Monday, November 22, 2004

New-school philanthropy

Pierre Omidyar, EBay Chair, is interviewed in the current issue of Business Week. The issue looks at the state of philanthropy in the United States, and how the 'new economy' wealthy are changing the landscape.

The article misses the mark on a few fronts and displays a level of tentative inquiry that failed to articulate the benefits of the Omidyar Network.

Q: Why do you think the traditional philanthropic sector isn't working as efficiently as it could?
A: I think it starts with the false dichotomy issue. It fundamentally limits the impact of the sector. Unfortunately, the measuring side, the feedback mechanisms as to how well you are doing, those types of measurements are hard to do. The sector overall has been working on these issues for a while, but it hasn't come up with a good way to measure how effective they are.

The fact that this engine isn't working at peak efficiency is really too bad because it's a huge engine and if you increased the efficiency, everyone would be thrilled.

That being said, check out the Omidyar Network.

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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Conference: Building Economically Self-Reliant Families

The Economic Self-Reliance Conference is the yearly conference for organizations and individuals participating with the Brigham Young University Center for Economic Self-Reliance.

For the past seven years the faculty and students of the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University have sponsored a conference focusing on the microenterprise movement. The conference has also been a gathering place for likeminded organizations and individuals who were interested in other development activities that benefited families. In addition, the conference has sponsored breakout sessions dealing with NGO and nonprofit effectiveness.

With the creation of the BYU Center for Economic Self-Reliance in 2003 additional resources have been created to continue supporting and enhancing microenterprise efforts while also researching and working with other interventions that benefit families economically.

The conference will happen in March of 2005.

The conference organizers are looking for papers from practitioners, academics, and students on all aspects of building economically self-reliant families. However, papers which deal specifically with impact assessment on individual families: what is working and what is not, would be especially appreciated.

Link here for conference details.

Conference attendees are:
  • Practitioners (NGOs, nonprofit organizations, churches, government entities, etc.)

  • Researchers (faculty, students, researchers from non-academic institutions, etc.)

  • Friends of the Self-Reliance Center (donors, advisors, mentors, interested community members, etc.)
who are involved in helping families become economically self-reliant throughout the world.


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