Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about nonprofit organizations and their impact

True to its name, Unorthodox Philanthropy got started with an out-of-the-ordinary proposition. In 2010, on a crowdsourcing website called Innocentive, the funder announced that it was seeking “novel, unorthodox opportunities for philanthropic investment with the potential to generate extraordinary returns to society.” It promised a prize of at least $10,000 to the best idea. Nearly …

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This is likely a product of confirmation bias, but I’m often reminded of how little we know about stuff that matters.  Friends with health issues visit doctors who don’t know what to do. (Maybe they should do nothing. As Atul Gawande, wrote in The New Yorker in 2015: “An avalanche of unnecessary medical care is …

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My wife Karen Schneider and I gave about six percent of our pretax income to charity in 2016. Most Americans give away about three percent of their adjusted gross income, according to the Urban Institute, but our earnings are higher, so we should give away more, in my view. The Life You Can Save, a …

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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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We don’t have comprehensive ratings or rankings of the best nonprofits, and we probably never will. You can’t compare Harvard to Carnegie Hall to the DC Central Kitchen in a meaningful way. But, by using evidence, it is possible to identify nonprofits that have a positive impact at a reasonable cost. That’s what the Center …

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What do the world’s poorest people want? Clean cookstoves? New shoes? Fresh water?  A toilet? Eyeglasses? Nicholas Kristof recommends, among other things, a flock of ducks. What about a solar lantern, a baby blanket, a bicycle, or a camel? No one said gift giving is easy. Of course, I have no idea what poor people want. (It’s hard enough …

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POVERTY, INC. | Official Trailer from POVERTY, INC. | The Movie on Vimeo. Near the beginning of the new film Poverty Inc. are excerpts from the music video of the song, Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which was recorded in 1984 in response to a terrible famine in Ethiopia by the supergroup Band Aid, featuring, …

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