Bill and Melinda Gates bet big on the future and philanthropy – Yahoo News

I am thankful for Bill and Melinda Gates and all they have done for so many poor people in the world. But I don’t think philanthropy really has the teeth to address inequality in our country. It’s like in Medeival times when the Queen would give out gold coins to the poor. It’s a nice gesture, but it doesn’t solve the underlying problems. Unless philanthropy can change the tax structure and income distribution problems we have, it will remain a token effort to address inequality.

 

Bill and Melinda Gates bet big on the future and philanthropy – Yahoo News.

This Funding Group is Betting That “Feedback Loops” Can Improve Global Development Work – Fundraising – Inside Philanthropy

It’s an exciting time to be in the feedback loop business, and no one knows this better than Feedback Labs, a new nonprofit consortium selected as one of the 14 organizations to receive a grant from the Fund for Shared Insight, the collaborative of funders helping nonprofits to collect and incorporate feedback to improve their performance—and how philanthropic dollars are spent. (Yup, this post is about a collaborative giving money to a consortium, one more sign that lone wolf outfits are decidedly passé.)

Feedback loops are being heralded as a way to ensure that the people served by nonprofits, the so-called “end users” of philanthropy, can give input to how organizations operate. Better listening promises to teach nonprofits what the client wants and does not want, and how, in providing services, it can best communicate with clients and also act to meet their needs. Some of the benefits? Feedback loops can help expand on successes and give quick attention to problems as they emerge.

via This Funding Group is Betting That “Feedback Loops” Can Improve Global Development Work – Global Development | Grants | Fundraising – Inside Philanthropy.

Our Top Philanthropy Obsessions in 2015 – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

As the New Year gets underway, we could conjure up a list of “top trends” in philanthropy for 2015 or make a bunch of predictions that we would probably regret twelve months from now, along with all the junk we ate over the holidays.

But we’re going to skip such exercises and instead offer up a quick tour of the obsessions, favorite causes, and pet peeves that we’ll be indulging this year. If you’re still wondering what the agenda is at Inside Philanthropy, you’ve clicked on the right post.

via Our Top Philanthropy Obsessions in 2015 – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Whitehouse Calls for Tax Fairness, Billionaires to Pay Their Fair Share

Good news and more good news:  Senator Whitehouse is looking for ways to put the middle class first, get billionaires to pay their fair share, and generate new revenues. Not for nothing, but sometimes I really wish Senator Whitehouse could have been Vice President with Obama. These are the reforms our country desperately needs. From the Whitehouse Press office:

Providence, RI – With President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress citing tax reform as a key area for bipartisan cooperation in the new year, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today announced that he will introduce three bills to make the federal tax system fairer for middle-class families and small businesses.  The package would end tax breaks and loopholes that benefit multi-national corporations and the highest earners, and is projected to generate over $300 billion in revenue over 10 years.

“Our tax code is riddled with giveaways and special deals for the biggest corporations and top earners, and that special treatment hurts hardworking Rhode Islanders,” said Whitehouse.  “Multi-national corporations stash assets and profits abroad to avoid paying a fair share in taxes.  Companies ship jobs overseas and get a tax break for doing it.  And billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries.  These bills would help end this kind of special treatment for special interests, and generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue in the process.”

All three bills will be introduced tomorrow when the Senate is in session.  Senator Whitehouse will fight to include these proposals in any tax reform package that moves through the Senate.

Whitehouse’s plan includes:

The Paying a Fair Share Act – The Paying a Fair Share Act would implement the “Buffett Rule,” ensuring that multi-million-dollar earners pay at least a 30 percent effective federal tax rate.  The rule is named for legendary investor Warren Buffett, who has famously pointed out that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary.  The bill, which includes language to preserve the incentive for charitable giving, would generate an estimated $71 billion over ten years.

The Offshoring Prevention Act – Currently, U.S. companies that manufacture goods abroad for sale here at home are allowed to defer payment of federal income tax – waiting to pay taxes on foreign income in years that minimize their tax liability.  The Offshoring Prevention Act would require companies that send factories and jobs overseas to play by the same rules as ones supporting jobs in the U.S.  The bill would generate an estimated $20 billion in revenue over ten years.

The Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act – Estimates show that Fortune 500 companies hold roughly $2 trillion in offshore holdings to benefit from favorable foreign tax systems and bank secrecy.  Championed in previous Congresses by retired Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act would close loopholes that allow multi-national corporations to avoid paying a fair share in taxes by moving assets and profits through intricate networks of offshore subsidiaries and bank accounts.  This bill would generate at least $220 billion in revenue over ten years.

None of the bills prescribe uses for the revenue they would generate.  It would be up to Congress to decide how the funds would be spent – anything from investments in infrastructure to deficit reduction.

Whitehouse has been a leader in the Senate on tax fairness issues.  In addition to authoring the Buffett Rule and Offshoring Prevention legislation in previous Congresses, in 2013, he proposed a plan to replace strict austerity measures contained in the 2011 debt ceiling deal – the budget “sequester” – by closing tax loopholes that benefit the wealthiest Americans and big corporations, and he has spoken often of the injustices in our present tax code.

What Has Michael J. Hanley Been Doing for Fair and Sustainable Housing? – Housing – Inside Philanthropy

When it comes to the big names in housing and particularly sustainable housing for the underserved community, one man stands out from the crowd fairly quickly. Michael J. Hanley, President of the Hanley Foundation, has been working for more sustainable housing, and housing for those in need, for over 15 years.

via What Has Michael J. Hanley Been Doing for Fair and Sustainable Housing? – Housing – Inside Philanthropy.

“Evidence-based” Philanthropy Gone Wrong: The Myth of How Small Schools Failed – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy

Philanthropists these days often talk about being “evidence-based” or “effective.” They view philanthropy of old as misguided, as too often based on the donor’s whims rather than on evidence as to what works. Just as success in business or finance depends on a relentless focus on results, philanthropy should bring that same evidence-based approach to solving social problems.

via “Evidence-based” Philanthropy Gone Wrong: The Myth of How Small Schools Failed – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.