Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

The Trump administration is having an unmistakable impact on philanthropy. That was brought home to me at this month’s Skoll World Forum, notably with the Omidyar Network’s promise to commit $100 million to support independent journalism and combat hate. On a panel about philanthropy, Laleh Ispahani of the Open Society Foundations described the organization’s $10-million Communities Against Hate initiative, which …

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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s often the only time each year–not counting graduations or weddings–when our entire family gets together; the rituals and menu have been firmly established. One of our traditions is to ask each person in turn to give thanks for the blessings in his or her life. This year, we will …

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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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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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Asking questions and then listening–really listening–to the answers is a vital but underrated skill. That’s true in business. In nonprofits. And in life as well. The trouble is, soliciting, receiving and acting upon feedback is hard. In theory, we want to learn, grow and change. In practice, not so much. We want to be loved for …

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