Weekend Briefing No. 17

Welcome to the Weekend! This is going to be an amazing Summer, but I’m already looking forward to Fall especially the annual trip out to the Bay Area for the SOCAP Conference – the conference on impact investing and social innovation. This year they are allowing people to vote on which panels they want to see, and I’m up for a panel on choosing legal structure with friends at Points of Light, Benevolent and Ioby. I’d appreciate it if you’d take a second to CICK HERE and vote for us (no registration required… it’ll take 3 seconds).





The one-page plan to fix global warming. As Obama is making climate change a high priority and is forcing states to carbon emissions, maybe the economists should be writing the policy. A carbon tax could be paired with cuts in the income tax. And it would drive down emissions without picking winners or losers, and without creating complicated regulations. This one-page plan to cut carbon emissions just might work. Listen to the NPR Planet Money Podcast to hear the details.


Express lane for tax exempt status filing. At our firm we’re frequently filing for tax exempt status using the IRS Form 1023. This process is quite arduous, the total application is usually 30-50 pages long, and the response time from the IRS is typically around 8-12 months because of a huge backlog of applications. To solve that problem, the 1023 EZ Form has been suggested. If approved, charities with less than $200,000 annual revenue will be able to apply for exemption in an expedited manner that will take less time, require less information with a lower user fee. The anticipated process has been compared to a highway express lane. Learn more HERE.


Bloomberg brings ESG data to the terminal. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data will now sit alongside financial data on investors Bloomberg terminals thanks to a partnership with Sustainalytics. Subscribers can study more in-depth assessments of approximately 1,600 global, developed markets, ranked against industry peers across 15 performance indicators. The inclusion of ESG information on Bloomberg is yet another positive indication of the mainstreaming of sustainability in capital markets. Read more HERE.


Could Bitcoin disrupt the remittance industry? Bitpesa thinks so. By eliminating the transfer fee and offering the lowest exchange rates they are making a fast, easy and cheap way to send money to Africa. With a strong founding team in Nairobi, including good friend Charlene Chen, they are launching soon. Check out this Wall Street Journal article.


Zuckerberg tries again in the Bay Area. As mentioned in the Weekend Briefing two weeks ago, Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation to Newark schools was met with mixed results in Newark. But he’s giving it another shot, this time it will be in his own back yard. This week he announced  a $120 million commitment to public education in the Bay Area to the tune of $120 million. This time around he is paying much closer attention to the needs of the teachers and the community. Read more in Ainsley O’Connell’s Fast Company piece.



Art meets advertising. As the world prepares for the kickoff of the World Cup in Brazil next week, all the brands are launching their ads. My favorite is a five-minute epic called The Game Before the Game from Beats by Dre focusing on the emotional journey a player goes through before setting foot on the pitch.