Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

Well, this is odd. Above, a Google search for “donate goat Oxfam” is topped by ads for the World Wildlife Fund and the ASPCA. Below, a Google search for “Oxfam goats” turns up ads for two other charities, Compassion International and Outreach International. What’s going on here? That’s hard to know. It certainly appears as …

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Of the countless well-meaning efforts to help the world’s poor, only sixteen are currently endorsed by GiveWell, a meta-charity that rigorously investigates nonprofits. Three of those are run by a little-known nonprofit called Evidence Action. This is no accident. While GiveWell evaluates programs and Evidence Action operates them, their values are aligned: Both seek to …

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My wife Karen Schneider and I gave just under seven percent of our pretax income to charity in 2017. Most Americans give away about three percent of their adjusted gross income, according to the Urban Institute, but our earnings are higher, so we should give away more. The Life You Can Save, a website inspired by the …

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Some great books that I read this year, and a few not-so-great: Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua, by Stephen Kinzer. A terrific book about the rise to power of the Sandinistas, who overcame violent opposition from the US-funded contras in the 1980s. I read this while on vacation in Nicaragua in January, …

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Nothing about us without us. This declaration has become a rallying cry for the disability rights movement.* It could just as well be a call to arms for participatory grantmaking — the practice of giving more power over philanthropic spending to the people that it is supposed to help. So it’s no accident that the Disability …

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The onslaught began last week. “Mark your calendar for Giving Tuesday,” said the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “One week until #GivingTuesday,” said SHOFCO. Triple your gift! Double your impact! An estimated 35,000 nonprofits participate, according to New York’s 92nd St Y, which launched Giving Tuesday in 2012. Does #GivingTuesday do good? That’s …

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Village Enterprise is a small NGO. Its annual budget? About $3.5m. Number of employees? Fewer than 150, with all but seven based in East Africa. Yet Village Enterprise is about to test a big idea that has the potential to insure that money spent to fight global poverty has real impact. It’s known, inelegantly, as …

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