December 2022

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Friends in Philanthropy: December 2022 Issue

“It’s not good for the country that there are so many people who have to rely on us.”

– Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot on the organization’s staggering growth in recent years

Topping a list from Forbes seems like great news. But for Feeding America, who leapfrogged the United Way to become the magazine’s #1 charity by private donations, it’s a sign of the country’s troubles.

After all, it’s only since the pandemic started that fighting hunger became such a priority for donors. “People saw something that they didn’t understand before this—food insecurity,” Babineux-Fontenot told Forbes.

It’s clear much work remains to be done to recover from the societal shockwave of Covid. But as we head into 2023, it’s also worth considering how far we’ve come. So in this month’s issue, we also highlight some bright spots over the past year in philanthropy, courtesy of the Christian Science Monitor’s year-end progress roundup.

Read on to get inspired by all that philanthropists like you have done together as a community this year, and to find the resolve to carry on that work into the new year and beyond.

A globe hovering above someone's hand

The Values That Led Humanity Forward This Year (Christian Science Monitor) – “Smart canes” in Rwanda. An all-women newsroom in Somalia. Christian Science Monitor’s year-end “progress roundup” shows how values like ingenuity and dignity drove positive change in 2022.

Shelves in a food pantry

Feeding America Ousts United Way As America’s Largest Charity (Forbes) – The Chicago-based food bank network took in more than $4 billion in gifts last fiscal year, a 47% increase over two years ago. But its growth isn’t exactly happy news. (See the full Forbes Top 100 Charities list here.)

Someone using a register to check out

Should You Donate to Charity in the Checkout Line? (Verywell Health) – CVS is being sued for using customer donations to fulfill a $10 million pledge to the American Diabetes Association. Now experts are noting the downsides of such indirect gifts.

Someone looking at monthly budgets on a laptop

MacKenzie Scott’s New “Yield Giving” Site Sheds Light on Her $14B Giving Spree (Geekwire) – Scott’s mostly stayed mum about her giving over the last few years. Now she’s sharing a searchable database of 1,600 of her gifts, plus more details about her grantmaking process and philosophy.

Small stacks of coins

How Program-Related Investment Supports Charities Without Giving Money Away for Good (The Conversation) – By law, foundations must pay out at least 5% of their endowment annually. Here’s how issuing loans at below-market rates can help them meet that target and still preserve funds for the future.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.

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