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Gates and Buffett’s Giving Pledge earmarks billions for charity, remains criticized for lack of synergy

Two months ago, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett formally announced their new endeavor, the Giving Pledge.  Each man pledged to give the majority of his billion-dollar fortune to philanthropic causes. …

Twitter Roundup – July 30: Dares drive funding, smartphones sign petitions, home computers calculate energy efficiency

Search for the hashtag #socent and you’ll find wide-ranging interest in social entrepreneurship on Twitter. Here’s a roundup of a few thought-provoking tweets from the last week: Social media news…

Weekly Roundup: Who’s solving what and how

Everywhere, people are working on innovative solutions to pressing social problems. Often, though, those stories can be difficult to track down. Which is why we’re scouring the Web to bring…

Interview: Alice Tepper Marlin on how to hold companies accountable in a globalized world

Who made the shirt you’re wearing? Were the cloth cutters or seamstresses treated fairly? Did the factory comply with reasonable environmental standards? If you have no clue, then check out…

Earl Phalen wants to turn summer from a loss to an advantage for low-income kids

Summer. For some kids, it means freedom, swimming, endless days and lasting memories; sadly, for many it can also mean falling far behind at school. Researchers call it “summer learning…

Nancy Lublin of Do Something on how to do more with less

I swung by the 92Y Tribeca here in New York Tuesday evening for a cool book event: Nancy Lublin, author of the new book Zilch: The Power of Zero in…

Weekly Roundup: Who’s solving what and how

All around us people are working to solve pressing social problems, but these stories can be difficult to track down. So we’ll be scouring the Web regularly to highlight a…

Interview: How Hannah Taylor launched the Ladybug Foundation (in first grade) and turned empathy and creativity into $2 million to help the homeless

When Hannah Taylor was 5, she saw a man eating out of a trash can.  For the next year, Taylor interrogated her mother with questions about homelessness.  One day, her…

Mini Case Study: Idealist struggles to survive the Great Recession

PROBLEM: Idealist is a leading online portal for social organizations, job seekers and volunteers to connect with causes, resources and employment opportunities. Despite its well-established brand and loyal user base,…

Portland’s ChangeXchange experiments with crowdsourced funding at the local level

Call it citizen philanthropy, microphilanthropy, or crowdfunding: The idea is to get many individuals to pitch in for a cause.  It’s taken off at the global level in recent years,…

DoGooder: Change the world through advertising? There’s an app for that…

What if, instead of seeing banner ads for reality TV shows or credit cards, you saw ads of your own choosing that encouraged a sustainable lifestyle? Sounds like a bunch…

The social sector is a hot mess and guess who’s to blame? (Hint: same folks responsible for your work ethic and sexual hang-ups)

“What we’ve been taught about social change is backwards, upside down, and standing in the way of real progress,” said Dan Pallotta during his keynote at Monday’s ReVisioning Value conference….

ReVV’ing up Portland as a social innovation hub

Social innovation, impact investing, venture capital: These terms tend to be associated with leading global cities and top colleges: London, New York, San Francisco, the Ivy League. However, as social…

Mini Case Study: Build Change lays off Indonesian staff, then major earthquake hits

PROBLEM: On September 30, 2009, at 5:16 PM, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake ruptured the Sunda Trench, offshore from Padang, Indonesia, killing over 1,100 people and causing 250,000 families to lose…

Marrying microfinance and education

Last week President Obama signed a bill that will make the government the primary provider of student loans, stripping banks of that power. This will lead to vast government savings,…