Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Melinda Gates had no desire to attend the Ursuline Academy of Dallas, the all-girls Catholic high school from which she graduated in 1982. “I railed against my parents for not sending me to the best academic school in town,” she recalled the other day, at a Washington event. But Gates now feels grateful for her …

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I’ve got a story about Nicholas Kristof in the June issue of The Chronicle of Philanthropy that looks at his impact on charitable giving. A Kristof column in The New York Times, it turns out, can drive hundreds of thousands of dollars to a nonprofit. Kristof knows it. He has said that he thinks of himself as …

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What is the purpose of charity? I’ve been thinking about that question since coming across a fascinating observation about the purpose of government and the purpose of business, and how often we confuse the two. It came from an October 1990 opinion column by a journalist named Donald Kaul, and it was cited recently in Tim …

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Assume, for a moment, that we want to prevent the suffering of the 9 billion animals raised every year for meat in the US. What should we do? Seek government legislation or regulations to protect farm animals from cruel treatment? Bring pressure on meat companies, brands and retailers to improve animal welfare? Or try to …

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Funny, how timing is everything. Peter Singer, the Princeton professor, ethicist and author who has been called the world’s most influential living philosopher, laid out the principles of what is now known as Effective Altruism in a succinct 1972 essay called Famine, Affluence and Morality. “If it is in our power to prevent something very bad …

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As a girl growing up in Reno, Nevada, Sue Desmond wasn’t satisfied with an A. “I wanted an A-plus,” she says. She also wanted to make a contribution. Watching her father, a drugstore owner, display kindness towards customers left a strong impression. As a young doctor, she and her husband, Nicholas Hellmann, moved to Uganda …

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Imagine that you are walking down the street, and a friendly, attractive young woman with a clipboard, wearing a T-Shirt that says Dazzling Cosmetics, asks for a moment of your time. She represents a beauty products company looking for investors. Will MacAskill lays out the rest of this thought experiment: She tells you about how …

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Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna today said they will donate $25 million to GiveDirectly, a nonprofit that makes direct cash transfers to extremely poor people in Kenya and Uganda. It’s the largest gift to date to GiveDirectly, the largest ever shaped by the ideas of Effective Altruism and the largest so …

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To borrow an overused word from Silicon Valley, Effective Altruism threatens to disrupt conventional philanthropy. Effective altruists, who aim to do the most good they can with their time and money, rely on reason and evidence to decide where to donate. If enough people join their movement–and yes, it is a movement–more charity dollars will flow …

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