(3-20-10) Because public funding for the arts remains weak in Atlanta and Georgia, a statewide coalition of cultural, business and civic leaders has lobbied hard for legislation that would support the arts and other initiatives. HB 1049 would enable every Georgia county to hold a referendum on dedicating up to one penny of sales tax for arts and cultural groups and other economic development projects. Each county would be able to decide how to split its penny -- or fraction of a penny.
(3-19-10) "Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder who helped launch the social networking phenom and then the tour-de-force online organizing campaign for Barack Obama’s presidential bid, on Thursday unveiled his latest endeavor: A website to connect individuals and organizations striving to help the world...The site is called Jumo, which means “together in concert” in Yoruba, a West African language. It will officially open for business in September or October. He announced the new project on his blog and on Twitter."
(3-19-10) This past week the Boys and Girls Clubs of America came under fire by Chuck Grassley, the Republican senator from Iowa, who is making out-of-context political red meat of the salary of the organization's CEO. The undeserved attack — reported in a major segment on CNN, in the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, and on the Associated Press — created what will likely now be a 10-year uphill public relations battle for the charity.
(3-19-10) Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City’s richest man and biggest philanthropist, is quietly pulling the plug on Carnegie Corporation of New York an unusual program that has poured nearly $200 million of his fortune into nonprofit groups across the five boroughs, in a sign of major change under way in his charitable giving plans.
(3-17-10) Robert Mackey quotes Forbes' Matthew Miller in a blog entry on international billionaire ranks and giving.
(3-17-10) Grant Williams, writing for The Chronicle of Philanthropy:
"The number of charities and private foundations registered with the Internal Revenue Service increased by 4.3 percent from 2008 to 2009, reaching a total of more than 1.2 million, according to figures released by the tax agency."
(3-16-2010) I’m going to the Katrina@5 conference in New Orleans hosted by the Association of Small Foundations, March 22-24. Many funding affinity groups have partnered on this conference whose main purpose is to look at the lessons learned during Katrina and how the philanthropic community can respond efficiently and effectively in the future. Since there is no scarcity of emergencies and disasters in the world, this is a pretty good idea.
(3-16-10) "Classical music, in general, suffers from a certain ossification. Opera, in particular, has an exalted sense of its own importance: an idea that nearly every work is a masterpiece deserving of our full attention....Gergiev turns opera back into a workmanlike part of daily life. I think that if asked, he’d give lip service to the idea of greatness, but his actions seem to signal that music is a daily need, and that making music and having it around and getting it out to people is more important than making it perfectly."
(3-15-10) The Ford Foundation today announced Darren Walker as its next vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression, one of Ford's three major program areas. He will succeed Alison R. Bernstein, who is retiring from the position this spring after 14 years of outstanding leadership. As vice president of one of Ford's three divisions, Mr. Walker will guide more than $150 million in annual grant making and serve as an officer of the board of trustees. Mr. Walker will assume his new position late this spring following a transition period with Ms.
(3-15-10) Legislative appropriations to state arts agencies decreased by 10.0% in fiscal year 2010, according to the Legislative Appropriations Annual Survey published by the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA).