Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

America’s foundations spend many millions of dollars every year on investment advice. What do they get in return? Bubkes.* You read that right: Money that could be spent on charitable programs — to alleviate global poverty, help cure disease, improve education, support research or promote the arts —instead flows into the pockets of well-to-do investment advisors and asset …

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A few things you might not know about Detroit: So many people are moving into the downtown and midtown areas that worries have arisen about displacing the poor. When the Detroit Pistons and the Detroit Red Wings move into the new $700m Little Caesars sports complex next fall, Detroit will be the only city in …

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The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has left its mark on America.  Founded in 1940 by five sons of John D. Rockefeller Jr.–John 3rd, Nelson, Laurance, Winthrop, and David–it has been a major supporter of New York’s Riverside Church (where the family worshipped), the Museum of Modern Art (which their mother co-founded), Colonial Williamsburg (where JDR 3rd and Winthrop chaired …

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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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With a collective $800 billion in assets under management, America’s big foundations spend vast sums of money to buy investment advice. They’re getting little, if anything, of value in return. Their own investment offices, and the Wall Street banks, hedge funds, private equity firms and consultants they hire, when taken together, deliver investment returns that …

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If, as a chief executive or senior program officer of a big foundation, you have the power to disburse large sums of money, people are likely to let you know, in ways both subtle and direct, that you are wise, witty, good-looking and an all-around swell human being. Modest and self-aware you may be, but …

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“Inequality is the fight of the moment for philanthropy,” writes Philip Henderson, the president of the Surdna Foundation, in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. I’m not sure why foundations want to fight inequality. I’d prefer that they fight poverty, or work on behalf of social mobility or social justice or economic opportunity, but that’s a conversation for another day. …

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