NewsBits: Accountability, Performance and Transparency

News of interest from the global philanthropic world:

from ThirdSector (U.K.)

Charities avoid measuring performance

Most charities do not have the skills, the will or the structures to measure and communicate how effective they are, delegates to the conference of the Charity Finance Directors’ Group will be told this week.

The message comes from Martin Brookes, chief executive of donor information organisation New Philanthropy Capital, who has a track record of challenging the sector over its performance and effectiveness.

“When it comes to measuring impact, charities suffer from a culture of avoidance and a lack of ability, and one reinforces the other…I think they often don’t have any place in the organisation where information about effectiveness resides. They don’t have someone looking for the mistakes made or the lessons learned.”

from The New York Times

Merkin to Cede Control of Hedge Funds to Liquidator

J. Ezra Merkin, the New York financier who lost more than $2.4 billion of his clients’ money in Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, has agreed to place his three hedge funds into receivership and turn them over to a liquidator.

from The Chronicle of Philanthropy

America’s Top Philanthropists Hold Secret Meeting To Discuss Global Problems

In a quiet meeting closed to the news media and the public, Bill Gates, David Rockefeller Sr., Oprah Winfrey, and other leading philanthropists met in New York this month to discuss ways to promote efforts to solve growing social problems in America and abroad.

Together, the philanthropists in the room have committed a total of more than $72.5-billion to charitable causes since 1996, according to Chronicle of Philanthropy tallies.