Software companies have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars worth of free product into community colleges and universities in recent months. The latest in kind donation is $660 million worth of software from Siemens to Massachusetts schools.
Data science is showing potential to unpack some of the toughest problems in several fields of research. Cheaper and stronger sensors, storage and computing means we have new power to make sense of all the information we're collecting, almost constantly. Few funders are as focused on making it happen as the Alfred A. Sloan Foundation.
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation started out as a pretty conventional charitable outfit, writing checks for local education, the arts, and so on. It's still doing that, but there's a clear shift underway at the foundation towards the more daring ideals of the Allen Institute for Brain Science.
Glenn Dubin and his wife, Dr. Eva Anderssen-Dubin, have already given away a whole lot of money. But when you look at the details of this giving, you may be left scratching your head. It's not clear what the strategy here is or where the couple's big money might go as they ramp up to make good on the Giving Pledge.
The Heinz family is rebooting its foundation's leadership following a mess under the previous president. After weathering a controversy over fracking in which it appeared too cozy with the oil and gas industry, the Heinz Endowments have appointed longtime associate and former staffer Grant Oliphant as the new president.
Is venture philanthropy really so complicated? To somebody like Liam Krehbiel it simply means taking a rigorous approach to giving away money -- which includes asking some obvious questions -- so you're more likely to have an impact. Venture capitalists have been doing this for decades. Why not borrow from that world?
Why we act or don’t act poses one of the toughest problems facing scholars, and it's one that ricochets between philosophy and empirical science. Which makes it a perfect problem for the eclectic John Templeton Foundation, which is giving some serious money to one philosopher for a project that explores self-control.
Effective philanthropy doesn't have to be trendy or complicated. It can just be a simple idea to tackle an obvious problem: Like, say, improving emergency care for heart attack victims in rural America so they are more likely to survive. The Helmsley Charitable Trust is spending millions this way.
Since the mid-2000s, the Walton Family Foundation has been one of the largest funders in American conservation, primarily in marine and rivers issues. The grantee list is quite long, but just a few of the foundation’s favorite environmental groups are pulling down a massive chunk of its annual green funding.
Data science is scorching hot right now, in headlines, board rooms, university plans, and yes, philanthropy. At least five schools have scored multi-million-dollar grants for data science initiatives just in the past year. Here’s where the funding is going.
Marc Benioff is an important philanthropist to watch, along with his wife Lynne. Quite apart from the big fortune here ($3 billion) and the success of his company, Salesforce, Benioff has been something of a pioneer in tech philanthropy and is a visible leader in that fast moving scene. So as he and Lynne refine their giving strategy, it's good to pay attention.
How will a dedicated Oakland native and a local government guru lead The San Francisco Foundation, which has a much broader grantmaking mandate than many people realize, spanning five counties and tackling everything from arts to the environment to health? One possibility: He'll zero in on the Bay Area's yawning income gap.
A lot of funders are coming to see just how urgent it is to protect the sources of drinking water in different parts of the United States, and the watersheds in the mid-Atlantic region are under particular pressure. The Richard Mellon King Foundation is yet another large foundation that's on the case.
Boeing’s stock has almost doubled in the past four years, and the good times are showing up in its charitable giving, which totaled $176 million last year (including from employees). Now, Boeing has upped the ante further by giving the Smithsonian its biggest corporate gift ever, to improve the National Air and Space Museum, which is one of the three most visited museums in the world.
Ensuring access to safe, clean water is a big challenge in the developing world. Which is why foundations like Gates, Hilton, and Dell have poured lots of money into water and sanitation projects. Now, a new trend is emerging in water philanthropy: strengthening water infrastructure in a surprising place, the United States of America.