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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Stand Together: The Koch-Backed Anti-Poverty Group Starting off 2019 with a Bang

Stand Together: The Koch-Backed Anti-Poverty Group Starting off 2019 with a Bang

Stand Together, an anti-poverty organization backed by the conservative Koch network, plans to release $10 to $15 million in grants this month. What’s driving this giving by leading donors on the right and where have grants gone so far?

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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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Against Long Odds, a Corporate Funder Doubles Down on a Troubled City

Against Long Odds, a Corporate Funder Doubles Down on a Troubled City

T. Rowe Price, the global asset management firm, has been based in Baltimore since 1937. Lately, its philanthropic arm has been ramping up its giving and taking new, bolder approaches to tackling the city’s many problems.

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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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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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My Nonprofit Did So Much Right, But We Still Couldn't Raise Enough Money to Survive

My Nonprofit Did So Much Right, But We Still Couldn't Raise Enough Money to Survive

As the founder of DC Central Kitchen, Robert Egger was an old hand at scaling social ventures when he arrived in Los Angeles to create L.A. Kitchen, an ambitious effort to fight hunger and poverty with a proven model. Here’s how things fell apart.

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PayPal Gives: What a Silicon Valley Firm is Doing to Help Close the “Opportunity Divide”

PayPal Gives: What a Silicon Valley Firm is Doing to Help Close the “Opportunity Divide”

Like a lot of tech companies these days, PayPal is keen to help diverse young workers build STEM skills, get through college and connect to economic opportunity. So how is the company’s philanthropy playing out? We get an inside look.

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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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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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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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Behind a $180 Million Corporate Pledge to Connect Youth with Opportunity Worldwide

Behind a $180 Million Corporate Pledge to Connect Youth with Opportunity Worldwide

A growing number of philanthropic initiatives are zeroing in on the many teenagers and young adults who aren’t engaged in either school or work. The latest effort, from a major financial products company, is addressing this vexing problem at a global level.

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How a Major California Foundation is Going All-In on Empowering Low-Wage Workers

How a Major California Foundation is Going All-In on Empowering Low-Wage Workers

Three years ago, the James Irvine Foundation adopted a bold, singular focus: building political power and career opportunities for low-wage workers in the nation’s most populous state. We talk to the foundation’s leadership about how this effort is going.

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As Wealthy Donors Fuel Campus Growth, What About Low-Wage Workers and Local Residents?

As Wealthy Donors Fuel Campus Growth, What About Low-Wage Workers and Local Residents?

While the higher ed fundraising boom has lifted many boats, university employees often find themselves squeezed by flat wages and escalating housing costs. Some donors are paying attention to these larger equity issues. Will others follow?

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In a State with Deep Inequities, a Billionaire Couple is Catalyzing Action on K-12 and Jobs

In a State with Deep Inequities, a Billionaire Couple is Catalyzing Action on K-12 and Jobs

In recent years, Barbara Dalio has quietly tapped a vast hedge fund fortune to help address Connecticut’s education problems. Now, in a big step up, she and her husband Ray are giving $100 million for a public-private partnership.

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