Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Here are a few philanthropic dilemmas you'll see in the pilot:
- One of the first things Teddy Rist declares in the episode is, "Happiness is the art of living well." What is the relationship between giving and human happiness?
- How is corporate social responsibility defined and measured? Rist makes a point in noting that his private plane is a hybrid.
- What is the relationship between profits and corporate giving? How much should corporations give? Is it enough to simply write a check? What's the return on investment?
- Are Rist's motives altruistic? [They obviously are not, and he recognizes it.]
- The episode only skims the surface of the problems in getting humanitarian aid to people, including: government corruption, lack of roads and infrastructure, political roadblocks, rebel forces, snake bites, and how to keep vaccines from going bad.
I honestly didn't know much at all about humanitarian aid before I took Professor Lenkowsky's international civil society course this past spring. There's still a lot to know, but I'm sure glad I took that class now. As I was watching the show, David Rieff's book A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis, kept ringing in my mind. His book describes the major obstacles and dilemmas of humanitarianism as he saw it during his time as a journalist in crisis areas.
Rieff says, "When all is said and done, humanitarianism is an impossible enterprise. Here is a saving idea that, in the end, cannot save but only alleviate." (page 83)
We'll have to watch and see how Teddy Rist navigates his philanthropic calling in situations where it's almost impossible to succeed.
Monday, June 15, 2009
BUT, but with the much anticipated debut of NBC's "The Philanthropist" show, I'll be back in the saddle, providing you with a philanthropic studies point of view. What would Gunderman say? How would Burlingame respond in an opera? And most of all, will the show be any good?
[Full disclosure: I'm already a little biased in favor of the show since Jesse L. Martin, original cast member of Jonathon Larson's RENT, plays one of the lead characters.]
All this and more starting June 24th.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
So there's a sweet ending after all.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Oh, and it stars my most favorite movie & theater star ever: Matthew Broderick!
Who's up for it?
I say: sign me up. But only if I get to have a profile picture.
Friday, April 17, 2009
After many months blogging, I finally get to combine the three. Check out the latest episode of Wine Library TV which features hockey player Wayne Gretzky talking about his wine brands - which fund the work of his foundation.
Episode #660: Wayne Gretzky Visits Wine Library TV
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
This CNN photo/audio essay really captures the spirit of the place. As I look at photos, listen to stories, and hear Mayor Walaker defend the city's decision not to evacuate, I can all but fight back tears.
I also want to share this personal story that captures the mood in Fargo - from someone whose home is safe.
The fight is far from over. Six inches of snow fell yesterday with more on the way. Current projections suggest a second crest around 40 feet in mid-April when the snow melts, especially in the southern valley.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Volunteer sandbagging has resumed at the FargoDome and shifts of volunteers continue to monitor the dikes 24 hours a day. It is the work of volunteers that has kept this city alive - and will help the city recover in the weeks and months to come. Click here to read an AP story featuring "Stories of Volunteerism."
And, on a personal note, my family's beloved Bailey - and my mom - are featured in a lifestyle story today. Be sure to check out the accompaning photos.
Friday, March 27, 2009
For those of you who are wondering, my mom lives in the highest part of the city, and even in the worse case scenario, she should be fine. But, we do have a Plan B for her, just in case.
And, in the spirit of this blog - and my thesis which I'm finishing today - here's some news about the West Fargo Lions Club:
The West Fargo Lions pancake and sausage feed scheduled for Saturday at Blessed Sacrament Church, West Fargo, has been postponed.
Once it's rescheduled, I hope everyone will go out to support their work in the community!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Please read the news coverage and look at these dramatic photos.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Volunteer stories are flooding in as well. Many people are saying what I'm thinking: It's 1997 all over again. Here's just one of those stories, which highlights my brother's favorite soccer coach.
And, of course, you can see updated photos here.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
1) the ground was already saturated from heavy fall rains, followed by,
2) heavy winter snow fall, which is only about half melted,
3) 2 days of record rainfall, and
4) an impending blizzard.
(By the way, this is my unofficial understanding of the flooding situation. For a more scientific understanding, check out the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.)
Not good at all. From what I'm reading, the cities are doing a good job of mobilizing volunteers to both make sandbag - some 3 million of them - and building protective ring dikes around peoples' homes. Most of the local colleges and high schools have canceled classes so that students and faculty can volunteer. Some 20,000 volunteers came out yesterday, with an additional 10,000 needed today. For an area of about 150,000 people, the local voluntary spirit is high - - and as we did in 1997 (I spent a good part of that last semester of high school sandbagging) the community will put up a good fight, and I hope that most homes will be saved. There is really no better example of what a community can do to help their neighbors in a time of crisis.
Check out photos by my cousin Dave Arntson (er, third cousin once removed, maybe?).
As I sit at my desk this Tuesday morning looking at a framed photo of the iconic Fargo Theatre, I actually miss home and wish I was there to help. Much love!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
A new trend in travel these days is Humanitourism. I have heard of Voluntravels before, but this seems to fall on an upper echelon of travelers. Daily Candy, the posh social updates I get sent to me every morning, featured this new trend in their ever-popular travel section. This week's Daily Candy Travel highlights three types of Humanitours, one in India, Greece, and even on the peaks of Mt. Kilamanjaro. Aside from helping communities and animals, the perks include "Karma points" and stays in "comfy tents."
An indulgent way for people to feel good about themselves while enjoying the benefits of travel? Or a good way to draw an otherwise uninvolved, elitist population?
Either way, I'm carrying on.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
And here's your favorite blogger who was put in charge of score-keeping. What can I say, I like being in charge!
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Among the ethical questions the story addresses are (and these should be familiar to my fellow classmates!):
should you give to panhandlers? money? food? or both?
want to do when you are confronted with a panhandler?
how does that differ from what you actually do? or, does it?
is it better to look a panhandler in the eye with respect rather than give them money?
Patty Stonesifer explains that she usually does not give to panhandlers. Rather, she chooses to direct her giving to organizations in her community which address problems of homeless as part of a city-wide plan. Compare her response with her daugher's very different giving choice.
What do you think? And how do you answer the questions above?
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Watch Colts number 21, Bob Sanders, teaching kids the importance of an active lifestyle.
Finally, for my fellow philanthropy geeks, I encourage you to look up the NFL's 990 nonprofit tax return if you haven't already ... but that's really a whole 'nother ball of wax ... we'll save that discussion for another time!
P.S. Did you see the end of that first half?!?! What is UP with that 100 yard touchdown interception? We're rooting for Arizona in this house, but it's not looking good...
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Since I LOVE the HoDo, all I have to say is KUDOS for a job well done!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
So, I didn't exactly pay attention to when Google started offering iGoogle - I just know I'm slightly obsessed. Well, those fun Google folks are at it again, and this time they have a philanthropy-related tie-in: Cause Themes!
Monday, January 26, 2009
I haven't seen the letter posted yet, but I'm interested to know what others think once you've read it.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I can't pull my eyes away from CNN's coverage "MLK to Today." It's a national holiday with philanthropy at it's core and I've teared up at just about every segment CNN has done so far today. I hope everyone saw the broadcast of MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech at noon. I don't think I had ever actually heard the speech in its entirity: it was just as inspiring today as I imagine it was 46 years ago.
If hopefulness is the star by which we naviage the murky waters of philanthropy, then our country is moving in the right direction.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
You read that right, I finally have a way to talk about philanthropy AND The Colbert Report!
In classic Colbert satire, he makes fun of the Madoff Ponzi scheme by reporting his own charity's endowment, The Stephen & Melinda Gates Foundation, was invested by Merdoff. According to Colbert, "Before this scandal broke, my nonprofit was making huge profits .... The worst part: we were just weeks away from finding a cause."
Watch the entire episode (which is full of laughs) or just the first 5 minutes for the Madoff story.
You can learn the whole thruthiness about the Foundation here.