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Friday
Oct312014

Be Afraid: The Five Scariest Trends in Philanthropy

Imagine going trick-or-treating and getting wads of cash thrown in your bag. Philanthropy can seem like that to nonprofits on a roll. But pull back the lens on this world and the big picture is kind of frightening.

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Friday
Oct312014

Why Mac's Big Give for Docs Is So Important 

We live in a visual age, and one where hard-hitting print journalism is in decline. Documentary films are tailor-made for these conditions, a point MacArthur just drove home with $2 million in grants.

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Friday
Oct312014

Another Billionaire's Foundation Is Spending Down, With a Big Focus on the Environment 

An heir to one of America's greatest engineering fortunes plans to close his foundation by 2020, and its annual giving to green causes is rising fast as a result. We look at where the money is going.

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Friday
Oct312014

Haverford Had His Back As a Student. Now This Alum Is Returning the Favor, Big Time

Gratitude is a recurring theme in the annals of alumni giving, but this is a special case: A school that picked up the tuition tab for an orphaned freshman—who later became its single biggest donor.

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Thursday
Oct302014

Why This Advocate Gets Big Bucks from Ford to Push Family Leave Policies

There's no magic formula for pulling down $11 million in Ford grants over a few short years, but it helps to be working a hot issue and have a track record of victories, including in hostile environments.

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Thursday
Oct302014

Wells Fargo Is Giving Housing Groups Millions of Dollars. Here's the Irony in That.

It's hard to know how many people lost their homes thanks to this bank's abusive lending and foreclosure practices, but the answer is probably "a lot." Now it's giving big to help "distressed communities."

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Thursday
Oct302014

When Smaller is Better: A Look at the "Awesomeness" of Microgrants

We write here a lot about deep pocketed funders making big grants. Well, here's a look at a different model—one sure to appeal to beleaguered arts groups endlessly chasing enormous and ever-elusive grants.

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Thursday
Oct302014

Elite Colleges Look Like Country Clubs. These Funders Want to Change That

Along with other partners, Bloomberg Philanthropies has zeroed in on the challenge of getting more high-achieving, but low-income, students to attend the nation's most competitive colleges and universities.

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Wednesday
Oct292014

Environmentalists: Four Reasons You Need to Know about the Schmidts

The Schmidt Family Foundation run by Google billionaire Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy almost exclusively focuses on environmental philanthropy, and its giving is likely to rise. Here's our 101.

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Wednesday
Oct292014

Old, Alone, and Gay? A Growing Number of Funders Are Thinking About You

LGBT elders are half as likely as straight peers to have life partners, more likely to be estranged from their families, and twice as likely to live alone. Good thing for funders like the Weinberg Foundation.

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Tuesday
Oct282014

Why Big Foundations Come to Love You: A Case Study

Some in the NGO world are surely scratching their heads at how Water.org has gotten its hands on millions of dollars, and rather quickly. Is it Matt Damon? Is he the secret weapon? We don't think so.

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Tuesday
Oct282014

This Funder Thinks Female Social Entrepreneurs Need Extra Help. Do They?

While there's nothing wrong with a special effort to help young female social entrepreneurs just getting started, the biggest challenge for women nonprofit leaders comes later in their careers

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Tuesday
Oct282014

A Closer Looker at a Big Gift for Rare Diseases to Notre Dame

Unpack any big individual gift for medical research and, usually, you'll find a personal health motive. But other donors just care, period. Here we look at a gift where both kinds of donors came together.

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Tuesday
Oct282014

Why This Funder Is Getting Behind a New Strategy to Fight High College Dropout Rates 

This $5 million give in the Midwest shows what many higher ed funders are looking for: Programs with evidence of success that have the potential to be scaled upward or replicated in other settings.

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Monday
Oct272014

Can Harvard's JFK School Help Solve Africa's Biggest Problem? One Big Donor Hopes So

Is writing a check to a U.S. university with a $32 billion endowment really the best way to help the world's poorest continent? Maybe, if you agree that fighting corruption is an all-important leverage point.

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Monday
Oct272014

Did You Hear the Koch Brothers Just Gave a Million Bucks to NPR to Cover Healthcare?

Naturally, there should be an uproar when a major private funder with strong views writes a big check to public radio to report on one of the most contested issues of our time....Right?

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Monday
Oct272014

Who's Supporting Single-Sex Education, and Why? 

Single-gender education is not a new concept, but the number of such schools has risen sharply, and this trend is entwined with the explosion of charters. Where's the money coming from?

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Monday
Oct272014

Pioneer Watch: Heron's Big Shift to Investing Is Moving Along. Where's the Money Going? 

With Heron way out front on impact investing, lots of people will be watching to see how things go. If returns tank, that could be a setback for the impact investing movement—and vice versa if they soar.

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Friday
Oct242014

Terminally Ill Simpsons Co-Creator is Saving Animals. By Buying Them

Faced with terminal cancer, TV legend Sam Simon has ramped up his animal giving in a big way. One way he's disposing of his fortune is by buying up captive animals from places like roadside zoos and circuses.

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Friday
Oct242014

From Appalachia, Another Example of Why This is a Golden Age of Energy Philanthropy  

If you're not tracking the explosion of giving by energy companies, you should be—especially if you raise money for STEM, higher ed, or workforce. Just look at this big give by Chevron in Appalachia.

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