Do donor-advised funds enhance giving?

Peer-Pressure Philanthropy When Ralph C. Wilson, the businessman who founded the Buffalo Bills football team in the fifties, died last year at the age of ninety-five, he left behind the tiny, little-known Ralph C. Wilson Foundation. It’s hard to learn much about the foundation—a Google search doesn’t turn up a Web site—which might be partly because it didn’t do much: its assets, as of 2013, were under two million dollars, according to public records. While he was alive, Wilson had dabbled in philanthropy, giving money to medical institutions and others, but none of his public contributions had been particularly large. … Continue reading Do donor-advised funds enhance giving?

What makes groups smart

Why Some Teams Are Smarter Than Others Endless meetings that do little but waste everyone’s time. Dysfunctional committees that take two steps back for every one forward. Project teams that engage in wishful groupthinking rather than honest analysis. Everyone who is part of an organization — a company, a nonprofit, a condo board — has experienced these and other pathologies that can occur when human beings try to work together in groups. But does teamwork have to be a lost cause? Psychologists have been working on the problem for a long time. And for good reason: Nowadays, though we may … Continue reading What makes groups smart

Marketing for charities

Why does cold water on our heads increase charitable giving? Silly, narcissistic, irresponsible are some of the adjectives that the “ice-bucket challenge” has received from its critics. This is an initiative that was created to raise money for charities and consists of someone pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over their head, making a video of it and posting it on social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter). After that, they challenge some friends in the video to do the same within 24 hours or donate a given amount of money to a charity (most people do both). Many people are wondering … Continue reading Marketing for charities