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FROM THIS EPISODE

Aristotle said "to give away money is an easy matter…and in any man's power.  But to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when, for what purpose and how, is neither in every man's power nor an easy matter." Many Americans will be making those decisions in the final days of tax year 2007. Guest host Lawrence O'Donnell explores how we can target our charitable giving to be most effective. Also, this year's lackluster holiday sales, and  a 350-pound tiger escaped from its enclosure and killed a man at the San Francisco Zoo yesterday. The same animal mauled a zookeeper last year.  Are tigers safe enough for public zoos?

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Karen Radziner

Main Topic What Happens to Our Charitable Contributions? 37 MIN

T'is the season of charitable giving, but how well do charities use the money we give them? Americans will donate about $300 billion to charities this year. Will the money be used the way the donors think it will? How effective is our charitable giving? How much is wasted?  How difficult is it to give away the huge sums that billionaires are pumping into their favored causes? And what unintended consequences result from our best intentions?

Guests:
Daniel Borochoff, President, American Institute of Philanthropy
Paul Schervish, Director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, Boston College
Holden Karnofsky, Founder, GiveWell
Charles Piller, Investigative Reporter, Los Angeles Times (@cpiller)
Peter Dunn, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, California Community Foundation

Making News Lackluster Retail Sales Bring Little Holiday Cheer 6 MIN

The numbers are in and retail sales this holiday season have increased a lackluster 2.4%, falling short of industry forecasts.  Shoppers aggressively pursued deep discounts, leading to a last minute surge in spending that saved the industry from negative results. Kris Hudson of the Wall Street Journal says that electronics and e-commerce saved the day.

Guests:
Kris Hudson, Staff Reporter, Wall Street Journal

Reporter's Notebook Tiger Kills Visitor at San Francisco Zoo 6 MIN

Near sunset on Christmas Day at the San Francisco Zoo, a Siberian tiger named Tatiana escaped from her grotto and attacked three visitors, killing one. This same tiger was involved in another incident last year in which she mauled a zookeeper. Steve Rubenstein has been covering the story for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Guests:
Steve Rubenstein, Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

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