Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

Not all that long ago–during my lifetime, in any event–every institution of US society was arrayed against gay and lesbian Americans. Local police. Federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. Private employers. Educators. Hollywood, and the newspapers. Churches, of course, and synagogues who told gay people that they were sinners. Worst of all, perhaps, the …

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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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Helping the world’s poorest people escape poverty is, in principle, a simple matter: Give them cash! The trouble is, there are too many of them: About 700 million people — more than twice as many people as live in the US — are thought to live on less than $1.90 a day, according to best estimates …

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The Chronicle of Philanthropy last month published my opinion piece on climate philanthropy. They’ve kindly agreed to let me repost it here. America’s foundations have poured billions of dollars into the fight against climate change. What do they have to show for their money? Big environmental grant makers — Hewlett, MacArthur, Moore, Packard, and the …

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“Most donors don’t think their way into giving to charity.” So writes Al Cantor, a smart guy and a veteran of the nonprofit world. “I give from my heart – and my observation is that most other donors do the same thing,” he goes on to say. “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.” Sorry, Al, …

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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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