May 2021

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Friends in Philanthropy: May 2021 Issue

“This person barely knew me, and yet he wanted to help me.”

– Former Uber driver Latonya Young on her shock after a passenger offered her financial support to go back to school

The $150 tip was welcome. But it was the other thing her Uber passenger left her that really made a difference in Latonya Young’s life: his phone number. That passenger, an Atlanta estate manager named Kevin Esch, would go on to give Young not just more financial support, but also the encouragement she needed to re-enroll at Georgia State and finish her degree.

Their story is a reminder that even the most mundane moment could be a chance to show someone extraordinary kindness, and to wind up with a meaningful friendship in return.

She Wanted to Finish College. Her Uber Passenger Made It Possible. (Washington Post) – When Kevin Esch entered Latonya Young’s car, they were strangers. One 30-minute ride later, they’d begun a life-altering friendship.

Elon Musk’s $150 Million Charity Spending Spree Came Out of Nowhere (Recode) – Until recently, the Tesla founder had a thin philanthropy record. Suddenly he’s issuing massive grants for Texas schools, a climate contest, and more.

Faith-Based Investing Is Getting Easier (New York Times) – Letting religious tenets guide your portfolio used to be “a great way to lose money.” Now specialty firms are making it simpler without sacrificing returns.

A Flood of Junk Is Hurting Goodwill Stores (Associated Press) – Well-meaning donors have inundated the nonprofit with low-quality items during the pandemic. Now disposal costs are taking a toll.

Opinion: Now Isn’t the Time to Mess with Donor-Advised Funds (Bloomberg Tax) – Some want new rules to force DAFs to give faster. But philanthropy adviser Jeff Hamond says the funds are already working as intended.

Elon Musk photo by Dan Taylor / Heisenberg Media via Flickr; all other photos courtesy of Unsplash.

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