Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

Last night, the Chronicle of Philanthropy published a long story about the Silicon Valley Community Foundation that I wrote with help from Megan O’Neil, the news editor at the Chronicle. The headline: A Star Performer Created a ‘Toxic Culture’ at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Say Insiders An investigation is looking into reports of bullying, sexual …

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“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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Well, that didn’t take long. Less than six months after stepping down as CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Wayne Pacelle is returning to the animal welfare movement, this time as a part of a political action committee called Animal Wellness Action. Pacelle left the Humane Society (HSUS) in February under a …

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The Open Philanthropy Project funds an array of causes that would seem, at first glance, to have little or nothing in common. OpenPhil, as it’s known, gave away about $240m last year, making major grants to nonprofits that seek to alleviate global poverty, reform the US criminal justice system, perform basic scientific research, improve the …

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Days after a workplace scandal with #metoo overtones led to the departure of Mari Ellen Loijens, the chief fundraiser at the fast-growing Silicon Valley Community Foundation, questions are swirling about Emmett Carson, the founding CEO of the SVCF. Carson has been trying hard to distance himself from the noxious behavior of Loijens, which was exposed …

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Rules, they say, are made to be broken. This is not necessary when it comes to the rules designed to promote transparency in foundations. They’re so ineffectual that there’s no need to break them. Wealthy donors can and do hide charitable giving for which they claim tax deductions, the investments they hold in tax-advantaged accounts …

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The numbers are mind-boggling. Between 50 and 170 billion farmed fish, and as many as two trillion wild fish are killed each year to feed people and animals, it’s been estimated. More fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined. Those fish feel pain when they are caught and processed, many …

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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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