Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

AmazonSmile brings to mind the observation of late great media critic A.J. Liebling about The New York Times’ fundraising campaigns on behalf of its Neediest Cases.  “Readers are invited to send in money,” Liebling wrote, “while the newspaper generously agrees to accept the thanks of the beneficiaries.” AmazonSmile is bit like that. The website, created by Amazon.com in 2013, offers …

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Voluntourism has been getting a bad name lately. “Unsatisfying as it may be, we ought to acknowledge the truth that we, as amateurs, often don’t have much to offer,” Jacob Kushner wrote recently in The New York Times. On Medium, Katia Savchuck wrote about traveling abroad with Habitat for Humanity and asked, “Was I doing …

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Charity begins at home, they say. Take care of those nearby, and then turn outwards. This a problem for the National Football League. We’re told that Super Bowl 50 — alas, no Roman numerals this year, the “L” just wasn’t portentous enough — will be “the most philanthropic and giving Super Bowl ever.” The 50 Fund, …

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Corporate philanthropy is a tricky business. Whether charitable donations come directly from a company or from a company-sponsored foundation, they ought to serve not just the charity but the company’s business interests. Companies, after all, are giving away other people’s money, namely, money that they have been entrusted with by shareholders seeking financial return. Fearful of controversy, …

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