“HuffPost JobRaising Initiative Raises $1.5 Million For Job-Creating Nonprofits.” By Joe Van Brussel. Huffington Post. March 4, 2013. As the clock ticked toward midnight on Friday night, donations for the JobRaising Challenge finalists continued to pour in. The six-week long contest was nearing its conclusion, but donors showed little sign of letting up. $185,000 was raised in the last hour alone, capping a final week when over half a million dollars was committed to the cause of American job creation. Seventy-four nonprofits whose mission is to create jobs and connect people to work faced off to see who could raise the most money for their cause. In addition to $150,000, $50,000 and $30,000 for the top three fundraisers, the nonprofits were also striving to hit funding benchmarks to win various HuffPost prizes, from personalized tweets on the Huffington Post twitter feed to featured blog posts on the HuffPost front page. The awards created an incentive for donor support while the Huffington Post platform allowed the nonprofits to raise their public profiles and keep the jobs conversation moving forward. The initiative was put on by the Huffington Post in partnership with the Skoll Foundation, Crowdrise and knowledge partner McKinsey & Company.
“Boston’s rich expected to donate large sums; In 50 years, area gifts may total $1 trillion.” By Beth Healy. Boston Globe. March 5, 2013. Paul S. Grogan says, “People don’t want to just write a check anymore.” Despite an enormous loss of wealth during the Great Recession, Boston-area families and estates are expected to donate a massive sum to charities over the next half century, perhaps eclipsing $1 trillion, according to a new study commissioned by the Boston Foundation. The report, based on research by Boston College’s Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, found that the recent recession erased about $350 billion in assets that were likely to flow to charities by 2061. Even so, a huge wave of generational wealth will change hands over the next several decades, the study found, ranging from $950 billion to $3.9 trillion, depending on how fast the economy grows. Of that, about 42 percent will probably go to charity, according to the study. That would mean between $419 billion and $1.6 trillion designated for nonprofits over the next five decades. And increasingly, people will pass that money on while they are alive, rather than leaving behind bequests for others to manage after they die.
“Donor of the Week: Supporting the Symphony from the First Balcony.” By Melanie Grayce West. Wall Street Journal. March 6, 2013. Marjory S. Walters knows a good thing when she hears it. At least when it comes to the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Walters, 88 years old, has been a fan of the orchestra for decades, practically since the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra formed more than 50 years ago. She is among the orchestra’s most significant benefactors, recently completing a $1 million pledge. She endowed the symphony’s chair for oboe in memory of her husband, Arthur, who died in 1999.
“Donor of the Day: Support for Arts Is Family Mission.” By Melanie Grayce West. Wall Street Journal. March 7, 2013. When it comes to the arts, Beth Rudin DeWoody can’t and won’t play favorites. The philanthropist, art collector and executive vice president of Rudin Management Co., one of the city’s largest real-estate companies, is well known for her passionate support of the arts. But when pressed, she refuses to pick a favorite artistic medium. “I can’t. I can’t,” she says. “Because I’m a great theater person. I’m a movie buff. I majored in film studies. And I’m an art person, curator, collector. I love dance. I can’t separate.” Is there anything Ms. DeWoody, who serves on the boards of the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, doesn’t like? What about bagpipe music? She considers the question for a moment and says with a laugh, “No, I kind of like the bagpipes.” She enjoys the piano, too, and the music of Stephen Sondheim. With a donation of around $10,000, Ms. DeWoody has commissioned four pieces for the Liaisons Project, an artistic effort led by pianist Anthony de Mare that invites composers to rework a Stephen Sondheim song into a solo piano piece. She says that her grandfather, Samuel Rudin, who started the family’s real-estate business, felt it was vital to support hospitals, social-service organizations and arts organizations alike. He felt that when you’re in “the real-estate business, where you can’t move your business and go to some other town, you want to make where you live the best place to be, a place where people want to come,” she says. Ms. DeWoody’s late father had a simpler explanation for supporting the arts. She says that he would always tell others, “People don’t come to New York City to breathe in the great mountain air. They’re here for the culture.”
“NYC Dreams, Funded by Friends.” By Anne Kadet. Wall Street Journal. March 8, 2013. There are only so many big breaks that come along in the life of a puppeteer. For Amy Rush of Atlanta, it was an invitation to work for the Jim Henson Foundation in Queens. The puppet master was raring to go, but for one hitch: She couldn’t afford the move. The solution? She organized an online crowd-funding campaign to solicit donations from family and friends. “I want to be a part of it—New York, New York,” Ms. Rush titled her fundraising page. She quickly raised $1,053—enough to rent a 14-foot U-Haul and take off. Some people are turning to crowd funding to move to New York City. A lot has been written about New Yorkers using crowd funding to finance their dreams, be it launching a bakery or recording an album. But across the nation, ambitious hopefuls are using crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to achieve a more rudimentary goal—get to NYC. Ms. Rush, 36, says she turned to crowd funding for an obvious reason: Moving to New York is crazy expensive. She could have swung any other city, but relocating to NYC, even if you share a fourth-floor Bushwick loft with roommates, as Ms. Rush does, requires thousands of dollars in upfront rent and deposits, never mind the actual moving expenses.
“Donor of the Day: Student’s Hoops Dream to Help Education Program.” By Melanie Grayce West. Wall Street Journal. March 8, 2013. Clio Markman believes in teamwork on and off the basketball court. The 18-year-old senior who attends New York’s Trevor Day School is hosting on Saturday his second annual “Hot Shot Challenge” to raise money for the Brooklyn Youth Sports Club’s education program, Beyond Basketball. The program provides tutoring, college admissions test preparation and guidance, and organized study halls. Mr. Markman, a point guard and captain of Trevor Day’s varsity basketball team, has for several years played in the off-season with the Brooklyn Badgers, the Brooklyn Youth Sports Club’s competitive travel team. The Badgers team draws primarily from the large high schools in Brooklyn and is highly competitive, participating in tournaments throughout the region. Mr. Markman joined the team in eighth grade—just as the team started—and he was the only private-school student on the team. One of the requirements to play on the Badgers team is to arrive at least an hour early to practice for study time and tutoring sessions. The commitment to academic excellence is central to the team dynamic and, last year, all 30 seniors who had participated in Beyond Basketball enrolled in a college or preparatory school. “I thought it was a cool thing,” says Mr. Markman of the study program. “So many of these basketball organizations are just all about basketball.” So, as a community service project last year, Mr. Markman approached Lyle Friess, who is a basketball coach for Trevor Day and the co-executive director of the Brooklyn Youth Sports Club, about a fundraiser. Last year, donations per basket ranged from 10 cents to $20 and came from doormen and chief executives alike. Eleven players were able to raise some $30,000 in donations for Beyond Basketball. “It was totally, totally wild,” says Mr. Markman.
“Portland group’s direct funding project is an Awesome idea.” By Kelly House. Oregonian. March 9, 2013. There’s a new model of charitable giving in Portland, and it’s more direct, collaborative and zany than any of the options you might have checked on your tax return. Awesome Portland, the newly formed local branch of the national Awesome Foundation, aims to promote all things, well, awesome in the Rose City. “The motto is that we’ll fund flame-throwers,” says Awesome Portland founder Leslie Rodgers, 39, a social worker in the Hillsboro School District. “We want to do things that are good, but we also want those things to be fun.” The group is composed of 12 trustees who each donate $100 every other month to fund bimonthly $1,000 grants. But unlike your typical local charity, Awesome Portland’s grants aren’t geared toward specific do-gooder causes like river restoration or food banks. Unless, of course, there’s something particularly nifty about a specific river cleanup or food bank. More often, the money goes to projects that fit Portland’s quirky, outdoorsy, artsy ethos. The Awesome Foundation spent two years spreading to cities across America and internationally before arriving in Portland. It began in Boston in 2009, when then-22-year-old Tim Hwang and a group of friends decided to pool $100 each to fund a cool, small-scale giving endeavor in their community.