It’s been a relentless hurricane season, beating and tearing through one US region after another. Mercilessly. Texas. Then Florida. Now the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
I was shocked to learn from an NPR story on my drive home recently that one in three kids in Massachusetts goes hungry every day. Massachusetts is not known for being an underprivileged state, so that really shook me.
But then this morning I read this:
81 percent of all kids in public school in Houston, Texas are eligible for free or reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches. EIGHTY ONE PERCENT. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Houston public schools provide 224,000 kids with the basic food they need every day. A quarter of a million kids every day, in Houston alone. [Read more…]
According to many tech writers, the future of search is looking very much like a verbal interaction between searcher and search engine. Alphabet wants you to have the same relationship with Google that over 8 million people already have with Amazon Echo’s “Alexa” every day.
ComScore estimates that by 2020 (which is only two and a half years away, my friend) over 50% of all searches will be screenless. Which is very Star Trek and cool and cutting edge and all that.
Smart people in the marketing world are already thinking about what happens for them when Google search (as we know it) goes away.
We professional researchers need to be thinking the same way. [Read more…]
Due diligence research is a key part of prospect research in the UK and Europe. All of the prospect researchers at nonprofits that I know there – and not just the ones who work at human-rights or cause-related orgs, but researchers at universities, membership, animal rights, arts organizations, consultants – every kind of organization – they all include due diligence as part of their work. It’s just as important as finding wealth indicators or career history or interest in their organization’s cause.
They’re considering these questions: Do we want our organization to be associated with this person? Or this company? Or this trust/foundation? [Read more…]
This week on The Intelligent Edge, HBG senior researcher Rachel Dakarian provides a window into the ongoing discussion that members of the HBG Book Club have had recently over our first shared book. I think in the beginning we thought that we’d all read this useful book, share our thoughts weekly, and then go back to our work. What’s actually happened has been a lively, ongoing, daily chat-room discussion as we toss articles to each other with comments of “hey, read this! It’s *just* what we were talking about yesterday!” punctuating our times between book club meetings. Rachel expands on our latest discussion beautifully in this week’s article. We’re interested to hear your thoughts as well! ~Helen
As you may have noticed, ours is the era of the mega-gift. This trend of non-stop blockbuster giving has left many reeling or salivating – not to say that the two are mutually exclusive, nor will this trend be ending any time soon. Wealth and philanthropy are often perceived to fit hand in glove, but we prospect researchers know firsthand how difficult it can be to verify wealth and encourage charitable giving. [Read more…]
As I mentioned here on the blog a couple of weeks ago, a growing number of us on the HBG team are reading David Callahan’s latest book, The Givers; Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age, and we meet weekly to talk about the latest chapter we’ve read.
Our discussions start with the book but we usually veer into the news of the day, pulling in observations from relevant and related articles from the New York Times, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, HistPhil, and more. [Read more…]
As a researcher, one of the things that has been most interesting to me over the recent few months is that I’ve noticed an increase in the number of articles relying on investigative journalism. Many larger newspapers have some sort of investigative unit, like the Boston Globe’s deservedly celebrated Spotlight Team.
But it’s been historically unusual to see skimcoat newspapers – that are more commonly slipped under hotel bedroom doors for business travelers – begin to do deep investigative research projects. It’s another reminder that that the information geeks of the world – we researchers – are the most important players speaking truth to power. [Read more…]
Have you been following the emergence and exponential growth of giving collaboratives? Giving collaboratives can be individuals, foundations, NGOs, and others that join forces (and their finances) around a particular cause or toward a shared goal.
This is an emerging phenomenon in philanthropy that caught the attention of two HBG team members, Elizabeth Roma and Angie Stapleton, who deeply researched and presented on the topic at the 2017 Apra Regional Conference (ARC). Part of their presentation included an 18-page companion guide to Giving Collaboratives, now available in the Learning Media Library here on our website.
I sat down with Elizabeth and Angie yesterday to ask them to tell me more about Giving Collaboratives and the resource they compiled, and recorded our conversation in this podcast so that you can hear as well:
Whatever it is that you are looking to fund…there is a group of people out there who are looking to fund it” – Elizabeth Roma
Elizabeth and Angie will also lead an Apra Best Practice Webcast on the topic called “Collective Giving: Philanthropy as a Team Sport” on Monday May 15th at 1:00 PM ET. If you can’t make that day and time, look for the recording on the Apra website under Apra University.
For further reading:
The number of gifts of $10 million-plus at universities are at an all-time high, according to a Marts & Lundy study. Beyond lending just their names or faces to events, an increasing number of celebrities are putting in volunteer time and money for the causes they care about. And new forms of giving vehicles like LLCs are emerging to meet donors’ needs for flexibility. Articles about philanthropy are increasingly in the main stream news, describing how giving is changing our society – in fractal patterns. This week I’m delighted to welcome HBG Assistant Research Director Elizabeth Roma to the blog to help share her thoughts and expertise on our new Gilded Age.
When I started college in the mid-1990s, I had no idea what I wanted to study, but I knew that I liked to read and think. After taking a variety of core liberal arts classes during my freshman year, I concluded that majoring in English would allow me to spend four years doing just that, and I loved (almost) every minute of it.
I still like to read and think (and I bet you do too if you’re reading this blog), and it turns out that I managed to stumble into a job that allows me to do just that—and even get paid for it! (Side note for those soon-to-be liberal arts graduates—and their parents, siblings, grandparents, spouses, etc.: maybe prospect development is the career for you!) [Read more…]
You’ve heard me and several others talking about what’s happening on the UK fundraising/prospect research scene right now. Two charities have already been assessed hefty fines, and 11 other UK charities are currently under investigation for their fundraising activities including their prospect research/wealth screening activities.
It’s the wealth screenings that are the big deal part of it for us. [Read more…]