Philanthropist Turned Governor: What Can J.B. Pritzker do to Expand Opportunity in Illinois?

Philanthropist Turned Governor: What Can J.B. Pritzker do to Expand Opportunity in Illinois?

After years of ramping up his giving to help poor children in Illinois and beyond, billionaire heir J.B. Pritzker spent $171 million to get himself elected governor. What could Pritzker’s win mean for public-private partnerships in the state?

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These Billionaire Philanthropists Also Spent Big to Influence This Year's Mid-Term Election

These Billionaire Philanthropists Also Spent Big to Influence This Year's Mid-Term Election

Donald Trump may be a billionaire, but no recent president has inspired fiercer opposition within the far upper class. Many top philanthropists are among those who’ve given record sums in the most expensive mid-term election in U.S. history.

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Betting on Demographics: Behind a New Push to Engage Young Voters

Betting on Demographics: Behind a New Push to Engage Young Voters

If more young people made it to the polls, so the story goes, politics would look a whole lot different. This piece from last year looked at giving by a trio of funders aiming to engage young Americans in new ways—starting with the 2018 mid-terms. 

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Building Power: A Foundation Sees Voter Mobilization as a Pathway to Racial Justice

Building Power: A Foundation Sees Voter Mobilization as a Pathway to Racial Justice

Lots of grant money has been flowing lately for movement building. The Akonadi Foundation is among those funders now looking to translate that energy into gains at the ballot box, as we explored in an article first published in May.

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Heading into the Mid-terms, Who’s Paying Attention to Cybersecurity?

Heading into the Mid-terms, Who’s Paying Attention to Cybersecurity?

The 2016 election demonstrated the vulnerability of American democracy to manipulation by outside actors. In this article first published in April, we looked at the funders working to bolster election security for the mid-terms.

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"A Fraught Moment." Donors Get Behind a Campus Initiative to Strengthen Democracy

"A Fraught Moment." Donors Get Behind a Campus Initiative to Strengthen Democracy

It’s not just foundations that are channelling new funds to democracy work. Rising anxiety about the future of American civic life is also sparking university giving in this space—including recent donations to UVA.

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A Tech Billionaire Takes on... Tech. What's His Larger Game Plan for Giving?

A Tech Billionaire Takes on... Tech. What's His Larger Game Plan for Giving?

Billionaire Craig Newmark may have made his fortune in tech, but he’s also worried about that industry’s outsized power. We talk to Newark about his latest big gift—and where his growing philanthropy is heading next.

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“It’s a Way to Make a Difference.” Behind a Campus Gift to Revitalize a Heartland News Desert

“It’s a Way to Make a Difference.” Behind a Campus Gift to Revitalize a Heartland News Desert

While combating disinformation has become a big focus of journalism funders, others are keen to revitalize local media, which they view as a key to strong democracy. We drill into a major new gift in Indiana.

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“We Can’t Count on Washington”: A California Funder Preps for the 2020 Census

“We Can’t Count on Washington”: A California Funder Preps for the 2020 Census

As the most populous state, there’s a lot at stake when it comes to getting the 2020 Census right in California. Here’s a look at a funder stepping up to make sure everyone is counted.

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Amid Rising Alarms About Big Tech, What Is Philanthropy's Role?

Amid Rising Alarms About Big Tech, What Is Philanthropy's Role?

Some top funders have gotten behind an initiative to examine, with Facebook's cooperation, how the social media giant affects elections. Are these funders playing it too safe when they should be hitting harder? 

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Ripple Effect: A Foundation Looks to Women and Girls of Color to Take the Lead

Ripple Effect: A Foundation Looks to Women and Girls of Color to Take the Lead

In a new five-year plan, the Ms. Foundation for Women aims to invest $25 million in organizations led by and for women of color. It is also launching a 501(c)(4) to help amplify this group’s political reach and power.

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First Line of Defense: A Fund to Pay Journalists' Legal Bills

First Line of Defense: A Fund to Pay Journalists' Legal Bills

With backing from Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, the Press Freedom Defense Fund sticks up for journalists and whistleblowers in legal trouble. We get an inside look at how it operates and where support flows.

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