Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

Big-time philanthropy is a peculiar enterprise – undemocratic, accountable to no one and slow to change. If you doubt it, consider the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Arizona’s largest private foundation. The trustees are paid $44,000 a year, more than the directors at the Ford or Rockefeller foundations, which are far bigger. They took control of …

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GiveWell began with a simple question: where should I donate? Elie Hassenfeld and Holden Karnofsky (bios) were  20-something friends who worked at a Westport, CT, hedge fund called Bridgewater Associates. They made good money. They wanted to give some away. That was easy. They wanted their donations to help people–by reducing suffering or increasing opportunity–“as much as …

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