Take a Hike: Why a Foundation is Giving Millions for Nature Trails

Take a Hike: Why a Foundation is Giving Millions for Nature Trails

Investing in parks and other nature amenities has become a growing part of place-based philanthropy in recent years. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation is the latest funder to emerge in this space, and it has some seriously deep pockets.

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In Boston, a Foundation Sees "Radical Trust" as a Key to Managing Public Places

In Boston, a Foundation Sees "Radical Trust" as a Key to Managing Public Places

Concerns about gentrification are fueling fraught debates over public places at a moment of rising private grantmaking for parks and other civic amenities. The Boston Foundation is looking to expand who’s heard in these conversations.

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Behind a Big Boost for a Legacy Institution, Deep-Pocketed Conservationists

Behind a Big Boost for a Legacy Institution, Deep-Pocketed Conservationists

Nature-focused legacy institutions like zoos and gardens are finding creative ways to engage the public and appeal to funders, including the billionaire donor class. A major gift to the Chicago Botanic Garden shows this dynamic in action.

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Unlocking Potential: What a Funder is Doing Around Chicago’s Rivers

Unlocking Potential: What a Funder is Doing Around Chicago’s Rivers

In Chicago, some funders and civic leaders see transforming the city’s extensive river system as an opportunity to advance environmental goals while also bringing people together in creative ways. The Chicago Community Trust is a key leader of this work.

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What It Takes: From Philadelphia, Lessons About Philanthropy and Civic Engagement

What It Takes: From Philadelphia, Lessons About Philanthropy and Civic Engagement

With backing from Knight and other funders, Philadelphia has been engaged in a unique experiment to strengthen the city’s civic engagement ecosystem. This initiative has had to overcome a number of challenges.

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Behind a Big Investment in City Parks: A Foundation With Deep Pockets and a Timetable

Behind a Big Investment in City Parks: A Foundation With Deep Pockets and a Timetable

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation has a lot of money to give within a limited time and a limited geography. The funder’s betting on some big parks and trails projects to boost Buffalo and Detroit.

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Places to Gather: How a Community Foundation is Growing Public Spaces

Places to Gather: How a Community Foundation is Growing Public Spaces

Investing in public spaces in a thoughtful way is trickier than it looks. The Rhode Island Foundation is yet another funder that’s ramping up giving in this space. Why is it giving more here? And what’s its approach?

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Shifting Debates: Awards Spotlight Environmental Research With Impact

Shifting Debates: Awards Spotlight Environmental Research With Impact

The Heinz Family Foundation recently handed out $1.5 million for its annual awards in public policy, environment, arts and more. Half of the recipients this year are environmental researchers making a serious splash in policy.

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Big Gifts Flow to These Legacy Nonprofits. What Are the Takeaways?

Big Gifts Flow to These Legacy Nonprofits. What Are the Takeaways?

Zoos have wooed donors with more sophisticated programming and stronger arguments about how they benefit communities. But a string of big gifts to these institutions also underscores other key trends in philanthropy.

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Philanthropy’s Fixing Up Parks and Public Spaces. How Do We Know It's Helping Communities?  

Philanthropy’s Fixing Up Parks and Public Spaces. How Do We Know It's Helping Communities?  

Cities nationwide are mixing public and private funds to upgrade shared spaces. But what are the social, economic and civic effects? A funder-backed initiative is developing the metrics and data to find out.

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Getting It Right: A Parks Project Fueled by Private Dollars, With An Eye on Equity

Getting It Right: A Parks Project Fueled by Private Dollars, With An Eye on Equity

Glitzy urban parks projects have drawn fire for fueling gentrification and playing to the tastes of the donor class. As funders mobilize behind Philadelphia’s own High Line, they’re looking to avoid mistakes made elsewhere.

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City Funders Backing a New Park as a Way to Help Repair Old Wounds

City Funders Backing a New Park as a Way to Help Repair Old Wounds

Urban redevelopers often ran freeways through low-income neighborhoods in the 20th century, destroying communities. Pittsburgh is using a park to help repair connections, with foundations pitching in.

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A Historic Zoo Gift in the City With the Most Robust "Overall Philanthropic Culture" in the U.S.

A Historic Zoo Gift in the City With the Most Robust "Overall Philanthropic Culture" in the U.S.

Perhaps no city has benefited from the surge in regional philanthropy more than Houston. We dig into a huge gift to Houston Zoo and the various factors contributing to the city's emergence as a philanthropic power center.

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