Giving Grew in a Tumultuous Year but Not for All. What’s Ahead in 2021?

The annual ‘Giving USA’ report found that individual giving made up 69 percent of all philanthropy last year, the smallest share ever recorded.

Plus: Read more about the report from people who worked on ‘Giving USA’ in the Conversation, a Chronicle editorial partner.

Nonprofit News From Elsewhere

Sales of Girl Scout cookies cratered this year, leaving the organization with about 15 million unsold boxes and, critics say, laying bare some systemic problems. Amid on-and-off pandemic closures, many Girl Scouts abandoned their table sales, and alternatives such as drive-through sales and Grubhub delivery did not make up the difference. Some local council leaders say some troops ordered too many boxes in light of steadily falling membership, and they blame skewed projections on a new technology platform adopted by the national office. In addition, some troops boycotted the sale this year over concerns about sourcing of the palm oil that goes into the cookies; a spokeswoman said the national organization is working with a nonprofit watchdog to monitor palm oil suppliers. The national organization will not say how big the revenue shortfall will be, but local councils “depend on the cookie sales to fund programming, travel, camps, and other activities.” (Associated Press)

The longtime president and CEO of public radio station NYPR was paid nearly $1.9 million in 2019, even though she stepped down in March that year. Laura Walker’s exit package included $1.2 million in base pay plus cashed-out vacation time, payments from deferred-compensation plans, “and other contractually obligated payments due upon departure under a multiyear contract,” a station spokeswoman said. She earned $901,000 for the entire previous year. In 2020, the nonprofit borrowed $10 million and laid off 14 employees. Walker’s 20-year tenure saw “significant growth” for the station, but it was marred toward its end by allegations of sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct by some men at the station. In 2017, multiple women came forward with accusations, and ultimately three male hosts resigned or were fired. She apologized in 2017 “that our protocols were not there and our policies were not there.” (Gothamist)

More News

  • “Twitter Philanthropists” Bail Out a Lucky Few — and Leave Millions More Behind (Mother Jones)
  • Nonprofit Pushes Chicago to Build Anti-Racist Arts Community (Associated Press)
  • While You Were in Quarantine, a Major New Art Museum Rose in Orange County, Calif. (Los Angeles Times)
  • What 631 Cities Tell Us About the Future (Bloomberg CityLab)

More on Sexual Misconduct Allegations and Charities

  • Akron Art Museum Strives for Rebound a Year After Turmoil (
  • Leon Black Ally Joined Museum of Modern Art and Apollo Boards Just Before He Stepped Aside Over Epstein Scandal (Daily Beast)

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