Identity Laundering

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Some charitable gifts are made with open hearts and great altruism. Other charitable gifts are made largely to curry favor or gain attention. And then there are gifts that use…
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Waiting. And Waiting.

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There’s an epidemic of deferred philanthropy in this country. What do I mean? Let’s imagine that your house is burning. Firefighters arrive on the scene, and they offer you three…
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Sins of Commission

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A central principle of nonprofit development is that individuals should not get paid on a commission basis. According to the Association of Fundraising Professionals, paying nonprofit fundraisers commissions is unethical…
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Self-Interest

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My recent blog post, “Wall Street Muscles In,” certainly got some attention: my largest readership ever for a single post, and a record number of comments both in this space…
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Wall Street Muscles In

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I really wish I’d been wrong in my earlier warnings about the growth of commercial donor-advised funds. But the latest Philanthropy 400 rankings from the Chronicle of Philanthropy indicate that…
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Point, Counterpoint

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Dear Readers: You may be familiar with epistolary novels – that is, novels told entirely in letters between the characters. Today is an epistolary blog post. My first! (Perhaps yours…
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The Few

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You may have seen this recent video on wealth inequality. It graphically shows how 40% of the nation’s financial assets are now owned by only 1% of the population. By…
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Deluge

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The bad news about commercial donor-advised funds is getting worse. As my loyal readers know, I’ve been giving attention here and in national journals to the negative impact that the…
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Big News — But Not Good News

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[Note: This commentary is cross-posted in the November 15, 2012 edition of the  Chronicle of Philanthropy.] Today it’s my duty to point out a disturbing trend for America’s charities. Each…
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