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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

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.

Read More

With Ties to a Top Donor and a Trail of Gifts, the Epstein Scandal Reaches Into Jewish Philanthropy

With Ties to a Top Donor and a Trail of Gifts, the Epstein Scandal Reaches Into Jewish Philanthropy

Jeffrey Epstein not only made gifts to a wide range of Jewish organizations, he cultivated a deep relationship with one of the most important Jewish philanthropists in the U.S., billionaire Leslie Wexner—revelations that raise troubling questions.

Read More

No Metrics Needed: How a Classic Music Devotee’s Years of “Quiet Support” Led to a Huge Gift

No Metrics Needed: How a Classic Music Devotee’s Years of “Quiet Support” Led to a Huge Gift

While fundraisers are increasingly concentrating their efforts on younger and more impact-focused donors, they shouldn’t discount the emotional power of classical music and the giving power of “old world” patrons. For proof, we turn to a big recent gift.

Read More

Civic Hall: A Billionaire’s Latest Big Gift Focused on Tech and the Greater Good

Civic Hall: A Billionaire’s Latest Big Gift Focused on Tech and the Greater Good

Civic Hall, a home for civic tech entrepreneurs in New York City, recently received a $5 million gift from Craig Newmark. The group’s co-founders explain how they connected with a donor who holds a deeply aligned vision about technology.

Read More

Harold Grinspoon: A Hands-on Philanthropist Still Going Strong at Age 90

Harold Grinspoon: A Hands-on Philanthropist Still Going Strong at Age 90

This Giving Pledge member turned to large-scale giving after a bout with cancer and built a foundation that taps a real estate fortune and is focused on Jewish life, scaling up its own programs in addition to making grants.

Read More

Some Climate Donors, Fed Up with “Gradualism,” Are Getting Behind Protest Movements

Some Climate Donors, Fed Up with “Gradualism,” Are Getting Behind Protest Movements

Philanthropy plays an important support role in climate action, but tends to favor moderate, incremental progress. A new pool of donors says it’s time to raise hell, backing disruptive activism, and hopes others will follow.

Read More

Inside the Helen Diller Family Foundation, Where an Heir to a Real Estate Empire Oversees Major Giving

Inside the Helen Diller Family Foundation, Where an Heir to a Real Estate Empire Oversees Major Giving

Jackie Safier leads a Bay Area foundation that’s now made over a billion dollars in grants. In a rare interview, the press-shy CEO talks about her goals and how she’s steered away from political controversy involving Israel and the far right.

Read More

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.

Read More

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?

Read More

Billionaires vs. the Blob. Behind a Challenge to the "Forever War" Foreign Policy Consensus

Billionaires vs. the Blob. Behind a Challenge to the "Forever War" Foreign Policy Consensus

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.

Read More

As an Environmental Funder Charts a New Path, it Looks to Others to Lead the Way

As an Environmental Funder Charts a New Path, it Looks to Others to Lead the Way

The Libra Foundation is updating its environment program, centering racial justice and those closest to the problems—and staying open to new ideas. The shift is an example of how more funders are embracing bottom-up approaches.

Read More