If you listen to the radio, I hope you’ve heard “A Lot to Give: A Philanthropy Series” on American Public Media’s Marketplace this week.
APM summarizes the series this way: “an inside look at the rarefied air of big donors and philanthropy from the Wealth and Poverty Desk.” I’ve certainly found it to be more accessible and interesting than that description makes it sound!
By following the links (below), you can quickly read or listen to the completed pieces, which are 2 to 7 minutes in length.
Since Sunday, the series has covered the following topics. After each link, I’ve listed one thing I learned or had confirmed by the piece.
The roots – and some results – of the charitable tax deduction: To pay for WWI, in 1917 Congress was in the process of hiking the top income tax rate from 15 to 77%.
The realities – and pitfalls – of giving away money: Family foundations are only as healthy as the family is.
Why a foundation?
Charitable foundations aren’t just for the uber rich: 65% of all U.S. foundations are under a million dollars.
- What’s wrong with giving money away? Even generosity has critics: The term philanthropist was coined by Greek playwright Aeschylus to refer to Prometheus, the mythological Titan who gave fire to mankind. The gods, unfortunately, hadn’t approved his gift, so Prometheus was chained to a rock for eternity.
- Peter and Jennifer Buffett: Questioning parts of the philanthropy business
Philanthropy’s edge: innovation and a long time horizon: Philanthropy is responsible for the painted lines that outline our roads.
And, for fun, take the “Who Gives?” quiz about your giving and see if your causes are similar to Oprah, Bill Gates or Bono.
The series continues through the end of the week. To listen to new pieces, tune your radio to MPR news.
- Susan Stehling, MCF communications associate