Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

“We have crushed the Red Cross,” Brett Hagler has said, bluntly but not unkindly. He’s got a point. Hagler is the 26-year-old founder and CEO of New Story, a startup nonprofit that has built more than 150 homes for families in Haiti who previously lived in tent slums. If you listen to NPR or read …

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This month, a Silicon Valley startup called Frank that aims to serve nonprofit groups and their donors paid these expenses: $24,514 to nine people for product development and design, $3,124 to the VLP Law Group for patent work, $3,271 to Trinet for HR services, $99 to Dropbox, $54 to Google and $7 to Github. Its bank …

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Philanthropy is a “black box,” writes David Callahan, the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy. “If you don’t think philanthropy is maddeningly opaque, it’s because you’re deep inside the sector.” He’s exaggerating, but not by much. Some foundations don’t disclose their donors. All are required by law to report on their grants, but many are …

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Of the countless well-meaning efforts to help the world’s poor, only sixteen are currently endorsed by GiveWell, a meta-charity that rigorously investigates nonprofits. Three of those are run by a little-known nonprofit called Evidence Action. This is no accident. While GiveWell evaluates programs and Evidence Action operates them, their values are aligned: Both seek to …

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My wife Karen Schneider and I gave just under seven percent of our pretax income to charity in 2017. Most Americans give away about three percent of their adjusted gross income, according to the Urban Institute, but our earnings are higher, so we should give away more. The Life You Can Save, a website inspired by the …

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Nothing about us without us. This declaration has become a rallying cry for the disability rights movement.* It could just as well be a call to arms for participatory grantmaking — the practice of giving more power over philanthropic spending to the people that it is supposed to help. So it’s no accident that the Disability …

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Many foundations try to solve specific problems. They seek to end homelessness, help veterans, protect oceans, or improve K-12 education. All worthy goals. But what if the programs aimed at solving those problems don’t work? Or cost too much? Or create unforeseen consequences? How can they be improved? Only a handful of foundations try to …

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We’re gradually learning more about the investment performance of foundation endowments. The news is not good. The Chronicle of Philanthropy yesterday published my story about foundation endowments. [Paywall] The peg was the Ford Foundation’s decision to publish the investment returns of its $12.1bn endowment for the first time in several years. Ford has done well–its endowment …

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Central Carolina Community Foundation is in most ways a typical community foundation: Based in Columbia, SC, it supports social service organizations, colleges, churches and arts groups in the midlands of South Carolina. In one important way, though, Central Carolina foundation stands apart: It invests most of its investable assets, which are worth about $94m, in low-cost …

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You’d think that nonprofits would lead the way when it comes to diversity. After all, many serve the downtrodden, including people of color, immigrants and the poor. But no. A new survey of more than 1,500 nonprofits found that 90 percent of their chief executives, 90 percent of their board chairs, and 84 percent of …

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