WBEZ | charity http://www.wbez.org/tags/charity Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Charities launch 'Giving Tuesday' http://www.wbez.org/news/charities-launch-giving-tuesday-104056 <p><p><span id="internal-source-marker_0.43182056668055324">Sales from Black Friday and Cyber Monday were up this year. But non-profit organizations are trying to turn on shoppers to a new holiday tradition -- Giving Tuesday.</span><br /><br />The idea started at 92nd street Y, a nonprofit &nbsp;in New York. Sol Adler with the Y said sites like Twitter and Facebook are the engines behind the push for Giving Tuesday.<br /><br />&ldquo;We wanted to create a conversation about giving in the United States,&rdquo;Adler said. &ldquo;Giving Tuesday sounded like the perfect way to do it.&rdquo;<br /><br />Two Chicago organizations, The American Cancer Society and Uhlich Children&rsquo;s Advantage Network (UCAN), learned about the campaign through social media and are now partners in the movement.<br /><br />&ldquo;The idea that there&rsquo;s this day right by [Thanksgiving] to make sure that we are thinking of others and giving back, is a really neat and exciting idea,&rdquo; said Rebecca Faulk, a spokeswoman for UCAN.<br /><br />Over 2,200 organizations, corporations, and nonprofits have joined the movement.<br /><br />&ldquo;This is just a really great way for us to get our message out there and encourage donors to support us,&rdquo; said Lisa Hurley of Chicago&rsquo;s United Way.<br /><br />David Magnuson of the Salvation Army said they will be tracking donations throughout the day to see if there is an increase in support.<br /><br />&ldquo;Today is a big push and we think that&rsquo;s going to pay off for us and for a lot other worthy charities,&rdquo; Magnuson said.<br /><br />The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences partnered with Outreach International to prepare meals for families in need. Around 300 students prepared 28,000 meals that will go to Northern Illinois Food Bank.<br /><br />&ldquo;Black Friday and &nbsp;Cyber Monday may be good for the economy,&rdquo; Adler said. &ldquo;But &nbsp;Giving Tuesday is a day that&rsquo;s good for the soul.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 27 Nov 2012 17:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/charities-launch-giving-tuesday-104056 The art of giving: Philanthropy in the age of the Great Recession http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-29/art-giving-philanthropy-age-great-recession-97738 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-29/giving_Flickr_Mr. Kris.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A number of new studies indicate that even in our present tough economic times charitable giving remains a strong component of the American way of life: Last year Americans gave more than $290 billion to their favorite causes despite the struggling economic climate.</p><p>I explore what this means in the video below:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kQSaAr2e0y4" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe></p><p><em>Al Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the department of management at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the co-founder and associate editor of&nbsp;</em>Business Ethics Quarterly,<em>and the author of several books, including</em>&nbsp;My Job, My Self&nbsp;<em>and</em>&nbsp;Seeking the Truth of Things: Confessions of a (catholic) Philosopher.</p></p> Thu, 29 Mar 2012 16:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-29/art-giving-philanthropy-age-great-recession-97738 Why the public should fund the arts, after all http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-09/why-public-should-fund-arts-after-all-94772 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-12/artswave.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="entry"><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-12/artswave.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 364px; height: 306px; " title="">A few weeks ago I had a fascinating conversation with Margy Waller, a special advisor to <a href="http://www.theartswave.org/">Cincinnati’s ArtsWave</a>, which leads the nation in evidence-based approaches to advocating for arts funding. Ms. Waller had reached out to correct my misunderstanding (and therefore <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-21/three-words-you-dont-generally-hear-critic-i-was-wrong-94145">misreporting</a>) of ArtsWave’s efforts, noting that the argument is not that the public should fund the arts to promote economic recovery but that it should fund the arts to promote neighborhood vibrancy. This nuance turns out to make all the difference.</p><p>Here’s the ArtsWave insight: people are ready enough to agree with the notion that the arts are good for the economy. But if you probe deeper, and ask what top three things we should do to improve the economy, no one answers “subsidize the arts.” So apparently the argument that the arts are an economic engine (true or false) is unpersuasive, which is what really matters.</p><p>But the ArtsWave research also uncovered the fact that if you ask people what would improve their neighborhood the most, the arts come up time and time again. Why? Because artists’ residences are known to herald an improvement in real-estate values; because arts audiences mean feet on the street and therefore greater public safety; because arts venues are known to spawn coffee shops and restaurants and other places of urban liveliness.</p><p>Therefore, the argument for public funding needs to be focused not on the art but on the public benefits of art-making.&nbsp; This simultaneously ends the unwinnable argument about whether x or y is valid art or a useful expenditure of public funds and reminds people of what they believe anyway, that investment in arts-related infrastructure benefits everyone—not in some airy-fairy, soul-stirring, life-improving sense but in the grossest day-to-day experience of quality of life.</p><p>Thus an appeal to provide tax breaks to bring artists to a particular area would be framed not as a subsidy to these all-important art-making beings (read: overprivileged white people who ought to get jobs) but as a way to offset (maybe even reverse) the damage to property values wrought by foreclosures. The subsidy is to the value of private property (something that can be monetized) rather than to the value of art (something that cannot).</p><p>As instrumental and cold-blooded as this approach may seem, Ms. Waller makes the powerful point that vibrancy is what people love about the arts—and that weaving the arts into the fabric of other social needs and activities enables people to appreciate the arts “not as consumers but as citizens.”</p><p>That last point is particularly striking. Asked what citizens should do to respond to 9/11, then-President Bush had nothing more to offer than, “Go shopping.” Anything that enables us to respond to public concerns in a public spirit; anything that combats the notion that government is the problem and privatization the solution; anything that reminds us that we’re a republic if we can keep it; anything that illustrates we don’t have to buy something to value it—any of these is a consummation devoutly to be wished.</p><p><a href="http://www.samefacts.com/2004/01/uncategorized/bayesian-campaigning/">As a wise person once noted, the important thing is not to have BEEN right, but to BE right</a>. I've been wrong in my blanket condemnation of public funding for the arts, because I thought of it exclusively in the frame established by its opponents: as subsidies to artists to create what might or might not actually be valuable. Once the framing shifts to “vibrancy,”* and to concrete benefits to the broader society, public arts support suddenly makes sense. No one else may care, but it will be a relief to me to stop being the only left-wing theater critic in the country opposed to public funding for the arts.</p><p>I still believe the NEA itself is a lost cause and that energy spent defending it would be better spent squeezing support for the arts out of HUD, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and local housing authorities. But that’s a matter of strategy. As a matter of principle, I'm grateful to have discovered a valid way to defend taxpayer support to something that matters so much to me.</p><p>—————–</p><p>*Yes, “vibrancy” can be a euphemism for “gentrification,” or at least its prodroma.&nbsp; But if we plan for vibrancy (instead of simply hoping that lightening strikes in this ‘hood or that), we can also plan to prevent displacement. And without displacement, “gentrification” is just another word for “safe streets, amenities and public services”—for everyone, rich or poor.</p></div></p> Tue, 13 Dec 2011 03:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-09/why-public-should-fund-arts-after-all-94772 Three Illinois hospitals may lose tax-exempt status http://www.wbez.org/story/three-illinois-hospitals-may-lose-tax-exempt-status-90677 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/archives/images/cityroom/848_20090330g_large.png" alt="" /><p><p>The Illinois Department of Revenue announced Tuesday that three Illinois hospitals are in danger of losing their tax-exempt status. They are Northwestern Memorial's Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago, Edward Hospital in Naperville and Decatur Memorial Hospital in Decatur.</p><p>The department's ruling comes during an ongoing battle in Illinois over the tax-exempt status of hospitals. An Illinois Supreme Court case from 1968 established five criteria that hospitals have to meet to qualify as "charities."&nbsp;</p><p>Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Susan Hofer says they are: "a charity may not have stock, capital or shareholders; a charity derives its funds mainly from private and public charities; a charity dispenses charity to all who need it and those who apply for it; a charity does not provide gain or profit in a private sense to any person connected with it; a charity places no obstacles in the way of those who need and would avail themselves of that charity."</p><p>If hospitals meet those criteria, the institutions become exempt from taxes on all their property, including everything from hospital rooms, to gift shops, to parking lots. Last year the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that downstate Provena Hospital didn't qualify, and therefore had to start paying property tax.</p><p>The Illinois Department of Revenue now uses the Provena ruling, alongside the 1968 criteria, as a kind of precedent to guide decisions on charity qualifications. The department doesn't have jurisdiction to investigate every hospital, however. Instead, it can only review hospitals that enter their administrative system when a parcel of a hospital changes ownership or changes use.</p><p>Mark Deaton, General Counsel of the Illinois Hospital Association, said decision makers are interpreting the court's definition of charity far too narrowly. He said if more hospitals lose their status and have to pay property taxes, it would be a serious blow to patients and the growing health care sector -- a sector he &nbsp;calls "one of the few bright spots in the Illinois economy."</p><p>Deaton said patient care could be compromised if more hospitals are forced to pay property taxes.&nbsp;</p><p>"[That] could push hospitals into having to cut back, slow down modernization, slow down hiring, slow down plans to expand services," he said.</p><p>The three hospitals being denied tax exempt status have 60 days to ask an administrative judge to review the decision. Illinois Department of Revenue spokeswoman Susan Hofer says her agency is reviewing the charity status of between ten and 15 additional hospitals.</p></p> Tue, 16 Aug 2011 21:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/three-illinois-hospitals-may-lose-tax-exempt-status-90677 Mission #77: Save the world by drawing a cherry http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-06-13/mission-77-save-world-drawing-cherry-87775 <p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Mission #77 begins with this video:</p><p>&nbsp;<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="312" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uuRVumPuOd0" width="500"></iframe></p><p>So here's how <strong>Mission Cherry Tee/Charity</strong> plays out...</p><p>1. &nbsp;Draw a cherry. &nbsp;Or draw a bunch of cherries. &nbsp;That's right, get out your box of crayons or watercolors or markers or pastels or any medium of your choice, and simply draw a cherry/cherries. &nbsp;Have fun! &nbsp;Get the kids involved! &nbsp;Get your office involved! &nbsp;Get coloring!</p><p>2. &nbsp; Scan and email it to me as a jpg or pdf at missamykr at yahoo dot com.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-13/cherries.jpeg" style="width: 296px; height: 248px; margin: 7px; float: right;" title="">3. &nbsp; I will then create a line of <strong>Cherry Tee T-shirts </strong>with as many of the different drawings as possible. I will do this via CafePress and Spreadshirt, two print-on-demand companies I've worked with that create good quality t-shirts. You'll be able to order the shirts directly through their sites.</p><p>4. &nbsp; <strong>100% of the profits will go to charity</strong>. &nbsp;Not 98%. &nbsp;Not 99%. &nbsp;100%.</p><p>5. &nbsp; In terms of which charity or charities, please feel free to suggest one now in the comment section (nothing political please). &nbsp;I'm presently thinking Make-A-Wish Foundation and ScholarMatch.&nbsp;</p><p>I always loved Erma Bombeck's book <em>If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits?</em>&nbsp; (You too?) &nbsp;So let's harness and harvest those cherries to help create a more fruitful life for those in need.</p><p><u><strong>Mission Updates</strong></u></p><p>First, quick update on<strong> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-05-23/mission-74-princess-and-little-pea-86914">Mission #74 Princess and (Little) Pea</a></strong>: &nbsp;we now have our adventurous team of "book hiders" (from about 20 different states!) who will be hiding <em>Little Pea</em> books in mattress stores around the country THIS WEEK! I'll be getting all the photos and video in by week's end, editing the final film next week, and posting it here the week (happily ever) after.</p><p>Finally, I'm currently weaving together all of your <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-06-06/mission-76-worlds-very-first-co-mmencement-address-87472">wonderful contributions from last Monday's mission</a> to create our first ever <strong>Mission Amy KR Co-mmencement Address. </strong>&nbsp;It will be ready just in time for our Thursday Thingy.</p><p>yours,</p><p>amy</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;">* &nbsp; * &nbsp; *</p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><strong>KEY LINKS:</strong></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="amykr/2010/01/missions-accomplished-the-archive/12696" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);">Mission Archives</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://www.whoisamy.com/" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Amy's Website</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mission-amy-kr/id420630232?mt=8" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Download the Mission Amy KR mobile app</a></p><p style="margin: 5px 0px 10px; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.4em;"><a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/amykr" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(0, 104, 150);" target="_blank">Subscribe to Mission Amy KR</a></p></p> Mon, 13 Jun 2011 15:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/mission-amy-kr/2011-06-13/mission-77-save-world-drawing-cherry-87775 Housing groups salute banking giant for rehab deal http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/housing-groups-salute-banking-giant-rehab-deal <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Hartnack_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>One of the nation&rsquo;s largest banks Friday provided details about an agreement with some nonprofit groups in Chicago-area neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures. <br /><br />The deal, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates">revealed Wednesday by WBEZ</a>, stems from the collapse of Oak Park-based banking chain FBOP Corp. The company&rsquo;s flagship, Park National Bank, was known for donations and loans in low-income areas. In 2009, federal authorities took over FBOP and sold it to Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the parent of U.S. Bank.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp said it couldn&rsquo;t fill Park National&rsquo;s shoes in the community. After protests, though, the banking giant last fall started negotiating with a coalition of nonprofit housing groups. The two sides reached a deal a few weeks ago and kept it quiet until this week.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp is promising $600,000 in interest-free loans this year to buy six foreclosed homes in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood and Maywood, a suburb nearby. Community groups will then renovate them and sell them at cost. If the effort breaks even, U.S. Bancorp will lend another $800,000 next year and $1 million more in 2013, bringing the total to $2.4 million.<br /><br />To celebrate the deal, U.S. Bancorp officials flew in for a gathering outside an Oak Park branch Friday. They included Richard Hartnack, vice-chairman of the company&rsquo;s consumer and small-business banking.<br /><br />Could this agreement be a model for banks and community groups to soften effects of the nation&rsquo;s housing crisis? Or is the deal just a U.S. Bancorp public-relations ploy? We got a chance to ask Hartnack at the celebration and included his responses in this WBEZ segment:<br /><br /><span player="null" class="filefield_audio_insert_player" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-89527" href="/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-march/2011-03-04/bank2way110304cm.mp3">bank2way110304cm.mp3</span></p></p> Fri, 04 Mar 2011 20:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/housing-groups-salute-banking-giant-rehab-deal U.S. Bancorp cuts deal with housing advocates http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Virgil_Crawford.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>One of the nation&rsquo;s largest financial firms will fund some nonprofit groups in Chicago-area neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures. <br /><br />Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the parent of U.S. Bank, has faced pressure from community groups in West Side neighborhoods and nearby suburbs since 2009, when it purchased an Oak Park-based banking chain, FBOP Corp., as part of a federal rescue.<br /><br />FBOP units included Park National Bank, a Chicago-area lender known for charity and investment in low-income areas. U.S. Bancorp said it couldn&rsquo;t fill those shoes, but last fall started negotiating with a cluster of West Side groups called the Coalition to Save Community Banking.<br /><br />Now they&rsquo;ve inked an agreement. U.S. Bancorp will put up $600,000 for rehabbing six foreclosed homes, according to the coalition&rsquo;s Rev. Catherine Palmer. Three of the homes are in Chicago&rsquo;s Austin neighborhood and three are in Maywood, a suburb nearby.<br /><br />Palmer says U.S. Bancorp will contribute a smaller sum for housing advocacy by the coalition and four other groups: Bethel New Life, Inc.; South Austin Coalition; Westside Health Authority; and Maywood-based Housing Helpers, Inc.<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp spokeswoman Lisa Clark confirmed the two sides have struck a deal, but she declined to provide details.<br /><br />John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition in Washington D.C., praises the bank. &ldquo;The fact that it&rsquo;s willing to make some commitments to local organizations to help them do their work is a good sign.&rdquo;<br /><br />But Taylor offers some cautionary advice: &ldquo;The groups need to continue to work together to make sure that the bank is indeed making the loans for mortgages and, for that matter, for small businesses and needs that are in the community.&rdquo;<br /><br />U.S. Bancorp and the coalition are planning to unveil the agreement this Friday.</p></p> Wed, 02 Mar 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/austin/us-bancorp-cuts-deal-housing-advocates