Children among North Carolina’s homeless population

June 4, 2013

Categories: Humanitarian

WRAL-TV recently brought attention to the struggle of one homeless mother and her two children in Wake County. The Raleigh Rescue Mission plays an important role in this story. To learn more about the Mission, check out our grantee profile. ...

Capitalism and free trade, the twin heroes of poverty reduction

June 3, 2013

The Economist reports that 1 billion people have been lifted out of extreme poverty during the last 20 years, and capitalism and free trade should largely take credit: In his inaugural address in 1949 Harry Truman said that “more than half the people in the world are living in conditions approaching misery. For the first time in history, humanity possesses the knowledge and skill to relieve the suffering of those people.” It has taken much longer than Truman hoped, but the world has lately been making extraordinary progress in lifting people out of extreme poverty. Between 1990 and 2010, their number fell by half as a share of the total population in developing countries, from 43% to 21%—a reduction of almost 1 billion people. Now the world has a serious chance to redeem Truman’s pledge to lift the least fortunate. Of the 7 billion people alive on the planet, 1.1 billion subsist below the internationally accepted extreme-poverty line of $1.25 a day. Starting this week and...

How the fine arts can fight poverty

May 30, 2013

Are the fine arts of Western civilization a pathway to fighting poverty? Earl Shorris — a novelist, journalist, and author of The Art of Freedom: Teaching the Humanities to the Poor — says "yes." Be sure to read this book review by Naomi Schaefer Riley in The Wall Street Journal: Almost two decades ago, Earl Shorris, a novelist and journalist, told the editor at his publishing house that he wanted to write a book about poverty in America. The editor, to his credit, said that he didn't want just another book describing the problem. He wanted a solution. So Shorris, who had attended the University of Chicago on a scholarship many years before and who was greatly influenced by its Great Books curriculum, hit upon the idea of teaching the core texts of Western civilization to people living in poverty, whose school experience had scanted the canon or skipped it entirely. His Eureka moment came when he was visiting a prison and conducting interviews for another book he was...

Does your country encourage or discourage generous giving?

April 26, 2013

To what degree does your country respect the freedom to be generous? That's the question examined in a new pilot study from the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute. The new research explores the climate of philanthropic freedom in 13 nations. The study (PDF download) uses a variety of metrics — including the ease of creating philanthropic organizations and tax policies that either encourage or discourage individual generosity — to determine the level of restrictions in each country. The Hudson Institute's index of philanthropic freedom puts the Netherlands, the United States, Sweden, Japan, Australia, and Mexico at the top. Turkey, Russia, Egypt, and China round out the bottom. The study concludes: Many of the high scoring nations are also high income countries, reflecting the long history of philanthropy and civil society in these countries. Additionally, some emerging economies scored high also, reflecting an improving environment that is conducive to...

Juan Nelson comes full circle to help others find jobs

March 12, 2013

Our new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Juan Nelson, who works as a case manager for StepUp Ministry's Life Skills program. Once employed and struggling with a drug addiction, today Juan helps others find jobs: It took five businessmen at a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, to set Juan Nelson on the path to new life. That was no easy task: Juan had just arrived in the Queen City seeking recovery from a nagging drug addiction. His criminal record scared away potential employers. But after he joined a ministry geared toward renewal through spiritual means, his life began to change. “The men in my church imparted a lot of principles,” Juan said. “Instead of telling me how to do it, they literally put their arms around me and showed me how to do it, how to change.” The process was slow and required a solid dose of humility up front, but soon Juan was hired in a supervisory role to help clean Harris Teeter stores. “It taught me how to work for someone else...

Pope Foundation Announces 2013 Class of Eagle Scout Scholars

February 19, 2013

RALEIGH, N.C. FEB. 19, 2013 — The John William Pope Foundation, one of the top-giving philanthropies in North Carolina, is proud to announce the 2013 class of Pope Family Eagle Scout scholars. The scholarships, valued at $20,000 for each student, will help four young men pursue careers in the military, small business, and music industry. The mission of the Pope Family Eagle Scout Scholarship is to further the course of study for devoted Eagle Scouts who want to become leaders in the free-enterprise system. The Pope family and the Pope Foundation have invested over $1 million in these promising young men and in the Occoneechee Council. “Helping these Eagle Scouts become the greatest leaders of tomorrow — that’s our goal,” said John Akerman, CEO of the Occoneechee Council, the scouting council that administers the scholarship. “We’re excited to see where life takes this newest class of young men.” The Pope Foundation funds two scholarships, valued at $40,000,...

Have philanthropists lost sight of the poor?

February 15, 2013

Have conservatives, preoccupied with the worthy goal of limiting the size of government, lost sight of an equally important goal: strengthening civil society by directly helping low-income individuals? William Schambra explores that question in this piece re-printed in Philanthropy Daily: Conservatives ... argue for a smaller federal government. They do so because it would sustain not only a more vigorous marketplace but also a more robust civil society. Civil society, not government, is the best instrument to meet the needs of low-income people, in this view. For poverty all too often results from the breakdown of the critical civic institutions like family, neighborhood, and voluntary associations that shelter and nurture the most vulnerable among us. When big government begins to assume that function, conservatives argue, it only further erodes civil society, while doing a woefully inadequate job as a substitute. But if this argument is valid, then conservative...