Tuesday, December 9, 2003
Who needs Googling?
I know I posted something similar in my other blog but it really is great to see so many new About Me pages. Mine isn't at all as interesting as many of the others on this site.
You should check them out when you like someone you read...you might find some very interesting background information! Who needs Googling when you can just cllick on About Me?! You can add your own About Me page by clicking on the MyAccount link:
Mihail S. Lari is an Internet entrepreneur* who serves on the board of directors of several national nonprofit organizations. Named after a character in Bertolt Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle, Mihail moved to Silicon Valley at the height of the dotcom boom and still lives in the Bay Area. He is an occasional writer who has been blogging since 2002. His last book The Dual City: Karachi During the Raj was published by Oxford University Press in 1997.
*affiliated with the company behind Blogging Network.
Monday, December 8, 2003
Planetwork reunion party this Thursday
Planetwork's Reunion Party Fundraiser is this Thursday from 7 to 10 pm at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Jim Fournier's Planetwork: Networking a Sustainable Future organizes a pretty amazing conference that I attended this year for the first time. Next year's event sounds even more interesting since it focuses on Digital Democracy & Planetary Citizenship. Check it out and register now to get a discount.
This gathering will draw on our entire extended network community. Word has been circulating and it promises to be a big gathering of the combined networks from the conferences, monthly networking meetings, and other events, as well as some people who are entirely new to Planetwork. Come out and catch up with old friends, meet some new ones and support Planetwork.
Monday, December 1, 2003
WHO hopes to treat 3M with HIV drugs
The WHO announced efforts to treat 3M people with antiretroviral drugs according to this New York Times story (registration required). The WHO also called on developing countries to train 100,000 healthcare and nonprofessionals to help implement its plans by 2005. Wesley Clark announced his plans in a speech today, World AIDS Day.
The organization, a United Nations agency, said 6 million of the 40 million people infected with the AIDS virus were in immediate need of antiretroviral treatment, but that only about 480,000 were receiving it.
The new program, which the organization said would cost at least $5.5 billion, is intended to reach half those in need by the end of 2005 — two million more than would be reached by then without such a program.
Wesley Clark to propose $30B to fight world AIDS, other diseases
Clark is expected to announce today a plan to give $30B to fight AIDS and other diseases according to this New York Times story (registration required):
Unlike the president's plan, which directs most financing through agencies controlled in part by the United States, General Clark's proposal would provide "a large majority" of the money to international organizations like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.
The AIDS proposal is part of a series of foreign policy initiatives General Clark has outlined under a plan he calls "preventive engagement." The strategy centers on his belief that America is not just the world's "greatest military force, but also its greatest force for good," according to a draft of the address, which was provided by a member of the Clark campaign staff.
Friday, November 28, 2003
Kintera fundraising ASP to go public
A dotcom remnant that focuses on fundraising software/services (an ASP) has filed to go public according to this Wall Street Jorunal story (subscription require):
The underwriters for Kintera Inc.'s proposed initial public offering set the offering size at 4.5 million shares, plus 675,000 shares for overallotments.
...Kintera, which makes fund-raising software, said it expects to receive net proceeds of approximately $36.4 million, or $42 million if the overallotment is exercised in full.
Here's what Kintera provides since being founded in 1999 by the founders of InterVU which was acquired for several billion dollars:
The Internet provides a revolutionary opportunity to empower people to communicate more easily and more effectively than ever before about causes and issues of interest to them. Interactions between people are dramatically enhanced when nonprofit organizations provide easy-to-use online communication tools that effectively allow their supporters to communicate with one another. Not only can nonprofits target their audience with personalized communications and gain extraordinary knowledge from these interactions, but more importantly, they can now provide volunteers and supporters with Internet technology that enables them to leverage valuable real-time data that drive people to take action.
It is that knowledge and interaction that ultimately assists nonprofits in raising awareness, funds and participation while growing their community of supporters. The result is less communication costs, and dramatically increased participation. This is the power of Kintera Sphere, the Knowledge Interaction software platform developed by Kintera.
Thursday, November 27, 2003
Supreme Court ruling on cost of fundraising earlier this year
A story on how a loophole in the Do-not-call Registry allows charities to still telemarket to you which could mean a slew of misleading or even fraudulent calls from or on behalf of charities. It is recommended that the cost of fundraising should never be above 35% of the money raised but according to this Wall Street Journal story (subscription required):
It isn't up to the group soliciting you to offer information. A recent Supreme Court case makes it clear that it is up to the donors to ask the right questions. In Madigan v. Telemarketing Associates Inc., Illinois's attorney general's office charged Telemarketing Associates with soliciting funds on behalf of a charity called VietNow National Headquarters, and giving VietNow just 15% of the funds, about $1 million of the $7.1 million raised between 1987 and the end of 1995.
The Supreme Court this year ruled that Telemarketing Associates was within its First Amendment rights to pocket as much as it wanted, as long as it didn't lie to donors when asked.
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
HIV/AIDS killed 3M people, 5M more infected in 2003
While Republicans are busy trying to rewrite Reagan's indifference to HIV/AIDS, another 3M people died of HIV-related complications according to this Associated Press story in the WSJ (subscription required):
The report by UNAIDS, the U.N. agency responsible for coordinating global efforts to fight the disease, said the epidemic killed more than 3 million people in 2003. Around 5 million more acquired the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, bringing the number of people living with the virus to between 34 million and 46 million.
``This is an epidemic that at the start was a white middle-class gay man's disease. Today, if you use a stereotype, the face of AIDS is a young woman from Africa,'' Dr. Peter Piot, executive director of UNAIDS, told a news conference in London.
Foundations should increase spend-down rate
A New York Times story on the two types of foundations, one that lives on in perpetuity and the other that's set up with the intention of giving away all of its money within a finite period of time. It gives the example of the Aaron Diamond Foundation and quotes former Senator Bill Bradley, a consultant at McKinsey & Company's nonprofit division, and a managing director at the investment firm, Allen & Company:
"In fact, if foundations step up to problems now and fund solutions at a faster spend-down rate, there will be a lessened future burden," he said, "and it will be less costly in both a social and monetary sense."
...The [Aaron Diamond] foundation's mandate to spend its financing in 10 years was made in 1987; it closed in 1997. Some $220 million and 2,290 grants were dispensed for AIDS research, as well as arts and education in the city. "The foundation is gone," Mr. McGee said, "but the legacy lives on in breakthrough basic scientific knowledge about AIDS/H.I.V., which has spurred further research, and critical steps accomplished toward a cure." The breakthrough occurred under the directorship of Dr. David Ho, who with colleagues at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in Manhattan developed the "cocktail" drug treatment, or protease inhibitors, for AIDS patients.
On the opposite side are most foundations:
The Ford Foundation, however, is a believer in a long foundation life. "Preserving the option of long-term foundations is important, as new foundations won't necessarily attend to those ongoing problems" like income and racial inequality, which need lasting attention, said Susan V. Berresford, the president of the Ford Foundation. "A foundation that is long-term can accumulate an expertise in a set of problems."
Friday, November 21, 2003
China's Internet users
There are 68 million Internet users in China but only a third are in the largest metropolises according to this Wall Street Journal story (subscription required):
Underpinning the growth in small cities is an array of factors, including government policies and free-market competition to provide Internet services, says one of the surveys, on small cities. In Yima, a city in hilly, rural Henan province, for example, a mining company vied with the local subsidiary of China's telecommunications authority to offer Internet services starting in the late 1990s. The result was low-cost Internet connections and a surge in Internet cafes -- 60 of them by early 2002 -- for a city of 120,000 where incomes average $500 a year and many residents can't afford a home computer.
The findings, say the researchers who conducted the study, suggest that the Internet's impact is greater than previously thought, with implications for the future of the economy and the communist government. Far from being a tool of the educated and well-off in big cities, the Internet is cutting across income and geographical lines in China, creating a populace that is better informed and more demanding of the government, the researchers say. "The Internet's emergence has filled a void," Hu Xianhong of Peking University wrote in the survey on small cities.
Friday, November 7, 2003
Billions served, millions donated!
NPR will receive $200M+ from the widow of the longtime McDonald's chairman according to this New York Times story (registration required):
The gift is the largest in the 33-year history of NPR, the nonprofit broadcasting corporation — and about twice the size of NPR's annual operating budget. It is believed to be among the largest ever pledged to an American cultural institution.
The gift, which is largely in cash and will be made available to NPR early next year, is included in the will of Joan B. Kroc, 75, the widow of Ray A. Kroc. Mrs. Kroc, who died on Oct. 12, was a former owner of the San Diego Padres and a longtime philanthropist. In 1998 she gave $100 million to the Salvation Army, and last week the University of Notre Dame announced a gift from her of $50 million.