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32 posts from September 2008

Good-Bye, Sara, and Good Luck!

September 29, 2008

Sle_headshot_5After forty-two years of continuous service to the field of philanthropy and twenty-one years at the Foundation Center, eighteen of those as president, our dear friend and colleague Sara Engelhardt is preparing to close out this phase of her excellent adventure. We'd like to take a minute to look back on that career -- and to wish Sara well as she begins an exciting new phase of her life.

Sara joined the Carnegie Corporation of New York in 1966 after spending two prior summers there and rose rapidly through the ranks, becoming secretary of the corporation, a position she held for twelve years, in 1975. During that period, Sara was responsible for managing Carnegie's grants and also served as the foundation's program officer for philanthropy and the nonprofit sector as well as its women in higher education and public life program.

Sara joined the Foundation Center in 1987 as executive vice president and became president of the organization in 1991. During Sara's tenure as president, the center's role as a knowledge leader in the field grew exponentially, as it expanded its research beyond regular reports on trends in foundation growth and giving to include studies on social justice funding, international philanthropy, and the philanthropic response to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina; opened a field office in Atlanta, which extended its public service activites into the Southeast; greatly expanded the center's Cooperating Collections network, especially into inner cities and rural communities around the country; and established a robust Web site that is visited by more than 55,000 visitors a day.

Over the decades, Sara served on numerous boards within the sector -- the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, the National Charities Information Bureau, Amigos de las Americas, the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education, Girls Inc., Legal Momentum, and the National Council for Research on Women -- and established herself among her colleagues as one of the most thoughtful, knowledgeable, and trusted leaders in the field. Indeed, Sara is one of only four individuals, and the only woman, to appear on the NPT Power & Influence Top 50 for the first ten years of its existence (1998-2007).

As impressive as those career achievements are, the things that really set Sara apart are her wonderful laugh and sense of humor, her great personal integrity, and her empathy. All of us who have worked with her will miss the laughs shared on the softball field and at holiday parties, the casual lunchtime conversations in the lounge or over a hand of bridge, the occasional note of congratulation or comfort. She has a remarkable ability to connect with people, to make them feel comfortable and at ease.

If you know Sara, you know she already has lots of great things planned and to look forward to -- quality time with her daughters and grandkids, travel, yoga, the joys and delights of the Upper West Side. And those of us at the center know she'll always be available to answer our questions and give us good advice.

So please join me (in the comments section below) in congratulating Sara on a job well done and in wishing her all the best in the next exciting phase of her life!

-- Mitch Nauffts

Paul Newman: A Tribute to the Father of Consumer Philanthropy

September 28, 2008

(Michael Seltzer is a regular contributor to PhilanTopic. In December, he paid tribute to screen legend, businessman, and philanthropist Paul Newman.)

Paul_newman1Paul Newman passed away on Friday at the age of 83. The nation and the world are poorer in many ways. Others more qualified than I will pay appropriate tribute to his remarkable contributions as one of the 20th century's most enduring and beloved actors. To me, Newman's contributions to philanthropy warrant equal attention. Without any grand plan, over the last twenty-eight years and in the third act of his career, he proved that the generosity of Americans does not stop when they go shopping. Indeed, given a choice between a high-quality product and a high-quality product coupled with a chance to do good, Americans, as Newman demonstrated, are inclined to choose the latter. Newman's Own, the company he and his Westport neighbor A.E. Hotchner founded more than twenty-five years ago, pioneered and remains a leader in what I have dubbed "consumer philanthropy."

The story of Newman's Own begins just before Christmas 1980, when Hotchner and Newman came up with the idea. For years, they had filled old wine bottles with Paul's homemade salad dressing and presented them as holiday gifts to friends. That year, as a joke, they stocked the shelves of a local gourmet shop with their dressing. As they recounted years later in their book Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good (Doubleday, 2003), when the shop quickly sold all the bottles, they realized it was time to get "out of the basement and onto the shelf."

The rest, as they say, is history. Popcorn, lemonade, pretzels, pasta sauce, cookies, ice cream, and marinades -- all approved by Paul Newman's exacting taste buds -- soon found their way into grocery stores across the country. Subsequently, Newman's Own became the first company to place products with only all-natural ingredients in supermarkets. By the end of the 1990s, Newman's original salad dressing had annual retail sales of $33.5 million, becoming the eighth-biggest seller in the salad dressing market, and Newman's Own products had earned more than all of Newman's films combined. Tongue firmly in cheek, he once confessed to David Letterman that it was humiliating. We should all be so humiliated. By 2008, the Newman's Own Foundation, the organization he and Hotch created to funnel the proceeds from their growing food products empire to charity, had given more than $250 million to worthy causes.

Those profits were donated to thousands of nonprofit organizations in the United States and around the globe. Grantseekers were asked to submit a simple one-page summary of their project and a proposal, and grants were awarded every year by the end of December. Along the way, Newman learned the old precept that it takes a lot of time to give away money wisely.

Continue reading »

Best Philanthropy-Related Books of 2008

September 27, 2008

Stack_of_books_2We need your help. As we head into the homestretch of 2008, we're trying to identify the best philanthropy-related titles of the year (general trade or academic press only). Criteria should include originality, impact, quality, and topicality.

Here's our list so far (links take you to reviews published in PND):

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism. Yunus, Muhammad. New York: Basic Books.

Forces for Good: Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits. Crutchfield, Leslie and Heather McLeod Grant. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker. Somerville, Bill and Fred Setterberg. Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books.

Just Another Emperor: The Myths and Realities of Philanthrocapitalism. Edwards, Michael. New York: Demos: A Network for Action & Ideas.

Money Well Spent: A Strategic Guide to Smart Philanthropy. Brest, Paul and Hal Harvey. New York: Bloomberg Press.

Philanthrocapitalism: How the Rich Can Save the World. Bishop, Matthew and Michael Green. New York: Bloomsbury Press.

The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries Are Failing and What Can Be Done About It. Collier, Paul. New York: Oxford University Press.

Understanding Philanthropy: Its Meaning and Mission. Payton, Robert L. and Michael P. Moody. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

What have we missed? Are there books (other than Paul Brest's) yet to be published that we should know about? Use the comments to leave your suggestions....

-- Mitch Nauffts

Bill Gates in New York

September 26, 2008

Bill Gates has been busy making the rounds in New York this week, chatting with Bill Clinton on stage at the Clinton Global Initiative on Wednesday, addressing the UN General Assembly yesterday, and sitting down with Tom Brokaw to talk about turmoil in the credit markets and the potential impact of the crisis on the Gates Foundation and corporate philanthropy in general.

The interview is twenty minutes long and worth a look.

0:01    Impact of economic crisis
2:37    Supporting agriculture in developing countries
3:49    America's image overseas
6:35    End of venture capital?
7:51    Executive compensation
11:35  Multilateralism
12:32  Creative capitalism
14:23  Foundation goals
18:21  Seinfeld ads

Two smart guys. Good stuff.

-- Mitch Nauffts

2008 Clinton Global Initiative -- Day Three (Webcast schedule)

Cgiimage006Here's the schedule for the third and final day of this year's meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. For live webcasts of the sessions, click here or here. (Note: Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus and Council on Foundations president Steve Gunderson will be on stage for the opening plenary.) Back with more in a bit....

9:00 A.M. Plenary Session: The Global Impact of Rural Innovation

  • Jacques Aigrain, CEO and Member of the Executive Committee, Swiss Re
  • Steve Gunderson, President/CEO, Council on Foundations
  • Wangari Muta Maathai, Founder, Green Belt Movement Kenya
  • Elsie Meeks, President/CEO, First Nations Oweesta Corporation
  • Rick Warren, Pastor, Saddleback Church
  • Muhammad Yunus, Founder and Managing Director, Grameen Bank

10:15 A.M. Press Conference: Global Health

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Working Sessions: Four Simultaneous Breakout Sessions

Education: Education and the Struggle for Peace and Stability

  • Wyclef Jean, Founder/Chair, Yle Haiti
  • Zainab Salbi, President/CEO, Women for Women International
  • George Stephanopoulos, Chief Washington Correspondent, ABC News
  • Christiana A.M. Thorpe, Chief Electoral Commissioner and Chairperson, National Electoral Commission

Energy and Climate: Local Leadership

  • Betrand Delano, Mayor, City of Paris
  • Jos Mara Figueres Olsen, Former President of the Republic of Costa Rica; Concordia 21, Grupo Felipe IV
  • Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Chairman, Waterkeeper Alliance; Senior Attorney, NRDC
  • Xiaoyi (Sheri) Liao, President, Global Village of Beijing
  • Bill White, Mayor, City of Houston

Global Health: Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation

  • Tralance Addy, President and CEO, WaterHealth International
  • Antonio Guterres, Former Prime Minister, Portuguese Republic; High Commissioner, United Nations Human Rights Commission
  • Jon Lane, Executive Director, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
  • Maria Mutagamba, Minister of State and Environment, Uganda
  • Rohini Nilekani, Chairperson, Arghyam Trust

Poverty Alleviation: Information and Poverty

  • Holly Ladd, Vice President and Center Director, AED-SATELLIFE Center for Health Information and Technology
  • Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO, Women's World Banking
  • Brian Richardson, Chief Executive Officer, WIZZIT
  • Sonal Shah, Program Director, Google.org

12:00 P.M. Special Session: Poverty Alleviation in Unique Environments

  • Tony Blair, Former Prime Minister, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Helene Gayle, President & CEO, CARE USA
  • Ernest Bai Koroma, President, Republic of Sierra Leone
  • Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General, ASEAN

1:30 P.M. Closing Plenary Session

  • Former President Bill Clinton, Founder, William J. Clinton Foundation

-- Mitch Nauffts

Hurricane Relief Efforts (#5)

September 25, 2008

We continue to track (see also here, here, here, and here) corporate and foundation support for hurricane relief and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. Here is today's roundup of announcements....

The Senate is considering a $6 billion relief package for coastal communities in Texas affected by Hurricane Ike.

The New York Yankees have announced a $1 million donation to help those affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

The Hewlett-Packard Company Foundation has announced a cash grant of $500,000 to the American Red Cross's hurricane relief fund and will also match up to $250,000 in employee contributions to the fund. HP also will donate notebooks valued at approximately $200,000 to the Greater Houston Area Red Cross to help that agency manage its relief and recovery efforts.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation has raised $100,000 in donations to support employees who lost homes or were otherwise affected by Hurricane Ike. The Palo Duro Canyon State Park friends group also donated $10,000 to the effort.

Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio has announced grants totaling $50,000 to two faith-based organizations, Baptist Child and Family Services and Texas Baptist Men, Inc., working to assist victims of Hurricane Ike.

PNM Resources and its family of companies serving customers in New Mexico and Texas have announced a $50,000 donation to the American Red Cross in support of relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Ike.

The Entergy Corporation and the Foundation for the Mid South have created the Entergy Hurricane Relief Fund to help victims of hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton have announced that they will again team up to raise money for Gulf Coast recovery efforts. The Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund will focus on long-term recovery efforts in coastal communities affected by this summer's hurricanes.

Last but not least, the Better Business Bureau of Utah is advising donors to give responsibly to Hurricane Ike relief efforts by ensuring their gifts go to organizations equipped to support recovery efforts. (Ignoring this advice can result in disastrous consequences.)

Did we overlook your gift or contribution? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

-- Regina Mahone

2008 Clinton Global Initiative -- Day Two (a.m. wrap)

Cgiimage006_3Things are returning to normal here after the remarks this morning by John McCain and Barack Obama. Sen. McCain, who was delivered to the  hotel where the meeting is being held by a small army of Secret Service agents and New York City cops, was earnestly bipartisan, high-minded ("I cannot carry on a campaign as if this dangerous situation had not occurred or that a solution is at hand"), and apologetic ("Seven hundred billion dollars is a staggering and unprecedented figure..."). Sen. Obama, whose remarks by satellite followed the conclusion of the morning plenary, was similarly bipartisan and high-minded. But he also took the opportunity to lay out an agenda -- on global health, climate change, and energy independence -- that had the crowd, Wall Streeters and NGO-types alike, swooning in admiration.

That shouldn't surprise anyone. Many people here belong to that relatively new sub-species of human being known as Davos Man, named after the Swiss Alpine town which hosts the annual World Economic Forum and defined by Wikipedia as "a global elite whose members view themselves as completely international." Bill Clinton is a classic example of the type, and Barack Obama a younger, updated model -- Davos Man 2.0, if you will.

According to Wikipedia, Davos Men "see their identity as a matter of personal choice, not an accident of birth." Samuel Huntington, the political scientist credited with inventing the term, says they are people who "have little need for national loyalty, view national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing, and see national governments as residues from the past whose only useful function is to facilitate the elite's global operations." As I write this on a laptop in a conference room at the Sheraton (an iconic global brand in its own right), surrounded by reporters and photographers from a dozen nations, all of us hanging on the words of politicians, rehabilitated politicians, and globe-trotting advocates, it strikes me as a fairly accurate description.

All is not well in Davos-land, however. The credit crisis in the U.S. continues to deepen and wreak havoc on both Wall and Main Street. Most ominously, say the people who run and regulate the economy, if it isn't addressed and ameliorated, it could turn into a contagion that plunges the global economy into recession, or worse.

Suddenly, the fact that we are all connected (or soon will be) takes on new meaning. What's the old saying? When you marry a woman, you also marry her family, crazy uncles and all. The same can be said of globalization, and I think that fact partly explains why the tone of this year's annual CGI meeting is subdued, even somber.

But this is a crowd of optimists (individual CGI members wouldn't have paid $20,000 to attend if they weren't), and no one here seems ready to pull the plug on Globalization 3.0 (to borrow Tom Friedman's phrase). Yes, they say, gobalization is partly responsible for the worrisome situation in which we find ourselves -- not just with respect to the economy, but in terms of climate change, disease pandemics, and the existential threat posed by weapons of mass destruction. But it is also our last best chance to avoid disaster.

Let's hope they're right.

-- Mitch Nauffts

2008 Clinton Global Initiative -- Day Two (Webcast schedule)

Cgiimage006Back for Day Two of the fourth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. With John McCain on hand to address the assembled dignitaries (and working press), the always tight security at the event has been ratcheted up to eye-opening levels. Here's today's schedule. To tune in to a live webcast of the opening plenary (in progress), click here or here. Back after the plenary...

9:00 a.m. Plenary Session: Integrated Solutions: Water, Food and Energy

  • Tom Brokaw, NBC News special correspondent
  • T. Boone Pickens, Founder and Chairman, BP Capital Management
  • Robert Zoellick, President, World Bank Group
  • Shimon Peres, Former President, Israel
  • Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Leader, Danish Social Democratic Party
  • Gavin Newsome, Mayor, City of San Francisco

10:45 a.m. Working Group Sessions:

Global Health: Expanding the Global Health Workforce

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health, Federal democratic Republic of Ethopia
  • Craig Barrett, Chair, Intel Corp.
  • Mubashar Sheikh, Executive Director, Global Workforce Alliance, World Health Organization
  • Aruna Uprety, Director, Rural Health and Education Services Trust

Energy & Climate Change: Renewables Revolution

  • Carol Browner, Principal, Albright Group, LLC
  • Lester Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute
  • Marcel Brenninkmeijer, Founder/Chair, Good Energies
  • Wesley Clark, Former U.S. Army General; UCLA'a Burkle Center for International Relations; Director, Emergya Wind Technologies, BV

Poverty Alleviation: Food Security and Poverty

  • Madeleine K. Albright, Principal Albright Group, LLC
  • Eleni Z. Gabre-Madhin, CEO, Ethopia Community Exchange
  • Ken Lee, Co-Founder, Lotus Foods, Inc.
  • Namang Ngongi, President, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa
  • Raj Shah, Director, Agricultural Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Education: Providing Real Choices: What Works for At-Risk Adolescent Girls and Boys?

  • Wendy Kopp, CEO, Teach for All
  • Grace Akallo, Author, Baker Publishing Group
  • Deborah Bial, President/Founder, Posse Foundation
  • Sompop Jantraka, Founder, Development and Education Program Daughters & Community Center (DEPDC)

12:30 p.m. Luncheon Plenary: Meeting the Demands of Population Growth and Urbanization

  • Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, City of New York
  • Paul Hawken, Founder and Executive Director, Natural Capital Institute
  • Luis Alberto Moreno, President, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Prince Turki al Faisal, Former Director General of Saudi Arabia's Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah, Former Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States
  • Mary Robinson, Former President, Ireland

2:00 p.m. Working Group Sessions:

Energy & Climate Change: Clean Transport

  • Vijay Vaitheeswaran, Correspondent, The Economist
  • John E. Bryson, Retired Chairman and CEO, Edison International
  • Nancy Kete, EMBARQ Director, EMBARQ: The WRI Center for Sustainable Transport
  • Beth Lowery, Vice President, Environment, Energy, and Safety Policy, General Motors
  • John Melo, CEO, Amyris Biotechnologies

Poverty Alleviation: Improving Livelihoods in the Wake of Conflict

  • Peter Buffett, Co-chair, NoVo Foundation
  • María Eugenia Brizuela de Ávila, Regional Head, Latin America Corporate Sustainability, HSBC El Salvador
  • Margaret G. McGlynn, President, Merck Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank
  • Nicholas D. Kristof, Columnist, New York Times

Joint Working Session: Education & Global Health: Expanding the School-Health Connection

  • Lael Brainard, Vice President and Director of Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution
  • Margaret G. McGlynn, President, Merck Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Josette Sheeran, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme
  • Beatrice Were, Executive Director, National Coalition of Women with AIDS in Uganda

4:00 p.m. Special Session: Climate Change and Poverty

  • Felipe Calderón, President, United Mexican States
  • Richard Cizik, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Van Jones, Founder and President, Green for All
  • Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, The Energy and Resources Institute
  • John Podesta, President and CEO, Center for American Progress
  • Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation

4:00 p.m. Working Group Sessions:

Global Health: Ensuring a Healthy Start: Maternal and Child Nutrition

  • Kathy Spahn, Presiden/CEO, Helen Keller International
  • Mauricio Adade, President, Human Nutrition and Health, DSM Nutritional Products, Ltd.
  • Vinita Bali, Managing Director/CEO, Britannia Industries, Ltd.
  • Utami Roesli, Director, Indonesian Breastfeeding Center

Education: Beyond Microfinance: Strengthening Business and Entrepreneurship Education for Women in Emerging Economies

  • Maria Bartiromo, Anchor, CNBC
  • Peter Bamkole, Director, Enterprise Development Services
  • Dina Powell, Managing Director, Head of Global Corporate Engagement, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • Merida Roets, Co-Director/Founder, Scientific Roets
  • Zarine Aziz, President/CEO/Chair, First Women Bank, Ltd.

-- Mitch Nauffts

2008 Clinton Global Initiative -- Overheard (Day One)

September 24, 2008

For those who haven't been following this year's CGI meeting via live webcast, here's a taste of what you've missed...

Quotemarks"Tobacco is the only product you can buy that if you follow the directions, it will kill you...."
-- New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, quoting Lance Armstrong

"Education is not a public-sector job; it's not a private-sector job. It's everybody's responsibility...."
-- Her Majesty Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

"In my view, the 20th century view of business -- in Milton Friedman's phrase, 'The purpose of business is to maximize profits' -- is outdated and irrelevant in the 21st century...."
-- E. Neville Isdell, Chair, Coca-Cola Companies

"Don't appeal to the conscience of America; appeal to the greatness of America. Then you'll get the job done...."
-- U2 lead singer and anti-poverty advocate Bono, quoting billionaire investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett

"We all have a lot at stake in the idea of America...."
-- Bono

"Clean coal is like a healthy cigarette. It does not exist...."
-- former Vice President Al Gore

"What we need is a whole re-imagining of the American enterprise to address the three most important challenges of the 21st century: extreme climate, extreme ideology, and extreme poverty...."
-- Bono

"There is an absolute refusal [in the District of Columbia] to hold ourselves accountable for results...."
-- Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools

"The consensus for free trade is collapsing around the globe because there are too many losers in developed countries...."
-- former President Bill Clinton

"I think probably every foundation would be better off if they adopted a narrower focus and worked in that area in a deeper way over a longer period of time...."
-- Bill Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

-- Mitch Nauffts

2008 Clinton Global Initiative -- $5 Billion Suzlon Green Power Commitment

Cgiimage006_5Suzlon Green Power Ltd., a closely held enterprise 100 percent owned by India's Tanti family, has committed to bring 3,500 megawatts of electricity to nearly 10 million people with the development of $5 billion in green energy assets over five years, primarily in India and China. Of the total project value, Suzlon Green Power will provide approximately $1.5 billion in equity. This is likely to be the largest Energy & Climate Change commitment announced at this year's CGI meeting.

Suzlon will invest resources and expertise in four key areas:

  1. Acquire existing green power assets to develop scale and expertise.
  2. Develop greenfield power projects.
  3. Garner support and cooperation from a network of vendors, business partners, investors.
  4. Partner with local NGOs and other organizations to develop neighborhoods where the power assets will be developed and operated.

According to the accompanying press release, Suzlon and other Tanti companies bring extensive experience in wind farm development. Of the more than thirty wind farms Suzlon has developed, two are of significant size: Sanganeri, on the southern tip of India, with 600 megawatts; and Dhule, northeast of Mumbai, with 1,000 megawatts under development.

The company estimates that its projects will create a thousand jobs directly and will reduce the equivalent of seven million tons of CO2 a year.

-- Mitch Nauffts

2008 Clinton Global Initiative -- The Girl Effect

Cgiimage006_3That's the powerful social and economic change that occurs when girls and young women in the developing world have the opportunity to fully participate in their societies. Earlier today, former President Bill Clinton kicked off the opening plenary of the fourth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative by announcing that the World Bank, the Nike Foundation, the country of Denmark, and the country of Liberia will partner to provide relevant life and technical skills training to adolescent girls (ages 16 to 24) in Liberia and match those girls to paying jobs. The Adolescent Girls Initiative will target 1,500 girls and young women initially, with the ultimate goal of bringing the work to scale in post-conflict Liberia and replicating it in other developing countries. (For those who don't know how CGI "commitments" work, take a look at this post from last year.)

Why is the empowerment of girls and young women so important? Consider the following:

Population Trends

  • More than 600 million girls live in the developing world
  • More than one-quarter of the population in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa are girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 24
  • The total global population between the ages of 10 and 24 -- already the largest demographic cohort in history -- is expected to peak in the next decade

Educational Gaps

  • Approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school
  • Seventy percent of the world's 130 million out-of-school youth are girls

Child Marriage and Early Childbirth

  • One girl in seven in developing countries marries before the age of 15; 38 percent marry before the age of 18
  • Twenty-five to 50 percent of gilrs in developing countries become mothers before the age of 18
  • In Nicaragua, 45 percent of girls with no schooling are married before the age of 18, compared to 16 percent of their educated counterparts. In Mozambique, the figures are 60 percent vs. 10 percent; in Senegal, 41 percent vs. 6 percent

Ripple Effects

  • When a girl in the developing world has received seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children
  • An extra year of primary schhol boosts girls' eventual wages by as much as 20 percent; an extra year of secondary school, up to 25 percent
  • Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher level of schooling among mothers
  • When women and girls earn income, they re-invest 90 precent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 percent to 40 percent for a man

"There's a strong argument for investing in girls. Economic opportunity -- particularly that of adolescent girls -- is crucial to generating the incentives that reverse inequality and break intergenerational cycles of poverty," said World Bank managing director Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. "By working in partnership, we can make great strides in improving the livelihoods of adolescent girls, their families, and communities -- in Liberia and elsewhere."

To learn more about the work being done by the Nike Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, and others to empower girls, visit the Girl Effect Web site.

-- Mitch Nauffts

2008 Clinton Global Initiative -- Opening Day (Wed.)

As I noted yesterday (below), kaisernetwork.org is webcasting many of the plenaries and working group sessions at this year's CGI. For those interested in checking some of them out, here are the participants in today's events:

10:00 a.m.: Opening Plenary: A Call to Action

  • Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the United States
  • Her Majesty Rania Al-Abdullah, Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
  • Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President, Republic of Liberia
  • Al Gore, Chairman, General Investment Management
  • Bono, Lead Singer, U2; Co-Founder, ONE
  • Lance Armstrong, Founder/Chair, Lance Armstrong Foundation
  • E. Neville Isdell, Chair, Coca-Cola Co.

12:00 p.m.: Press Conference with Lance Armstrong

2:00 p.m.: Four Concurrent Working Group Sessions

Global Health: Healthy Transitions for Adolescent Girls

  • Maria S. Eitel, President, Nike Foundation
  • Ashley Judd, Global Ambassador, YouthAIDs, Board Member, PSI
  • Felicia Maria Knaul, Senior Economist and Director, Health and Competitiveness Initiative, Fundacion Mexicana para la Salud
  • Bene Edwin Madunaga, Co-Founder, Girls' Power Initiative

Energy & Climate Change: Ending Energy Waste

  • Diana Farrell, Director, McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) McKinsey & Co.
  • Matt Kistler, Sr. Vice President, Sustainability, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
  • William McDonough, Chair, William McDonough & Partners, Architects
  • Kathleen McGinty, Partner, Peregrine Technology Partners
  • Andrew Winston, Founder, Winston Eco-Strategies, LLC

Poverty Alleviation: Strengthening Livelihoods Through Financial Services for the Poor

  • Fazle Abed, Founder/Chair, BRAC
  • Sylvia Matthews Burwell, President, Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Julio Frenk, Sr. Fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; President, Caro Health Institute
  • James Mwangi, Managing Director/CEO, Equity Bank Limited
  • Robert E. Rubin, Director and Sr. Counselor, Citigroup, Inc.; former Secretary of the Treasury

Education: Global Expansion of Programs That Increase Quality Education

  • Rukmini Banerji, Director, Pratham and ASER Centre
  • Maria Keita Diarra, Founder, Institut pour l'Education Populaire
  • Michelle Rhee, Chancellor, District of Columbia Public Schools

4:00 p.m.: Plenary Session: Generating Profits, Jobs and Equitable Growth

  • Matthew Bishop, New York Bureau Chief and American Business Editor, The Economist
  • John T. Chambers, Chair/CEO, Cisco
  • Hernando de Soto, President, Institute for Liberty and Democracy
  • Thoraya Amed Obaid, President and Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund
  • Tulsi Tanti, Chair and Managing Director, Suzlon Energy, Ltd.

5:00 p.m.: Giving: A Conversation Between President Clinton and Bill Gates

Here's another link to live webcasts from this year's CGI event.

More to come...

-- Mitch Nauffts

Clinton Global Initiative -- 2008 Annual Meeting

September 23, 2008

Cgiimage006_4The 63rd session of the UN General Assembly opened earlier today, and that means another annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) has rolled into town. (Actually, with two hundred heads of state and their security details packed into twenty square blocks of midtown, nothing much is moving, let alone rolling.)

I'll be live-blogging the event over the next couple of days. For those interested in checking out the sessions, kaisernetwork.org will provide live webcasts of most of them, along with archived video, transcripts, and podcasts.

The following sessions will be webcast LIVE (all times Eastern):

Wednesday, September 24

10:00 a.m.: Opening Plenary: A Call to Action

12:00 p.m.: Press Conference with Lance Armstrong

12:00 p.m.: Four Concurrent Working Group Commitment Lunches

  • Global Health
  • Energy & Climate Change
  • Poverty Alleviation
  • Education

2:00 p.m.: Four Concurrent Working Group Sessions

  • Global Health: Healthy Transitions for Adolescent Girls
  • Energy & Climate Change: Ending Energy Waste
  • Poverty Alleviation: Strengthening Livelihoods Through Financial Services for the Poor
  • Education: Global Expansion of Programs That Increase Quality Education

4:00 p.m.: Plenary Session: Generating Profits, Jobs and Equitable Growth

5:00 p.m.: Giving: A Conversation Between President Clinton and Bill Gates

For up-to-date information about Thursday and Friday webcasts, visit kaisernet's coverage guide at: http://www.kaisernetwork.org/cgi2008#guide.

-- Mitch Nauffts

Can Facebook Replace Face-to-Face?

Social Actions founder and micro-philanthropy consultant Peter Dietz recently posted an audio clip recorded at the National Conference on Citizenship on the topic "Can Facebook Replace Face-to-Face?" Moderated by political adviser and Internet pioneer Joe Trippi, the conversation includes a debate between Facebook Causes' founder Sean Parker and the Brookings Institution's William Galston. You can listen to the full clip here.

Here's an excerpt of what Galston had to say:

We have become a more polarized society and our politics have become more polarized….That polarization has made it very difficult for the country to come together. Definitions of the common good are now different and conceptions of how the world works now differ. The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." How old-fashioned that sounds now, because you have groups of people in the country who really do have their own facts.

If you ask me if these developments we are talking about now are contributing to the production of polarization and the expansion of unity within the country, I would have to say no. No, they aren't. They are intensifying political and civic niches — that is sometimes good, and sometimes not so good....

The Social Citizens blog is hosting an online conversation that explores the same question. Visit the site to add your thoughts, or let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

-- Regina Mahone

Hurricane Relief Efforts (#4)

September 22, 2008

We continue to track (see also here, here, and here) corporate and foundation support for hurricane relief and recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast. Here's the latest on that front:

The Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment has announced a $10 million gift to the Salvation Army to assist with ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of hurricanes that have affected large portions of the Gulf Coast and Midwest.

The Hess Corporation has announced that it will donate $3 million to the Hurricane Ike Relief Fund.

Toyota and Koch Industries, Inc. will contribute $1 million to relief and recovery efforts, while BHP Billiton has announced that it will donate $500,000 to support relief efforts in communities affected by Hurricane Ike.

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair has announced that he is donating $500,000 to relief and recovery efforts, to be matched by the National Football League and NFL Players Association.

Major League Baseball has announced that it will donate $500,000 to the Hurricane Ike Relief Fund.

The Comerica Charitable Foundation will contribute $100,000 to the American Red Cross and $10,000 to the Houston-based Sheltering Arms Senior Services organization to support Hurricane Ike relief efforts.

NeighborWorks America is providing $45,000 in emergency relief grants to organizations in the Houston-metro area. The grants will support NeighborWorks organizations helping residents who are having difficulty reaching FEMA and Red Cross distribution centers.

Farm Aid, the charity founded by singer Willie Nelson to help small family farms, has pledged to donate $30,000 to the families most affected by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.

The National Cattlemen's Foundation has announced a $10,000 donation to assist cattlemen affected by Hurricane Ike.

Soles4Souls, Inc., the international shoe charity that gives shoes to needy people, has sent 85,000 pairs of new shoes to aid in Hurricane Ike relief efforts.

And anyone who makes a $100 donation to the Vince Young Foundation Hurricane Ike Relief Fund will get an autographed photo of Young, the former University of Texas football star and Tennessee Titans quarterback. Those who make a $250 donation will receive an autographed football.

-- Regina Mahone

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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