Philanthropy and remittances to the developing world double government aid

Private philanthropy and remittances sent to the developing world totaled nearly twice the amount of government aid.

Private giving and remittances - money sent by immigrants in the U.S. back to their home countries -- totaled $233 billion compared to $121 billion in government aid.

U.S. philanthropy to developing countries, including contributions from foundations, corporations, private and voluntary groups, individual volunteers, religious organizations, and colleges and universities, totaled $37.3 billion.

That compares to $26.8 billion in aid from the U.S. government to developing countries.

---Philanthropy Journal, quoting the 2010 Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances published by the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.


China Philanthropy has reached the Big Leagues

The Wall Street Journal reports that a Chinese business tycoon's billion-dollar giveaway is the latest sign that Chinese philanthropy has come of age.

Real-estate and hotel tycoon Yu Pengnian said he is transferring his remaining fortune, estimated at $470 million in cash and property, to the charity he founded. With this, the total amount that Mr. Yu has donated to the Yu Pengnian Foundation is $1.2 billion.

Hurun Report, a group that ranks China's wealthiest people, rates Yu Pengnian as the first philanthropist in mainland China to give away more than $1 billion.


The Obama Administration and the non-profit sector

It's no surprise that President Obama, with a lengthy background in the non-profit sector, has made strong efforts to reach out to the philanthropic community. What may come as a surprise is just how exhilarated the philanthropic community is by the attention.

This year's Council on Foundations conference offered a revealing glimpse into the nexus of an administration eager to obtain the support of the non-profit world, and a community of increasingly politicized foundations who see bountiful opportunities for legislative achievements emanating from the current White House.

In seeking solutions to problems, U.S. government has also discovered the magic of contests, or challenges -- also known as open grant-making or open innovation. Whatever you call this new way of doing business, it represents a dramatic departure from the norm for the bureaucratic, command-and-control federal government. To be sure, the agencies won't abandon the traditional method of doling out grants to predictable bidders. But in the new era of innovation-by-contest, the government will sometimes identify a specific problem or goal, announce a competition, set some rules and let the game begin.

Anyone can play. The idea is to get better ideas, cheaper, and from more sources, using the Internet and social networking and all the Web 2.0 stuff as a kind of vast global laboratory.