Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

Why is meat so cheap? McDonald’s sells a McDouble burger for less than $2. A rotisserie chicken costs $4.99 at Costco. Government policy comes into play. Farmers get low-cost water. Cows, pigs and chickens eat federally-subsidized corn. The USDA and the Small Business Administration guarantee loans to farmers, including owners of CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding …

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Since 1990, when the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and McDonald’s formed a groundbreaking partnership to reduce waste at the fast-food chain, big environmental nonprofits — EDF, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund and the Natural Resources Defense Council — have formed numerous partnerships with big companies. “Corporate partnerships have been a cornerstone of our …

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Last week, ExxonMobil added Susan Avery, a physicist, atmospheric scientist and former president of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutions, to its board of directors. Shareholder advocates, led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), which has been organizing shareholder campaigns at ExxonMobil for nearly two decades — yes, two decades — welcomed the appointment. …

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  I skipped the turkey this year at Thanksgiving. It was purely a symbolic gesture; we served turkey at my house, so my decision not to eat it didn’t mean much. Still, over the last year or so, I have radically reduced my meat consumption, largely because of the time I’ve spent with people in …

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It’s easy for most of us to take the simplest things–like flushing a toilet–for granted. Yet almost 2.4 billion people lack access to modern sanitation, and nearly 1 billion practice open defecation, according to the World Health Organization. The problem is worst in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia, particularly India. What’s to …

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Some nonprofits, and people working inside nonprofits, pursue the same strategy, year after year, without stopping to ask whether they are having an impact. Not Linda Greer, an influential senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who for the past 25 years has worked to get companies to clean up their act. Originally a Washington insider, …

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In the world of philanthropy, the divestment movement is known as Divest-Invest. “Divest” has gotten most of the attention. “Invest” will make more of a difference. Divesting ownership of fossil fuel companies won’t have much direct effect on the fossil fuel industry, as I’ve written, in part because most of the world’s reserves are held by state-owned …

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