When most people speak of place-based efforts to alleviate poverty, their definition is the same one used for the last half century—ever since the Ford Foundation undertook its 1964 Gray Areas Project and the federal government launched its corresponding Community Action Program. They envision a multi-year initiative focused on a small, distressed neighborhood. Sometimes the area is expanded to encompass a contiguous set of neighborhoods or even a municipality; but there is always a well-defined, contained target area.
In Senator Tom Harkin’s final speech on the Senate floor, delivered last month to a national audience witnessing the retirement of a public figure of cross-partisan admiration, the most poignant words concerned persons with disabilities. It wasn’t surprising, as Harkin was the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and he spoke about one of his disappointments:
We are used to the idea that workers respond to financial incentives, whether it’s a bonus or wage increase, but it might be that bosses can boost workers' performance by appealing to their altruism, not just their pockets. As economies recover from the financial crisis, businesses have remained shy with the purse strings, but new evidence from our research has shown that involving employees in corporate philanthropy can offer the kind of motivation that we may have thought only money can buy.
It’s conventional wisdom in the world of charitable giving: Good nonprofits spend as little as possible on overhead. Donor dollars, the thinking goes, are best spent on a nonprofit’s charitable mission, not on administration and fund-raising To Dan Pallotta, that’s ludicrous.
At a recent Associated Grant Makers event, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship presented highlights from their sixth biennial survey about the attitudes and commitments of business executives toward corporate citizenship. The survey revealed a lot of critical information about the future of corporate citizenship and the integral role it will play in business growth and sustainability. I encourage everyone to read the survey, which will soon be available here.
Individuals with behavioral health and other medical issues are among the highest need, most complex patients in the health care system but rarely receive care that integrates both aspects of treatment. The National Co-morbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R) shows that 68% of adults with a severe behavioral health disorder had at least one chronic medical condition, and 29% of adults with a chronic medical condition have serious mental illness. Moreover, those with a mental illness live far shorter lives than those without, partly due to treatable medical conditions and inadequate access to
For the first time in 50 years, students from low-income backgrounds now comprise the majority of the country’s public school system. The Southern Education Foundation released a report indicating 51 percent of public school students came from low-income households in 2013.
Over the next decade, will wealth become a unifying force in addressing global problems or a point of divisiveness among wealth holders? Before we can answer this question, we need to understand the role that family offices—private investment companies that steward the financial resources of wealthy individuals and their families—will play in the impact investing space.