Giving to Teach Trade Skills, a Donor Zeroes in on an Overlooked Ladder to Opportunity

Giving to Teach Trade Skills, a Donor Zeroes in on an Overlooked Ladder to Opportunity

Even though electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians earn good incomes, many young people steer away from these career paths, and few funders focus on this promising area. The billionaire Eric Smidt is an exception.

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Filling Critical Gaps, a Foundation Looks to Realize the Promise of Opportunity Zones

Filling Critical Gaps, a Foundation Looks to Realize the Promise of Opportunity Zones

The 2017 tax law included the most important new program to spur urban revitalization in decades. But it’s lacking in transparency and accountability. Kresge has been working to fix that and ensure the law achieves real impact.

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With an Eye on the "Most Vulnerable," a Foundation Works to Ensure that a New Law Boosts the Urban Poor

With an Eye on the "Most Vulnerable," a Foundation Works to Ensure that a New Law Boosts the Urban Poor

The Investing in Opportunity Act has the potential to be a game changer for distressed communities. But that promise can only be realized if the act works as intended—a big “if.” Rockefeller is on the case, along with other funders.

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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.

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Venture for America: What Donors See in a Nonprofit That Backs Young Entrepreneurs

Venture for America: What Donors See in a Nonprofit That Backs Young Entrepreneurs

With a mission of backing young entrepreneurs far away from Silicon Valley and the Northeast Corridor, VFA has drawn growing support from major companies like Uber and UBS, as well as individual donors who play a hands-on role in its work.

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Boots on the Ground: How Corporate Foundations Are Supporting Veterans

Boots on the Ground: How Corporate Foundations Are Supporting Veterans

Supporting veterans has become a hot topic in the corporate foundation world. What’s driving this heightened attention? Where are grants going? And what approaches to lifting up former service personnel are showing results?

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“If You Want to Go Far, Go Together." In Connecticut, an Ambitious Collective Impact Push

“If You Want to Go Far, Go Together." In Connecticut, an Ambitious Collective Impact Push

A new fund quarterbacked by a community foundation is aiming to close opportunity gaps from “cradle to career.” The initiative has a strong focus on building the capacity of local funders to have greater impact in a state with deep inequities.

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Local Efforts to Scale up Impact Investing in Affordable Housing Are Gaining Steam

Local Efforts to Scale up Impact Investing in Affordable Housing Are Gaining Steam

Two top community foundations have recently gotten behind public-private efforts to ease the housing squeeze. And a Seattle nonprofit is crowdfunding affordable housing investments. Can this new wave of local investing move the needle?

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To Crack the Poverty Code, a Big Bet on Data-Driven Interventions to Fuel Upward Mobility

To Crack the Poverty Code, a Big Bet on Data-Driven Interventions to Fuel Upward Mobility

Data is at the center of a project to design city-level economic mobility programs backed by Bloomberg, Gates, and Ballmer. But with ten cities selected and ready to develop their ideas, is this technocratic model likely to achieve lasting impact?

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Up Against Wall Street: How This Little-Known Hedge Funder Backs Financial Reform

Up Against Wall Street: How This Little-Known Hedge Funder Backs Financial Reform

Despite the devastation caused by the 2008 crash, financial sector reform isn’t a priority for most funders. Michael Masters has bucked that trend, bankrolling one of the few policy shops in D.C. able to go toe-to-toe with industry lobbyists.

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Corporate Funders Flock to This Community Foundation's Housing Investment Fund

Corporate Funders Flock to This Community Foundation's Housing Investment Fund

More community foundations are getting behind impact investing, often with housing on the agenda. Recently, the Foundation for the Carolinas has attracted major corporate backing with a fund designed to boost affordable housing in the region.

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Inside the New Billionaire War on Poverty

Inside the New Billionaire War on Poverty

In the past few years, some of America’s richest mega-givers have backed new work targeting poverty. Who’s giving? What approaches are receiving support? And will these donors eventually take a more systemic approach to fixing an unequal economy?

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Who’s Making Grants to Help Opportunity Zones Realize Their Promise?

Who’s Making Grants to Help Opportunity Zones Realize Their Promise?

The 2017 tax law created more than 8,700 zones around the U.S. with the goal of attracting new investment to poor areas. Now, funders like Mastercard and Rockefeller are stepping up to help communities get capital flowing.

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He Became a Billionaire Selling Tools. Now He’s Boosting Skilled Trade Education in High Schools

He Became a Billionaire Selling Tools. Now He’s Boosting Skilled Trade Education in High Schools

Eric Smidt started the discount hardware store Harbor Freight Tools at 17 with his dad in 1977. Now worth $3 billion, his emerging philanthropy is laser-focused on helping high school students prepare for good-paying jobs in the trades.

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To Get More Young People Into Good Jobs, a New Focus on Apprenticeships

To Get More Young People Into Good Jobs, a New Focus on Apprenticeships

Even as millions of young workers languish in low-wage jobs, employers say they can’t find enough electricians, plumbers and other skilled workers. A funder-backed initiative at New America is looking to change that by re-juicing youth apprenticeships.

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Chasing Financial Health: A Top Bank's Latest Investment in Underserved Communities

Chasing Financial Health: A Top Bank's Latest Investment in Underserved Communities

The lack of savings in underserved communities leaves vulnerable populations ill equipped to weather unexpected emergencies and achieve financial security. JPMorgan Chase recently unveiled a new $125 million effort to address this problem.

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From a Tech Billionaire Couple, Millions to Find the Best Solutions to Homelessness

From a Tech Billionaire Couple, Millions to Find the Best Solutions to Homelessness

Putting $30 million into homelessness research won’t get people housed immediately. But with California poised for bolder action on this crisis, Marc and Lynne Benioff are looking to ensure that resources go to evidence-based solutions that will work.

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Close to Home: A Bank with Local Ties Zeroes in on a Distressed Neighborhood

Close to Home: A Bank with Local Ties Zeroes in on a Distressed Neighborhood

Atlanta has the highest level of income inequality of any city in America, with nearly half of residents in its Westside area living in poverty. The SunTrust Foundation is part of a new collaboration that’s coming together to try to turn things around.

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Who’s Helping Push the Idea of a Basic Income into the Political Mainstream?

Who’s Helping Push the Idea of a Basic Income into the Political Mainstream?

In under three years, the Economic Security Project has galvanized a surprising level of buy-in for the idea of giving people cash without conditions. We discuss strategy and funding with the organization’s leaders, including Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

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"All of the Tools in Our Tool Belt." A Community Foundation Steps Up its Impact Investing

"All of the Tools in Our Tool Belt." A Community Foundation Steps Up its Impact Investing

The momentum behind impact investing is being further fueled by a growing sense of urgency among funders up against large-scale equity challenges in top metro areas. The San Francisco Foundation is the latest funder looking to bring more cash to the fight.

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