March 2017

Volume 29, Issue 05

Cover Story

Charities Get More Professional but Fear Losing Touch With Those They Serve

Increasingly stocked with well-paid, well-educated leaders and staffs, the nonprofit world risks disconnecting with middle- and working-class Americans.

7 Ways Nonprofits Are Building Economically Diverse Staffs

These organizations are rethinking hiring, salary, and even internships to add people of modest means to their ranks.

Foundation Executive Who Grew Up Poor Still Feels Like an Outsider at Times

Raised in poverty, Rodney Christopher now makes decisions on granting and investing millions. He says much of the philanthropic world places little value on his life experience.

Opinion: Debating Philanthropy's 'Elite' Tendencies in a Populist Time

Foundations won't survive the Trump era if they act like they have all the answers, the Hudson Institute's William Schambra writes, but Amir Pasic of the Lilly School says philanthropy's support of varied institutions and communities promotes pluralism and checks autocracy.

Features

Big Foundations Give Little More Than the Law Requires, Data Shows

Most large grant makers give about 5 percent of assets annually, according to a Chronicle analysis. Critics say they should do better. Plus, see our interactive guide to giving rates at the nation's biggest foundations.

How Big Foundations Stay Big: An Interactive Guide to Giving Rates

By law, private foundations must distribute at least 5 percent of their assets each year. This analysis of nearly 30 of the biggest foundations shows few choose to exceed that amount.

Diana Aviv Is Bracing for a Fight

The leader of Feeding America and former head of Independent Sector worries that not enough is being done to fight federal budget cuts and protect the charitable deduction.

Departments

Nonprofit Gives Alaska Native Students Skills — and Confidence — to Pursue Science Careers

There were very few indigenous Alaskans working as scientists and engineers before a college-based program helped boost their numbers.

Aetna Foundation Leader Attacks Health Woes as a Social Problem

Garth Graham is focusing grant making on issues like violence and access to fresh food that can have a big impact on public health.

How Nonprofits Can Build Relationships With Financial Professionals

Invite wealth managers, accountants, and other financial professionals to participate in committees and come to your events, preferably with their clients.

Data Analysis Boosts Revenue at Art Institute of Chicago

Information the museum collects on visitors' movements through the galleries is helping it identify patterns that guide marketing decisions.

How Product Managers Are Changing Nonprofit Technology

By thinking of different systems and services as “products” and putting someone in charge of their success, organizations are quickly improving their processes and gaining efficiency.

Opinion

Opinion: 5 Ways Foundations Can Get Results in a Time of Upheaval

Taking more risks, talking about failure, and listening to grantees are perhaps more important than popular ideas like impact investing and focusing on evaluation.

Opinion: How Congress Can Go Beyond the Charitable Deduction to Spur Giving

Charities are worried about the tax overhaul the president has promised. But they also should seize the opportunity to push for changes on other fronts that could be equally important.

Opinion: President Trump, End the Hypocrisy and Deny Tax Exemptions to Churches

A push to allow religious groups and other charities to get involved in partisan politics is really a back-door way to promote Christian conservative causes.