Writing Off Ideas: Taxation, Foundations, and Philanthropy in America

Transaction Publishers
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Tax-exempt foundations grew substantially in the twentieth century, both in their financial importance and in the scope of their activities. This challenging book examines the economic, cultural, and intellectual implications of tax-exempt organizations. How do various tax laws influence foundations and what types of ideas do foundations produce? How do the activities of foundations relate to the interests and intentions of their founders? Does the economic management of foundation assets serve the public good, or would such assets be better employed through the private sector? Writing Off Ideas examines these and related questions primarily by looking at specific examples as well as the overall impact of foundation practices economically and socially.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Transaction Publishers
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Published on
Dec 31, 2000
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Pages
284
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ISBN
9781412841863
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Nonprofit Organizations & Charities / General
Business & Economics / Taxation / General
Social Science / Philanthropy & Charity
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Vast and largely unexamined, the world of American charities accounts for fully 10 percent of economic activity in this country, yet operates with little accountability, no real barriers to entry, and a stunning lack of evidence of effectiveness. In With Charity for All, Ken Stern reveals a problem hidden in plain sight and prescribes a whole new way for Americans to make a difference.

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   But he also discovered some good news: a growing movement toward accountability and effectiveness in the nonprofit world. With Charity for All is compulsively readable, driven in its early pages by the plight of millions of Americans donating to good causes to no good end, and in its last chapters by an inspiring prescription for individual giving and widespread reform.
Praise for BILLIONS OF DROPS in MILLIONS OF BUCKETS

"Billions of Drops in Millions of Buckets provides a bracing and original look at philan-thropy that offers a much-needed corrective to conventional wisdom. Steve Goldberg combines a resolve to understand why so much philanthropy accomplishes so little enduring social change with a timely and serious proposal to reinvigorate nonprofit capital markets through the simplest of insights: getting more of the money to where it can do the most good. This book will change how forward-looking philanthropists, foundations, and policymakers think about the relationship between charitable giving and the transformative capacity of social entrepreneurs."
—Jerr Boschee, founder and Executive Director, The Institute for Social Entrepreneurs; Visiting Professor of the Practice in Social Enterprise, Carnegie Mellon University

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—Lucy Bernholz, author of Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution

"When I first heard about 'evidence-based medicine,' I thought: 'you mean it isn't?' Read this book and that's how you'll feel about 'performance-based philanthropy.' Goldberg takes some of the best current management thinking and applies it to social enterprise, illuminating both the encouraging successes of social entrepreneurs and the barriers they face. Even better, he presents compelling ideas for making the social sector vastly more effective."
—Christopher Meyer, Chief Executive, Monitor Networks

"Goldberg calls for more 'performance-driven philanthropy,' where nonprofits are rewarded based on their results, in place of the current dysfunction. It is an important call and a valuable contribution to discussions about how to improve nonprofits in the U.S. and internationally."
—Martin Brookes, Chief Executive, New Philanthropy Capital

"Billions of Drops... is a must-read romp through emerging fields of social entrepre-neurship and nonprofit capital markets."
—George Overholser, founder and Managing Director, NFF Capital Partners

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Cutting Green Tape rethinks the nature and impact of today's environmental bureaucracy. Rather than continue unworkable, cumbersome, and often contradictory regulations, Cutting Green Tape prescribes a clearer tort legal system to settle disputes and demonstrates that clearly defined environmental property rights would reduce the threat of toxic substances. Among the many topics addressed are: air toxins policy; pollution, damages, and tort law; risk assessment, insurance, and public information; protecting groundwater; regulation of carcinogens; contracting for health and safety; and toxin torts by government.

The book converges on a central theme: when common law remedies, with their burden of proof and standards of evidence, are replaced by the legislatively mandated regulatory regimes described, a problem emerges. The bureaucratic "tunnel vision" described by Justice Stephen Breyer, tends to take over. The police powers of the state are given to bureaucratic decision makers who are limited only by the blunt instrument of political influence, rather than by the need to show harm or wrongdoing in an unbiased court (as the police are), or by a budget on expenditures set by the Congress (as most bureaus are). The excesses described in the chapters thus result not from incompetence in the bureaus, but from the expansive powers granted to decision makers who are tightly focused on the narrow mission they see before them.

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