Category Archives: Philanthropy


Jun

19

2014
What Does the Village Need?

What Does the Village Need?

Often, in many contexts, we hear the saying about, “It takes a Village to…” But what does the Village itself need these days to be able to do what it is supposed to do? Ultimately, if the Village is that important, we’d better make investments, positive investments, in any way we can. Conventionally, we look to three sources for this investment in the Village, here and abroad: government, private enterprise and philanthropy. Not one can do the job. It seems that two of the three are becoming quite limited in ability to invest. Government investment in infrastructure is at a…

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Nov

18

2013

The Million Dollar Charitable Gift Givers

 A post from James V. Toscano Building on their annual Million Pound Donors Report, the Coutts Institute in Britain, in combination with Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy have issued a report covering million dollar charitable gifts from six geographic regions: the US, UK, Russia, the Middle East, China and Hong Kong. Gifts of one million or more totaled $19 billion in these six areas in 2012. The lion’s share came from the US: $13.96 billion; Britain, £1.35 billion; Russia, $239 million; Middle East, $727 million; China, $1.18 billion; and Hong Kong, $877 million. Estimates go from relatively accurate…

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Sep

26

2013

Philanthropy as Corporate R&D

A Posting by James V. Toscano In the current issue of McKinsey’s Voices on Society, Doug Conant, former CEO of Campbell Soup Company and current chair of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, writes that corporate philanthropy, in addition to helping individuals, “can help reduce business risk, open up new markets, engage employees, build the brand, reduce costs, advance technology and deliver competitive returns.” To Conant, philanthropy is a “discovery phase in investment in a social issue….Much like R&D, philanthropy allows companies to make thoughtful investments in sectors where the return profile is typically more speculative.” In his thinking, philanthropy is…

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Jun

05

2012
Twive and Receive: National Philanthropy Contest

Twive and Receive: National Philanthropy Contest

A post by Dania T. Miwa This Article was originally published on bepollen.com on June 1st. Philanthropy goes Twitter on June 14. In cities across the country, bloggers and other social media influencers have each picked one local cause to support. These champions are now rallying their followers on Twitter, Facebook, and their blogs to donate as much as possible to their chosen local charity on June 14 in the hopes of securing an additional cash award during the Twitter-based fundraising contest called “Twive and Receive” (like Twitter and give combined). At 12:00 a.m.Pacific Time on June 14, the 24…

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Apr

20

2012
Why I’m going to Twive & Receive on June 14th

Why I’m going to Twive & Receive on June 14th

 Post by Dania Toscano Miwa This year on June 14th I’m participating in Twive and Receive which is one day where over 100 cities mobilize their donors to give to a single nonprofit in their community. I have chosen the Animal Humane Society of the Twin Cities. I chose AHS because every dog and cat I’ve ever had growing up came from there. For example, Samson was a German Shepard who was rejected by the police academy for being too nice. He was the smartest dog I’ve ever known and his favorite treats were peanuts. Venus is the Siamese mix…

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Jan

30

2012

Memorial and Honor Gifts

 A post by James V. Toscano TRADITIONS. Couples getting married usually are “registered” at places ranging from Tiffany to Target. Now along comes a story in the Wall Street Journal about couples who “have everything” registering on such sites as the Heiffer Project and Oxfam. The Journal tells us of a prospective bride who forgoes a bachelorette party for one of decorating cupcakes for the homeless. Lucette Lagnado, the reporter, observes on extending the traditional formula to “Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue,’ by adding ‘something to give to charity.” However, the latest daughter  in the Post…

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Jun

30

2011
Results, Results, Results

Results, Results, Results

 A post by James V. Toscano  The director of a start-up nonprofit was livid, “We worked our —— off trying to do something real for AIDS victims, and all the donations still go elsewhere…to the big boys.” What’s going on here? Certainly we’ve all heard it before, but why do, indeed, most of the major gifts go to the brand names? History, tradition, elite boards…sure. Above all is predictability of results, and, even more to the point, the results themselves. Major donors don’t fund need, they fund results, or, sometimes, the strong promise of results. Certainly there must be legitimate societal need. There must also be…

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Jun

26

2011

Welcome to the Good Counsel Blog

This blog is meant to be a resource for people working in the Nonprofit sector, with an emphasis on those working in resource development. James V. Toscano and Dania Toscano Miwa, Principals of Toscano Advisors, are the two main authors of this blog. In addition, there will be a number of guest posts from other experienced nonprofit fundraisers and opinion leaders in the sector. Comments always welcome and encouraged.



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