Help Out Charities With Your Excess Stuff -and Get a Great Tax Break

In my last post I addressed the topic of tax breaks and charitable giving. One of the suggestions made was to donate excess inventory to charity and to take a tax deduction.

In some cases it may be obvious where to donate your excess inventory. Some examples: a small toy store in my town donated toys to the local children's hospital. Contractors and retail stores can donate home improvement goods—furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to Habitat ReStores,where they are sold to the public at a fraction of the retail price to help fund the construction of Habitat homes within their communities.

But it is not always so easy or so obvious where to donate your excess inventory or used items. A few years ago I helped my husband find a home for all his used, in great condition, office furniture and equipment. This turned out to be a challenge as we could not find a charity that was interested in taking this perfectly good equipment, even if we delivered it to them. In desperation we were about to rent a truck and take it all to the dump. Fortunately a friend of ours had been volunteering at a very under-funded public school that was thrilled to receive some extra desks and file cabinets. We enlisted my son and his friends to help deliver the furniture in exchange for some pizza and their required high school community service credits.

I wish back then we had known about the organization NAEIR. When a business finds it hard to find a local charity that can use their excess inventory or reusable seconds, there is a quick and easy solution. The National Association for the exchange of Industrial Resources, NAEIR, founded in 1977, has collected more than $1.6 billion of inventory from companies such as Microsoft and Reebok and donated it to churches, schools and non-profits across the country. Small companies can also take advantage of this free service from NAEIR that helps clear warehouse space, recycles good used equipment, saves waste from filling up the landfills, while giving tax benefits to a business.

Here are the specifics of the tax deductions that a business can take when donating goods to a charity:
C corporations may deduct the cost of goods and half the difference between the cost and fair market value, which are allowed to add up to twice the cost.
S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships earn a straight cost reduction.

As businesses are looking for more and more ways to contribute to charity and ways to eliminate waste, there seem to be more and more opportunities to find ways to give away extra inventory or equipment. Charities are always searching through postings on Freecycle or Craigslist. Yes, even high school community service groups are getting involved in this idea. Just this week our local high school sponsored a laptop collection drive for a charity.

Please be sure to check out the most current information on tax deductions with your tax advisor.

Interview in Tijdschift voor Humanistiek

Nummer 40 jaargang 10 december 2009
Een portret van Ruud Welten: "Existentialisme hoeft niet per sé links te zijn"
Door Sharon Hagenbeek

Immigration Staff Attorney Position at Tahirih

By providing holistic legal services and engaging in national public policy advocacy, the Tahirih Justice Center (Tahirih) works to promote access to justice in the United States for immigrant women and girls who are fleeing violence. Tahirih is a Bahá'í-inspired non-profit organization that offers pro bono representation to women and girls seeking protection from such gender-based human rights abuses as domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, female genital cutting, honor crimes, and forced marriage. Winner of the 2007 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Non-Profit Management, Tahirih has a staff of 29 with offices in Falls Church, VA, Houston, TX and Baltimore, MD (January 2010).

Position Summary: Tahirih is currently seeking to hire a full-time Staff Attorney to represent immigrant and refugee women in gender based asylum cases, claims brought under the Violence Against Women Act, and other related immigration matters, including T and U visas. The ideal candidate will possess foreign language skills and have experience working with female victims of violence from multi-cultural backgrounds. Additionally, the candidate will be detail-oriented, self-motivated, and a team player. S/he must be committed to the promotion of justice for women and girls, and to the foundational values of Tahirih.

Note: This position will be split between our Falls Church, VA main office (3 days per week) and our Baltimore, MD satellite office (2 days per week) with a possibility of increasing time spent in Baltimore.

Primary responsibilities will include:


* Conduct intake interviews

* Represent clients before the DHS, Immigration Courts, and BIA

* Train and mentor pro bono attorneys who co-counsel Tahirih cases * Supervise paralegal, and legal and other interns

* Conduct trainings and outreach activities

* Attend coalition meetings and network with like-minded organizations Fundraising

* Contribute to the development of grant proposals and reports

* Occasionally attend meetings with potential funders

* Provide client stories and articles for periodic Tahirih publications

* Generally promote the Center and its work

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

* Experience representing immigrant women in asylum, VAWA, T visa, and/or U visa cases

* Experience working with female survivors of trauma and those from diverse cultural backgrounds

* Excellent legal analysis, written and oral communication skills

* Admission to any bar, or eligibility for admission to any bar

* Foreign language skills (Spanish preferred)

* Meticulous organizational habits with an ability to manage large amounts of information, establish priorities, and meet deadlines

* Extremely responsible, self-initiating, and focused

* Ability to multitask and work in a fast paced environment with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and personalities.

Annual salary and benefits: Salary ranges from $39,000 to $43,000, depending on experience. Benefits include: 15 days of paid accrued vacation during the first year (20 days of vacation after the first year), additional week of vacation between Christmas and New Years, fully-paid health and dental insurance coverage, 403(b) plan, flex-spending account, in-house training programs, professional development stipend, and staff enrichment retreats.

Submissions: Please email a cover letter, resume, and a list of 3 references to:

Human Resources Department

Tahirih Justice Center

6402 Arlington Blvd, Suite 300

Falls Church, VA 22042

Fax: 571-282-6162

Getting Tax Breaks From Your Business Charity

I have been searching for articles about tax advice for business charitable giving, as it is important for every business to understand how their charity affects their tax deductions. I first read this article on and found it on where they have given blanket permission to reprint their articles.

The holidays are a perfect time of year to address this topic as so many businesses are helping out needy causes right before the end of the year and their charity will go towards this year's tax accounting.
The article, "Charitable Contributions and the Tax Benefits" as it comes from a faith based perspective, addresses the question of the true meaning of giving in the context of personal finances. Small business owners will benefit from reading this as it relates to the same issue of taking tax benefits for the business. Whether coming from a religious orientation or not, it is important for any business to asses the underlying values that relate to it's charitable giving program during the holidays and during the the rest of the year as well- and for tax advice about your giving plan, check with your tax advisor at tax time.

There is a tax advantage to giving. I often wonder if people would still give even if there was not a charitable contribution tax deduction? The potentially dangerous outcome is that we might be motivated to give just for the deduction.

December is the Most ‘Profitable’ Month For Non-Profits

December is the make it or break it month.

The primary reason for this that there are groups of donors who have a pocketful of money that they want to unload before the end of the current tax year – December 31st. Because of the financial advantage of giving, people give like crazy before the December 31st deadline. Depending on a person’s income they might even save money on taxes (if you are close to a bracket threshold) by making a contribution.

However, if you start thinking about tax considerations too early in the decision making process, you are likely to allow the tax impact to override doing what is best for God’s kingdom.

How do charitable contributions reduce your tax liability?

When you make a donation to a registered charitable organization you have the opportunity to also reduce your tax liability. Essentially each dollar you donate is not taxable.

Assume you made a $1,000 donation to you church and the church gives you a tax receipt at the end of the year. When you pay taxes you would not need to pay taxes on that $1,000 because it was given to a charity.

The more you donate the more taxes you save. Of course, you will want to consult with your tax advisor to confirm the details of your situation as it is fact dependent.

3 Excellent Tax Strategies That Are Bad For Charities

Keep your contributions for the entire year and then send the check in December.

The advantage is that you get to use that money, invest the money, and get interest on the money for almost twelve months. Then at the last minute you give it away (in December) so that you still get your tax deduction.

I think this strategy highlights a giving approach that is falsely motivated by tax considerations. Throughout the year, the charity also had uses for that money. Many charities are desperate for contributions and by getting a few extra pennies of your dollars you may be significantly hindering their ability to do good work.

Charity Reminder: It is better to put the needs of a charity above your ability to squeeze a few extra pennies out of your giving

Don’t make personal contributions to people because it is not tax deductible.

If you give $200 dollars to a family to buy groceries you cannot deduct that from your taxes.

The savvy tax advisor might suggest you make that contribution to a registered charity instead so you can get a donation receipt. The problem, once again, is that you are in the presence of a legitimate need (perhaps providentially arranged by God) and yet you dismiss that need because it is not a wise tax decision.

Charity Reminder: When you see a financial need, that need should supersede your desire to get a tax deduction.

Withhold your giving this year because it was a low income year and save it for next year when you will make more money.

Here again, the motivation to give is more about yourself than the charity. In fact, when you delay giving one year, it is quite possible that it might be hard for you to start giving again. It is important to weigh the spiritual impact of a decision – even if it has an apparent monetary benefit.

Charity Reminder: Giving is about blessing others and developing a healthy giving heart, it is not primarily about tax deductions.

Legitimate Charitable Giving Tax Considerations:

Giving is a blessing. Giving helps others. And, if on top of everything you can get a tax deduction, I think you should – it’s part of what’s involved in good stewardship. Since we seek tax efficient investing portfolios we should also seek to minimize a tax liability when giving. Ultimately, as you save on taxes you will in turn be in a position to give more in the future.

  • Depending on the car, you might be better off financially donating a car instead of selling the car.
  • Donate items that have appreciated significantly – stocks or real estate for example. This action saves you a lot of taxes and allows the charity to receive a larger contribution.
  • Charitable gift annuities
  • Request a charitable contribution receipt when you make a donation. To receive a receipt does not mean that the receipt motivated your giving. It simply is a wise action for a financial steward to be wise with every contribution.
  • Mileage tax deduction for volunteer work.
  • Setting up a charity in order to offer charitable contribution receipts to donors. You may need to adjust or structure your work in order to be able to legitimately receive charitable contributions. It would be wise to properly register your organization so you can offer contribution receipts.

4 Ways To Keep Giving Motives Pure

This post is not an encouragement to ignore tax considerations. It is, however, a reminder that at times our concern to do the most fiscally conservative action might hinder a legitimate giving opportunity. We want to be sure we keep the first things first and the last things last. The tax consideration should fall at the end of your giving decisions.

Step One: Consider the Biblical Teachings On Giving

There is a lot of discussion on the topic of the tithe and giving. Must I give 10%? Is 10% a starting place for giving? I’d encourage you to start with the topic of . Thought not biblically mandated I am a fan of the graduated tithe.

Step Two: Consider Your Internal Spiritual Need to Give

I think giving is a matter of the heart. Money and possessions have a sticky attribute – they try to cling and stick to you. The best way to rid yourself from a lust of stuff is to give it away. Giving produces healthy spiritual fruit.

Step Three: Consider the needs/the work of a charity

Once you have decided that you need to give as a spiritual discipline then you need to decide where you should give your money. Of course, the church is a great place to start with your giving. You might also want to consider organizations that are directly involved in things you are passionate about.

Step Four: Consider the Related Tax Consequences

The tax consideration should always come last. You know you need to give. You know when and how you should give. I believe it is only at this point you should start to think about how to minimize your tax liability though some giving strategies.

Would you still give even if there was not a charitable contribution tax deduction? When it comes to giving, do the ends justify the means? How do you know when tax considerations are taking priority over spiritual needs?

Boekpresentatie Merleau-Ponty’s Fenomenologie van de waarneming

De relevantie van Merleau-Ponty’s Fenomenologie van de waarneming

Ter gelegenheid van het verschijnen van de herziene versie van de Nederlandse vertaling van Phénoménologie de la perception in de serie ‘Klassieken’ bij Uitgeverij Boom wordt er een klein symposium georganiseerd rond de doorwerking en relevantie van deze belangwekkende klassieke tekst.

Donderdag 21 januari 2010
14.00 – 16.00 uur
Universiteit van Amsterdam, Bushuis zaal F 2.11 B, Kloveniersburgwal 48, Amsterdam

Laurens ten Kate, Uitgeverij Boom

14.05 – 14.30
Douwe Tiemersma, Wijsbegeerte, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, vertaler: 
De terugkeer naar de ambigue oorsprong van waarnemer en wereld als bevrijding

14.30 – 14.50
Erik Rietveld, Amsterdam/Cambridge, Mass., USA
Belichaamde kennis en neurowetenschappen

14.50 – 15.10
Ruud Welten, Wijsbegeerte, Tilburg
Politieke filosofie en muziektheorie

15.10 – 15.30
Brechtje Zwaneveld, o.a. Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK - Theater)
Dans en theater

Maarten Coolen, Wijsbegeerte, Universiteit van Amsterdam:
Belichaamde existentie

Na afloop: borrel

Er is een boekentafel van Uitgeverij Boom.

Niet alleen de Franse filosofie van Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida en anderen is veel verschuldigd aan Merleau-Ponty, ook in Nederland, Duitsland, de V.S. en in andere landen is er een brede receptie van Merleau-Ponty geweest. Deze verwerking gaat op dit ogenblik nog steeds door. Het is opmerkelijk dat dit niet alleen binnen de filosofie gebeurt, maar vooral ook op andere terreinen. Zo wordt binnen de praktische en wetenschappelijke disciplines het denken over kunst, neurale en cognitieve processen, beweging, politiek en vele andere individuele en maatschappelijke verschijnselen beïnvloed door Merleau-Ponty. Het boek Fenomenologie van de waarneming blijkt voor velen een prachtige leidraad te zijn bij het onderzoek naar de waarneming en de waargenomen wereld, naar lichaam en geest, naar allerlei aspecten van leven en samenleven. Het leidt tot verrassende perspectieven en inzichten die ook nu nog voor de filosofie, de wetenschappen en de praktische werkterreinen van groot nut kunnen zijn.
Op het symposium laten een paar filosofen en vertegenwoordigers van verschillende disciplines zien welke inspiratie zij uit het boek halen en op welke wijze het boek in hun werk wordt gebruikt.

Contact:, en

Responding To Employee Charity Requests With Grace

A friend of mine told me of a recent holiday collection drive that the employees at her company wanted to implement for a local food pantry. The small company that she worked for responded that they could not authorize the drive because it would appear as favoritism of one charity over another. What they did do was to allow the employees to bring in their own collection boxes, as it would not appear as being company sanctioned.

Since I do not know all the facts, such as whether the company has a charity giving plan, how they choose which charities to give to, and how they engage their employees in their charitable giving, I cannot make any comments on their decision. But this case points out the importance of a company to include in any planning of their philanthropy the very important issue of employee engagement. This broad issue must also address how to respond to specific requests from the employees to support their favorite charities. In addition, the plan should address how a company should respond with flexibility and grace, to the immediate and urgent causes that employees wish to support, not only during the holidays but at other times of disasters or crises.

Responding to employees caring about the world during especially difficult times, will help them feel supported and will motivate and engage them in participating in the long term philanthropy program of the company-another subject to be covered in the future.

Democracy and Religion International Master Course Tilburg University

Go to the site for more information (for Master Philosophy students in Europe)

For a long time, prevailing opinion has been that democracy exists because politics has detached itself from religion. Thus the fact that democracy since some 250 years slowly has gained the upper hand in the world is supposed to be the result of a strong secularisation of daily life and an institutional separation of church and state. Implicitly it is assumed that religion in itself is an anti-democratic force in modern society.

On the other hand, however, it is generally acknowledged that for instance in Eastern European countries religion has played an important role in the resistance against the Sowjet system, and therefore, in the return of democracy. Against this background, several questions are rising, such as:
What exactly is democracy?
What is religion?
What is the relationship between democracy and religion?
Are mutual differences between religions relevant concerning these questions?
Is religion still possible in a secular society?

There is a body of texts in which the classical discussion in philosophy with regard to these questions can be studied, texts of, amongst others, Augustine, Locke, Spinoza, Kant and Weber. Generally, an opposition is presupposed between belief, superstition, myth and ideology on the one hand, and secularisation, Enlightenment, modernity and rationality on the other hand. Recently, however, philosophy has more and more come to cast doubt on this opposition and on the ‘secularisation-thesis’ based on this opposition. Writers such as Gauchet, Habermas, Nancy, Taylor and others deny the contrariety between democracy and religion, or point out that actually religion has laid the foundation for democracy. What are the consequences of these reconsiderations for our debate on the foundations of the European Union?

Community Development Cilinic Fellow at University of Baltimore

The University of Baltimore School of Law invites applications for a fellowship to start on or about July 1, 2010 in the Community Development Clinic (CDC).

This public interest fellowship program offers practicing attorneys exposure to law school clinical teaching. The CDC offers transactional advice and representation to community-based nonprofit groups as well as small businesses headed by low-income entrepreneurs. The Fellow's duties include direct supervision of case work of clinic students and clinic classroom teaching in coordination with clinic faculty. Fellows also pursue professional goals in conjunction with his/her clinic director, including opportunities for scholarship. This position is a contractual appointment for up to two years and can be extended for a third year under certain circumstances.

Qualifications: excellent oral and written communication skills; at least two years of experience, preferably transactional, as a practicing lawyer a strong academic record and/or other indicia of high performance ability; a commitment to work for low income clients and a strong interest in teaching. Fellows must be members of the Maryland Bar in order to supervise law practice by students.

Salary: The current salary is $50,000 year 1; $53,000 year 2. The position includes full benefits, including retirement annuities, research support, and travel allowance. Applications are now being accepted. The deadline for letters of interest and resumes is January 15, 2010.

For a detailed job description position, please view our website at

To apply, submit a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to:
Professor James J. Kelly, Jr.
Director, Community Development Clinic
University of Baltimore School of Law
40 W. Chase Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Phone: 410-837-4094; Fax: 410-333-3053

The University of Baltimore is an equal opportunity employer and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. UB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/ADA Compliant Employer & Title IX Institution. Web:

Fellowship in Family Mediation Clinic at University of Baltimore

The University of Baltimore School of Law invites applications for a Fellowship in its Family Mediation Clinic to start on or about April 1, 2010, although the start date is negotiable.

This public interest fellowship program offers practicing attorneys exposure to law school clinical teaching. The Fellow's duties include direct supervision of clinic students in the Family Mediation Clinic, representing clients who have family mediation issues and clinic classroom teaching in coordination with clinic faculty. Fellows also pursue professional goals in conjunction with his/her clinic director, including opportunities for scholarship. This position is a contractual appointment for up to two years and can be extended for a third year under certain circumstances.

Qualifications: Excellent oral and written communication skills; at least two years of experience as a practicing lawyer including experience in mediation; a strong academic record and/or other indicia of high performance ability; a commitment to work for low income clients and a strong interest in teaching. Qualification as a Child Access Mediator in the Maryland Circuit Court is strongly preferred and the Fellow must be a member of the Maryland Bar.

Salary: The current salary is $50,000 year 1; $53,000 year 2. The position includes full benefits, including retirement annuities, research support, and travel allowance. Applications are now being accepted. The deadline for letters of interest and resumes is February 28, 2010.

For a detailed job description, please view our website at

To apply, submit a letter of interest and curriculum vitae to:
Robert Rubinson
Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Education University of Baltimore School of Law
40 W. Chase Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Phone: 410-837-4094; Fax: 410-333-3053

The University of Baltimore is an equal opportunity employer and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. UB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/ADA Compliant Employer & Title IX Institution. Web:

reBlog from Craig: Welcome to the social giving network

I found this fascinating quote today:

According to a 2009 Cone Communications survey, 85 percent of Americans say they have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a cause they care about.  More than half (52 percent) of Americans feel companies should maintain their level of financial support of causes and nonprofit organizations. Twenty-six percent of consumers revealed they continue to have high philanthropic expectations for companies, despite the current economic crisis; and they expect companies to give even more.Craig, Welcome to the social giving network, Dec 2009

You should read the whole article.

The Glow of Gift Giving

Thanks to Jan Bergman of Venderberg Communications for sending this on about glassybaby. I look forward to hearing from more businesses about their philanthropic endeavors.

(December 1, 2009)--Need a shopping trip without the accompanying guilt trip? Seattle-based glassybaby continues its emphasis on giving during the holiday season, making choosing from their more than 400 colors (with names such as Angel, Molten and Rudolph) the only choice to make when shopping for the holidays. All five glassybaby stores will give 10% of their proceeds to local cancer care organizations. In New York City proceeds go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center through December 31.

glassbaby New York 555 Hudson St.
The company, glassybaby, makes and sells decorative glass cups to be used for votives, vases, containers, and many other purposes. Cancer survivor and founder Lee Rhodes has made it her personal goal to donate to those now walking in her same path. To date, glassybaby has given more than $300,000 to charity, and owner Lee Rhodes’ goal is to earmark 10% of all glassybaby sales to charity by the end of 2010.

“Part of the reason I started growing this company was to be able to donate back to the very people that helped me during my darkest times,” says Rhodes. “glassybaby is a vessel for giving.”

About glassybaby:
glassybaby were born in 1998 when founder Lee Rhodes was in her third round of battle with a rare form of lung cancer. Lee found serenity in a small, tough, colorful glass vessel made by a family member for whom she had purchased glass-blowing lessons as a Christmas gift. When Lee’s recovery progressed, she started making these glass vessels on her own, which she called “glassybaby”. She opened her first glassybaby store and studio in Seattle in 2003. Today, there are 5 retail locations, more than 70 employees and a dedicated legion of followers.

More about glassybaby…
Most votive candleholders are indistinguishable, but the hand-blown ones from Glassybaby, in Seattle, which have developed a loyal following, stand out for two reasons. First is the compelling back story: Glassybaby was born after Lee Rhodes, a mother of three, learned she had lung cancer in 1998. To relieve her husband’s stress, she bought him glass blowing lessons and he began to make votives, which she later started selling. Second is how great they look: they come in more than 300 deep colors, in a gently rounded form that enhances the appearance of the flame.
(New York Times)

“One of the most exciting designers in the area is Lee Rhodes, who has a cult following for her handblown votives, which double as drinking glasses or bud vases and come in a crayon-box range of shades. They are on display at glassybaby, a 5,700-square-foot boutique-slash-studio where visitors can watch the elegant vessels being made. Rhodes, who is a cancer survivor, also produces a Goodwill line; proceeds support local and national organizations.”
(Travel & Leisure)

“I can’t resist these handblown votives. amazing piece of art to warm the soul…”
(Sunset Magazine)

“Lending themselves well to any number of functions, each Glassybaby spreads warmth to a room whether lit or not…Their stores maintain the same conscientious ethos that lies at the heart of the Glassybaby brand: to live in harmony with the earth and goodwill for all. From ‘bag cleansing’ to donating a portion of sales to various cancer research and support organizations, their efforts shine as brightly as their votives.“

For more information on glassybaby, including photos, please go to

Michael Maggio Immigrants' Rights Summer Fellowship

The Michael Maggio Immigrants' Rights Summer Fellowship was established jointly in 2009 by the America Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law (CHRCL), and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIP/NLG), to commemorate the life and legal contributions of Michael Maggio.

The primary mission of the fellowship program is to strengthen law students' long-term commitment to promote justice and equality for vulnerable immigrant groups. Fellows will be chosen by the three sponsoring organizations, and will be selected based on the strength of their proposed host site and project.

Michael Maggio was an extraordinary immigration attorney and individual who was a life-long advocate for justice, equality, and peace. Throughout his career, Michael received countless professional awards and was honored for his extraordinary legal representation, astute strategizing, unwavering commitment to the highest ethical standards, and his deep passion for justice and upholding the rule of law. He was an active member of AILA, the National Lawyers Guild, and served on the Board of Directors of the National Immigration Project. He was also an active supporter of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. Michael died in February 2008 after a courageous battle with cancer.

The Maggio Immigrants' Right Fellowship program will select its first recipient in 2009, for summer 2010. One summer fellowship will be awarded to a law student each year.

Please see for application form and additional information. The deadline has been extended to December 31, 2009.

The Fund for Justice and Education Project Fellows Program

During these challenging economic times, the ABA Commission on the Impact of the Economic Crisis on the Profession and Legal Needs and the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE) have collaborated to create the FJE Project Fellows. The FJE Project Fellows program will provide meaningful volunteer experience for recent law school graduates who may be unemployed, underemployed or deferred and who would like to engage in substantive law-related activities. The experience of volunteering for these public service programs will allow Fellows to build their resumes, work with well-known lawyers and make professional connections, and produce substantive work for the public good. Substantive tasks may include editing newsletters and magazines, conducting research, assisting in planning conferences and panels, and outreach to direct beneficiaries of programs, among others. Fellows will be supervised by the staff director of the project for which they are volunteering. It is anticipated that Fellows will work remotely using their own computers, although it may be possible for Fellows located in Chicago or Washington, D.C. to volunteer in the ABA offices on occasion if space is available.

Prospective Fellows are asked to complete application, indicating preference for one of five categories of substantive public service programs supported through the FJE: 1) Access to Justice; 2) Children and the Law; 3) Public Education; 4) International Justice; and 5) Professionalism and the Profession. Through a matching process coordinated by the FJE with entity staff directors, Fellows will be assigned to a project. Every effort will be made to assign projects that align with stated preferences. To view more about the Fellows Program or the application, click here.

La CEPAL aboga por un cambio del modelo industrial en América Latina

Por Agencia EFE (CLICK HERE)

Lisboa, 29 nov (EFE).- La secretaria general de la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), Alicia Bárcena, pidió hoy un cambio del modelo de política industrial en América Latina que promueva la eficiencia del mercado.

Debemos "favorecer las redes de cadenas y distritos productivos incluyendo los de menor productividad", añadió Bárcena, que participó en el V Encuentro Empresarial Iberoamericano en Lisboa que precede a la XIX Cumbre de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno, que empieza hoy en Estoril (Portugal).

La alta funcionaria apostó por una "jerarquización" de la política científica y tecnológica en América Latina y una "visión sistemática" de la innovación para lo que puso como ejemplo a Brasil.

"¿Cómo medimos innovación? La productividad es una vara de medir. No estamos teniendo éxito", expresó al tiempo que propuso reducir la brecha digital en la población de la región a través de la promoción de la banda ancha como bien público global -no gratuito, matizó- en el que el Estado tiene que garantizar el acceso a todos los habitantes.

Bárcena trazó el panorama macroeconómico actual latinoamericano, constató la recuperación de algunos indicadores, como el del comercio, y situó la caída del PIB regional en el 1,7 por ciento en 2009.

Por su parte la directora para América Latina y el Caribe del Programa de Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo (PNUD), Rebeca Grynspan, que también intervino en el encuentro, comentó las diferencias en materia de recuperación económica entre las naciones de la región.

"La recuperación en América Latina es heterogénea, con matices en el norte y más comprometida que en el sur", manifestó al apuntar el progreso técnico y la expansión de las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación (TIC) como elementos de "dinamización".

"Igualmente importante será el dinamismo de la económica verde, biocomercio y energías renovables", aseguró Grynspan, quien puso como ejemplo de desarrollo a Brasil, por "el pragmatismo y fortaleza del Estado y sector privado", al recordar que su nivel de pobreza ha descendido el 2% en periodo de plena crisis.

La directiva del PNUD demandó una estrategia a largo plazo para afrontar los problemas de la zona y recordó que el impacto de la crisis en América Latina fue "menor que en el resto del mundo a excepción de Asia".

Bárcena, la responsable de la CEPAL, también se refirió a las consecuencias de la recesión e ilustró un aumento de la pobreza en 2009 hasta los 189 millones de personas y una tasa de paro de 8,5%.

Latinoamérica es "la región mas desigual del mundo", alertó tras citar como uno de sus problemas graves una gran brecha fiscal por la que se tributa poco y mal y sin progresividad.

No obstante, constató medidas positivas en países como Brasil, Chile, México, Colombia y Perú, que tomaron medidas fiscales adecuadas y aumentaron la tasa de expansión del gasto público.

El énfasis en el salario mínimo y en el seguro de desempleo fueron otras dos medidas aplaudidas por la responsable de la CEPAL, que reconoció el esfuerzo de los países por practicar medidas de corte social.

Por último, Grynspan, del PNUD, avisó de que, a pesar de resultados relativamente esperanzadores, la desnutrición, la muerte infantil y materna y la situación de las personas en pobreza extrema son problemas que aún azotan a la región.

Luchar contra ellos, pronosticó, supondrá un esfuerzo de varios años en tanto algunos países se verán limitados para mantener el gasto social.

Pide PNUD redireccionar flujo de capitales hacia países emergentes

Rebeca Grynspan, directora regional para América Latina y El Caribe del PNUD. ESPECIAL

  • El motivo principal es la crisis global

El G-20 debe encabezar una solución financiera internacional,a severó

LISBOA, PORTUGAL.- Ante los efectos de la crisis global en los mercados emergentes es necesario redireccionar los flujos de capitales internacionales hacia ellos, demandó hoy la directora regional para América Latina y El Caribe del PNUD, Rebeca Grynspan.

Al participar en el V Encuentro Empresarial Iberoamericano que tiene lugar en el Centro de Congresos de la capital portuguesa, apuntó que para ello el tema central es la percepción del riesgo.

En el evento, previo a la inauguración de la XIX Cumbre Iberoamericana de Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno, subrayó que en el diseño de esas estrategias es muy importante lo que hagan organismos internacionales, ya que Estados Unidos y China, las grandes economías del mundo, no pueden resolverlo solos.

'También sabemos que el aumento de la seguridad social y del gasto en salud y educación en China va a ayudar a este desbalance pero no es suficiente', añadió.

Al hablar sobre la crisis económica, manifestó su optimismo respecto al papel que ha jugado el Grupo de los 20 países en desarrollo oG-20 en la resolución de algunos aspectos, 'pero me parece que no deberíamos tener un sistema internacional fragmentado'.

'El G-20 debe encabezar una solución financiera internacional que converja con las instituciones mundiales y debe potenciarse el papel de los bancos regionales de desarrollo', abundó.

Grynspan participó en la mesa 'Perspectivas económicas y financieras I', junto a la secretaria general de la CEPAL, Alicia Bárcena y el secretario general de la Organización para la Cooperación y el Desarrollo (OCDE), José Angel Gurría, ambos mexicanos.

Entre los asistentes al foro estuvieron los ex presidentes de México, Vicente Fox y de Perú, Alejandro

U.S. Proposes Climate Fund for Poor Nations

The United States has proposed a new global fund that would direct billions of dollars to help poor countries prepare for climate disasters and adjust to low-carbon economies.

The fund would likely operate under the World Bank, U.S. Treasury officials said, and would be the main vehicle to deliver emissions reduction and adaptation measures throughout the world.

William Pizer, deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy at the U.S. Treasury Department, explained that the fund would contribute to a spectrum of projects from "building a solar park or creating a financial vehicle to support investments in energy efficiency to creating an insurance mechanism for disasters or crops."

The world's poorest countries also are among the most vulnerable to climate change and will be disproportionately affected by harsher droughts, rising sea levels and fiercer storms, scientists say. The World Bank estimates it will cost $75 billion to $100 billion annually for developing nations to accommodate a world that is warmer by 2 degrees Celsius.

Part of the global climate deal that nations are negotiating in U.N.-sponsored talks in Copenhagen next week involves the promise of substantial funding to help defray those costs.

Just how much money nations will put into the pot remains unknown. That is one of the prickliest questions that negotiators face. Yet while dollar figures -- or absence of them -- grab headlines, analysts say the architecture of the fund is one of the nuts-and-bolts issues fundamental to the climate talks.

"It's certainly a critical part of what needs to be addressed and concluded in the negotiations," said David Waskow, climate change program director at Oxfam America. "At the end of the day ... it's never a just a question about money, but also how the money is governed and spent."

An expected target of $7B to $10B

Countries are expected in Copenhagen to offer between $7 billion and $10 billion for immediate needs in poor countries, with about $1.3 billion expected to come from the United States. The United States has not declared how much it will allocate in the long term. Pizer didn't offer any clues, but said agreeing on a structure for delivering and accounting for the money would be a major step forward.

"I don't think we would be going down this avenue if we didn't see the need for scaling up funding in the future," he said.

Under the proposal the U.S. submitted in October -- which mirrors ideas put forward by Mexico and Australia -- the fund would be governed by a board made up equally of net donors and recipients. All countries except the least-developed nations would be expected to contribute "in accordance with their national circumstances and respective capabilities."

Elliot Diringer, vice president for international strategies at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, noted that the proposal reflects "a growing view that some of the faster-growing developing countries are in a position to help," as well as industrialized ones. A number of environmental groups oppose the notion and say only rich countries should be expected to foot the bill for climate change.

In a recent analysis, ActionAid USA, Friends of the Earth US and the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network faulted the proposal for failing to force countries to contribute to the fund. The groups also argue that any money for poor countries to address climate change must be in addition to regular foreign assistance, and call for a board governed by a majority of developing countries.

"This is important so as to mirror the composition of parties in the UNFCCC [U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change] and to ensure that those most affected by climate change are in the majority on the governing bodies," the groups wrote.

Narrowly focused on easing burdens of climate change

Treasury officials said they envision a fund that can leverage private-sector investments as well as public funds. They described it as one of several financial arrangements available to help developing countries access funds for different needs.

Currently, the Global Environment Facility acts as the financing arm for the UNFCCC. Established within the World Bank, the coalition of 178 international government institutions manages several pots of money for climate change-related activities. Treasury officials said the new proposal still envisions a role for the GEF. But, they said, it would be more narrowly focused on helping developing nations set efficiency standards, regulate power sectors and take other steps to improve their institutions so clean energy projects can thrive.

"We think that if we're going to significantly scale up financing to deal with climate change, we need a different kind of vehicle," Pizer said. "In particular, we need a vehicle that is more focused on financing investments like the ones that are necessary [to address] climate change." A senior GEF official said the institution is not worried that it will be sidelined, but declined to say whether the agency supports the U.S. plan.

"We welcome all the proposals for this discussion," the official said.

The biggest fight, if there is one, will likely center around the involvement of the World Bank. Treasury officials said they believe the World Bank has the expertise, standards and "internal safeguards" to oversee the financing, though the fund would likely have a governing structure separate from the multilateral bank's normal channels.

Environmental activists have long fought the institution, arguing that it favors wealthy nations and funds too much fossil fuel development. But the U.S. proposal is also getting points from some nonprofit groups for taking a major step toward trying to solve one of the more complicated issues in the climate change negotiations.

"Hopefully, we can at least make some headway in developing the architecture," even if the dollar figure is unsettled, Diringer said.

Added Waskow, "It's really important that they've clearly said they support a new global fund for climate. It's the beginnings of building a bridge to developing countries."

Copyright 2009 E&E Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

UN official calls for funds for climate change


   In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009, U.N. Development Program Administrator Helen Clark speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Nairobi, Kenya. The chief of the U.N.'s global development network says proposals to put up billions of dollars to help poor nations deal with the effects of climate change are only a start.
In this photo taken on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009, U.N. Development Program Administrator Helen Clark speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Nairobi, Kenya. The chief of the U.N.'s global development network says proposals to put up billions of dollars to help poor nations deal with the effects of climate change are only a start.


Developing countries will need tens of billions of dollars each year to cope with the effects of climate change such as floods and drought, the global head of the U.N.'s development arm said.

About 100 world leaders will be in Copenhagen next week for a summit on global warming, and the U.N. climate chief, Yvo de Boer, has told reporters that rich countries "must put at least $10 billion a year on the table."

Helen Clark, the administrator of the U.N. Development Program, said though that scientists and others believe that between $75 billion and $100 billion a year is needed to help poor nations cope with climate change.

"Developing countries are bearing the brunt of climate change now. It's not something that might happen in 10, 20, 30 years time," Clark told The Associated Press late Tuesday.

More than two years ago, a panel of hundreds of scientists commissioned by the world's governments released a report that said the poorest parts of the world, especially Africa and Asia, would be hit hardest by climate change.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says temperature rises will result in increased droughts and flooding in poor nations. Subsistence farmers in Africa and Asia are expected to be particularly hard hit.

In a report earlier this year, the International Food Policy Research Institute predicted 25 million more hungry children over the next four decades because of climate change's impact on crop production.

Negotiators in Copenhagen will seek a new agreement to curb emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases. The key question is how to divide the responsibility for reducing emissions globally, with developing countries saying they should not be forced to commit to binding targets.

The conference had originally been intended to produce a final global warming treaty, but that now seems out of reach. Most leaders now hope the conference can produce a framework agreement, leaving only details, technical arrangements and legal language to be concluded over the next six to 12 months.

Clark, however, said that climate change also should be related to other issues, such as improving the living standards of billions of people in the world.

She said one way this can happen is by providing financial and technical support to poor nations, allowing them to meet their energy needs while producing little or no greenhouse gases.

With such support, "we will have the ability to bring energy to the huge numbers of people in our world, up to 2 billion people, who do not access have energy at the moment, who don't have electricity," Clark said.

Last month, the U.N. Development Program and World Health Organization released a report that described 2 billion people as lacking natural gas, propane or other modern fuels used for cooking or heating their homes. The report also said 1.2 billion more people live entirely without electricity.

Thinking Outside of the Bin for Your Holiday Drives

Every year Christmas seems to arrive earlier and earlier, with holiday decorations hung up right after Halloween and Christmas music piped into stores and restaurants before Thanksgiving. And this year it seems that holiday food and clothing drives arrived earlier than ever having multiplied to extraordinary proportions. For good reason, the numbers of hungry and homeless have swelled to record numbers.

Yet, as I walk down the main street of my town I see collection bins almost on every street corner or in front of every business and I find myself pondering how many times will I continue to buy more bags of cans and cereal boxes, or dig up more warm coats to drop off in the bins?

It is impressive to see so many businesses and organizations supporting the local food pantries and homeless shelters. Presumably the benefit of so many bins is to increase public awareness resulting in an increase in average contributions and also to attract new givers. But will putting out a collection bins in front of every store and in the halls of every organization reach a saturation point where "givers" will reach "bin burnout"?

What this notion of "bin burnout" suggests is that businesses are going to need more creative strategies for attracting donations for their holiday drives. By brainstorming for new ideas, businesses both large and small can engage and inspire employees, customers and clients in making a difference this holiday season.

Here are some examples to get you started:

Matching programs: Stop and Shop Supermarket Company hopes to raise an additional $1 million dollars for local hunger relief organizations through Food for Friends, where they will match the first $500 raised by each store.

Buy an extra: Borders Books in Kingston, Rhode Island is asking customers at the register if they would like to purchase a book, craft kit or stuffed panda to donate to an Arc family in need.

Send an inspiring gift: Mediaspace Solutions, a Norwalk, Conn-based newspaper and online advertising service has a program called Giving Thanks where they send out food-drive starter kits to clients and partners around the country, instead fo the usual holiday gifts. The starter kits included items, such as stuffing, dried cranberries, pumpkin bread mix and hot chocolate, with the hope that recipient would add their own donations. The agency also compiled and included a list of local food banks compiled through its newspaper partners.

Creative engagement and partnering: Last year, General Mills used its marketing expertise to help hunger. By partnering with the tv show, NBC's "The Biggest Loser" they involved viewers a "Pound For Pound Challenge." For every pound that was pledged to lose, General Mills funded one pound of groceries to a food bank.

Host a competition:In Des Moines, Iowa, the Goodrell School is hosting a food drive competition. The class with the most donations win a free breakfast, donated by Burger King.

Last year a Silicon Valley high tech firm hosted a collected food tower competition amongst it's divisions.

Host something fun and educational:
Customers who donated food at a furniture store in South Carolina, got to participate in a free bow making and gift wrapping workshop.

KFOG radio station, in the San Francisco Bay Area is hosting a benefit concert to benefit the Marine's Toys for Tots.

Give a discount or extra service. In my local area, stores and services are offering discounts or free serices to customers when they bring in food, clothing or toys.

Toyota in the Bay Area is offering a $20.00 discount towards a customers next service for a new unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots Program.

Okay not a business-but a great idea. A library district runs a "Food for No Fines" food drive in Adams County, Colorado.

Raise money instead-did you know that for every dollar donated to a food bank as much as $12.00 of food can be be bought or made.

Several large high tech corporations in Silicon Valley such as: Applied Materials, Fairchild SemiConductor, PG&E and others, are sponsors of the annual Turkey Trot in San Jose, supporting the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Proceeds from KFOG Radio's "Live from the Archives 16" CD's benefit the 7 Bay Area Food Banks.

Stop and think what more you can do with your holiday drives. It will give people more reason and more opportunity to donate to these very needy causes.