WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014

Hauser Institute for Civil Society, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University

The nonprofit sector — the universe of associations, civil society, philanthropy, and voluntary action — is the most rapidly growing and changing organizational domain in the world.

Once considered an adjunct of government, over the past half century nonprofits have taken on many of the tasks of government and play key roles in the process of public governance, not only as sources of policy and vehicles for advocacy and political mobilization, but also as providers of a wide range of public services.

Because nonprofits operate in virtually every industry and in many jurisdictions — global, national, state, and local –, it is extraordinarily difficult to track significant the emerging issues and trends that affect them. This difficulty is compounded by the fact that press coverage of nonprofits is fragmentary and often shallow and because scholarship is highly specialized and balkanized.

Through weekly global surveys of major newspapers, periodicals, broadcast media, and on-line news sources, this blog brings to readers’ attention important stories and will, through commentaries, link those news accounts to pertinent scholarship in order to offer in-depth understanding of important emerging issues and trends. The blog will also take note of scholarly books and articles of potential significance to practitioners, policy makers, and other thoughtful readers.

Using Nonprofit News & Comment

Blog entries appear as “Weekly News Summaries” — compilations of news article headlines. Each entry includes a link to the original source and the full text of the story. Because of the on-going monetization of on-line newspapers and other media, full texts may not be available for all stories.

Stories relating to the United States are organized topically by type of organization or activity. International stories are organized by country and, in certain instances, by topic (such as “Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal” and “Sustainable Development”). All stories are archived by topic and date.

Contact Us

Comments or questions about Nonprofit News & Comment should be directed to Peter Dobkin Hall, Senior Research Fellow, Hauser Institute for Civil Society, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard University.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014


When I started this blog five years ago, virtually every media outlet — print, broadcast, and on-line — was available free of charge. Today, few if any are: either they have monetized using mechanisms that completely bar non-subscribers from access or that limit the number of articles one can access by week or month. Some, like the Times of London site, invite subscribers, but do not enable them to pay for their subscriptions through overseas banks or credit cards (in this case, other than UK institutions).

A number of media outlets, smarting from financial pressure, have significantly down-graded the quality of their sites. The Los Angeles Times site, which used to be a model of clarity, simply became a catch-all of redundant and out-of-date material, entirely lacking coherent organization. The San Francisco Chronicle briefly embraced a similar model. Clearly, under fiscal stringency, it was cheaper for the Times to go through the motions of maintaining a website without investing the funds of the staff needed to do it competently. (Happily, reader protests let the Chronicle to abandon the experiment and return to its original format).

As things presently stand, only one media outlet — the Guardian — remains wholly and completely available for free to readers and researchers. (This is a good thing, since the Guardian’s coverage of philanthropy, nonprofits, civil society, and related issues is the most complete and comprehensive). The New York Times and Wall Street Journal still make all of their content available without limit — but at a price.

But it’s been all downhill from there. In the past few weeks, the Economist, perhaps the most important of the weekly news magazines, began initiated sharp limits on the number of articles readers could access without subscription. Another UK outlet, the Independent — a paper that had carried many important articles and editorials on nonprofits in the UK — semi-monetized and/or blacked out large portions of its coverage. (It is impossible to predict when or if items are readable or downloadable).

A further disturbing on-line trend has been the disappearance of general news and nonprofits-related coverage from large parts of the globe. Africa and Latin America unrepresented among the NOG sectors covered in the English-language press, except when reported in the US, UK, or Australian media outlets. China’s Xinhua agency, offers occasional stories, but usually only those relating to Chinese cultural initiatives, like the Confucius Institutes. Japan’s Asahain Shimbun used to carry dependably features on Japanese NGOs and philanthropy no longer does so. Of the Asian nations, only India’s Times of India can be counted on for regular coverage of organizational and policy news and editorials on NGO and civil society.

As noted in one of our comments last spring, unbundling the world-wide web balkanizes information about nonprofits and, in doing so, damages both scholarship and our ability to understand the dimensions and directions of what Lester Salamon has rightly called the global associational revolution.

To top matters off, this blog itself may fall victim to the reorganization of Harvard’s nonprofits center, recently renamed the Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute Center Civil Society (formerly the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations). Should this happen, the only current effort to offer comprehensive reporting on the continuing development of the world’s nonprofit sectors will fall silent. Whether this will be a loss is up to its readers to judge.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014


The lobbying group AIPAC has consistently fought the Obama Administration on policy. Is it now losing influence?” By Connie Bruck. New Yorker. September 1, 2014.

Wealthy political donors seize on new latitude to give to unlimited candidates.” Washington Post. September 2, 2014.

For 2016 GOP candidates, does courting the Kochs bring more risk than reward?” By Paul Waldman. Washington Post. September 1, 2014.

Tom Steyer’s $1 million offer to pro-environment candidates.” By Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross. San Francisco Chronicle. September 2, 2014.

The End of Liberal Zionism? Increasingly, U.S. media are covering the growing repression of left-wing and dissenting voices in Israel, alienating many American Jews, especially among the young.” By Sarah Posner. American Prospect. September 2, 2014.

The Democratic Sugar-Daddy/Sugar-Mama Dossier; Conservatives have the Kochs and Rupert Murdoch, but progressives have their mega-donors, too.” By Andy Kroll. American Prospect. September 3, 2014.

Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks.” By Eric Lipton, Brooke Williams, and Nicholas Confessore. New York Times. September 7, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014


Amid Choruses of Despair, an Aria of Hope; San Diego Opera Downsizes to Survive.” By Adam Nagourney. New York Times. September 1, 2014.

Detroit to Face Creditors as Bankruptcy Trial Kicks Off; City to Defend Cost-Cutting Plan in Trial Expected to Last Weeks.” By Matthew Dolan. Wall Street Journal. September 2, 2014.
Related story:
Detroit Bankruptcy Battle Begins In Federal Court.” Morning Edition/National Public Radio. September 2, 2014.
Detroit Municipal Bankruptcy Trial Begins; City’s Presentation Could be Finished as Early as Last Week in September.” Wall Street Journal. September 3, 2014.
Detroit’s Fiscal Future Rests With A Federal Judge.” By Quinn Klinefelter. All Things Considered/National Public Radio. September 3, 2014.
Lawyers Spar Over Viability of Detroit Bankruptcy Plan at Trial.” By Matthew Dolan. Wall Street Journal. September 4, 2014.
The Fine Art Of Pricing Detroit’s Collection.” By Elizabeth Blair. All Things Considered/National Public Radio. September 4, 2014.
The Bankruptcy of Detroit and the Division of America.” Huffington Post. September 6, 2014.

Neighborhood theaters buck trend to stay alive.” By C.W. Nevius. San Francisco Chronicle. September 2, 2014.

The Story of Guns in America: Celebrating the 200th Birthday of Gunmaker: Samuel Colt.” By Mark Yost. Wall Street Journal. September 3, 2014.

Think Tank to Ponder a Future for Ballet; New Center at N.Y.U. Focuses on Dance and the Arts.” By Michael Cooper. New York Times. September 3, 2014.

Atlanta Orchestra Leaders Make a Plea for Musicians During Labor Talks; Robert Spano Writes to Board of Atlanta Symphony.” By Michael Cooper. New York Times. September 6, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014


“Employees’ Children Give Company an Earful on Social Causes; Prompt Royal DSM to Donate to African Countries.” By Rachel Feintzeig. Wall Street Journal. September 4, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014



Forum: Booker T. Washington Academy in New Haven embodies best of charter schools.” By Jeremiah Grace. New Haven Register. September 1, 2014,

Suspensions and expulsions down in D.C. charter schools.” By Michael Alison Chandler. Washington Post. September 5, 2014.

The Battle for New York Schools: Eva Moskowitz vs. Mayor Bill de Blasio.” New York Times. September 7, 2014.


A New Twist in Online Learning at Stanford; What I learned from teaching Econ 1 on the Web to students who included one in Botswana.” Opinion. By John B. Taylor. Wall Street Journal. September 2, 2014.

Survey Part I: Get To Know Harvard’s Class of 2018; Annual Survey Shows Points of Connection, Difference with Previous Class.” By Steven S. Lee and Carolina I. Portela-Blanco. Harvard Crimson. [Part I of a four-part series on Harvard’s incoming Class of 2018, based on data collected by The Crimson in an email survey conducted in the month of August. Part II will run on Wednesday]. Harvard Crimson. September 2, 2014.

Yale’s tax exempt New Haven property worth $2.5 billion.” By Ed Stannard. New Haven Register. September 2, 2014.
Related story:
Interactive map: Properties Yale University owns in New Haven.” New Haven Register. September 2, 2014.

Doubling in size, Yale-NUS student body thrives.” By Lavinia Borzi. Yale Daily News. September 3, 2014.

Buckley Program pushes expansion.” By Phoebe Kimmelman. Yale Daily News. September 3, 2014.

In the fanciest dorm in Washington, designs on changing the world; At Georgetown’s Halcyon House, a new program aims to foster innovation; Georgetown’s historic Halcyon House has been transformed into a luxury meeting and housing space for a new fellowship program.” By Roxanne Roberts. Washington Post. September 3, 2014.

Endicott College’s mission defines its culture.” By Cindy Atoji Keene. Boston Globe. September 7, 2014.


North Carolina District Breaks Ties With Teach For America.” By Reema Khrais. All Things Considered/National Public Radio. September 3, 2014.


“On the School-Choice Barricades; Former D.C. councilman Kevin Chavous talks about his battles with teachers unions across the country and why the voucher movement is advancing
.” By Allysia Finley. Wall Street Journal. September 6, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014


Divesting our trust; A Stern Perspective.” By Scott Stern. Yale Daily News.
September 3, 2014.
Related story:
Fossil free capital.” By Scott Greenberg. Yale Daily News. September 3, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014


Ferguson fundraiser mystery solved — or is it? Members of the Ferguson Police department during a rally in Ferguson, Mo.” By Matt Pearce. Los Angeles Times. September 2, 2014.
Related story:
Fundraising efforts for officer that shot Brown top $400,000, but where’s the money going?” Daily Kos. September 3, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014


Michael Katz, 75, Who Challenged View of Poverty, Dies.” By Paul Vitello. New York Times. September 5, 2014.

WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST (September 1-7, 2014)

September 10th, 2014



Philanthropists urged to go public about gifts.” Sydney Morning Herald. September 2, 2014.


The Aga Khan’s New Islamic Treasure Trove; The Imam’s vast collection will be housed in a new Toronto museum opening Sept. 18.” By Kelly Crow. Wall Street Journal. September 5, 2014.


Melbourne sex abuse priest Mato Krizanac returns to church in Bosnian parish.” Cameron Houston and Chris Vedelago. Sydney Morning Herald. September 7, 2014.


Budget Cuts Hobble The World Health Organization’s Ebola Response.” All Things Considered/National Public Radio. September 4, 2014.


FIFA Member’s Arrest Prompts Questioning.” By Graham Dunbar. Huffington Post. September 7, 2014.


In Germany, Many Believers Balk at Tweak to Church Tax; As Loophole Closes, Disgruntled German Catholics and Protestants Opt to Officially Leave Churches.” By Chase Gummer. Wall Street Journal. September 3, 2014.


Tabo monastery in Himachal gets Rs 45 crore institute of Bodh darshan.” By Anand Bodh. Times of India. September 3, 2014.

CBI lens on Rs 33 crore Saradha ‘donations’.” By Dwaipayan Ghosh. Times of India. September 3, 2014.


Will corporate cash save Roman monuments or diminish them?” By Anthony Faiola. Washington Post. September 7, 2014.


Philanthropy: reclaiming the ‘P-word’ for a modern world: Do people think of vain tax dodgers when they hear the word philanthropist? Perhaps it needs rebranding; Philanthropy is dead. The voluntary sector needs commercial principles; Building better philanthropy for a better society; Why you don’t have to have wealth to be a philanthropist“. By Cheryl Chapman. Guardian. September 1, 2014.

Development: not for people from different work and ethnic backgrounds? Based on current recruitment criteria, one reader laments that even Bill Gates would not be able to get a job in a British NGO: • 12 tips for getting a job in international development”. By Nicholas Milton. Guardian. September 2, 2014.

Tony Blair named philanthropist of the year; Tony Blair’s GQ award has drawn criticism Reuters.” By Tony Bonnici. Times of London. September 3, 2014.

Eight easy ways to give your fundraising a data boost: Donor data is a priceless resource for fundraisers. Ben Carter at Change.org explains how to use it to take your fundraising from average to outstanding; How charities can understand and manage data; How data analysis can help your charity to enhance its fundraising results; Opening up the voluntary sector: using data to drive innovation.” By Ben Carter. Guardian. September 3, 2014.

Six reasons why charities should harness hyperlocal communications: While it is easy to get drowned out in mainstream channels, charities that are focusing on local outlets are seeing fantastic results; 10 things your charity needs to know about social media; Five social media charity campaigns you need to know about.” By Zoe Amar. Guardian. September 4, 2014.

Charities should stick to knitting and keep out of politics, says MP; New civil society minister Brooks Newmark accused of spouting ‘patronising rubbish’ as concerns over Lobbying Act grow.” By Rowena Mason. Guardian. September 5, 2014.

Blair faith project hit by withdrawal of Harvard school.” By David Brown. Times of London. September 6, 2014.