Benojo weekly roundup – what’s happening in the giving space?

Each week we aim to bring you the biggest stories across the corporate and charity space. Here’s what’s causing waves globally, the things stirring up people like you and all the latest in the world of social good.

Tougher era ahead for welfare recipients

A WIDENING of the deeming regime for retirees and tougher reporting restrictions for dole and disability support benefits recipients begins today with the start of 2015.

Some of the biggest budget savings will not start as scheduled today, with the GP co-payment bogged in the Senate and the ­Coalition’s earn-or-learn crackdown for the young unemployed also blocked by the upper house.

On January 15, cars and a range of electrical goods could become cheaper as tariffs are cut on imports of Japanese products as the Australia-Japan FTA comes into effect. The entry into force of the FTA should also provide a boon to exporters.

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Philanthropy's power gap: Nonprofits ain't too proud to beg (though maybe they should be)

The power disparity between donors and causes, between foundations and nonprofit organizations is as great a gulf as any other in civil society. And even in this era of crowd-sourced project funding, mobile donations, leaderless movements and networked social causes, the chasm remains a wide one. Want proof? Call any nonprofit development director you’d like to this week – they’re still at their desks.

This is the second of a series of occasional posts in this space on this growing challenge to the traditional “powers that be” in major American philanthropy. In the last installment, I argued that the barbarians aren’t at the gates – the people are, and they’re pretty well connected and informed. It’s now time to face the limits of that empowered crowd, alongside the promise.

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Research Suggests Generosity Is Hardwired Into Our Brains

This is the season for giving. But you might wonder what motivates us to be generous. Do we feel pressure because it's this time of year and others around us are doing it? Well, new research suggests no. The impulse to be generous is actually hardwired into our brains.

Here's NPR's Shankar Vedantam:

Link here   Emerging human resource trends in 2015: Is your business ready?

Human resource trends change just as frequently as fashion (if not more). Because the industry is constantly evolving, regulations regularly adapting, and employees changing as well, small businesses have to be flexible enough to keep up with them. Whether you have a larger human resources department or you are handling all of the HR work yourself, you can get a step ahead by familiarising yourself with these emerging human resource trends in 2015.

Link here   A world guided by “Philanthropreneurs”…or America’s philanthropic oligarchy

Yet another word has been added to the lexicon of nonprofits and foundations: “philanthropreneurship.” London Business School marketing professor Rajesh Chandy uses the neologism to refer to “the skills [that] enabled people to make their fortunes, which are often the ones required to solve apparently intractable problems.”

Chandy identifies Pierre Omidyar, Jeff Skoll, Richard Branson, Steve Case, and, not surprisingly, Bill Gates as exemplar philanthropreneurs. Referring to Bill (and Melinda) Gates, Chandy says that they show how philanthropists “can bring their skills to bear in a more productive way than simply bestowing money on a problem… They bring their entrepreneurial chutzpah and business thinking along with their cheque books.”

Link here   Australian Super calls on banks to assess climate change risk

One of the country's biggest investors, Australian Super, has asked the chairmen of the nation's biggest banks how they are responding to carbon exposure risk, as lenders face growing pressure over their response to climate change. Australian Super's investment manager for governance, Andrew Gray, said banks needed to give investors comfort that they were "assessing and managing" the risks appropriately.

"We've actually engaged with the boards of the banks and have been asking them about this issue themselves," he said.

Link here   Australian sustainable building movement hindered by government inaction and profit motive

A cultural shift for Australia towards sustainable building practices would be quickened by government subsidies, more international environmental building products in the market and a Belgium-like building and products standards system.

This is the opinion of German-born Australian builder, Bernward Buchler, who believes Australians have developed a dangerous belief that their building and product manufacturing processes always follow best practice.

“The biggest problem in Australia is a cultural one,” he said.

Link here   Giving back after cancer fight

"Having cancer has changed me and stopped me being such a perfectionist and I know now that doing your best is all you can ask. It's made me grateful for all the good things I have."

Part of her new mindset includes wanting to give back something to SolarisCare, a free service which offers complementary therapies to cancer patients to help them through gruelling treatment.

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