Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

The global south is littered, literally, with the remains of failed international aid projects. So-called clean cookstoves had more appeal to western donors than to women in India, Africa or Latin America. Wells and taps that were intended to provide clean water have fallen into disrepair. One 2009 study estimated there are 50,000 broken rural water points …

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The Internet has made it easier than ever to identify the best books, movies,  songs, hotels, restaurants, mutual funds, even foreign-language tutors. To identify the best charities? That’s harder. The Raikes Foundation, which is the family foundation of Jeff Raikes and his wife, Tricia, wants to help, by enabling donors to do more good with their money. Last …

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Nonprofits often talk about inequality. Rarely do they talk about inequality in the nonprofit sector. But it’s a problem. Scale begets scale in the nonprofit world. Big nonprofits, with their brand names and hefty marketing budgets, grow faster than small ones, even when the smaller ones are demonstrably more effective. The rich get richer; the rest …

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The Trump administration is having an unmistakable impact on philanthropy. That was brought home to me at this month’s Skoll World Forum, notably with the Omidyar Network’s promise to commit $100 million to support independent journalism and combat hate. On a panel about philanthropy, Laleh Ispahani of the Open Society Foundations described the organization’s $10-million Communities Against Hate initiative, which …

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To avoid becoming depressed by the malevolence of the Trump administration, it helps to cultivate a long-term and global perspective. Last week’s Skoll World Forum offered both, and a bit of fun, too. Spend time at Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and you’re reminded that Britain has endured much worse that Trump. Listen to …

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AmazonSmile brings to mind the observation of late great media critic A.J. Liebling about The New York Times’ fundraising campaigns on behalf of its Neediest Cases.  “Readers are invited to send in money,” Liebling wrote, “while the newspaper generously agrees to accept the thanks of the beneficiaries.” AmazonSmile is bit like that. The website, created by Amazon.com in 2013, offers …

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As a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic in the early 1990s, Eleanor Allen lived with a family whose granddaughter, a child name Maria, died of diarrhea. That changed her life, she says—but not right away. Trained as civil and environmental engineer, Allen spent 16 years rising through the ranks of CH2M, a big …

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