August 2017

Volume 29, Issue 10

Cover Story

15 New Fundraising Ideas That Worked, Part I

The 92nd Street Y excites donors with cool technology, a ballet steals an airline tactic, and more.

15 New Fundraising Ideas That Worked, Part II

Inside a “textathon,” the ultimate day planner for gift officers, and benefit parties where food steals the show. 

15 New Fundraising Ideas That Worked, Part III

An advocacy group’s members generate social-media content, and a small charity trades events for experiments.

Features

From Boys Town to Harvard: Big Endowments in the Cross Hairs

The exploding size of many nonprofits’ cash stockpiles has some lawmakers wondering how much is too much.

Former Gates Leader Helps Small Charity Rethink How to Fight Poverty

Patty Stonesifer’s move to Martha’s Table, a social-service group in Washington, made waves in the nonprofit world. She brought with her a passion for racial equity and a belief in data-driven decision making,

How One Small Charity Finds Success With a Focus on Metrics

Martha’s Table boosted fundraising by highlighting achievements using hard numbers. Data also helps with major decisions, like where to build its new headquarters.

From Microsoft to Gates Foundation to Local Charity: The Evolution of a Leader

Former Gates Foundation head Patty Stonesifer shares lessons she’s picked up in moving to Martha's Table, a small Washington, D.C., social-services nonprofit.

How The Chronicle Analyzed the Growth of Endowments

We examined more than 1,600 nonprofits with endowments of least $35 million.

Many Big Nonprofits Rapidly Stockpiling Endowment Cash, Chronicle Data Shows

For 253 of the more than 1,600 nonprofits studied, the dollars flowing into their endowments over six years exceeded the dollars flowing out by more than four to one.

Nonprofit Endowments Growing Rapidly, Chronicle Data Shows

Hundreds of nonprofits across the country are amassing huge amounts of money — many times more than they spend annually — and Congress is taking a closer look at these stockpiles of tax-exempt cash.

Baltimore Foundation Turns to Local Consultants to Reach the People It Serves

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has gathered a group of eight young black men and women to produce a report on youth unemployment in the city.

Departments

Fun With Books: Helping Parents Read to Their Kids

Literacy Partners helps parents improve their English-language reading skills along with their children’s, but the nonprofit’s leaders say the political climate for immigrants is muting its impact.

Study Finds Donors Want Solicitations to Look Nice — but not too Nice

Donors responded well to mailings that were thoughtfully designed and printed on economical materials. Flashy, expensive card stock was a turnoff.

Foster-Care Veteran Seeks to Use Tech to Ease Transition to Adult Life

Through his nonprofit, Think of Us, Sixto Cancel is testing a mobile app designed to coach young people aging out of their foster homes how to navigate housing, employment, and more.

How to Improve Your Odds for Winning Corporate Grants

It can be hard to get a foot in the door — but once you do, corporate foundations want to build lasting relationships, not just cut checks.

Boards More Willing to Pursue Mergers and Alliances Than Expected, New Report Says

Proposed Trump budget cuts and state funding woes may be contributing to an "uptick" in interest, experts say.

How Arts and Culture Groups Can Gain Lawmakers’ Support

Use data and powerful stories to help members of Congress see the value of your nonprofit.

Opinion

Opinion: Philanthropy’s Neglect of the Suburban Poor Hurts Us All

It isn't the cities where poverty is growing but outside them, yet nonprofits and donors aren’t doing nearly enough. Cuts in the safety net could make things even worse.

Opinion: Trump Era Requires Surge of Grant Making to Aid Democracy

Just 1.5 percent of grants go to efforts to improve how elections work and other key issues; increasing that to 4 percent could curb gridlock and partisanship.

Opinion: Tiny Grants and Low Tolerance for Risk Have Paralyzed Foundations When America Needs Them Most

There’s something wrong when organizations solving society’s most pressing problems have a harder time mobilizing serious capital than a start-up building the latest app for sharing cat pictures.