April 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: April 2022 Issue


There are many reasons you might want to start a family foundation, from establishing a lasting family legacy to giving back after a successful career. But one reason that sometimes goes overlooked is the chance it gives you to educate your family’s younger generations.

By involving children and young adults in your foundation, you can teach them about leadership, generosity, and even financial management. Here’s a look at how family foundations draw in their successors.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of starting a family foundation, you definitely don’t want to miss the first link below. There we take a much closer look at the signs a family foundation might be right for you. We also cover some potential alternatives, and some next steps you can take if you want to know more.

Click below to read the full guide!


Family on beach at sunset

7 Signs You’re Ready for a Family Foundation (and 4 You’re Not) (Friends in Philanthropy) – Read our new guide to see whether your goals and circumstances point toward starting a family foundation—and what your other options are if not.​

A 40-Year High in Inflation Is Eating Away at Charities (Philanthropy Roundtable) – Soaring prices are causing need to skyrocket at food pantries and shelters. But they’re also forcing cutbacks in service.

He Won a €200M Lottery. Now He’s Giving It Away Anonymously. (Euronews) – A retiree in the south of France says he’d rather “protect the living” than buy sports cars. Here’s what we know about the mysterious figure’s new environmental foundation.

3 Philanthropy Trends We Learned From Fidelity’s 2022 Giving Report (Forbes) – Giving is surging, even as donors get more sophisticated about their strategy. Here’s what Fidelity Charitable found by analyzing 175,000 giving accounts.

Philanthropy Doesn’t Work Without Faith-Based Organizations (Philanthropy Roundtable) – Faith-based organizations represent the largest subsector of giving and some of the most active volunteer forces. So how do we keep them healthy?


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.

March 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: March 2022 Issue


You probably know it’s a good idea to double-check a charity’s ratings when you’re planning a gift. But do you know the difference between the various charity ratings sites?

Here’s a quick breakdown:

This month we’re wrapping up our two-part series on using charity ratings to make more informed decisions as a donor. Click the first article below for lots more details on what ratings systems like Charity Navigator’s actually tell you.


The Ultimate Guide to Charity Ratings for Donors: Part 2 (Friends in Philanthropy) – Which sites are some of the most popular to check before making a gift? And how do you actually interpret those ratings, anyway? Here’s what you need to know.

Meet the Couple Who Rented an Entire Hotel for Ukrainian Refugees (BBC) – A logistics manager and a police officer living in the U.K. felt they had to help. So they found a closed hotel in their native Poland and started raising funds to rent it.

Most People Plan Their Giving at Year’s End. But That’s Exactly Backwards. (Forbes) – Donations surge in December because of Christmas and the end of the tax year. But you can boost your impact (and your tax benefit) by planning your giving right now.

Russian Oligarchs Have Some Asking: What Should Philanthropy Do With Tainted Money? (Town & Country) – The invasion of Ukraine is putting some charitable institutions in a bind: are they complicit with “reputation laundering”?

The ‘Year of Catastrophic Hunger’ Just Got More Catastrophic (Philanthropy News Digest) – The UN was already warning 2022 would be a dire year for hunger. Then Russia invaded Ukraine. Now supply chain problems, inflation, and diverted attention may make things much worse.


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.

February 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: February 2022 Issue


Say you’re browsing a nonprofit’s website and notice a “4-star” badge icon from Charity Navigator. You know that’s a signal that the organization is trustworthy. But what specifically is that rating telling you?

For one thing, it tells you the charity genuinely stands above the crowd. As the chart above shows, well under 50% of charities earn 4 stars from that particular site.

But if you want to truly understand how to interpret that rating and others like it, there are a few more questions you need answered. What factors do ratings sites consider? How do they get their info? And how can you actually use their ratings to make better, more informed decisions?

In this month’s issue we present the first of a two-part series on using charity ratings as a donor. Click the first article below to find out all about a resource too many givers rely on without ever fully understanding.


Four Stars

The Ultimate Guide to Charity Ratings for Donors: Part 1 (Friends in Philanthropy) – When a nonprofit touts its 4-star rating on Charity Navigator, what does that actually mean? Find out in our brand new guide to using charity ratings to make better informed decisions. (Look for Part 2 next month!)

A child in a rusty boat floating on dirty water

Just 14 Cases: How NGOs Have Nearly Eradicated Guinea Worm Disease (Nature) – The disease once infected millions in Africa. But a 40-year effort by the Carter Center may eliminate it—if officials can solve one more tricky problem.

Open Bible on a dock

Does God Care Where We Give? (National Christian Foundation) – What does the Bible say about how you should direct your support? Here are 6 principles to consider.

A neon light question mark

“Do They Still Need Our Money?” Wrong Question! (Stanford Social Innovation Review) – When a charity lands a major grant, donors often wonder if it “still needs” support. But foundation director Kevin Starr says they should think more like investors than patrons.

A child's wheelchair

How an Afghan Refugee Is Keeping Kids with Disabilities in Classrooms (UNHCR) – His own disability nearly denied him an education completely. Now Jamil ur Rehman is making sure refugee children in Pakistan have the wheelchairs they need to get to school.


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.

January 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: January 2022 Issue


“If you are feeling off, maybe you need to give some of yourself away each week.”

– Author Jamie Ivey on the healing power of volunteering

A sad consequence of the pandemic is that churches have seen steep volunteering declines in the last two years. But that’s not what scares church leaders the most.

They know the real danger isn’t a temporary volunteering dip. It’s what happens if things stay that way. That kind of interruption in the volunteer pipeline could set back a church’s work by decades if it becomes permanent.

So in this month’s issue, you’ll see how pastors are attacking the problem with all they’ve got. Because this story has resonance for people interested in philanthropy, too: it shows that returning to normal won’t just happen by magic. If we ever want to truly heal, we all have to pitch in to help.


Church Leaders Are Still Waiting for Volunteers to Come Back (Christianity Today) – Church volunteering plummeted to new lows in the pandemic—and they’re still stuck there. Now pastors wonder where and how they’ll find recruits.

Person signing forms

What’s a 990 Form and Why Does It Matter? (The Conversation) – Ever wondered how sites like Charity Navigator get their info? A charity accounting expert explains how one simple disclosure form can help you spot well-run nonprofits.

Young children in a classroom

Children in Uganda Are Finally Back in School. Now What? (BBC) – The world’s longest pandemic school shutdown is over after nearly two years. But many worry students will struggle to catch up, especially after a new UN report on the world’s “nearly insurmountable” learning loss.

Cropped picture of a pile of money

Forbes Names the Top 25 Givers in America (Forbes) – Some familiar faces lead this list of top philanthropists by lifetime giving. But most who took the Giving Pledge still have a long way to go.

An App Also Named ‘Wordle’ Is Raking in Money. The Creator Is Giving It Away. (Mashable) – Developer Steven Cravotta was shocked when his years-old app spiked in popularity because of a coincidence. Now he’s sharing the wealth.


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualified investment professional before making any financial decisions.

December 2021

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Friends in Philanthropy: December 2021 Issue


“My daughter told me she would rather be the kind of person who got scammed out of $70 than the kind of person who didn’t help a mama and her baby sleep in a warm place.”

– An anonymous parent describing a young woman’s
spontaneous act of kindness

If you’re looking for insights on the strategic side of philanthropy, you’ll find plenty in this month’s issue: financial trends to anticipate in 2022, lessons from the Haiti missionary kidnapping, and ideas for knitting your workplace back together by planning volunteer events.

But even the most analytical donor sometimes feels the impulse to cut out all the contemplation and just help someone in need on a whim. So for our final issue of the year, we’re also pointing you to 5 stories of philanthropists who were suddenly moved to perform acts of kindness for strangers without all the fuss.

We hope their experiences serve as a reminder that underneath all the chatter about tax law and expense ratios lies the true beating heart of philanthropy: the very human, very divine urge to lend a hand when you see someone hurting.


Get Inspired by These 5 Stories of Spontaneous Generosity (National Christian Foundation) – Yes, it’s wise to plan your giving. But sometimes you just want to do something kind on a whim—like stage an impromptu grocery trip to feed 600 people!

9 Trends That Will Shape Philanthropy in 2022 (Giving USA) – Nimbler planning, smarter measuring, and DAF growth galore. Here’s what donors and nonprofits will be talking about next year.

Habitat For Humanity’s First 3D-Printed House Gave This Family a Very Merry Christmas (CNN) – April Stringfield and her son got to move into their first home just in time for the holidays. Good thing it only took 12 hours to build.

What Should We Learn From the Haiti Missionary Crisis? (The Better Samaritan) – Thanks to a miraculous escape from their captors, all 17 kidnapped missionaries are now home safe. But what does this tragic situation mean for the future?

Reconnect Your Staff And Restore Culture Through Philanthropy (Forbes) – The rise of remote work makes team-building activities more important than ever. Here’s how your company can benefit by organizing to do good.


Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

Kinship United often posts content and opinions that are of interest to the philanthropic community that supports Kinship United’s mission. Nothing published by Kinship United constitutes an investment recommendation, nor should any data or content published by Kinship United be solely relied upon for any investment, tax, legal or financial decisions. Kinship United strongly recommends that you perform your own independent research and/or speak with a qualifying investment professional before making any financial decisions.