Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

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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Consider the food bank, a staple on the menu of nonprofits in most communities. Food banks collect unwanted food from donors, including supermarkets, food manufacturers, individuals and the government, and then distribute it to poor people through food pantries and meal programs. Last year alone, food banks affiliated with the Feeding America network distributed more than …

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The global south is littered, literally, with the remains of failed international aid projects. So-called clean cookstoves had more appeal to western donors than to women in India, Africa or Latin America. Wells and taps that were intended to provide clean water have fallen into disrepair. One 2009 study estimated there are 50,000 broken rural water points …

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A saintly aura follows Jim Yong Kim as he glides from stage to stage, at the Skoll World Forum, the London School of Economics, the Global Philanthropy Forum and the spring meetings of the World Bank, over which he presides. The introductions are kind, the questions invariably gentle, the resume glittering: A physician and an …

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  I’m enjoying a month-long break from writing and blogging (with the exception of this post) and spending much of that time reading books. The other day, I spent a couple of hours curled up with a book during the afternoon. What a treat! Looking back at 2016, I wish I’d spent more time reading words between …

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Last spring, Global Witness published a report called How Many More? about the killings of environmental activists around the world. The NGO trained a spotlight on Honduras, the world’s most dangerous place to advocate on behalf of the environment, and especially on a prominent activist named Berta Cáceres, who told the group: They follow me. They threaten …

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Yesterday I blogged about my 2015 charitable donations. Today it’s my daughter Sarah Gunther’s turn. This is a fascinating moment for giving. An influx of capital from Silicon Valley technocrats-turned-philanthropists—most recently Mark Zuckerberg—has added fuel to the fire of philanthropy’s current obsession with metrics and impact. While the call for increased accountability in the nonprofit …

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