• Year-End Fundraising
    Organizations are tweaking their messages to be relevant. But for the most part, they’re sticking with fundraising methods from past years.
  • Work and Careers
    The nonprofit job recovery continued at an anemic pace in October, a worrisome sign that recent gains could be erased if a surging wave of Covid-19 cases results in more strict social-distancing measures and economic disruptions.
  • Opinion
    The demise of local news organizations is sabotaging nearly every mission foundations and donors care about. Foundations can lead the way in ensuring businesses, government, and small donors contribute to the reinvention of the news industry so it truly serves our democracy.
  • Grants Roundup
    Also, the Gates Foundation is giving $70 million to develop safe, low-cost Covid-19 vaccine candidates, and the Heinz Endowments has doled out $12.1 million for racial-equity programs in the Pittsburgh region.
  • Video
    The Kettering Foundation and the Knight Foundation released a collection of essays on American democracy within days of the presidential election. Three of the authors joined us in conversation to discuss their essays.

Nonprofit News From Elsewhere

Almost a third of museums remain closed by the pandemic, and slightly fewer are at risk of shutting permanently, according to a new survey. Most of the shuttered museums have been closed since March, but even those that opened in a limited capacity are faring little better, directors of 850 museums told the American Alliance of Museums. Most are operating on dwindling reserves, with online fundraisers bringing in only about two-thirds of expected donations. Slightly more than half have laid off or furloughed employees, with visitor services, admissions desks, and gift shops hit particularly hard. (New York Times)

Darren Walker was the right person at the right time to reshape American philanthropy in the pandemic. The Ford Foundation president grew up the son of a single mother, later worked on Wall Street, has had relatives in prison, and has studied history closely enough to recognize when an era can be transformational. Some of that background helps explain his groundbreaking move this year to have the Ford Foundation sell bonds against its huge endowment to prop up grantees in dire straits and his attention to communities often overlooked in cultural or philanthropic circles. (Wall Street Journal — subscription)

A minor car accident in 2013 that sent a bruised Dolly Parton to the hospital set off a chain of events that helped produce Moderna’s promising new vaccine for the coronavirus. At the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Parton befriended physician and professor Naji Abumrad, who this year mentioned early vaccine research at Vanderbilt. In April, Parton donated $1 million, which the research team leader said helped develop its first test to demonstrate that the Moderna vaccine “was giving people a good immune response that might protect them.” (Washington Post)

More News

  • Bill Gates Slams ‘Shocking’ U.S. Response to Covid-19 Pandemic (Stat)
  • U. of Pennsylvania to Donate $100 Million to Philadelphia School District to Help With Asbestos and Lead Abatement (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Year-End Fiscal Cliffs Are Approaching for Millions of Americans (Bloomberg)
  • A Giant of Liberal Philanthropy Steps Down (Giving Review)
  • Kaiser Foundation to Pay $6.3 Million Medicare Fraud Settlement (Bloomberg Law)
  • A Popular Political Site Made a Sharp Right Turn. What Steered It? (New York Times)

More News About Museums

  • If Museums Want to Diversify, They’ll Have to Change. A Lot. (Vox)
  • The Please Touch Museum and Children’s Museums Everywhere Wonder: What Now? (Vox)
Editor's Picks
  • Corporate Philanthropy
    The head of Levi Strauss Foundation calls for corporate foundations to invest is community nonprofits and shares benefits and lessons.
  • Tips and Advice
    Donors are poised to give more during this time of crisis. Nonprofits can tap their generosity by explaining their needs and diversifying who receives their appeals.
  • Fundraising
    Nonprofits are focusing on existing donors, and with hiring freezes in place, a growing number are outsourcing more development tasks.
  • Fundraising
    Some nonprofits have used digital gatherings to win donations and attract new supporters. Others, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, say the benefits don’t justify the time and work involved.
  • Opinion
    The new presidential administration will be much more open to the progressive goals shared by much of the philanthropic world. One of those goals should be eliminating its own democratic deficiencies, says the author of a major new book on philanthropy.