Articles on Giving

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It can be easier to raise money to aid animals like these African elephants than species that are more threatened with extinction but get humans less excited. www.shutterstock.com

Even ugly animals can win hearts and dollars to save them from extinction

Must the money raised to save wildlife always aid the most popular animals? New research suggests that marketing can persuade donors that northern hairy-nosed wombat lives matter too.
Including different facial expressions in fundraising pitches can change how people respond, research suggests. www.shutterstock.com

Do happy faces or sad faces raise more money?

Seeing cheerful kids in fundraising pitches works better for some potential donors than others, research suggests. Nonprofits may want to tailor their appeals to different audiences because of that.
Fresh Air host Mark Stucky of Newton, Kansas shook hands with Thomas Flowers from Gulfport, Mississippi, as Doris Zerger Stucky – Mark’s mother – watched in this 1960 photo. Mennonite Library & Archives, Bethel, Kansas

The Fresh Air Fund’s complicated racial record

Many urban children who took part in a program that was supposed to enrich their lives dealt with racism instead. Why can't this cultural exchange become a two-way street?
Most of the money Americans give to animal welfare charities helps causes that aid companion animals. www.shutterstock.com

Want to help animals? Don’t forget the chickens

A growing number of animal advocates want Americans to do more to aid animals raised in farms for food, rather than supporting groups that help cats, dogs and other human companions.
Some nonprofits, including the NAACP, can operate different divisions subject to different IRS rules but with the same branding. AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Hillary Clinton is starting a social welfare group. What does that mean?

Social welfare groups have become more common – and more controversial – in recent years. Fixing gaps in the oversight of this kind of nonprofit will take bipartisan action.
As journalism loses its financial footing, it may need more support from foundations. Tim Karr/Free Press

Can charity save journalism from market failure?

Big cash infusions can give nonprofit journalism a much-needed boost. But the ailing news industry needs more consistent funding.
Tech billionaire Sean Parker and his wife Alexandra Lenas Parker are among today’s youngest and most ambitious donors. Rich Fury/Invision/AP Photo

Should the giving styles of the rich and famous alarm us all?

In 'The Givers,' author David Callahan warns that today's mega-rich philanthropists wield too much political clout. He may be exaggerating their power and lowballing the public's own strength.
Paul Odihambo shows off a bore well in his village outside of Kisumu, Kenya that a DIY aid group donated. Susan Appe

Will Trump’s cuts inspire more DIY foreign aid?

With steep budget cuts looming, a growing number of tiny volunteer-driven organizations are delivering aid on their own. Will the Trump administration inspire even more small-scale global giving?
If implemented, President Trump’s proposed foreign aid cuts would have many repercussions. Kendra Helmer/USAID

US foreign aid, explained

As President Trump puts U.S. foreign aid on the chopping block, few Americans know much about it. Perhaps even fewer realize that the U.S. lags behind its peers on this front.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan are giving billions to charity through their donor-advised fund instead of a traditional foundation. Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

Donor-advised funds: Charities with benefits

As these tax-exempt vehicles transform philanthropy, they’re drawing more scrutiny. Will Congress or the Trump administration tinker with the rules that encouraged their rapid growth?
Women in rural Malawi, outside an AIDS hospital. AIDS was the first of the ‘new’ pandemic threats, after bird flu. Author provided.

How the Trump budget undercuts security risks posed by pandemics

An active outbreak of a type of bird flu in China raises concerns about worldwide pandemics. Ebola and Zika viruses still threaten. Here's why this is not the time to cut funding.
Give a little? Wad of cash via www.shutterstock.com

Does being wealthy make you more charitable?

Research suggests the answer, surprisingly, may be no, but behavioral science offers a few ways to encourage the wealthy to open their wallets a little wider.
Volunteers clean up after Hurricane Sandy. jim.henderson

Why money is an impoverished metric of generosity

There are few things Americans like more than lists and money, but ranking philanthropists on the monetary size of their giving distorts our understanding of generosity, argues one ethicist.
Australia is becoming more unequal. And Australia’s wealthiest people don’t seem to want to do anything about it. AAP/Joel Carrett

Australia’s rich give little – and a culture of secrecy surrounds their philanthropy

There is a view that philanthropy from super-wealthy individuals, rather than government policy, will be the force that changes the world for the better. But this seems unlikely in Australia.

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