Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

So much for Wayne Pacelle’s denials. Early in 2018, when women at the Humane Society of the U.S. alleged that Pacelle, the organization’s charismatic leader, had sexually harassed them, he maintained his innocence before resigning under pressure. “This is a coordinated attempt to attack me and the organization,” Pacelle said. “And I absolutely deny any suggestion that I …

Continue reading

Climate change is “the slow-motion equivalent of a large asteroid heading to earth,” writes Joshua S. Goldstein, in a new book about climate solutions. It’s potentially catastrophic, and requires a political solution, he argues. But Goldstein says that if he were put in charge of environmental grant-making at a big US foundation, he would not …

Continue reading

Most PTAs hold bake sales and car washes to help out their local schools. But in some well-to-do communities, PTAs have turned themselves  into “local education foundations,” the biggest of which raise millions of dollars a year. Stanford professor Rob Reich learned about these super-sized PTAs when his son went off to kindergarten in Hillsborough, …

Continue reading

John Bogle didn’t sign the Giving Pledge. He didn’t have the money. (You need $1bn.) But Bogle did more for the world than most of those who signed. Bogle, the founder of the investment giant Vanguard, died last week. His story is a reminder that how you make your money matters more than how you …

Continue reading

Eighteen months ago, the people who manage the endowment at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation got some bad news: Investments they had made in funds managed by EnerVest, a Houston-based private equity firm that operates more than 33,000 oil and gas wells across the US, had plummeted in value to almost nothing. …

Continue reading

Reading is one of my life’s great pleasures. Here are the books that I read this year. Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace. A mind-bending collection of journalism and essays about conservative talk radio, September 11, John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign, Tracy Austin’s tennis career and the ethics of boiling large numbers of lobsters …

Continue reading

Who could object to efforts to bring clean, renewable energy to people without electricity? Donors and investors love social enterprises (D.Light, Greenlight Planet, BrightLife) and nonprofits (SolarAid, GivePower) that bring solar panels, lights or phone chargers to poor households in Africa and south Asia. Why, even President Obama, on a visit to Tanzania, played with …

Continue reading