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August 2005

Websites for Coordinating Disaster Relief?

A reader writes, 

I was curious if you have come across any websites that facilitate collaboration for disaster recoveries.
For example, are there places that allow local recovery efforts to post their needs (ie: lights, cranes, machinery, tools) that corporations could respond to. 

The idea is similar to but is focused more focused on needs that only businesses could meet.

Have you come across anything like this in your work?

Does any reader have a site that would provide such collaboration between those in need and those providing disaster relief?

Informed Giving

Great post by Phil Anthropoid on the great wealth transfer boom and how philanthropy might capture a larger piece. How might advisors, donors, and nonprofits collaborate more effectively to that end? My sense, having worked towards it with some wonderful people, including Phil Anthropoid himself, The Philanthropic Initiative, Lenore Ealy, and Tracy Gary, is that we, collectively as a a nation, have many "stereotypes" and old habits to break if we are to meet as allies and fellow citizens to advance philanthropy and our communities. Values-based planning is a step in the right direction, though values are what cultural wars are made of. Raising awareness, as through Leave a Legacy via National Committee on Planned Giving is a piece. Encouraging all people to have a will is a piece. But perhaps the most important is to find the poetry, the pathos, the energy and the vision - what Tracy Gary calls the "inspiration" - that can lift the process of planning beyond the financial to the ethical, aesthetic, civic  and spiritual. People are hungry for a life of more than production and consumption. The market feeds us but not our hungry hearts. So many of us feel that, rich or poor, liberally educated, or fundamentalist. It does not matter. We all raise families, live in communities, and hunger for a life and legacy that speaks well of us, invigorates our children, and leaves or passes on what we most love. Beyond the money is huge well spring of volunteer effort and pent up desire to find a means of engaging our world's many challenges. Maybe as we reach out to one another in the blogosphere, and in the real world settings, we can create that hub or web of relationships that enable each of us to give of her or his best.  Philanthropoid - thank you for bringing the subject into focus.


Phil Cubeta writes this stuff and is solely responsible for it. The views expressed on Gift Hub may not reflect those of his family, his employer, or his elected representatives. He writes without compensation as a "Citizen at large."

Philanthropy Blogs Noted at Council on Foundations

Natalie Ambrose at Emerging Issues in Philanthropy has just posted a great overview of philanthropy blogs. She has "outed" me as the author of Philanthropoid's blog. Actually, it is an honor I don't deserve. The real Philanthropoid is far better informed than I about giving, and a far better writer. Great to see Council on Foundations, through Emerging Issues, is now following the giving blogs. I am somewhat surprised that Wealth Bondage made the list, but I suppose Dumpster Dwellers can talk among themselves about Philanthropy if they wish. It is a free country. And after all, Candidia's Rooster Foundation, Crowing in the New American Dawn, is a respected member of COF as is Tigg Montague, Senior Wealth Bondage Fellow, representing the Heritage of Wealth Bondage Foundation, a Think Tank devoted to Excellence and Human Flourishing among the Natural Aristocracy.

Blogging Philanthropy - Why the Masquerade?

A year ago I was interviewed by The Chronicle of Philanthropy on the theme of "where are all the philanthropy blogs?" Today the scene is  far more interesting, as evidenced by the growing list of giving blogs listed on our left hand side bar. Now, here is a good question for future articles: "Why are so many of the most outspoken and interesting philanthropy blogs (gifthub excepted) posted beneath a mask? Iconoclasm and philanthropy, or even humor and philanthropy, seem not to go together very well. There is something about big money that brings out the Golden Calf worshipper even in Moses. I mean what is one Commandment more or less? Everything is negotiable. What blogs provide is a back channel in which the pomposity and hypocrisy, so much of the hackery and flakery, of so much philanthropy talk can be exposed, satirized, and sent up. Solemn or ingratiating is not the right tone for discussing the role of money, whether in business, government or philanthropy, in setting our country's course. Money is smart and has learned in our time how to filter its agenda through strategic giving for hopelessly partisan ends. Who will discuss or expose this, except an insider under an alias? Far easier to put ideologues in charge of philanthropic associations, treat them with the respect due their high office, and carry on as usual - as a Fool among Knaves.

Rageboy, one the first bloggers and still one of the most vehement used to talk about "ripping the fucking lid off"  corporate discourse, which talks to us, not with us, as if we were dunces who admired their flakery and hype. Maybe the time has come to rip the lid off strategic philanthropy? If so, probably best to do it under an assumed name - since giving is an unforgiving field, and what goes around comes around. Omerta! my friends. We are all one big Family.

Thinking of Publius and the masked pamphleteers among our Founding Fathers, what begins with carnival, ends with revolution and democracy. After awhile the mask slips and we appear in the public square, not as consumers or servants of wealth and power, but as citizens speaking freely in our own new found voices. Blogging will revolutionize philanthropy in that way,  by restoring its accountability to ordinary citizens - the public in public good. The public philanthropy serves. 

Ads and Acknowledgements

I have added ads to see how they work. The revenue will offset the cost of the site. Any net revenue will go to charity. I have also acknowledged my debt to Candidia Cruikshanks and the good people at Wealth Bondage for their tireless efforts on behalf of a better world according to money. Links to the most recent 10 posts are now displayed on the right hand sidebar. My hope is to improve communication between those in Wealth Bondage and the world of philanthropy. We have The Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renewal at Hudson leading the way for humankind. And we have the Philanthropy Round Table facilitating giving within the enlightened worldview of wealthy business people. But, in my estimation, the best role model for Stragegic Philanthropy on behalf of the interests of wealthy people (and therefore the world at large) remains Candidia Cruikshanks. Her social venture, Wealth Bondage, is both self sustaining and self serving in a major way. I may be biased, though, since Candidia sometimes throws me a bone from her table. So, when Candidia asked for a little recognition on Gifthub, I was happy to sit up and beg, rollover, fetch, and lick her boots. You would do the same in my position. Who are we kidding. Giving is all about getting ahead. It is what makes the world go round.

Phil Anthropoid on "Pewgate"

Philanthropoid patiently dissects Bill Schambra's ebullient polemic against Pew for its work on campaign finance reform. At issue is Wealth Bondage, whether the rich can purchase democracy, and whether their hired hands in the Think Tanks will be able to intimidate those funders like Pew who stand up for ordinary voters. Schambra himself is all in favor of grassroots giving, as long as the poor give to each other, and the tax cuts keep on coming for the rich so they have the extra cash to buy the next election. so they can get the next tax break, to buy the next election with propaganda made to order by hired hacks. The  culture wars are now being fought on the ground of philanthropy. The right sure does stay on message. Who put the hit out on Pew? And what does it pay? Bradley Foundation's name sure keeps popping up. And why not? Shouldn't both sides be able to fund their views, and encourage their allies and proxies?  Throwing money around to influence politics is free speech after all. And on that basis, the rich, not just Pew and Bradley Foundations, are certainly being heard. I hope through blogs those like Phil Anthropoid who think without being paid to follow a party line will finally be heard. We need real free speech, not just the boughten, think tank, kind.

Continue reading "Phil Anthropoid on "Pewgate"" »

Phil Anthropoid

Excellent news for all who are interested in philanthropy. We now have a knowlegeable, witty, and good humored insider who is putting his thoughts on line. Mr. Phil Anthropoid is one I will be reading carefully to see just how much he is willing to share. He is the first philanthropy blogger, other than the scurrilous crew at W*eatlh B*ondage who is willing to take an irreverent but kindly poke that the dignified world of upscale giving. Two places you don't laugh: During religious observances and in conversation about philanthropy. Money, or the chance of extracting some from the wealthy, makes us all as pious as heirs around a deathbed. Mr. Anthropoid has a jaunty way about him that spells trouble for the established decorum.