Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

The Chronicle of Philanthropy last month published my opinion piece on climate philanthropy. They’ve kindly agreed to let me repost it here. America’s foundations have poured billions of dollars into the fight against climate change. What do they have to show for their money? Big environmental grant makers — Hewlett, MacArthur, Moore, Packard, and the …

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The numbers are mind-boggling. Between 50 and 170 billion farmed fish, and as many as two trillion wild fish are killed each year to feed people and animals, it’s been estimated. More fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined. Those fish feel pain when they are caught and processed, many …

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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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I spent last weekend in Charleston, WV, with my daughter, her husband and my two grandsons. They’re doing well. The same can’t be said about the state where they live. Nearly one in five people living in WV fall below the poverty line, which is $23,834 for a family of four. The percentage of children living …

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Haiti is a tough place to do business. The impoverished Caribbean nation ranks 181 of 190 countries analyzed by the World Bank. The cookstove business is tough, too. No one has built a profitable cookstove company at scale, even with subsidies. So why would anyone start a business making and selling cleaner cookstoves in Haiti? For Duquesne …

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I’m just back from a vacation in Tulum, Mexico. I found great places to eat using Trip Advisor (try El Tabano, above), and wrote several reviews once I got home. Trip Advisor’s a great service. So imagine, if you will, a nonprofit sector with its own Trip Advisor, a guide that would help donors, volunteers and …

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Listen to the customer. Businesses do it, albeit imperfectly. So do nonprofits. But the question for nonprofits is, who’s the customer? Most nonprofits listen to their donors. Those that raise money from individuals test their fundraising messages, and act on what they learn. Those that rely on foundations pay heed to what major philanthropies have …

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