Posts written by “Evelyn Brown


Expanding the Ethics of Care In Philanthropy

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As an undergraduate studying philosophy, my absolute least favorite class was Introduction to Ethics — a requirement, of course, to earn my degree. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I spent most of the class eye-rolling my way through all of the reading and discussions. Moral philosophy was never my thing. So it has since struck me as a little funny that in the eight years that followed there has been one chapter, from one book, from that one [...]

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Starting a Conversation about Girls’ Education with Third Graders

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Here at Firelight, in preparation for the second International Day of the Girl, we started collecting quotes from girls on why they think it’s important for girls to go to school. I immediately thought of my sweet and clever niece, Phoebe, who just turned eight, and wondered what she would say. So I wrote to my sister, Micki, and asked if she would be willing to get her daughter’s thoughts and share them with us. I gave her a bit [...]

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Four Options to Send Money to Africa

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When we send grant funds to our partners in Africa, we have the choice to send the money in either US Dollars or the country’s local currency. Exchanging money can be tricky, and sometimes even costly, so we look for the best way to send funds with minimal losses. There are four different scenarios that we can face when sending money to Africa. We’ve rated them from least to most costly: 1. Least Costly – Local currency sent to a local [...]

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Our Recent Grants to African Communities

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We love this time of year. We just awarded $587,600 in grants to 44 impressive community-based organizations in sub-Saharan Africa who are doing great work for children and families. After months of reviewing grant requests, talking with these groups by email, skype and a few in-person visits, it all pays off in this great moment of starting another year of relationships with some of the most dedicated, smart and inspiring people we’re lucky enough to work with over the next twelve [...]

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The Will To Do Good and Do Right

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If you’ve ever tried to do it, giving away large sums of money is harder to do than you might think. Grantmaking organizations face a number of regulations imposed by the government, dictating who we can give grants to and under what circumstances. To complicate things further, the regulations are often vague and difficult to interpret without expensive legal counsel. It’s only a matter of time before grantmakers start resenting the barriers we face in trying to get money out the door. We’re just trying to do [...]

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