Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

Chickens. Cows. Cookstoves. Toilets. Solar panels. Job training. Clean water. Western NGOs dole out lots of stuff to help poor people in the global south become less poor. Do such programs work? It’s hard to know, but when researchers for a series of World Bank studies called Moving Out of Poverty asked 3,991 households in …

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The global south is littered, literally, with the remains of failed international aid projects. So-called clean cookstoves had more appeal to western donors than to women in India, Africa or Latin America. Wells and taps that were intended to provide clean water have fallen into disrepair. One 2009 study estimated there are 50,000 broken rural water points …

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A saintly aura follows Jim Yong Kim as he glides from stage to stage, at the Skoll World Forum, the London School of Economics, the Global Philanthropy Forum and the spring meetings of the World Bank, over which he presides. The introductions are kind, the questions invariably gentle, the resume glittering: A physician and an …

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It’s strange, when you think about it. Most things have a price. A big box of Cheerios costs $3.98. A 1 lb. bag of Starbucks Breakfast Blend costs $12.95. An iPhone 7 costs $649. But when we donate to charities, what are we buying? And at what cost? That’s more difficult — indeed, it’s often …

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This is likely a product of confirmation bias, but I’m often reminded of how little we know about stuff that matters.  Friends with health issues visit doctors who don’t know what to do. (Maybe they should do nothing. As Atul Gawande, wrote in The New Yorker in 2015: “An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is …

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Anyone who believes that people who work in the nonprofit sector are ipso facto morally superior to the rest of us might want to consider the story of The New York Blood Center and the 60 or so chimpanzees that it abandoned last year in Liberia. The NYBC, as it’s known, is a nonprofit that generated nearly …

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To raise awareness of the global water crisis, Mina Guli ran the equivalent of 40 marathons on seven deserts on seven continents in seven weeks earlier this year. As a marathon runner, I salute her. As a reporter who writes about philanthropy, I’m less impressed. A “global leader, athlete, entrepreneur and adventurer” — her words, not mine –Guli …

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