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November 02, 2015

Biggest Foundations Turn Attention to Achieving Big Change

Major U.S. philanthropies are increasingly thinking big when it comes to significant social and environmental challenges, focusing their giving on tackling root causes and achieving lasting, structural change, The New York Times writes.

The article cites examples such as the Ford Foundation's decision to steer all of its $500 million a year in grant making into combating inequality, the Rockefeller Foundation project to make cities more resilient to disasters and economic shocks, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's "big bets" on climate change and criminal-justice reform.

"There is something new going on," said William Foster of the Bridgespan Group philanthropy consulting firm. "As the levels of wealth coming into the nonprofit sector grow, as the aspiration to see actual change in the world continues to grow, people are beginning to focus on these big bets."

Read highlights from a Chronicle of Philanthropy Facebook chat with Ford Foundation President Darren Walker about the organization's inequality mission.