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.
Philanthropy has been largely passive as endless wars and soaring defense spending have diverted resources away from pressing domestic challenges. Now, in a striking collaboration, George Soros and Charles Koch aim to disrupt the status quo.
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.
While it’s no secret that corporations see their giving as a way to both have social impact and burnish their reputations. Research has revealed a more troubling picture of how business philanthropy may be used as a tool to sway public policy.
The Gates Foundation and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative have both been ramping up anti-poverty work. Now, they’re teaming up to back a policy shop founded by one of the hottest scholars in this space: Raj Chetty.
In recent years, many foundations have put equity front and center in their work. But economic stratification only seems to be getting worse in America. Here's where funders have gone wrong.
Since its restructuring, the iconic Ford Foundation has been tackling key drivers of inequality. Xavier de Souza Briggs, who leads Ford’s economic grantmaking, gives us an in-depth look at what that means.
Richard and Elizabeth Uihlein have drawn attention as leading mega-donors to the GOP. But they’ve been equally energetic in pushing their views through philanthropy. Here’s a quick primer.
The Aspen Institute and a trustee’s family foundation have been backing leaders across social issues through an annual prize. They just raised a new $1.2 million fund to increase their support, focusing on growth opportunities in a wide range of fields.
The Bradley Foundation funds many elements of the conservative infrastructure. But most notable is its investments in ideas. Its Bradley Prizes, awarded annually, stand as something of a flagship of this grantmaking.
Too often, social science research doesn't make it out of academia and into the hands of decision-makers. The William T. Grant Foundation wanted to know why. Now, it has some answers—and two new grant programs.
As a mega-donor, Peterson—who died yesterday—made all the right moves: staying laser-focused on just a few causes and investing in high-leverage public policy work. But the results were decidedly mixed.
Last week, we looked at what foundations are doing wrong in the fight against rising economic stratification. Now, we turn the spotlight on a foundation that's been doing everything right.
Wall Street veteran Steve Rattner tells us why he and his wife Maureen White believe that backing think tanks and advocacy groups delivers the most bang for the buck.
The Arca Foundation sees the "financialization" of American life as a key driver of inequality. How does this view translate into day-to-day grantmaking to advance structural reforms?
Amid a rising debate over how to think about U.S. history, a $1 million grant will support the National Park Service’s efforts to expand recognition of America’s diversity and struggles for equality.
Six weeks after the New America Foundation ousted a project that criticized Google, it's an open question whether dissenting voices that challenge the power of big tech can find the funding they need.
A large country like the U.S. will always have people with fringe viewpoints. But given the way that money can now buy influence and access, it's easier for extremists to shape public life. Robert Mercer is Exhibit A.
A report that the New America Foundation ousted a leading critic of Google, one of its funders, has raised familiar questions about where supposedly independent policy groups get their money.
Well out of the political mainstream, the idea of a basic income is intriguing to some funders who are worried about inequality and also keen to put a bureaucratic welfare state out of business.
There have been shaky moments before in America's democratic life. But recent developments have even veteran grantmakers alarmed. So what's the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation up to?
Derwood S. Chase, Jr. is another donor who's following the right's playbook of investing in both national and state policy groups, and sticking with grantees over the long haul.
After a big recent infusion of funds, this leading conservative funder embraced a larger, more activist agenda, with a focus on winning influence for the right in state capitals—and the broader culture.
Work on budgetary issues has never drawn a lot of funding. Now, though, some new donors are putting millions behind efforts to create better, more reliable fiscal data and analysis.
If you're in the nonprofit policy world, it may seem to go without saying that such cause-driven work should be subsidized by your fellow taxpayers. But who benefits the most from this setup?
When a couple has $30 billion and is ramping up their philanthropy, we pay attention. Steve Ballmer's new project has an intuitive interface and a simple mission: the facts.
Small and controversial, the Center for Immigration Studies is now an influential player in Washington. Most of its funding comes from just one foundation that also bankrolls other anti-immigration groups.
As Brookings reels in a big gift from a private equity billionaire, we raise the question of whether an institution dominated by rich board members and donors can be truly unbiased on policy matters.
The latest move by Hewlett’s Madison Initiative will establish a lab at MIT devoted to the science of elections. Can philanthropy establish a level-headed foothold in our tumultuous elections?