From the Director


Kim Meredith

Dear Friends,
 
Welcome to the first newsletter devoted to the Project on Philanthropy, Policy, and Technology (PPT): Recoding Good for the 21st Century. The PPT project is one of three signature research initiatives that the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society supports. Still a work in progress, PPT has the potential to engage audiences both within and beyond the academy, thanks to the innovative approach of leaders Rob Reich and Lucy Bernholz. The questions that they are exploring should engage all of us as we think through what the new policy framework for social good should look like in the 21st century.

This Thursday, PPT lead investigator, and PACS visiting scholar, Lucy Bernholz will take part in a not-to-be-missed discussion with Beth Kanter and KD Paine, authors of the new book “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World.” Doors open at 5:00pm and the program is slated to run from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall. RSVP here. If you can’t be there, please participate in the discussion on Twitter using hastag #pacs.

Enjoy the inaugural PPT newsletter!

Kim

Kim Meredith
Executive Director

Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
Stanford Social Innovation Review



 

The PPT project investigates five key questions about the emerging social economy:

  • What does the Citizens United decision mean for nonprofits, philanthropy, and the public good?

  • How is digital technology changing our conception of public accountability and public goods?

  • How will big data, the sharing economy, and open government influence philanthropy? How can philanthropy influence and shape the evolution of big data, the sharing economy, and open government?

  • How can we better align our regulatory frames for public good with the technological innovations being made in bioscience, data processing, and other rapidly advancing fields?

  • What is the 21st century policy frame we need to encourage the private and public resources to help address our global challenges? How can we develop 21st century rules to guide our 21st century tools?

 
The answers to these questions will inform policy to create a new infrastructure for the nonprofit sector and the new social economy. Such a system matters to all of us: nonprofits, donors, social investors, social entrepreneurs, activists, and citizens. It should reflect what we want from government, markets, and individuals in solving our shared social challenges.

The ReCoding Good Charrettes are one part of the Philanthropy, Policy, and Technology Project. Each charrette is a discussion about one of the key elements of the new social economy and its policy implications. Scrolling down, you will find an overview of each of the charrettes that have been conducted during the academic year 2011/2012, as well as supplementary information and updates related to the questions that have emerged during this process. Read more about ReCoding Good in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR): The Project by Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich.

Last month, Rob and Lucy presented some of this work to a sold out crowd of 340 nonprofit leaders at the Stanford Social Innovation Review Nonprofit Management Institute. Click here to read Beth Kanter's blog post about their talk and work, and view the slides they presented.

 



 

ReCoding Good: Part 1:The Project. By Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich.

 
The ReCoding Good Charrettes are one part of the Philanthropy, Policy and Technology Project. Each charrette is a discussion about one of the key elements of the new social economy and its policy implications.

In this newsletter we provide an overview of the charrettes that have been conducted during the academic year 2011/2012, as well as supplementary information and updates surrounding the questions that have emerged during this year.


Charrette I:  The Sharing Economy

The first ReCoding Good Charrette was held on January 24, 2012 and focused on intersections between the sharing economy, nonprofits and philanthropy. This charrette aimed to develop a set of big ideas about how sharing practices, platforms and companies are directing private resources to public good and what that might look like over the next decade. Participants also considered the practical policy implications that the growth of sharing companies creates for nonprofits, donors, activists, and social investors. Where are these two parts of the social economy — sharing and giving — in alignment, where might they be in conflict, and what are the policy implications and opportunities?
 

ReCoding Good: Part 2: The Sharing Economy. By Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich.

 
Resources


Recent Updates

 

Charrette II:  Citizens United, Political Giving, and Nonprofit Personhood

What will the Citizens United decision mean for nonprofits, philanthropy, and the public good? The second charrette, held on March 20, 2012, attempted to provide an answer to this challenging question. It considered the implications of Citizens United for the nonprofit sector, from a legal, political, and normative perspective. It tackled questions about changes in money flows, the structure of the nonprofit sector, transparency, and the state of data on nonprofits. Jane Mayer of The New Yorker was a special guest at the charrette.

ReCoding Good: Part 3: Are Nonprofits People Too? By Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich.

 
Resources

Two articles that argue the problem is not about "Corporate Personhood":

Recent Updates

 

Charrette III:  Impact Investing and the New Social Economy

Our third charrette, held on May 15, 2012 focused on what is possibly the innovation in the social sector that generated the most excitement and urgency in the past decade: the idea of impact investing. Participants at the charrette investigated whether there are regulations and code changes that might well help grow impact investing without troubling the broader social economy. They also questioned how the rise of impact investing, and its related oversight agencies and regulatory structure, change the nature of the social economy? 
 

ReCoding Good: Part 5: Program Related Investments. By Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich.
ReCoding Good: Part 6: Impact Investing.

 
Resources


Recent Updates

  • The Economist: Warren Buffett and the Giving Pledge. The Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway discusses his motivations for giving wealth away, history's great philanthropists and why his tax return is not a factor. See video: http://www.economist.com/node/21555488

  • A Hybrid Foundation: from Grants to Impact Investing. Lucy Bernholz questions whether we need a new form of philanthropic enterprise designed to work across the continuum from grants to impact investing. Read more: http://philanthropy.blogspot.com/2012/05/hybrid-foundation.html

 

Charrette IV: Digital Public Goods

The fourth charrette was held on June 21 at the Stanford Design School. Through the use of the design method, participants approached a terrain of investigation that is still conceptually unclear and underdeveloped: the terrain of the digital economy. Has the creation, distribution, and ownership of material online, and the social connections between people online, caused a revolution in private goods, in the world of commerce? What are the implications of this revolution for democracy and civil society?
 

ReCoding Good: Part 8: Digital Public Goods. By Lucy Bernholz and Rob Reich.

 
Resources

Recent Updates


Social Sector News

Charitable Deductions Under Fire. 
The stage is set for the mother of all tax battles. The 2001-03 tax cuts expire at year-end, and lawmakers remaine deadlocked over what to do about it. Read more here.

Nonprofit Sector’s Big (Often Feared) Question Briefly Arises at House Hearing.
Perhaps it is time to redefine charity and establish priorities—a hierarchy of some sort for charitable activities that should receive preferential treatment in the Internal Revenue Service laws and regulations. Read more here.       

The Economist on Charity and Taxation.
Sweetened charity: The idea that the state should subsidize giving to good causes is resilient, but not easily justified. Read more here.

The Economist: Warren Buffett and the Giving Pledge.
The Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway discusses his motivations for giving wealth away, history's great philanthropists and why his tax return is not a factor. See video: http://www.economist.com/node/21555488

 


News from the PPT Team at PACS

Lucy Bernholz, PACS visiting scholar, led a discussion on transparency in philanthropy for the Aspen Philanthropy Group. She is planning several events on philanthropy and data with the White House Office of Social Innovation (more information about these events will be regularly updated on PACS website). She is also preparing for the Salzburg Global Seminar in October - with a focus on global philanthropy. 
 
Rob Reich, PACS co-director, moderated this summer a workshop at The Aspen Institute. He also delivered a keynote address to the Gateway Center for Giving in St. Louis, MO. His work was mentioned in the Economist’s article on charity and taxation (see link above) and in David Brooks' New York Times OpEd column. Read more.
 
Chiara Cordelli, a postdoctoral fellow at PACS, has recently published an article on the ethical duties of nonprofit organizations in the provision of social services. The article appeared in the Journal of Political Philosophy. She also attended the International Society for Third Sector Research Annual Conference held in Siena, Italy. 

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