Much Ado: Can a Fancy “Medal of Philanthropy” Really Make a Difference?

Much Ado: Can a Fancy “Medal of Philanthropy” Really Make a Difference?

Every two years, the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy is bestowed on a select group of ultra-wealthy donors at an elaborate gala. Does this program accomplish anything—or just stroke the egos of people who already get plenty of attention?

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Generosity and Impact Aren’t Enough. Let’s Judge Philanthropy on How Well it Shifts Power

Generosity and Impact Aren’t Enough. Let’s Judge Philanthropy on How Well it Shifts Power

Even the most generous and effective funders are part of a plutocratic system that operates at odds with egalitarian ideals. So what if instead, we held the sector accountable based on how well it shifts power in society—and out of its own hands?

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As Foundations Reimagine Themselves, They Should Give Attention to DEI in Operations

As Foundations Reimagine Themselves, They Should Give Attention to DEI in Operations

As foundations step up efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion, they’re often overlooking the operations side of their work in areas like IT. Two guest contributors explain the risks of this blindspot and how can foundations do better.

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Systemic Solutions: How a Venture Funder Wants to Invest at a Deeper Level

Systemic Solutions: How a Venture Funder Wants to Invest at a Deeper Level

Venture philanthropy has always been about scaling what works, with a focus on measurable outcomes. But New Profit wants to take a different approach with a new funding initiative aiming for systems-level change. What does that look like?

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In Past Ties Between Leslie Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein, Troubling Questions About Elite Philanthropy

In Past Ties Between Leslie Wexner and Jeffrey Epstein, Troubling Questions About Elite Philanthropy

Jeffrey Epstein is dead, but mysteries remain about his financial ties to business mogul and mega-philanthropist Leslie Wexner, including large transfers between the foundations of the two men. What should other donors learn from this mess?

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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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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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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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