Powerless: How Top Foundations Failed to Defend Their Values—And Now Risk Losing Everything

Powerless: How Top Foundations Failed to Defend Their Values—And Now Risk Losing Everything

There are many reasons the right is ascendant and conservatives now dominate the Supreme Court. But one part of the story is the abject failure of mainstream foundations to fight back against a decades-long attack on everything they cherish.

Read More

It's Now the Biggest U.S. Grantmaker and Getting Bigger All the Time. Here’s a Closer Look

It's Now the Biggest U.S. Grantmaker and Getting Bigger All the Time. Here’s a Closer Look

In 2018, Fidelity Charitable became the country’s largest grantmaker, churning out $5.2 billion in grants to 142,000 nonprofits. That’s big money. Where did it go? And what does the rise of this DAF juggernaut tell us about philanthropy’s changing landscape?

Read More

When Philanthropy Is Not Enough: A Top Donor Couple Takes a Broader Approach to Impact

When Philanthropy Is Not Enough: A Top Donor Couple Takes a Broader Approach to Impact

Laura and John Arnold are well known for their foundation’s prolific grantmaking. But the couple has long been engaged in political giving, too. And now they’re bringing these two strategies together in a single organization, Arnold Ventures.

Read More

"Impossible to Justify." A Political Scientist Takes on American Philanthropy

"Impossible to Justify." A Political Scientist Takes on American Philanthropy

Rob Reich has become one of the nation’s preeminent scholars of philanthropy by asking hard questions about the role of private giving in democracies. In an important new book, Reich deepen this critique. But just where, exactly, do his ideas lead?

Read More

Zombie Philanthropy: What I Learned About Donor-Advised Funds as a Foundation Insider

Zombie Philanthropy: What I Learned About Donor-Advised Funds as a Foundation Insider

Chuck Brown used to spend his days at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation convincing donors to open DAFs. But after seeing how much of this money failed to reach charitable causes, he’s calling for mandatory payouts and other new rules for DAFs.

Read More

A Long Way to Go: What Kind of Change is Needed Within Foundations to Advance Racial Equity?

A Long Way to Go: What Kind of Change is Needed Within Foundations to Advance Racial Equity?

Many in the philanthropic sector are beginning to grapple with embedded racism in ways that they haven’t before. But experts say that the hard work of turning these conversations into real organizational change has only just begun.

Read More

Let’s Help Funder Collaboratives Work Better for Grantees

Let’s Help Funder Collaboratives Work Better for Grantees

Foundations are coming together more often to pool funds in a drive for greater impact. But guest contributor Hilary Pennington—Ford’s executive vice president—says there are legitimate concerns about this model and it needs to be improved.

Read More

A Crystal Ball in Greensboro: Five Ways Millennials May Approach Philanthropy

A Crystal Ball in Greensboro: Five Ways Millennials May Approach Philanthropy

Elizabeth and Kevin Phillips found themselves on the leading edge of a seismic shift in giving when the young couple assumed leadership of Kevin’s family foundation. The choices they’ve made offer insights into how “generation impact” thinks.

Read More

Millennial Rising: A Prominent Family Foundation Has its First Fourth-Generation Board Chair

Millennial Rising:  A Prominent Family Foundation Has its First Fourth-Generation Board Chair

Generational change is having a growing impact on family philanthropy, with younger board members stepping up to put their own stamp on institutions. The Nathan Cummings Foundation is one place where this dynamic is playing out.

Read More

Echoing Green is Still Going Strong. What’s it Looking for in “Tomorrow’s Leaders?”

Echoing Green is Still Going Strong. What’s it Looking for in “Tomorrow’s Leaders?”

Over 30 years ago, Echoing Green helped pioneer venture philanthropy with grants to fledgling social entrepreneurs. Today, the group is better funded than ever and has stuck with its distinctive approach to ferreting out young change agents.

Read More

Never a Proposal: How Herb Sandler Gave Nonprofits the Support They Needed Most

Never a Proposal: How Herb Sandler Gave Nonprofits the Support They Needed Most

A grantee of the Sandler Foundation reflects on how its founder and his family have swum against the worst tendencies of social justice philanthropy, backing organizations with general support and entrusting them as real partners.

Read More

A Young Cryptocurrency Billionaire Turns to Philanthropy, Zeroing in on Catastrophic Threats

A Young Cryptocurrency Billionaire Turns to Philanthropy, Zeroing in on Catastrophic Threats

Ben Delo is the latest big donor to embrace effective altruism. But in an unusual twist, he’s focusing on catastrophic future threats like climate change. Will Delo’s move prod like-minded givers to tackle complex, long-term problems?

Read More

“Nothing is Standard About What We’re Doing." A New Fund Aims to Boost Racial Equity Training

“Nothing is Standard About What We’re Doing." A New Fund Aims to Boost Racial Equity Training

Borealis Philanthropy, the progressive grantmaking intermediary, has rolled out a new initiative to build up the racial equity training field. The larger goal: helping the nonprofit sector do much more to address the root causes of racial disparities.

Read More

The Kids Are Alright: Millennials Reluctant to Give, But Donate Generously When They Do

The Kids Are Alright: Millennials Reluctant to Give, But Donate Generously When They Do

A new study reveals that millennials give more to charitable causes than was previously thought. What motivates giving by these young donors? What causes do they support? And how can nonprofits and universities best connect with this group?

Read More

Seven Mistakes That New Billionaire Philanthropists Make—and How MacKenzie Bezos Can Avoid Them

Seven Mistakes That New Billionaire Philanthropists Make—and How MacKenzie Bezos Can Avoid Them

With the news that she will give away her $37 billion fortune, MacKenzie Bezos is set up to become one of the world’s biggest philanthropists. IP Editor David Callahan offers a few thoughts about what Bezos can learn from other top donors.

Read More

How a Small Progressive Funder Innovates and Organizes to Make a Bigger Impact

How a Small Progressive Funder Innovates and Organizes to Make a Bigger Impact

To make the best of its modest resources, the Solidago Foundation has been looking to go beyond grantmaking into organizing other funders, and experimenting with new ways to move wealth and build power. We get an inside view of how that’s working out.

Read More

Torch: Behind a Business Intelligence Platform for Philanthropy and the Social Sector

Torch: Behind a Business Intelligence Platform for Philanthropy and the Social Sector

For funders and fundraisers alike, keeping track of stakeholder conversations can be hard in an era of digital overload. We connect with a tech firm that’s built a new tool to help organizations navigate an increasingly noisy nonprofit landscape.

Read More