Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

It is hard not to feel despair this morning, but there was some good news out of the election. Drug reform is the rare issue that can bring the left and right together, as I wrote on Medium: Led by voters in Oregon, Americans from coast to coast voted by decisive margins to take steps …

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Martha’s Table, a widely-respected charity in Washington, D.C., provides healthy food to families and operates preschool and after-school programs for kids. It serves all comers, but many, if not most, are Black people. After all, more than 60% of Washington, D.C.’s poor people are Black people. Yet a new report from the National Committee on Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) does not consider …

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This is a strange and deeply disturbing time. I’d like to be writing more about racial justice and Covid-19 and, in an indirect way, I did just this morning, at Medium. My story looks at two progressive, criminal-justice ballot initiatives that are all but certain to be on the November ballot in the state of …

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Not all that long ago–during my lifetime, in any event–every institution of US society was arrayed against gay and lesbian Americans. Local police. Federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. Private employers. Educators. Hollywood, and the newspapers. Churches, of course, and synagogues who told gay people that they were sinners. Worst of all, perhaps, the …

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Days after the Harvey Weinstein horror story broke, the anger among women in the animal welfare movement, which had simmered for years, boiled over during a panel on gender and race at the Animal Law Conference in Portland, Oregon. “Too often we excuse the wrongdoing of our colleagues who treat their employees with disrespect and …

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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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David Bonbright traces his belief in the power of voice back to a peaceful revolution. Decades ago, while living and working in South Africa as a human rights lawyer, a grant-maker with the Ford Foundation and a founder of nonprofits, Bonbright was deeply moved by the way the anti-apartheid movement was accountable to its members …

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Why is the FBI looking for a couple of sick pigs? Last summer, FBI agents visited animal sanctuaries in Utah and Colorado, seeking piglets that had been removed from a large-scale hog farm in Milford, Utah, by an animal-rights group called Direct Action Everywhere (DXE). The diseased piglets were rotting to death, says Wayne Hsiung, …

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You’d think that nonprofits would lead the way when it comes to diversity. After all, many serve the downtrodden, including people of color, immigrants and the poor. But no. A new survey of more than 1,500 nonprofits found that 90 percent of their chief executives, 90 percent of their board chairs, and 84 percent of …

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You could call Jonathan C. Lewis a late bloomer. Not until he retired from business in his mid-50s did he rediscover his 1960s activist soul and become a full-time “social entrepreneur.” Lewis founded a nonprofit impact investing firm now called MCE Social Capital that makes loans to poor people in the developing work. He created Opportunity Collaboration, …

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