Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

As a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic in the early 1990s, Eleanor Allen lived with a family whose granddaughter, a child name Maria, died of diarrhea. That changed her life, she says—but not right away. Trained as civil and environmental engineer, Allen spent 16 years rising through the ranks of CH2M, a big …

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It’s strange, when you think about it. Most things have a price. A big box of Cheerios costs $3.98. A 1 lb. bag of Starbucks Breakfast Blend costs $12.95. An iPhone 7 costs $649. But when we donate to charities, what are we buying? And at what cost? That’s more difficult — indeed, it’s often …

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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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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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Pessimism is fashionable. It’s also wrong. People are safer, better-educated, better-fed, and wealthier than they used to be. Democracy and human rights are spreading. Perhaps most important, people, and in particular the world’s poorest people, are healthier. As Bill Gates writes in the forward to Millions Saved: New Cases of Proven Success in Global Health, …

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Software is eating the world, as the data at our fingertips (literally) gets richer all the time. Smart phones, Google searches, maps, weather, music from Pandora or Songza, Uber and AirBnb are all data-driven. Baseball nerds like me look at WAR, OPS and WHIP, along with batting average and ERA. But water? Not so much. …

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When researching water charities for last month’s long blogpost, and trying to understand why as many as 40 percent of water points in the developing world are broken at any given time, I was surprised to learn about the sector’s spotty sustainability performance. I was also struck by the lack of transparency about its work. …

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