Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Until recently, Al Cantor and I had never met. We connected on Twitter,  traded emails, talked by phone and enjoyed our interchanges. Al has spent more than three decades in the nonprofit world, as executive director of an agency helping at-risk New Hampshire boys, as an executive at a community foundation, and as vice president …

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Dan Pallotta’s powerful TED talk, called The way we think about charity is dead wrong, has been viewed nearly four million times since 2013. More important, his argument — that charities should be rewarded for their big goals and big accomplishments, and not punished for spending on overhead, marketing and salaries — has helped change …

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Michael Thatcher, the chief executive of Charity Navigator, has one of the most important jobs in philanthropy. One of the hardest, too. Charity Navigator has clout. Donors visited its website more than 9 million times last year to check out its ratings of about 8,000 charities. It’s America’s most influential evaluator of charities. But what did …

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The theme of this blog can be summed up in a few sentences: There are thousands of nonprofit organizations in the US. Some do great work. Many do not. Wouldn’t it be good to know which is which? Dean Karlan, an influential economist who teaches at Yale and founded an organization called Innovations for Poverty …

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Charity Navigator matters. It’s America’s largest and most influential evaluator of nonprofit groups, and it’s been struggling for years to do that job right. Last week, Ken Berger, Charity Navigator’s CEO for the past seven years, left the watchdog group. Whoever succeeds him will have a big and important job to do. I spoke at length with Ken …

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In the summer of 2013, in a remarkable development that was little noted outside of the world of philanthropy, Guidestar, Charity Navigator and BBB Wise Giving Alliance, the US’s three leading sources of information about nonprofits, together published a letter intended “to correct a misconception about what matters when deciding which charities to support.” “The …

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