Category: Public Policy

A New Year Wish – Charity and Justice for all

A New Year Wish – Charity and Justice for all

It is that time of the year when everyone is reaching out to everyone else, to seek support for their causes. Financial support, in-kind support, volunteer time, all of it is kosher. If you work in the nonprofit sector, you’d know. There are many things that are wrong with our world and activists, religious leaders, …

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Do we really need nonprofits in America? : Five arguments for the sector’s existence

Do we really need nonprofits in America? : Five arguments for the sector’s existence

  Are nonprofit organizations redundant? Can the for-profit sector solve all our problems and usher in a world where poverty, disease and deprivation are things of the past? I read an article on the Forbes website yesterday that argued for dismantling of the nonprofit sector. This piece by Mr. Freedman sought to show, using two …

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Not everything that can be Counted Counts, and Not Everything that Counts can be Counted: Notes from ARNOVA, 2013

Not everything that can be Counted Counts, and Not Everything that Counts can be Counted: Notes from ARNOVA, 2013

  I left Hartford, CT on Saturday after three grueling days of intense thinking and engagement at the 42nd Annual Association for Research on Non-profit and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the Mecca for nonprofit theorists and practitioners. For over four decades the organization has been the meeting ground for anyone interested and engaged in this sphere. …

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In God’s Land: Triumph of faith over facts

In God’s Land: Triumph of faith over facts

Pankaj Rishi Kumar’s In God’s Land is a dystopian tale set in Tamilnadu, South India. While it brings together history, discourse of development and progress, there is an underlying tale that is not visible, even after watching the film in its entirety. This is one of the “land grab mafia” involving the local Vanamamalai Temple …

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“As researchers, you are all artists, not just reporters of facts” – Dr. John Cameron, ISS

“As researchers, you are all artists, not just reporters of facts” – Dr. John Cameron, ISS

I presented my paper on Arab Diaspora giving at the 11th development dialogue, hosted by the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University, Rotterdam on October 10, 11 in The Hague, Netherlands. The student conference brought together 120 young researchers from across the world and despite the numbers, two regions of the world were …

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Teaching kids about Philanthropy – Talk about it or show how it is done?

Teaching kids about Philanthropy – Talk about it or show how it is done?

  On a recent trip to Dearborn, MI, this summer, I witnessed what could be considered the only model of teaching philanthropy for young Arab Americans. I met the team from the Center for Arab American Philanthropy (CAAP), an organizational affiliate of  ACCESS in Dearborn, MI, the largest Arab-American philanthropic organization in the country. Titled …

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Is philanthropy inherently undemocratic?

Is philanthropy inherently undemocratic?

I am reading Peter Frumkin’s Strategic Giving, a must read for anyone interested in understanding the current debates in the field of philanthropy and also teaching a course on Governance and civil society in the U.S. Together, these two sources are shaping my ideas about democracy, civic engagement and political theory. I will discuss the …

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Innovations in Philanthropy: Community Foundations and Faith-based organizations undergoing a radical shift

Innovations in Philanthropy: Community Foundations and Faith-based organizations undergoing a radical shift

“There hasn’t been any ‘innovation’ in Islamic philanthropy in the last 1400 years,” said Reza Aslan, a scholar of religion and founder of ‘Zakatability,’ a startup that is aiming at efficient zakat distribution through online technologies. His organization is all set to change this, using a combination of traditional norms and modern technologies. While one …

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