Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Not all that long ago–during my lifetime, in any event–every institution of US society was arrayed against gay and lesbian Americans. Local police. Federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. Private employers. Educators. Hollywood, and the newspapers. Churches, of course, and synagogues who told gay people that they were sinners. Worst of all, perhaps, the …

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Nothing about us without us. This declaration has become a rallying cry for the disability rights movement.* It could just as well be a call to arms for participatory grantmaking — the practice of giving more power over philanthropic spending to the people that it is supposed to help. So it’s no accident that the Disability …

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We’re gradually learning more about the investment performance of foundation endowments. The news is not good. The Chronicle of Philanthropy yesterday published my story about foundation endowments. [Paywall] The peg was the Ford Foundation’s decision to publish the investment returns of its $12.1bn endowment for the first time in several years. Ford has done well–its endowment …

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You’d think that nonprofits would lead the way when it comes to diversity. After all, many serve the downtrodden, including people of color, immigrants and the poor. But no. A new survey of more than 1,500 nonprofits found that 90 percent of their chief executives, 90 percent of their board chairs, and 84 percent of …

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To avoid becoming depressed by the malevolence of the Trump administration, it helps to cultivate a long-term and global perspective. Last week’s Skoll World Forum offered both, and a bit of fun, too. Spend time at Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and you’re reminded that Britain has endured much worse that Trump. Listen to …

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Last spring, Global Witness published a report called How Many More? about the killings of environmental activists around the world. The NGO trained a spotlight on Honduras, the world’s most dangerous place to advocate on behalf of the environment, and especially on a prominent activist named Berta Cáceres, who told the group: They follow me. They threaten …

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This blog began as an experiment almost a year ago. Back then, I didn’t know whether I wanted to devote myself to writing about nonprofits and foundations. I’ve learned, fifty-two blogposts later, that I do. Nonprofits and foundations are important. The issues swirling around them are fascinating. And they deserve more sustained journalistic attention. So …

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