Donations to giving circles have tripled to $1.29 billion over the last decade, driven largely by women. The Collective Giving Research Group found that of 1,600 giving circles nationwide, 70% have mostly female membership and almost 50% were exclusively women.
The Better Business Bureau is advising donors to choose charities wisely, and be cautious about giving to charities that have a similar name to a large organization or that use paid telephone solicitors. Donors are also advised to use BBB's Wise-Giving Alliance Program, which reports on charities' effectiveness, operations and other measures.
Giving to foundations doesn't divert funds from the US economy, contrary to a Nov. 10 editorial in the Wall Street Journal, writes Daniel Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector. "America's nonprofits and foundations are vital economic drivers that provide more than 11 million jobs, pay $532 billion in wages and contribute an estimated $905.9 billion to the national economy," he writes.
The NAACP is making major changes, including naming Derrick Johnson as its new president and transitioning to a 501(c)4 nonprofit to increase political lobbying, in an effort to become more relevant. Johnson said the NAACP expects to grow its membership 4% by the end of the year by playing on President Donald Trump's anti-minority sentiments.
Indian billionaire and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini have signed The Giving Pledge, agreeing to donate half of their fortune to charity. "We are excited by our initial experimentation with societal platforms in early education and see immense potential for scaling up diverse solutions," they wrote.
Giving for the year increased to $4.7 billion in the third quarter, marking a 2% increase from levels in the first half of the year, but according to the Fundraising Effectiveness Project is still down 4% compared to 2016. The number of donors so far in 2017 hit 4.8 million, which is down 5% from 2016.
Most active-duty US troops in Puerto Rico are coming home this week, but there are still several ongoing missions, such as restoring power to the island. More than 2,000 active-duty and reserve troops will remain, many of whom are Puerto Ricans in reserve units, as well as 4,000 National Guard troops.
The California Army National Guard's 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) took part in a multination exercise in Germany this month to prepare for deployment to Afghanistan, where it will handle operational command in the south. The Allied Spirit VII exercise focuses on interoperability among NATO allies.
The Pentagon plans to change a policy that allows service members to transfer benefits under the post-9/11 GI Bill to their spouses or children, which requires the service member to have served at least six years with a promise to serve an additional four. "Effective one year from this change, the ability to transfer benefits will be limited to service members with less than 16 years of total service," said the Pentagon's Anthony Kurta.
The Defense Logistics Agency has delivered Thanksgiving meals to US troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other Middle East locations, including about 6,000 Air Force Reserve troops. "It means a lot to our deployed Reserve citizen airmen who are away from their families and friends to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal with their Air Force family," said Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Erika Kelly.