June 2017

Volume 29, Issue 08

Cover Story

More Foundations and Charities See Impact Investing as Key to Social Change

Commercial giants like Goldman Sachs and BlackRock are the big players in a burgeoning field, but philanthropic institutions increasingly view their investments as tools to tackle the world's toughest problems.

Will the Rise of Impact Investing Leave Less for Gifts and Grants?

Some donors say the strategy is changing how they give in powerful ways; others doubt that it can displace traditional philanthropy, especially with causes like feeding the hungry.

Nonprofits Innovate to Build Market for Mission Investing

Charities and foundations are tackling gaps in impact investing’s infrastructure to help fulfill the field's promise of social and environmental change.

Impact-Investing Pioneers Take Stock and Adjust Course

For more than a decade, the Heron and Northwest Area foundations have invested their endowments with the goal of spurring social good. They’re drawing on lessons learned to tweak their approaches.

Inside the Ford Foundation’s Billion-Dollar Gamble

Fifteen years after putting money from its program budget into Tesla as part of its environmental and economic-development strategy, the foundation is staking a hefty chunk of its endowment on similarly mission-focused investments.

Features

Nonprofit Endowments Performed Sluggishly in 2016, Chronicle Data Shows

With endowments struggling to generate robust returns, experts wonder if charities and foundations should tighten their belts — or lower their expectations.

How Nonprofit Endowments Performed

This interactive database has survey data collected by The Chronicle on hundreds of nonprofit endowments going back to 2003. New to this year's report is historical information on hundreds of groups using information from IRS form 990s and 990PFs.

How The Chronicle Compiled Its 2017 Endowment Report

We surveyed hundreds of large nonprofits about their investment funds and drew data from IRS filings by more than 7,000 charities and foundations.

How a Strategic Planned Gift Accelerated Gay Rights

Ric Weiland was an early Microsoft employee and a "data-driven geek." His carefully structured bequest brought the LGBT movement a decade of success — and a model for philanthropy that aims to fuel social change.

Dallas United Way Shows Big Results by Upending Tradition

Fundraising is up sharply at the century-old charity under the innovative leadership of Jennifer Sampson, its first woman president.

Dallas Chef Creates a Stir With Program for Troubled Kids

When the local United Way started looking for promising new talent in nonprofits, acclaimed chef Chad Houser was its first find. Hundreds of kids from juvenile-detention centers have benefited from his innovative work program.

Departments

Nonprofit's Legal Road Trips Aid Rural Californians

OneJustice is aiming to expand its Justice Bus program, which transports lawyers from Los Angeles and San Francisco across the state to help immigrants, veterans, and others in need of legal services.

Government Aid for a Cause May Make Donors Give More, Study Finds

Upending conventional wisdom, West Virginia University researchers found that gifts to libraries declined after cuts in public funding. Still unknown: whether the findings apply to other types of charitable giving.

Keys to Low Staff Turnover: One Nonprofit’s Advice

At the Red Cross's Indiana state chapter, hiring fundraisers who've worked previously with other staffers has helped foster team spirit and boost retention.

Recruiting for Nonprofit Jobs in a Rural Locale Takes Creativity

When their organizations operate far from a big city, hiring managers need patience and a passionate belief in their cause to lure talent.

How to Use Data to Boost Giving

Tell a story, and present information that matters to donors in a format that’s easy to understand.

Opinion

Opinion: Systemic Bias Behind Racial Leadership Gap at Nonprofits

A new study of more than 4,000 people shows that efforts to train more leaders won’t work until nonprofits tackle head-on the prejudices that shut minorities out of top jobs.

Opinion: Grant Makers, Put Results First in Deciding How to Give

Today’s system for doling out government and private money forces nonprofits to focus on the wrong priorities and gets in the way of producing concrete change.

Opinion: How Grant Makers Can Turn Real-Estate Assets Green

Foundations’ property investments and capital grants should go toward buildings that avoid wasting water and polluting the earth.

Opinion: Why Our Foundation Fired President Trump’s Law Firm

Leaders of the Wallace Global Fund decided they couldn’t stand by as lawyers set up a porous conflict-of-interest approach to President Trump and his businesses.