Nonprofit Gets Their Feet Wet With $17M Jesus-Themed Super Bowl Spots (news)

A 60-second ad spot and an additional 15-second spot for the ad campaign “He Gets Us” made a stir for being among the largest ad buys for a registered charity. The ads featured images of people washing the feet of others within diverse circumstances and environments and closed with an acknowledgment of Jesus’ non-discriminatory feet washing.

The nonprofit behind the campaign is named “Come Near,” an organization formerly named “Servant Foundation,” which has rebranded under new leadership. The organization previously ran spots in 2023 but continued this year with a campaign that the marketing agency director said aimed to ” show people demonstrating what it looks like to love your neighbor”.

Ad spots for the Super Bowl this year cost approximately $7 million for 30-seconds of airtime. The organization has loose ties with religious right Hobby Lobby founder David Green, though the campaign states on its website that “Jesus loves gay people and Jesus loves trans people.”

Additionally, the foot-washing theme seems to have confused and creeped out some audiences causing many follow-up jokes this week.

As DEI policies come under legal attack, philanthropic donors consider how to adapt

AP News

Philanthropic donors are gearing up for a legal tussle as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives come under fire, with lawsuits challenging programs like grants for Black women entrepreneurs. Foundations are responding by providing legal support, while some are subtly changing their language to avoid controversy. Despite the challenges, major players like the MacArthur Foundation remain committed to supporting DEI efforts, viewing philanthropy as the last stand for independent action in society.

Meet the woman running Sam Altman’s universal basic income study to find out how cash payments can mitigate AI-related jobs losses

Yahoo Finance

Elizabeth Rhodes is the trailblazing research director behind OpenResearch (formerly YC Research), spearheading a significant universal basic income (UBI) study initiated by Sam Altman, the AI visionary and OpenAI CEO. The study, which concluded its cash transfers to 3,000 participants in two states, aimed to explore UBI as a solution to potential job losses due to AI advancements, with findings set to be released later this year. Rhodes, with her social work acumen, led the project with a meticulous approach, and the forthcoming results are poised to shed light on UBI’s impact on various aspects of life, from health to social attitudes, in one of the largest privately funded studies in the U.S. 🌟 Will these insights pave the way for a cash-rich future in an AI-driven world? Stay tuned!


This week on the Nonprofit News Feed, we dive into a diverse array of pressing issues within the nonprofit sector. Hosted by George Weiner, Chief Whaler of Whole Whale, and joined by digital strategist Nick Azulay, the episode unpacks a Jesus-themed Super Bowl ad campaign, the legal challenges facing DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) initiatives, and a groundbreaking study on Universal Basic Income (UBI) spearheaded by the CEO of OpenAI.

Jesus Washes Feet on the Big Screen In a bold move, the nonprofit Come Near (formerly Servant Foundation) splashed onto Super Bowl screens with a 60-second ad depicting people washing each other’s feet, reminiscent of Jesus’ inclusive actions. Despite the hefty price tag—upwards of $7 million for 30 seconds—the organization aims to spread a message of love and non-discrimination. However, the campaign’s funding and intent have sparked debate due to its connections with controversial figures like Hobby Lobby founder David Green.

DEI Policies: Philanthropic Donors Brace for Legal Showdown As DEI policies face legal scrutiny, philanthropic donors are preparing for courtroom battles. Lawsuits challenging initiatives such as grants for black women entrepreneurs have prompted foundations to offer legal support and reevaluate their language to avoid controversy. Despite the tension, foundations like MacArthur remain dedicated to DEI, viewing philanthropy as a crucial avenue for independent societal action.

Universal Basic Income: A Solution to AI-Induced Job Loss? The episode explores a significant UBI study by Open Research (formerly YC Research), initiated by Sam Altman of OpenAI. The study investigates UBI as a potential countermeasure to job displacement caused by AI advancements. The hosts present both sides of the UBI debate, highlighting pros such as poverty reduction and economic stimulus, and cons including cost concerns and potential disincentives to work.

Feel-Good Story: Otters Paint for Ocean Conservation To uplift spirits, the podcast shares a heartwarming story from the Living Shores Aquarium in New Hampshire, where otters named Harry, Teddy, Peanut, Jelly, and Sacco create Valentine’s Day artwork. The otter-made paintings, auctioned for charity, support ocean conservation efforts, showcasing a creative and adorable fundraising approach.

Closing Reflection: From high-profile advertising to the ethical implications of social research, the podcast encapsulates the multifaceted challenges and innovations within the nonprofit realm. These discussions underscore the sector’s resilience and adaptability in the face of societal and technological changes.