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In The News …

Welcome to Wednesday! Some mid-week news is coming your way … And rumor has it that snow may be coming our way tomorrow. What do you think? WAMU gave it a 30% chance about an hour ago.

Opinion: Here’s some philanthropy advice for Mark Zuckerberg — GoodWorks did a series of posts back in September regarding the media buzz around Facebook founder and CEO’s $100 million donation to the Newark schools. Now that Zuckerberg had signed the Giving Pledge, the buzz has returned. Yet I quite like this piece from the Mercury News by Phil Buchanan (President of the Center for Effective Philanthropy) and Stephen Heintz (President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund), offering advice both to the 26-year-old Zuckerberg and the entire new generation of philanthropists — in particular, reminding them that the country does not simply need philanthropy, but effective philanthropy. Do check it out!

More Proof that December is Critical to Charities Annual Giving — Most of us do not need another reminder of the importance of these next few weeks, but sometimes the hard numbers are a bit reassuring and motivating. As the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported yesterday, “A third of charities’ online donations this year are made in December. Perhaps more remarkable: 22% of online gifts are made in the last two days of the year.” Moreover, those donors that give in the final month of the year? The Chronicle adds that they are “worth more over time” and give 52% more than those who first contribute at other times.

More Americans are in a giving mood again — For some related cautious-yet-good news, MarketWatch declared this week that “36% of charities reported an increase in donations during the first nine months of the year, up from 23% during the same time period in 2009 … it’s possible that Americans are starting to be more generous as they gain more confidence in their job security.” The article also includes some quick tips to those giving on a budget, including this solid one: “Remember, too, that while every dollar counts, a smaller donation can have a greater impact on a smaller organization … while a $25 donation might be a drop in the bucket for a large institution, it could mean a lot to a smaller one.”

Teach Your Children (How to Give) Well — For some international news, check out this Wall Street Journal article, highlighting school programs in Europe and the US that teach kids “how to think like a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffett when handing out cash for a good cause.” The piece introduces a 13-year-old student who recently sifted “through the Oxfordshire Association for the Blind’s accounts to determine the UK charity’s annual income and what percentage of that income actually goes to its mission. She wanted to make sure it was a worthy cause before deciding to entrust it with the biggest donation of her life so far — 60 pounds (or $94).” Awesome.

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