[News 11/20/07] How much of charitable giving helps society’s neediest?

The Christian Science Monitor’s annual philanthropy guide (everybody’s got one!) notes that “two-thirds of Americans give to charities in their lifetimes while only eight percent do so in their wills.” Another article explores how much of charitable giving is actually benefitting the neediest people in society (11/19). That latter issue is a tricky one. As Joel Fleishman noted at Washington Grantmakers’ conference last week, a donation to a higher education institution may turn into a scholarship for a low-income student. And, as the article notes, a donation to a museum helps the museum serve people of all income levels.

“The Smithsonian Institution is preparing to launch its first broad appeal for private donations to help fill a funding gap that could be as high as $2 billion…” (AP, 11/20). The institution has vowed to vet donors faster after API withdrawal of a $5 million gift (Bloomberg, 11/20).

Barbara Lang has been elected to the board of directors for the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation. (WBJ, 11/20)

Even for small companies, philanthropy can help improve the bottom line (WSJ, 11/20)

D.C. Schools Chief Rhee Continues Fight for System’s Reform
(NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 11/19)

“Every classroom promised a computer by February” (WaPo, 11/20)

City officials detail how school system would allocate $81 million in unanticipated tax revenue. The plan includes expanded art, music, and foreign language instruction, and $16 million for teacher raises. (WaPo, 11/20)

[Md.] Montgomery County’s new director of the Dept. of Environmental Protection used to work for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. (WaPo, 11/20)