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nonprofits

The charity World Vision International is a major provider of disaster relief across the globe. So when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, the group's office in the United States revved up its fundraising big-time.

"We've raised just under $4 million in cash donations," says Drew Clark, senior director of emergencies at World Vision's U.S. office.

Two weeks later Hurricane Irma roared through the Caribbean and Florida. This time World Vision brought in $900,000.

Why would anyone want to harm an aid worker?

They're just there to help. They don't take sides. They're protected by international humanitarian law. Yet they've repeatedly been the target of some of the worst forms of violence, from kidnapping to gang rape to beheadings. In 2016 alone, 288 aid workers were attacked.

Many readers of this blog told us they were inspired by the first story in our series on #nostringscash aid — about a ground-breaking experiment in Kenya to test the benefits of giving poor people a steady stream of cash in place of traditional aid.

But some questioned the ethics of studies like this.

Coast Guard Petty Officers 3rd Class Eric Gordon and Gavin Kershaw pilot a 16-foot flood punt boat and join good Samaritans in patrolling a flooded neighborhood in Friendswood, Texas, Aug. 29, 2017. The flood punt team from Marine Safety Unit Paducah, Ken
Flickr Photo/Coast Guard News/(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/WZGrcJ

Bill Radke speaks with Amy Costello, founder and managing editor of the Tiny Spark podcast, about why you need to be careful with the donations that you send to help with the flooding in Houston. 

Zakary Fike and William Hughes
KUOW: Isolde Raftery

"I had NEVER hugged a white man in my whole life. And now I'm like hugging these guys and saying 'I love you, brother.'"  

Melinda Gates, Co-founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2014.
Flickr Photo/Chathasm House (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/pcaKc7

You may think of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a global philanthropy, but a new study commissioned by the foundation shows the Seattle-based organization funneled $1.5 billion into the local economy in 2015.

Bill Gates, Co-Chair the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation shows a vaccine during a press conference in 2011.
Flickr Photo/UN Geneva (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9Jn7Rj

Deborah Wang talks with Geekwire co-founder Todd Bishop about how Bill Gates and the Gates Foundation are spending the $30 billion gift from billionaire Warren Buffett.

After President Trump blocked U.S. aid money from supporting any group that provides or "promotes" abortion in other countries, The Netherlands announced it would launch a fundraising initiative to support any affected organizations.

Now, several other countries — including Sweden, Finland, Belgium and Canada — have signaled their participation.

International humanitarian aid organizations say the travel restrictions issued by President Donald Trump on Saturday could have a dramatic impact on how they operate.

The Trump executive order temporarily bars all refugees and suspends — for the next 90 days — entry to the U.S. by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The White House says the order was intended to protect the nation from "foreign terrorist entry."

KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Environmental groups say the incoming Trump administration could quickly wipe out years of work to protect America's land, air and water. But for many green groups, there's been a silver lining: Money and volunteers have poured in since the November election.


Alan Sugiyama in an interview on CityStream in 2016. He dedicated his life and career to social justice. He died January 2, 2017.
City of Seattle

Local civil rights leader Alan Sugiyama died Monday at the age of 67 after a two-year battle with cancer.

He emerged as a leader in the Asian-American rights movement at a young age, co-founding the Oriental Student Union at Seattle Central Community College.

As the president-elect continues to make nominations to his cabinet, we’re getting a clearer picture of how Donald Trump will govern. But how will the Trump administration affect arts and culture in the United States?

It's not just national organizations like Planned Parenthood getting a boost in donations over worries about access to reproductive health care.

So is the grassroots Seattle-based CAIR Project. It helps people across the Northwest pay for abortion services and connects them with the closest provider that offers abortion services.


"I would like to know more about microloans, and if they are in fact helping women start businesses in the developing world."

That's the question our readers wanted us to look into.

The Clinton Foundation is working now to "spin off" or "find partners" for many of its programs, including all international activities and programs funded by foreign and corporate donors, the head of the Clinton Foundation told NPR's Peter Overby. The "unraveling," which would be an attempt to prevent conflicts, would go into effect if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

It was a tragic turning point.

On July 11, South Sudanese soldiers invaded a hotel in the capital city of Juba and gang-raped foreign aid workers.

"The soldiers just came to the bathroom where all the girls were hiding and they just picked us out of the bathroom one by one," says one of the women who was in the hotel. She asked that her name not be used.

Despite calls for help to the U.N. compound a mile down the road, no one came.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012.
Flickr Photo/JD Lasica (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1N4lDVX

Bill Radke talks to Whitney Williams, director of the local charity consulting firm Williams Works, about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's pledge to donate 99 percent of his shares to charitable causes — and how it compares to Seattle's own billionaire philanthropist, Bill Gates.

You couldn't look anywhere on Facebook without seeing it: friends, celebrities and complete strangers dumping buckets of ice water to raise awareness of ALS, a neurodegenerative illness also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

The 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge ended up raising more than $115 million for ALS research and reached an unprecedented bar for a charity social media campaign — unprecedented and inimitable.

The end of the year is a time that many charities look to donors for year-end giving. It’s also when the Oregon Department of Justice wants to hike an annual fee that nonprofits pay to the agency.

Jeannie Yandel talks to Mike Regis, director of procurement at Northwest Harvest, about his friend and former colleague Ruth Velozo.

Velozo was one of the founders of Northwest Harvest and served as their executive director for 21 years. 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle.
Flickr photo/Jack at Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Jeannie Yandel talks to Brigid Schulte, the author of "Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time," about the Gates Foundation's announcement Thursday that the organization will offer up to 52 weeks parental leave during the first year of a child's birth or adoption.

The Gates Foundation's headquarters near Seattle Center.
Flickr Photo/ganphotography (CC BY NC ND 2.0)

Jeannie Yandel talks to former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn about why he is calling on the Gates Foundation to divest from fossil fuel companies. 

Sitting in an air-conditioned Ola cab on Saturday evening in Bangalore's notorious traffic, I was heading to a friend's party when an older gentleman in a long white kurta and a white cap approached.

Clutching his long walking stick, he looked close to my grandmother's age — she's in her early 90s. His feeble back seemed about to give out. His hands and shoulders shook as he extended his hand to the cab window. He motioned between his mouth and my window, clearly asking for something to eat.

My mind raced and so did my heart. I debated: to give or not to give?

Ross Reynolds speaks with Charlie Bresler, the former president of the clothing chain Men’s Wearhouse who became executive director of Bainbridge Island-based charity The Life You Can Save. The nonprofit was founded by ethicist Peter Singer to encourage effective philanthropy to end poverty in developing nations. 

The iconic sculpture in McCaw Hall, home of the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Seattle Opera.
Flickr Photo/Frank Fujimoto (CC-BY-NC-ND)

A new national survey ranks Seattle fourth in the nation when it comes to the number of nonprofit arts and culture organizations. That's higher than San Francisco or Minneapolis.

Longtime arts administrator Sue Coliton isn't surprised by that news.

After a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, help poured in from the U.S. Doctors came to battle the cholera epidemic, agencies handed out food, and nonprofits provided shelter.

And then there were plumbers.

The American Red Cross's CEO, Gail McGovern, has spelled out the organization's promise to donors repeatedly in recent years.

"Ninety-one cents of every dollar that's donated goes to our services," McGovern said in a speech at Johns Hopkins University last year. "That's world class obviously."

Facebook Photo/Fight Fistula

Ross Reynolds interviews Carolyn Anderman, director of international programs for One By One, a Seattle-based group helping women in Africa recover from a devastating birth complication called obstetric fistula.  Affected women are often shunned in their communities for a condition that can be fixed with a $500 operation.

A volunteer for the iconic Salvation Army Christmas bell ringing campaign.
Flickr Photo/Sage Ross (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Liahann Bannerman, director of the volunteer center at United Way of King County, about where people can volunteer this Thanksgiving, and how volunteers dry up after the holidays.

Flickr Photo/Laia Ros (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with Slate writer Katy Waldman about the new trend in activism called clicktivism.

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