Entries Tagged as 'Things'

Friday, July 4th, 2008

Happy 4th to all you hot dog crazies

Look at this astounding chart from Flowing Data showing the spike in consumed hot dogs (+buns) at the Nathan’s Hot Dog annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest in the 2000s. Who will win this year? I hear Kobayashi san is on a mission…

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

New Jersey Women’s Giving Circle Puts Up $100,000

Women United in Philanthropy, New Jersey’s first women’s giving circle has announced the availability of up to $100,000 in grant funding for Bergen County programs serving women. The deadline for applications is July 15, 2008. Leader Newspapers- Women Philanthropists announce $100,000 grant opportunity

Sunday, July 8th, 2007


Welcome thankable.com to the family!

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Teens cleanup TNT (Thursday Night Thing)

Via the Business Gazette, Gaithersburg, MD, read one teenager’s thoughts of volunteering in her community via her church’s Thursday Night Thing (TNT) outreach program.

TNT Cleanup in Maryland

read the article here…

Monday, June 26th, 2006

Buffett’s Philanthropy Buffet

As you all have heard by now, the second richest man in the world, Warren Buffett, has made the long awaited decision to give away the bulk of his 44 billion dollars to five different charitable foundations. The biggest beneficiary will be the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which, at $30 billion in assets, is already the largest foundation in the world. So, the two richest men in the world join their tremendous assets to create the most powerful philanthropic machine the world has ever seen.

The Gates Foundation deal was inked earlier today after a television appearance with the three principles on The Charlie Rose Show in New York City. Buffett’s divestiture plan (explained below) will give off approximately 1.5 billion in today’s dollars in July of this year and similarly for a number of years forward to the Gates Foundation. By design, most of Buffett’s annual gifts will be put to use each year on Gates Foundation projects.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses approximately 60% of its resources fighting viruses — like malaria and HIV-AIDS — and correcting poverty conditions around the world and another one-third on education reform in the United States. As you can imagine, their approach is well planned, strategic and calculated. Ultimately, it’s one of the best managed and efficient foundations in the world. Along with the fact that he has the highest personal faith in Bill and Melinda to be the shepherds of the “body of his life’s work”, as Melinda Gates put it on today’s Charlie Rose Show, Buffett felt it was a “no brainer” to make this gift.

Buffett will also give a significant amount of his net worth to four other foundations, each associated with a different member of his immediate family.

The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, renamed after Buffett’s late wife, will receive approximately $150 million this year.

The Susan A. Buffett Foundation of Omaha, NE; the Howard G. Buffett Foundation of Decatur, IL; and the NoVo Foundation of New York City will each receive approximately $52.5 million this year.

The Deal

Here’s how this ingenious gift will work.

Buffett will slowly convert his A shares of Berkshire Hathaway stock (symb: BRK/A) — currently trading at $91,600 — into B shares (symb: BRK/B) — trading at $3,048 — roughly a 30:1 conversion. He has made an irrevocable agreement with each of the five foundations to earmark a set amount of B shares to be gifted slowly over the next couple decades.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (10,000,000 B shares)
Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation (1,000,000 B shares)
Susan A. Buffett Foundation (350,000 B shares)
Howard G. Buffett Foundation (350,000 B shares)
NoVo Foundation (Peter A. Buffett) (350,000 B shares)

Every year in July, for the next couple of decades, 5% of the remaining earmarked shares of Berkshire Hathaway B will be gifted to the respected foundations. Buffett in all his optimism is confident that the annual gain of Berkshire stock on a year-to-year basis should make-up in dollar value the 5% in lost shares, such that in 20-years the amount of the annual gift remains about the same as it is today (not taking into account, of course, the effects of inflation).

The two main conditions of the Gates Foundation agreement are:

1. Either Bill or Melinda Gates must be alive and running the Foundation during the term of Buffett’s gift; and

2. His gift must be utilized in its entirety every year up to the amount of 5% of the assets of the Foundation plus the value of Buffett’s gift. So, the Foundation at $30 billion must give away 5% ($1.5 billion) of its own money plus the additional $1.5 billion of Buffett’s first year gift — a cool $3 billion of annual giving.

Click here to view copies of the actual letters of agreement sent by Warren Buffett to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

Corporate philanthropy up

A Reuters wire story indicates that philanthropy amongst America’s largest corporations was up in 2005.

Citing a survey of 91 of the largest U.S. firms by the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, corporate philanthropy was up 14% in 2005 over 2004. This is close to the reported 15% increase in pre-tax profits from many of the same companies responding to this survey. Employee giving was also reported to have increased from $670 to $685 per employee in the same period.

The surveyed corporations indicated a combined $10 billion in philanthropic giving last year. A sure $300 million of that went toward relief efforts in the Gulf Coast.

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

Speaking of Karmadu

Check out the cool new social networking site, Karmadu.

This site is dedicated to the building of good karma. It allows users to send messages of goodness, kindness, niceness…whatever can be defined as promoting good karma. Each message you send gives you karma points. If the message you send strikes the fancy of the larger community, other users can give you bonus karma points.

What do you do with all of your karma points? Good question. The answer is absolutely nothing. You simply get to continue on in life knowing that you kicked serious karma butt.

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

African-Americans more generous

Some interesting data listed in this Washington Post article showing that African-American communities tend to be more generous than the average American, especially when it comes to giving to churches.

Citing a study published by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the article notes that roughly 3 in 4 charitable donations in this country go toward religious causes. In the African-American community that ratio is as high as 9 in 10. Indeed, most of the zip codes in the DC Metro area listed by another Chronicle study of the country’s most generous neighborhoods are of areas with a predominantly black population.

The article continues to offer that African-Americans have a stronger commitment to community and a stronger concept of tithing, or giving 10% of your income to the church / greater good. These values are what make African-Americans amongst our most philanthropic communities in the country.

Monday, June 5th, 2006

The charity drain

Those of us in the fundraising field know that there is a big difference between donors of the Baby Boomer generation and those from Generations X and Y. Younger donors are a tougher sale and expect more performance from charities.

This great article from the Baltimore Sun outlines this phenomena nicely. The article cites an Indiana University study that showed Generation Xers gave at a rate of 53% while Boomers and pre-WWII households gave at 75% and 80% respectively.

This is a stunning difference and marks a clear change in attitudes toward philanthropy between the ages.

This Sun article explores the many ways charities are working to encourage philanthropy and volunteerism amongst our young. The basic premise is that humans are inherently charitable beings and that our instinct is to help others in need. But, as with the Gen Xers and Gen Yers, this turn toward the good can quickly be turned off if charities do not pay enough attention. Another study cited in the article showed that 18-month old infants had the instinct to help pick-up a book that was accidentally dropped by a passing adult; however, when the adult pretended to slam a book down, none of the infants in the study made a move to lend a helping hand. Very very interesting.

So, a note to nonprofits and charities out there: Donors are all born nice and with charity in their hearts…just don’t lose their trust or piss them off because the tap can quickly run dry.

Monday, June 5th, 2006

Washington Post sends kids to camp

The Washington Post raises nearly half a million dollar every year for their Send a Kid to Camp campaign.

This a tremendous amount of money for a company to raise, for any purpose. Raising that much money for a private equity venture would be a feat in and of itself. Raising that much money annually for a nonprofit organization is a significant effort. The Post has been sending local Washington kids to Camp Moss Hollow now for nearly thirty years and they should be very much commended for this perennial act of extreme kindness. Also to be congratulated are the readers of the Post who regularly contribute to this campaign.

The money pays for kids in the city who could not otherwise afford a summer camp a chance to get out of the city for a week in a wooded setting in the foothills of Virginia’s Shenandoah Mountains. Camp Moss Hollow describes itself as having provided camping experiences to at risk youth for over 100 years.