Going Global: A Funder Expands Efforts to Foster Public Understanding About Religion

Going Global: A Funder Expands Efforts to Foster Public Understanding About Religion

The Lilly Endowment has long held that greater public understanding of religion can boost “civic well-being.” That idea is behind a new multimillion-dollar initiative to improve news coverage of the world’s major religions.

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A Record Gift to Help Navigate an "Unprecedented Crossroads of Jewish History"

A Record Gift to Help Navigate an "Unprecedented Crossroads of Jewish History"

American Judaism is going through turbulent times, buffeted by generational change and other trends. Which is why two top Jewish foundations are pledging $20 million to scale up an organization known for engaging “hard questions.”

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New Funder-Backed Alliance Advocates for Criminal Justice Reform

New Funder-Backed Alliance Advocates for Criminal Justice Reform

It’s not often you find the Ford Foundation and Koch Industries on the same side of an issue. But criminal justice is one such issue, and both are backing a new policy group focused on advancing reform, along with other prominent funders.

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There's an Institute for That? Behind a $100 Million Gift to Explore the Neurobiology of Compassion

There's an Institute for That? Behind a $100 Million Gift to Explore the Neurobiology of Compassion

The latest in Denny Sanford’s string of big gifts finds the credit card billionaire underwriting a new institute at University of California San Diego to research empathy and reshape medical training to benefit doctors and patients.

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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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From Big Bird to Big Grants: How Sesame Workshop Became a Fundraising Juggernaut

From Big Bird to Big Grants: How Sesame Workshop Became a Fundraising Juggernaut

The 50-year-old story of Sesame Workshop is about a singular focus manifested through an array of evolving approaches. Judging by the two $100 million gifts it’s landed in recent years, the organization’s not-so-secret sauce is really working.

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A Bank’s Gifts for Solar Power in Native Communities Raise Hard Questions

A Bank’s Gifts for Solar Power in Native Communities Raise Hard Questions

Wells Fargo is one of the most scandal-ridden banks in the U.S. It also funds environmental work and Native American communities, among other causes. Its recent gifts for renewable energy underscore major tensions in corporate philanthropy.

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Think Big: Behind a Push to Unlock Billions in New “Catalytic” Capital for Global Development

Think Big: Behind a Push to Unlock Billions in New “Catalytic” Capital for Global Development

Achieving the U.N.’s ambitious Sustainable Development Goals requires unlocking vast amounts of private capital. MacArthur and two other funders have a plan to do exactly that—and take impact investing to a whole new level.

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From "Keep Out" to "Please Come in." Opening Up Grants Processes Leads to More Equity

From "Keep Out" to "Please Come in." Opening Up Grants Processes Leads to More Equity

Many foundations do not accept unsolicited grant proposals, making it harder for smaller nonprofits, especially those representing communities of color, to get a hearing. Here’s how some funders are trying to become more accessible.

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The Mix of Private and Public Funds That Built a Physics Powerhouse

The Mix of Private and Public Funds That Built a Physics Powerhouse

The Perimeter Institute is a renowned research center devoted entirely to theoretical physics. Launched with funds from a single donor, one secret to its success has been a robust combination of government funds and philanthropy. 

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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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Even as Some Donors Cool on Charters, This Network of Schools is on a Fundraising Roll

Even as Some Donors Cool on Charters, This Network of Schools is on a Fundraising Roll

These aren’t the best of times for charter schools, with political pushback growing and some disappointed donors losing interest. But IDEA Public Schools, a southern charter network, is doing better than ever. What accounts for its success?

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Almost There: Key Takeaways from a Museum’s Successful Capital Campaign

Almost There: Key Takeaways from a Museum’s Successful Capital Campaign

Once considered the "scrappiest sibling in the bursting family of contemporary art museums in New York City," the New Museum embarked on an ambitious $89 million capital campaign in 2016. Here’s why that effort has been a success.

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Why are These Science Funders Interested in Something That Happened Two Billion Years Ago?

Why are These Science Funders Interested in Something That Happened Two Billion Years Ago?

Two funders that focus on basic science are set to delve into life's distant evolutionary past. In the process, they may also shed light on ecological, biological and health issues that are increasingly pressing today.

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Amid a Wave of Mass Shootings, New Grants Flow for Gun Violence Research

Amid a Wave of Mass Shootings, New Grants Flow for Gun Violence Research

While the need for stronger gun laws may seem like common sense to many Americans, there is a surprising void of hard evidence to inform policymaking in this area. A new collaborative just made $10 million in research grants to change that.

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First Pennsylvania, Then the Nation: How Bloomberg Philanthropies is Taking on the Overdose Epidemic

First Pennsylvania, Then the Nation: How Bloomberg Philanthropies is Taking on the Overdose Epidemic

Like its other work, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ $50 million, three-year initiative on opioids is centered on evidence-based strategies. Millions of dollars in initial grantmaking in Pennsylvania showcase the approach and priorities of this emerging effort.

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Inmates to Entrepreneurs: A Tech Winner Focuses on Turning Around Lives

Inmates to Entrepreneurs: A Tech Winner Focuses on Turning Around Lives

After selling his tech company, Brian Hamilton started a foundation to scale up work he’d been doing for many years to help formerly incarcerated individuals start businesses. But the foundation’s work has expanded beyond that.

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