124,929 363 109

 

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[Infographic] How Climate Change Will Affect Your Health

August 31, 2013

Here's a startling factoid taken from this week's featured infographic: After the last Ice Age, it took 12,500 years for the average global surface temperature to rise by 13°C -- or 1°C every 951.5 years. That warming was critically important, of course, to the development of agriculture and, subsequently, the rise of civilization itself.

But the climate continues to warm, and most scientists are less than sanguine about the consequences of that warming. Indeed, even though the rate at which the climate is warming has slowed of late because of something called the Pacific decadal oscillation, climate change researchers are projecting a further increase in the average global temperature of as much as 6.4°C by 2100. An increase of that magnitude would be catastrophic for many forms of life on earth and more than likely would imperil civilization as we know it. But even a smaller increase in the global temperature over such a short period of time would have serious consequences, not least, as the infographic below illustrates, in the area of public health. 

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Eye On: John Caudwell

August 08, 2013

(Caroline Broadhurst is director of Community Care Projects at the Rank Foundation and, through the Clore Social Leadership Programme, a visiting fellow at the Foundation Center. This is the first of a series of post she'll be writing about the motivations of UK donors who have signed the Giving Pledge. For more about John Caudwell and the other Giving Pledgers, visit the Foundation Center's Eye on the Giving Pledge.)

Headshot_john_caudwellFrom modest beginnings, 60-year-old John David Caudwell has established himself as one of the most successful English businessmen in modern times. After leaving school before earning what in the U.S. would've been his high-school diploma, Caudwell went to work for Michelin, the French tire manufacturer at the company’s factory in the West Midlands. Not content to remain an engineering foreman, however, he nurtured his entrepreneurial instincts and soon began to create money-making ventures, including a corner shop and mail-order motorcycle clothing business.

Combining his mechanical knowledge -- he earned an HNC in mechanical engineering while working at Michelin -- and his growing business experience, Caudwell eventually set up a car dealership, with many of his former Michelin factory friends among his loyal customers. Displaying the entrepreneurial sensibility that would become his trademark, in 1987 he took a chance on the nascent mobile phone industry, starting Midland Mobile Phones with his brother, Brian. Despite running at a loss in its first few years, the business turned into a huge success, and by the 2000s the company, by then called Phones4U, was the largest independent distributor of cellular phones in the UK, selling an average of 26 phones every minute and earning more than $1.5 billion annually.

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The Social Progress Index: Measuring What Counts?

April 30, 2013

Report-cover_SocialProgressIndexThe Washington, D.C.-based Social Progress Imperative made a splash at the Skoll World Forum earlier this month when it launched its Social Progress Index (SPI), an ambitious effort to inform and influence development policies around the globe.

Developed by Harvard Business School professor and competitiveness expert Michael E. Porter in collaboration with Scott Stern of MIT, the index is founded on the principle that "what we measure guides the choices we make." To that end, the index analyzes fifty-two outcome-based (as opposed to input-based) indicators in three dimensions of social progress: meeting basic human needs; establishing the foundations of well-being that enable individuals to enhance and sustain the quality of their lives; and creating opportunity for all to reach their full potential. (For a complete breakdown of indicators, click here.)

While the index and the report (154 pages, PDF) released in conjunction with the launch of the index includes only fifty countries, those countries represent three-quarters of the world's population. Here's a chart from the report that plots their aggregate SPI scores against GDP per capita (PPP):

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Dispatch From Philanthropy’s Frontlines: Globalization in Chicago

April 23, 2013

(Michael Seltzer is a trustee of EMpower-the Emerging Markets Foundation and a distinguished lecturer at the Baruch College School of Public Affairs of the City University of New York. To read his earlier dispatch from the Council on Foundations' annual conference, click here.)

Global_villageGlobal issues were front and center at the annual meeting of the Council on Foundations in Chicago earlier this month. That shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. While many U.S. nonprofits have long been active in the international arena, the transnational dimensions of a range of issues, from food security, to sex trafficking and violence against women, to global warming, have become ever more apparent and have helped fuel the growth of nongovernmental organizations globally.

At the same time, more and more U. S. corporations, especially in information technology, financial services, natural resources extraction, and pharmaceuticals, derive a larger percentage of their profits from overseas operations, while a handful of the nation's largest foundations continue to fund international efforts. In addition, newer players like Bloomberg Philanthropies regularly make connections between their work at home and global efforts.

On Sunday, the first day of the conference, Dr. Tomicah Tillemann, senior advisor to the U.S. secretary of state for civil society and emerging democracies, remarked on the growing importance of the nonprofit sector globally and State Department efforts to position the U.S. government as a leading supporter of the global philanthropic and NGO movements, elevate the role of civil society in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy, engage multilateral organizations working to advance democracy and civil society around the globe, and promote the independence of civil society globally.

Other positive trends in this arena include the lowering of barriers that historically have discouraged U.S. foundations from funding efforts in other countries. John Harvey, managing director of the council's Global Philanthropy program, reported on recent efforts to modify and improve U.S. Treasury and IRS rules governing international grantmaking, including the launch of equivalency determination service NGOsource. Charities Aid Foundation America has announced that it is now providing 501(c)(3) equivalency services (something it has been doing for many years) at no cost to American donors. And public foundations like the International Youth Foundation and Tides Foundation have ramped up their international efforts. Tides now supports projects in more than seventy countries, while IYF is working with partners in more than eighty-six countries. More recently established organizations such as the African Women's Leadership Foundation-USA have joined the ranks of older organizations like the American India Foundation and Brazil Foundation in working to forge connections between diaspora communities in the U.S. and civil society efforts back home, while the International Center on Not-For-Profit Law (ICNL) today serves government officials and the donor community in more than a hundred countries.

Another indicator of the growth of global philanthropy is the emergence of national philanthropic associations around the globe. Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía (CEMEFI) boasts more than twelve hundred members and is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. Indeed, the philanthropic sector accounts for 1 percent of Mexico's gross domestic product, while more than eight hundred Mexican companies have signed corporate social responsibility pledges.

The conference closed on Tuesday with a plenary appearance by two of America's most important social sector thought leaders: feminist playwright Eve Ensler, whose latest project, V-Day, seeks to create a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and who spoke about the organization's work in the war-torn Congo; and Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners In Health, the award-winning global health organization, who spoke about PIH's work in impoverished Haiti, where PIH has long had a presence.

As technology and capital flows continue to shrink the globe and the need to address climate change, nuclear proliferation, and other borderless problems grows more urgent, we should expect that more and more people in more and more places will look to philanthropy for funding and answers. The sense that this is already happening was palpable in the halls and conference rooms of the Chicago Hilton, and I, for one, am confident that it is one of the trends we'll be hearing a lot about it in the years to come.

In the meantime, click here to catch up on highlights from the 2013 CoF meeting. And if you'd like to share your thoughts about what philanthropy can and should be doing to promote the "greater good" globally, we'd love to hear them. Use the comments section below...

-- Michael Seltzer

Philanthropy and Global Development: When Worlds Collide

April 16, 2013

(Jeff Falkenstein is vice president of data architecture at the Foundation Center. In October, he wrote about the challenges of gathering foundation grants data in a timely fashion.)

Globe_africaEarlier this month I had the good fortune to join policy makers, academics, and leaders from civil society and the private sector in Paris at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development's (OECD) annual Global Forum on Development. (For those who haven't heard of it, the OECD works with governments, multilateral agencies, and bilateral agencies to better understand global trade and investment flows; the drivers of economic, social, and environmental change; and what can be done to address urgent global development problems. It then builds on that work to predict future trends in global trade and development.)

In the past, forum attendees typically discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by efforts to alleviate poverty around the globe. This year, however, the focus was on the progress made over the past decade in meeting the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) -- and on jumpstarting a dialogue about new challenges in a post-2015 world.

It was clear from reports presented at the meeting that, two years from their original 2015 target date, the MDGs are already a success. Poverty rates have declined globally. Access to health care has improved. The number of deaths of children under the age of 5 has fallen, to 7 million in 2011, down from 12 million in 1990. The number of AIDS-related deaths also has fallen, to 1.7 million in 2011, down from 2.3 million in 2005. Thanks to the MDGs, well-designed and coordinated social programs are producing a wide range of positive outcomes, including improved nutrition and food security and higher rates of school enrollment.

Despite this progress, forum attendees made it clear that challenges remain. The income gap between the poorest and wealthiest individuals continues to widen, while acute poverty afflicts tens of millions of people around the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, half the population still lives on less than $1.25 a day. Access to basic services remains a global challenge; close to 2.4 billion people around the world go without proper sanitation facilities, while 1.1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Meanwhile, the economic growth of the last twenty years has not translated into job creation. The number of informal, poor-quality jobs remains high in many developing countries, with young people particularly affected. In Africa and the Middle East, young people comprise 60 percent of the unemployed.

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Bill Gates' 2013 Annual Letter

February 02, 2013

Headshot_Bill_GatesBill Gates released his annual letter -- the fifth since his first in 2009 -- earlier this week, and like the others, it's worth reading.

From its theme, "The Power of Measurement," to its assertion that "You can achieve amazing progress if you set a clear goal and find a measure that will drive progress toward that goal," the letter is a testimonial to and endorsement of the approach known as strategic philanthropy. It's also a story about progress and the power of technology to change people's lives for the better. And it's a nice example of how Web and social media technologies can be used to transform an essentially static document into an engaging online experience.

But don't take our word for it; listen and watch what Bill himself has to say.

And after you've had a chance to read the letter, be sure to hop over to Tom Paulson's Humanosphere blog to watch data visualization whiz Hans Rosling illustrate, in beautiful and dramatic terms, the point of Gates' letter.

-- Mitch Nauffts

 

[Infographic] What the AIDS Epidemic Still Reveals About Us

December 01, 2012

This week's infographic, courtesy of Colorlines.com, shows that the contours of the AIDS epidemic remain unchanged. As Kai Wright notes on the Colorlines site, "Globally, those who have access to social and economic capital avoid the virus or, when infected, live healthy lives with it." In the U.S., meanwhile, the epidemic increasingly affects black gay and bisexual men and black women.

On World AIDS Day 2012, we stand with all those who are working to increase awareness, fight prejudice, and improve education about HIV/AIDS prevention, here in the U.S. and around the globe.

 

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Jeff Raikes on the 'Innovation Pile Up'

October 04, 2012

(Jeff Raikes is chief executive officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The following post originally appeared on the foundation's Impatient Optimists blog and is reposted here with the permission of the foundation.)

Jeff_raikes_headshotWelcome to my new blog series, where I'll be sharing my thoughts on the Gates Foundation and philanthropy. Every six weeks I'll be posting a new blog discussing a pressing issue at the foundation or addressing some of the challenges and opportunities facing the philanthropic community. More than anything else, this is a space for a conversation. So please submit your questions, share your feedback, and let me know if there are any topics you would like to hear about.

For my first post, I want to discuss a challenge at the foundation that's been on my mind lately. It's called the "innovation pile up." Let me explain.

At the Gates Foundation, we believe in the power of innovation to improve lives. That's why over the last decade we've invested in one of the fattest pipelines of lifesaving technologies the health and development world has ever seen. A new, rapid diagnostic test for tuberculosis that will help reduce transmission of the disease. Better tools to enable women to plan their families. Even improved toilets that provide clean sanitation for the world's poorest people. In all, the foundation and its partners have developed more than a hundred new innovations that are available today or scheduled to be introduced by the end of the decade.

That's the good news.

Here's the bad news: None of these innovations will make a difference if they can't reach the people we aim to serve.

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