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Tiny Spark

We investigate philanthropy, nonprofits and for-profit social good initiatives. In-depth interviews and shoe leather reporting from across the globe. Send us your tips. www.tinyspark.org
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Now displaying: 2017
Dec 22, 2017

Want to give to the homeless this holiday season? Three insights into the benefits and the harm of giving money directly to people on the street.

Oct 26, 2017

Nonprofits, tech companies and even NFL players have raised millions to help after recent natural disasters. But giving may be the easy part. Having an impact is harder.

Sep 13, 2017

In an increasingly unequal world, where money and power are closely linked, sociology professor Linsey McGoey says philanthropy is part of the problem.

Sep 1, 2017

We discuss fifteen successful social change campaigns that have had major impact, from South Africa's anti-apartheid campaign to the legislative success of marriage equality in the US. We learn what made them successful and why lasting social change requires patience and audacity.

Jul 8, 2017

Human smuggling has grown into a multibillion dollar industry. We explore the complex relationships between migrants, refugees, and the myriad players involved in smuggling them across borders.

Jun 26, 2017

There are over 900 hate groups operating across the US right now. Ryan Lenz monitors them, and former skinhead Angela King works to deradicalize those who want to leave them. They discuss their work and why they do it.

Jun 9, 2017

As aware citizens, it might feel good to check our privilege and that of others, but writer Phoebe Maltz Bovy says that privilege awareness has its problems.

May 25, 2017

Instead of feeling gratitude towards billionaire philanthropists, Stanford professor Rob Reich says we should scrutinize the power they wield.

May 9, 2017

Forty years after making his name with a famous psychological experiment about what makes good people do bad things, Philip Zimbardo has decided to flip the script. He tells us about his project that teaches people how to act heroically and describes his journey from studying evil to inspiring hope.

Apr 18, 2017

We explore the growing influence that private donors are exerting in national and local politics and why the power the wealthy are wielding today is likely to intensify in the years ahead. An interview with David Callahan, author of The Givers: Wealth, Power, and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age.

Mar 28, 2017

At the nation’s top universities and colleges, children of privilege are taking spots away from straight A students without the same connections, and the problem is only getting worse.

Mar 17, 2017

Whether you’re a professional aid worker or just an engaged citizen, doing good for others requires that you to take time to be good to yourself, too. We speak to a veteran aid worker along with the author of a new book, The Idealist’s Survival Kit.

Mar 1, 2017

Some were surprised to see Silicon Valley tech workers protest Trump’s new immigration policies, but one civic tech leader tells us they are fighting for the fundamental values of openness and connection that made the internet itself great.

Feb 13, 2017

When you're eating out, tipping might seem like a good thing. But, on this Valentine's Day, we explore the many problems that America's tipping culture creates for restaurant workers.

Feb 3, 2017

Maaza Mengiste came to the US as a child, after her family fled Ethiopia’s civil war. Even so, the New York based writer explains why she feels strongly about not calling herself a refugee, why activists need to take breaks from Twitter, and reflects on the stubborn endurance of art in times of upheaval.

Jan 18, 2017

Do you think a little more empathy would help in our increasingly divided and unequal world? Not so, says Yale professor Paul Bloom. In his book ‘Against Empathy,’ he argues that empathy is short-sighted, prejudiced and often makes the world a worse place. He offers more effective ways forward.

Jan 4, 2017

Chuck Collins inherited a half million dollar trust fund from his parents but decided to give it all away, allowing him to "unflinchingly look at the growing income and wealth inequalities that have opened up over the last 30 years." This one-percenter shares his concerns about the rise of the mega donor, the limits of philanthropy to create social change, and explains why we ought to support to the only institution that's ever offered wide swaths of the population a shot at the American dream.

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