Nonprofit Chronicles

Journalism about foundations, nonprofits and their impact

The Open Philanthropy Project funds an array of causes that would seem, at first glance, to have little or nothing in common. OpenPhil, as it’s known, gave away about $240m last year, making major grants to nonprofits that seek to alleviate global poverty, reform the US criminal justice system, perform basic scientific research, improve the …

Continue reading

Until recently, Al Cantor and I had never met. We connected on Twitter,  traded emails, talked by phone and enjoyed our interchanges. Al has spent more than three decades in the nonprofit world, as executive director of an agency helping at-risk New Hampshire boys, as an executive at a community foundation, and as vice president …

Continue reading

Of the countless well-meaning efforts to help the world’s poor, only sixteen are currently endorsed by GiveWell, a meta-charity that rigorously investigates nonprofits. Three of those are run by a little-known nonprofit called Evidence Action. This is no accident. While GiveWell evaluates programs and Evidence Action operates them, their values are aligned: Both seek to …

Continue reading

My wife Karen Schneider and I gave just under seven percent of our pretax income to charity in 2017. 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. The Life You Can Save, a website inspired by the …

Continue reading

The onslaught began last week. “Mark your calendar for Giving Tuesday,” said the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “One week until #GivingTuesday,” said SHOFCO. Triple your gift! Double your impact! An estimated 35,000 nonprofits participate, according to New York’s 92nd St Y, which launched Giving Tuesday in 2012. Does #GivingTuesday do good? That’s …

Continue reading

The Internet has made it easier than ever to identify the best books, movies,  songs, hotels, restaurants, mutual funds, even foreign-language tutors. To identify the best charities? That’s harder. The Raikes Foundation, which is the family foundation of Jeff Raikes and his wife, Tricia, wants to help, by enabling donors to do more good with their money. Last …

Continue reading

Nonprofits often talk about inequality. Rarely do they talk about inequality in the nonprofit sector. But it’s a problem. Scale begets scale in the nonprofit world. Big nonprofits, with their brand names and hefty marketing budgets, grow faster than small ones, even when the smaller ones are demonstrably more effective. The rich get richer; the rest …

Continue reading