All posts in Podcasts

Ardent Aid Critic Says He’s Misunderstood

Bill Easterly elicits strong feelings in aid and development circles. Some have described him as one of the sector’s leading authorities and a heavyweight economist. But not everyone is a fan. Humanosphere labels him “Bill Gates’ least favorite aid expert.” That’s because Easterly has built a career excoriating foreign aid and expert interventions.

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World’s Largest Charity Evaluator Revamps its Rating Formula

If you want to vet a nonprofit, you can go to Charity Navigator, where you’ll find ratings on more than 8,000 of the world’s largest charities. Organizations receive zero to four stars based on their financial health and transparency. But if you want to know whether they are actually making a difference, Charity Navigator can’t tell you that. And that’s a problem, according to its past and current CEOs.

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Occupy Charity: Big Money in Few Hands

The nonprofit sector is worth about $2 trillion a year. But more than 85 percent of that money goes to just 1 percent of the nation’s charities. That’s according to Ken Berger, former head of Charity Navigator, the world’s largest nonprofit evaluator.

“I coined this phrase ‘The Occupy Charity Problem,'” he says, referring to the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests against wealth inequality. Berger says income inequality in the nonprofit sector is twice as bad. “When you have that much concentration of resources in the hands of a very small number of nonprofits, it has all kinds of ripple effects and challenges.”

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Our Most Memorable Author Interviews of 2015

As the year wraps up, the Chronicle of Philanthropy is out with a list of notable books from 2015. We interviewed a number of the authors. They wrote about altruism, technology, poverty and education. Read more…

Why Do Billions of Charitable Dollars Sit in Banks?

Billions of dollars worth of charitable assets are being held in private foundations and bank accounts. That money is supposed to help nonprofits and those in need, but law professor Ray Madoff says our current laws benefit donors and money managers, not the charitable sector. Read more…

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Part Three: Is This Charity Any Good?

Want to know if a nonprofit deserves your money? Here’s what you should ask them: What would happen in your community if you went out of business tomorrow?

“I believe that an organization doesn’t deserve to ask for money if that question can’t be answered and with passion,”  says nonprofit advisor and Columbia University professor Doug White. After all, charities have a special place in society, he adds. Read more…

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Part Two: Tools for Smart Giving

On this Giving Tuesday, The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Stacy Palmer joins our holiday miniseries about effective giving. When evaluating a charity, she says you should first ask them, “How do you know you’re doing great work?”

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Join Our Conversation on Effective Giving

Next Tuesday, December 1, I will be on PRI’s the World to talk about Tiny Spark’s Guide to Good Giving. We recently launched that miniseries to help you make more informed decisions about charitable giving this holiday season.

And now, together with with The World, we’d like to invite you into a discussion we’re having on Facebook. Do you have questions about how and where to spend your time and charitable dollars? Do you have concerns about particular forms of giving? With all the causes out there to support, it can feel overwhelming, so please share your questions with me here, and I’ll answer them over the next few days. Read more…

logo_TS Guide to Good Giving

Part One: Is it Better to Give Locally or Globally?

This holiday season, many of you will face choices and dilemmas about where to spend your time and money on charitable causes. So we’ve created Tiny Spark’s Guide to Good Giving to help you feel more informed. In our three-part miniseries, we talk with smart people who have spent their careers thinking about what it means to give well and responsibly. We hope these conversations will inspire you to think in new ways about how to have the most impact with your donor dollars. Read more…

The Great Surge in Developing Nations No One is Talking About

When we think about the world’s poor, we may assume that most are stuck in poverty, with few roads out. But that’s a misconception, according to Steven Radelet, former chief economist for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Radelet says economic prospects for the world’s poor have improved dramatically over the past 25 years. The Georgetown University professor details the progress in his new book, The Great Surge: the Ascent of the Developing World.
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