Stories From 2004

Dec 31, 2004

Leader and teacher

Habitat chief retires to pursue dream.

By Ret Boney


Dec 30, 2004

Proxy power: Part 5


By Todd Cohen

Getting involved in shareholder resolutions can involve social, environmental and corporate issues that are complex and may seem remote from the philanthropic issues foundations face, activists say.

But foundations should pay attention to those issues, they say, both to generate healthy returns to support their grantmaking, and to keep their investments in sync with their philanthropic mission.

While it was dipping its toe in the proxy world by joining the Merck shareholder resolution, the Nathan Cummings

Dec 29, 2004

Paper tigers

Dec 29, 2004

On the move

Trinity Episcopal School in Charlotte plans more campaigns.

By Todd Cohen

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Four-year-old Trinity Episcopal School has nearly completed its initial capital campaign and is planning two more.

The school, formed with support from Christ Church on Providence Road and St. John’s Episcopal Church on Carmel Road, has added three grades and more than 250 students since opening in fall 2000 with just over 100 students in kindergarten through fifth

Dec 28, 2004

Fundraising fees down

Professional solicitors and telemarketers that help North Carolina charities raise money keep 45 cents of every dollar they bring in, a share has hit a new low, a new study says.

The Charitable Solicitations Report, published annually by the

Dec 28, 2004

Groups assist tsunami victims

* With the tsunami death toll at 116,000 and rising, relief teams and supplies are flooding South Asia but not yet reaching the hardest-hit and remote areas, BBC News
reported Dec. 30. World leaders promised long-term help, the New York Times reported Dec. 30, while U.S.

Dec 28, 2004

Unhealthy dependence

By Todd Cohen

The charitable marketplace is a paradox.

It connects donors with causes, spurring support to address urgent social needs.

But it also lets boards, managers and telemarketers prey on charities and donors.

One could argue charities and donors should fend for themselves.

But just as it regulates commerce, government should make sure charity operates under rules that treat all producers and consumers fairly and equally.

A leader with too much power puts a nonprofit at risk.

By Margaret Henderson

If these symptoms apply to your favorite nonprofit, it may be too dependent on one leader:

* One person manages most responsibilities.

* One person imposes an agenda on the board and on the community the nonprofit serves.

* One person retains critical information only in his or her head.

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Dec 28, 2004

Bad for business

To the editor,

Two items in the online issue of Philanthropy Journal were both related and somewhat confusing at the same time.

In a post-election environment, one in which the successful candidate for president, “W,” called for an amendment to the United States Constitution banning same-sex marriage, and subsequently on network television embraced civil unions, there would appear to be a consistent paradox.

The Target Corporation is caught in the same

Dec 27, 2004

Donor matching

Todd Cohen

A philanthropic advisory service has been launched to match donors with nonprofits that share their values.

SmartGiving, at, aims to help donors focus their giving by helping them write a mission statement and spell out their philanthropic values.

Donors initially can provide that information by working directly with Phyllis Freedman, founder of SmartGiving and a veteran fundraiser and consultant.

In the first quarter of

Dec 27, 2004

Proxy power: Part 4

Todd Cohen

For many foundations, “proxies are just considered paperwork that has to be filled out,” says Caroline Williams, chief financial and investment officer for the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York City.

What’s more, she says, the idea of proxy voting typically is far removed from a foundation’s mission and program priorities.

The gap that can exist between a foundation’s investments and its program interests became clear to Williams two years ago, an insight she says led the foundation to become a