Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

Central Carolina Community Foundation¬†is in most ways a typical community foundation: Based in Columbia, SC, it supports social service organizations, colleges, churches and arts groups in the midlands of South Carolina. In one important way, though, Central Carolina foundation stands apart: It invests most of its investable assets, which are worth about $94m, in low-cost …

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People like to say that “good ideas can come from anywhere.” (The phrase generates 11.4m Google results.) They rarely act that way. Philanthropy is an “insider’s game,” the late Rick Cohen once wrote, and surveys have found that most foundations do not accept unsolicited proposals. This is understandable: Foundation executives don’t want to be swamped …

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With a collective $800 billion in assets under management, America’s big foundations spend vast sums of money to buy investment advice. They’re getting little, if anything, of value in return. Their own investment offices, and the Wall Street banks, hedge funds, private equity firms and consultants they hire, when taken together, deliver investment returns that …

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Philanthropy is a “black box,” writes David Callahan, the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy. “If you don’t think philanthropy is maddeningly opaque, it’s because you’re deep inside the sector.” He’s exaggerating, but not by much. Some foundations don’t disclose their donors. All are required by law to report on their grants, but many are …

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