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Operator Responds Personally to Hungry 911 Caller and Generosity in General is Elevated

Take heed of your tear ducts; this story could restore (or reinforce) your faith in humanity. Clarence Blackmon, 81, of Fayetteville, North Carolina had just spent several months hospitalized undergoing treatment for cancer when he came home to an empty fridge. Weighing only 115 pounds, Blackmon was hungry, but too weak to go to the grocery store himself. With no one else to call, he rung 911. Luckily, he got Marilyn Hinson on the other line.

“I can’t do anything. I can’t go anywhere. I can’t get out of my…chair,” he told Hinson. “I just want somebody to help me buy some food.”

Can Outcomes Measurement Bring Your Organization Closer to its Mission?

“What would it take to end homelessness in Boston?” “What would it take to reduce childhood obesity by 50% in Germantown, MA?” “What would it take for students to eliminate Styrofoam from Boston Public Schools?” These are the types of challenging questions that emerged recently at an AGM workshop for nonprofit and foundation staff on outcomes measurement; and they are essential to guiding the work of any organization. But how do we know if our day-to-day activities are leading us to answer these big, mission-related questions?

Advice on Estate Planning for the Charitably Inclined

As an estate planning attorney, I am often approached by clients interested in making charitable gifts.  In most cases, these clients’ goals are similar.  They want to “do good” with their money.  They feel they have been lucky – either because they have succeeded financially or because they have been given or inherited substantial assets.  They want to share their wealth to help others, improve their community, and effect positive change, among other charitable goals.  In some cases, their charitable goals are very specific (i.e., to benefit a certain religious organization or to cure a di

The State of Working Massachusetts

A strong economy is one that works for everyone, including both young and experienced workers, children and families, lower-wage and high-wage earners. The economic security of these workers depends on reliable access to opportunities that offer good incomes and that allow workers to share in the benefits of economic growth. With the right set of policies in place, realizing this vison of broadly shared prosperity is well within our reach (read more about effective policy options for jump-starting wage growth).

The Future of 'Community' for Community Foundations

Community foundations have existed for more than a hundred years by adhering to a simple proposition: they exist to serve their local communities. Today, this proposition is being challenged by an increasingly global, twenty-first century mindset and amazing new technologies that strengthen connections even as they weaken the importance of place. As a result, the definition of "community" is changing, and community foundations must ask themselves: Will we change with it?

Four Takeaways from The Learning Conference 2015

More and more funders are focusing time and money on trying to understand what’s working and how we can improve. GEO’s 2014 national survey of staffed foundations revealed that three-quarters (76%) of grantmakers now evaluate their work, and our colleagues at the Evaluation Roundtable and Center for Effective Philanthropy have also documented increasing interest and investment in evaluation.

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