Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

In the US, Integrity Idol might not qualify as must-see TV. The TV-and-radio show showcases five government officials, nominated by their fellow citizens, who are known for their honesty. People vote for their favorite civil servant via text messages or online, and the winner is crowned in a ceremony in the national capital. In Nepal, though, Integrity …

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Were Donald Trump not running for president, it’s unlikely that anyone would have paid much attention to his charitable foundation. But thanks to the dogged reporting of David A. Fahrenthold of The Washington Post — here’s a list of his stories — we now know that the Donald J. Trump Foundation operated in ways that were …

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To raise awareness of the global water crisis, Mina Guli ran the equivalent of 40 marathons on seven deserts on seven continents in seven weeks earlier this year. As a marathon runner, I salute her. As a reporter who writes about philanthropy, I’m less impressed. A “global leader, athlete, entrepreneur and adventurer” — her words, not mine –Guli …

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“We have crushed the Red Cross,” Brett Hagler has said, bluntly but not unkindly. He’s got a point. Hagler is the 26-year-old founder and CEO of New Story, a startup nonprofit that has built more than 150 homes for families in Haiti who previously lived in tent slums. If you listen to NPR or read …

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Let’s start with a story about learning and failure at one foundation–and then move on to a renewed effort to share knowledge by IssueLab. The story: Recently, I had an enjoyable conversation with Reeta Roy, who is president and CEO of the Mastercard Foundation. Based in Toronto and dedicated to poverty alleviation in Africa, the Mastercard …

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Slow progress is better than no progress. So GuideStar’s Platinum designation, which encourages nonprofits to share their results in an important new way, deserves a round of polite applause, if not three cheers. It’s a step in the right direction, as well as a reminder of the long road that lies ahead–if the destination is, as …

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This month, a Silicon Valley startup called Frank that aims to serve nonprofit groups and their donors paid these expenses: $24,514 to nine people for product development and design, $3,124 to the VLP Law Group for patent work, $3,271 to Trinet for HR services, $99 to Dropbox, $54 to Google and $7 to Github. Its bank …

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If, as a chief executive or senior program officer of a big foundation, you have the power to disburse large sums of money, people are likely to let you know, in ways both subtle and direct, that you are wise, witty, good-looking and an all-around swell human being. Modest and self-aware you may be, but …

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When it comes to sharing what they know, foundations are, alas, uncharitable. That is the most striking finding of a report on foundations and transparency published last week by the Center for Effective Philanthropy. The 52-page report, called Sharing What Matters: Foundation Transparency, is based on surveys with 145 foundation CEOs and more than 15,000 grantees, …

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Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson, despite strong misgivings, quietly signed into law the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), giving citizens the right to access government data. Since then, more than 100 countries — Burkina Faso was the latest — have passed open government laws, often called”sunshine” laws.  Many foundations promote open government. FreedomInfo.org, the leading …

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