November 2015

Volume 28, Issue 01

Cover Story

America’s Largest Charities Raised 5% More Last Year; Donor-Advised Funds Won Big

United Way remains No. 1 among U.S. nonprofits that raise the most from private sources, but Fidelity Charitable is just a sliver behind.

Land of the Giants: Big Nonprofits Capture Increasing Share of Charitable Dollar

The Chronicle’s exclusive annual ranking of the organizations that raised the most private support, which turns 25 this year, shows that upstarts have a hard time breaking into the top tier.

Big Charities Keep Raising More as the Donor-Advised Fund Boom Continues

The United Way remains No. 1 among U.S. nonprofits that raise the most in private support, but Fidelity Charitable is just a sliver behind.

How 18 Causes Have Fared Through the Years

Donations to charities focused on international issues and donor advised funds have more than tripled over 18 years, while other causes, including social services, have seen more modest increases.

How the 2015 Philanthropy 400 Was Compiled

Surveys, tax forms, and other sources are used to produce our exclusive report. 

How 4 Organizations Ascended the Philanthropy 400

Innovation, smart branding, and unusual tactics helped Doctors Without Borders USA, Natural Resources Defense Council, Habitat for Humanity International, and Foundation for the Carolinas soar in our rankings over the past 25 years.

Mystery Money: the Art of Seeking Gifts From Donor-Advised Funds

Billions of dollars are available, but the lack of a paper trail makes it difficult for nonprofits to target pitches. Here are ways to cut through the fog.


An Unsteady Titan Tries to Keep Its Grip

With workplace giving on the wane, some find success with approaches aimed at getting millennials, Hispanics, women, and others excited about philanthropy.

How Donor-Advised Fund Holders Think About Gifts

Most have a "good sense" of where they want their donations to go, according to a study that offers a rare glimpse into their thoughts on philanthropy. Plus, how men and women differ in planning and making gifts. 

A New Nonprofit Leader Shifts the Fight for Human Rights to America

By focusing on domestic issues like police violence, Steven Hawkins, Amnesty International's U.S. chief, hopes to make Americans more empathetic to human-rights struggles abroad.


New Family Foundations Are Less Focused on Regional Giving, Study Finds

Almost 70 percent of family funds were created within the past 25 years, and founders of the newer funds plan to keep giving, says study.

Can Philanthropy Fix Congress?

The Hewlett Foundation is putting up $50 million over three years to find ways to bring harmony to an institution fueled by bile and partisanship.

A Job With a View: Volunteers Save Old Buildings in Beautiful Places

HistoriCorps — a nonprofit that its founder calls part construction company, part outdoor-adventure company ­— has renovated 170 historic structures in spectacular locations.

Saudi Businessman Advocates Nonprofit Entrepreneurship

Amr Al-Dabbagh has donated a large portion of his wealth to charity, and he's working to pass on what he and others have learned about philanthropy.

Where Philanthropy Fails People Scraping By on $2 a Day

A dearth of nonprofits in some parts of the country means the poorest of the poor get little or no help.


Opinion: Let’s Require All Big Foundations to Let More Nonprofits Apply for Grants

Nearly three out of four grant makers don’t accept proposals over the transom, a sign of the growing elitism marring philanthropy.

Opinion: Power and Money Don’t Necessarily Buy Smart Philanthropy

Warren Buffett should have applied his ideas about risk in investing to philanthropy instead of making the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation even wealthier.