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Nonprofit News From Elsewhere

Nine philanthropies will invest $5 billion over this decade to preserve one-third of the earth’s natural places and stave off a threatened mass extinction of a million species. The Wyss Foundation, led by medical-device billionaire Hansjörg Wyss, will contribute $500 million, on top of a $1 billion pledge it made three years ago in the Wyss Campaign for Nature. The other grant makers are the British Arcadia Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Nia Tero, Rainforest Trust, Re:wild, the Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, and Jeff Bezos’s Earth Fund, which announced Monday it would kick in $1 billion. Neither the Wyss nor the Bezos announcement disclosed which organizations would receive the grants, but they are meant to help local and indigenous communities conserve the natural resources in their midst. (Washington Post)

The MacArthur Foundation will become the largest foundation to turn away from fossil-fuel investments as it shifts part of its $8.2 billion endowment toward environmental, social, and governance-guided equities. The philanthropy’s holdings are split into various channels. It had already stopped investing in private funds that support oil and gas exploration, and Wednesday’s announcement about its equity indexes just leaves its externally managed funds going toward fossil-fuel investments — although foundation president John Palfrey said MacArthur has told those fund managers that it wants to pull out of fossil-fuel holdings. Palfrey would not divulge how much money is involved in the current divestment. (Reuters)

Background reading from the Chronicle: Stephen Heintz, head of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund last week called on wealthy grant makers, like MacArthur, to divest.

More News

  • Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute Awards 33 Scientists $9 Million Each (Scientist)
  • Rice U. Gets $100M From Galveston-Based Foundation (Houston Business Journal)

Journalism and Philanthropy

  • For-Profit Newsrooms Are Adding Philanthropy as Another Way to Make Money (Poynter)
  • Local News Outlets, Universities, Nonprofits to Join Forces in Covering Affordable Housing in Dallas (Dallas Morning News)
  • Fewer Grants, More Risks: Four Rules For Nonprofit Journalism Funders, From The Former President of ProPublica (NiemanLab)

Opinion and Analysis

  • The False Promise of Massive Tree-Planting Campaigns (Vox)
  • Golf Should Look Outside the Game for Worthy Charities as the Signs Are Everywhere We Need It (Sports Illustrated)

Arts and Culture

  • After 138 Years, a Black Composer Arrives at the Met (New York Times)
  • Art Institute of Chicago Employees Gain Majority Support for Union, Ask Museum for Voluntary Recognition (Chicago Tribune)
Editor's Picks
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    A growing number of philanthropy-financed projects are trying to spark economic development, promote civic and cultural life, attract skilled workers, and offset declining or sparse populations. Remote workers are especially attractive because they tend to have high disposable incomes.
  • Direct Giving
    Neighbors came together to help one another with food and other basic needs during the pandemic. Some of the volunteer-led efforts are now seeking nonprofit status.
  • Fundraising Leadership
    Leaders should initiate frequent and frank conversations with employees to stay on top of their concerns, make sure DEI efforts are genuine, and provide clarity on any shifts to a group’s mission.
  • Opinion
    The funding criteria, proposal processes, and research methods used by many philanthropic organizations make it harder for grantees to produce data that reflect the challenges — and opportunities — in communities harmed by structural racism.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    Heather McGhee, who led the progressive think tank Demos and now chairs Color of Change, writes that racism in health care, voting rights, the environment, and financial regulation hurts white people as well as people of color.