Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Here we are, with summer coming to a close, and I am more than a little surprised to find that I have devoted most of my working time during 2021 to a single topic–electronic cigarettes. I’ve never been a smoker or a vaper, and paid no attention to e-cigarettes until late last year, when I …

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Atlantic Sapphire, a Norwegian company, calls itself the largest land-based aquaculture company in the world. It is building a giant salmon farm, known as the Bluehouse, on what used to be a tomato field in Homestead, FL, about 40 miles southwest of Miami. Lately, things have not been going well. In March, Atlantic Sapphire destroyed …

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It is not often that well-respected nonprofit organizations take the side of the powerful against the weak. Yet that, in my view, is where the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the Truth Campaign find themselves these days in the debate over e-cigarettes. That’s why I’ve been spending time lately reporting and writing about e-cigarettes, and …

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My story about Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and their campaign against electronic cigarettes generated more reaction that anything I’ve written in years, with the possible exception of my reporting on the workplace abuses at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. The story appears in the current issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, …

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The philanthropy of the very rich is an exercise of power, says Stanford professor Rob Reich. As such, billionaire philanthropy deserves scrutiny and not automatic gratitude. With that in mind, I began a deep dive three months ago into a campaign against electronic cigarettes funded largely by a $160-million, three-year grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Much …

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Little-known outside the world of psychedelics and drug policy, Rick Doblin is one of the most effective nonprofit leaders in America. Doblin is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, better known as MAPS, which for 35 years has been trying to develop psychedelic medicines and advocating for the responsible …

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This fall, just in time for the giving season, two groups of independent researchers set out to identify the most effective nonprofits that are working to curb climate change. Their findings may surprise you. Giving Green recommends five organizations: the Clean Air Task Force, the Sunrise Education Fund, which is the 501(c)(3) arm of the Sunrise Movement, Climeworks, Burn and Tradewater. Top charities selected …

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Last year, staff members who worked in “corporate security” at eBay set out to harass a husband-and-wife team who publish a newsletter that criticized the company. Things got ugly in a hurry. The security staff sent them boxes of live cockroaches, a bloody Halloween mask, a funeral wreath and a book on how to survive …

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This should be a moment of opportunity for the animal rights movement. The case against eating animals — for ethical, environmental and health reasons — has never been stronger. Covid-19 may have begun at a live animal market in Wuhan and, so far, the virus has infected more than 41,000 workers at US meat and poultry slaughterhouses, according …

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Every October, Kingston, N.Y., a city of 23,000 people in the Hudson Valley, attracts throngs of visitors to the O + Festival, a weekend celebration of art, music and wellness. The O + Festival — it’s pronounced O Positive — is no ordinary civic gathering. It is, improbably, an alternative to America’s profit-driven health care system: The …

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