charitable giving

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One Key to Civilization's Rise? Fear of an Angry God

It's why strangers work together, say researchers

(Newser) - The belief in all-seeing and punitive gods may be a huge factor in how modern civilization came to be. So report researchers in the journal Nature after studying nearly 600 individuals from eight communities, including plant cultivators on the South Pacific island of Tanna, wage laborers on Fiji and in... More »

Report: Rich Americans Give Less to Charity

At least in terms of percentage of income

(Newser) - Around the Great Recession years, wealthy Americans are giving less of their income to charity while middle- and low-earners give more—and those who supported Mitt Romney for president give the most of all, the Christian Science Monitor reports. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy , Americans who make over $200,... More »

It's Far Too Easy for 'Charities' to Cheat You

That's why donors must do their homework: Ken Stern

(Newser) - This month, the man behind a $100 million "charity" scam was finally convicted on 23 felony counts. But "the most outrageous aspect of the case is that much of what [John Donald] Cody did was probably legal, or at least not specifically illegal," writes Ken Stern in... More »

You Can Help Buffett's Sister Give Away $100K

Online philanthropy course begins today

(Newser) - A free online course that starts today will offer students the chance to learn about giving from Warren Buffett and help decide how to spend more than $100,000 of his sister's money. More than 4,000 people have already signed up for the Giving With Purpose course, which... More »

5 Things About Charities That Just Aren't True

Low overhead isn't always a sign of greatness

(Newser) - The fiscal cliff isn't the only looming financial deadline. Just a few days remain to give to charity in 2012, and Ken Stern would prefer you not make your decision "hastily, based on poor information." Writing for the Washington Post , the former NPR exec and author of... More »

How the Charitable Deduction Benefits the Rich

'Average Americans paying for billionaires' generosity,' writes Fred Hiatt

(Newser) - A call to limit the charitable deduction may sound heartless—what about all those churches and museums and schools and nonprofits?—but the deduction actually benefits the rich, while "the rest of the country has to make up the gap," writes Fred Hiatt in the Washington Post . A... More »

How Romney Used Mormon Church to Defer Taxes

Bloomberg reports on loophole he used

(Newser) - Since 1996, Mitt Romney has been deferring some of his taxes through something called a charitable remainder unitrust, a tax shelter Congress cracked down on little more than a year after Romney set his up. As Bloomberg describes it, the trust “allowed rich people to take advantage of the... More »

Sheen Giving $1M to Military Charity

USO getting cut of Anger Management profits

(Newser) - Charlie Sheen is back in the headlines but there are no drugs, goddesses, or crazy escapades involved. The actor has pledged at least $1 million to military charity United Services Organization's program for assisting wounded and sick soldiers and their families, reports Reuters . Sheen is turning over 1% of... More »

Virtual Swear Jar Turns Your Potty Mouth Into Charity

'Charity Swear Box' urges you to donate $1 per bad word

(Newser) - If your New Year’s resolution is to stop swearing so much, why not do some good at the same time? Giving a modern twist to the idea of putting money into a glass jar every time you curse, " Charity Swear Box" monitors your Twitter feed for naughty words.... More »

US First in Charity Index

World generosity rising overall, despite recession

(Newser) - Pat yourself on the back America; you’re the most giving nation in the world, at least according to the Charities Aid Foundation. The US jumped from fifth place to first in the second annual World Giving Index (pdf here ), with an all-time-high 60% rating. The score is based... More »

Please Donate Money, Not Food

Food drives are surprisingly wasteful: John Arnold and Katherina Rosqueta

(Newser) - Holiday food drives stem from the right charitable impulse, but unfortunately, they’re extremely inefficient. The sad fact is that up to half the donated food in a traditional drive doesn’t get used because the items are things recipients “can't use or don't know how to... More »

Carnegie Mellon Wins $265M Gift

Steel magnate William Dietrich's donation largest in years

(Newser) - Carnegie Mellon University just scored a big boost, as former steel magnate William Dietrich pledged $265 million to the Pittsburgh-based school, reports AP . With charitable giving down due to the economic downturn, Dietrich's gift is considered one of the largest to a private university in recent years. "It... More »

Americans Gave More to Charity Last Year

But the $290B we ponied up in 2010 is still below 2007 levels

(Newser) - Charitable giving increased last year as the economy improved, rising 3.8% to $290.89 billion, up from $280.3 billion in 2009. "There was a lot more optimism, all relative, in 2010," says an analyst. "People are still generous despite uncertainty, despite not having jobs, and... More »

On Your iPhone, an App for Everything—Except Donating

Apple makes it hard for users to give to charity

(Newser) - Need directions to the store, a recipe for dinner, the latest tweets from all your friends, or a silly game to while away the hours? There’s an app for (all of) that. But one thing you can’t do on your iPhone is make charitable donations—at least, not... More »

Do You Know Where Your Donations Are Going?

It's the season of giving, but do your research first, writes Nicholas Kristof

(Newser) - Nicholas Kristof thinks it’s great that many people “will dig into their pockets for good causes” this holiday season—he just wants to make sure you know which causes are actually good. It’s dangerous to assume that all charities share your values and are using your money... More »

Geldof Enraged by Report That Live Aid Paid for Weapons

95% of donations siphoned to rebel weapons, says BBC

(Newser) - Live Aid founder Bob Geldof is furious about a BBC report that said 95% of the Live Aid money his organization raised for Ethiopian famine relief in 1985 was diverted to buy weapons for rebel fighters. It's possible that "some money was mislaid, but to suggest it was on... More »

America's Top Philanthropists

Annual list tracks most generous of 2009; Bill and Melinda Gates are 3rd

(Newser) - The recession took a bite out of charitable giving last year, but some very wealthy, very generous people kept their checkbooks open. Slate delivers its annual list of the 60 biggest donors in the country, who together came up with $4.2 billion in new commitments to charity last year.... More »

Goldman May Force More to Donate to Charity

Face-saving program would be similar to 4% rule at Bear Stearns

(Newser) - As Goldman Sachs prepares to lavish spectacular bonuses on employees this month—based on record profits of about $12 billion for 2009—the investment bank is mulling a face-saving program that would require more employees to donate to charity. Goldman already has such a program, which targets about 400 top-earners.... More »

This Holiday's Worthy 3rd-World Charities

Nicholas Kristof's annual list focuses on little-known aid groups

(Newser) - “Tired of celebrating spiritual holidays with crass commercialism?” writes Nicholas D. Kristof, in full pitchman mode. Have no fear: “Nothing says ‘happy holidays’ like donating in Aunt Tilda’s name to build a composting toilet in Haiti.” A sampling of the New York Times columnist’s... More »

At $5B in Profits, One Client May Have Out-Madoffed Madoff

(Newser) - At least one person looks to have benefited more from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madoff, ProPublica reports. Jeffry Picower, a secretive philanthropist and investor in medical technologies, is on the books as having withdrawn some $5.1 billion in returns from 1995 to 2008, well beyond his... More »

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