Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

The people who run billion-dollar foundations like to talk about their grants. They pump out press releases, produce slick videos, post on social media, publish annual reports and compile searchable databases, all calling attention to the ways they give away money. But how do they invest their money? Many won’t say. Fewer than half of 15 of the biggest U.S. foundations, which …

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Last June, The Chronicle of Philanthropy published my story about Luz Vega-Marquis, who has led the Marguerite Casey Foundation since 2001 . The headline was nuanced: Praised for Pathbreaking Grants, Marguerite Casey CEO Said to Foster a Culture of Fear by Staff Members. So, in my view, was the story. Vega-Marquis rightly has been acclaimed for her “longstanding commitment …

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There’s a lot to like about the Marguerite Casey Foundation, a Seattle-based private foundation with about $800m in assets that, since its inception nearly 20 years ago, has been led by a advocate for social change named Luz Vega-Marquis. Leaders of social-justice organizations lavish praise on Vega-Marquis for providing multi-year and unrestricted support to grass-roots organizations that …

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Psychedelic drugs are having a moment in the sun. They have great potential, we’re learning, as a treatment for a variety of mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. They are also attracting interest as a gateway to meaningful experiences that, advocates say, should be available to all. Philanthropists are taking note. More donors — though …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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