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Philanthropy’s Buzziest Words

As reported in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, here are some of the most talked about words and phrases that philanthropists used in 2015.

…for Good

First used by Network for Good in 2001, the phrase “for good” is attached to just about everything and may give a feel-good, altruistic validation to its linked word.

Overhead myth

For years, administrative costs have been used as an indicator of a nonprofit’s effectiveness, particularly by watchdog groups. Lately, there has been pushback from nonprofits, foundations, donors, and charity ranking sites to using administrative costs as the true determinant of a nonprofit’s value, as doing so contributes to the “overhead myth” that these costs are unnecessary.  

Effective altruism

A new movement that applies rational calculations, such as metrics, data, and outcomes, to achieve the greatest returns for charitable gifts.


Data is useless if you don’t look at the algorithms used to analyze it or manipulate it. Today it’s necessary to have data to understand the data.

Augmented reality

It may not be here just yet, but technology that provides digitized views of information alongside the real world is leading us towards a possible world where pointing a phone at an object or person will reveal all sorts of information.

To read more of “Philanthropy’s 2015 Buzzwords: From ‘Effective Altruism’ to ‘Worm Wars’,” visit The Chronicle of Philanthropy website.

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