Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

As a young philanthropist who supports research into psychedelic medicines, Cody Swift is nothing if not hands-on. He has experimented with psychedelics.He has guided clients through trips as part of clinical trials at Johns Hopkins University. He has published in an academic journal. Most important, he has donated millions of dollars. His donations are poised …

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Advocacy groups are almost entirely disconnected from anything that feels like a market. The people who pay their bills – foundations and individual donors – are not their customers. They typically can’t measure their effectiveness. And their “competitors,” to the degree they have any, are often their allies. The Nature Conservancy and WWF compete with …

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So I’ve been writing about marijuana. Recently, it came to my attention that a 40-year-old Pittsburgh man named Daniel Muessig — a former criminal defense lawyer and freestyle rapper — was, in all likelihood, headed to prison for five years for selling large quantities of weed. This is, of course, exactly what publicly-traded companies like …

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Sometimes I chase stories. Other times, stories chase me. In the case of a Bethesda, MD-based animal welfare charity called Alley Cat Allies, it’s definitely the latter. I came across Alley Cat Allies in 2018 when I reported on its problems for The Chronicle of Philanthropy. A lawyer for the charity responded with an idiotic …

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Giving Tuesday is, in theory, a lovely idea. Heck, if the people of this great nation want to celebrate Black Friday and Cyber Monday by spending money they don’t have on stuff they don’t need, why not set aside a day for what’s been called “an opportunity for people around the world to come together through …

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Big-time philanthropy is a peculiar enterprise – undemocratic, accountable to no one and slow to change. If you doubt it, consider the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Arizona’s largest private foundation. The trustees are paid $44,000 a year, more than the directors at the Ford or Rockefeller foundations, which are far bigger. They took control of …

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The government last week released encouraging news about youth vaping. It is down by 60 percent over the last two years. It’s too early to be certain — the results of this latest government survey are not strictly comparable with data from past years — but it appears as if the youth vaping epidemic is …

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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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Stanton Glantz, one of the world’s best-known tobacco researchers, had everything going for him — a first-class brain, financial support, a tenured professorship and a passion for the task at hand. No scientist, it seemed, was more committed to reducing the death and disease caused by smoking Glantz led the creation of an invaluable archive of tobacco-industry …

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