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Philanthropy’s Uneven Climb: Success Stories, Red Flags, and a Trove of Data

Philanthropy 400

Philanthropy’s past, present, and future are presented together in this year’s Philanthropy 400, the 25th edition of our ranking of charities based on the private support they raise. Brand-name organizations from the 20th and even the 19th centuries still dominate, with 227 groups from our 1991 debut list still firmly entrenched.

Yet the top 10 include for the first time four donor-advised funds, and a battle between Fidelity and United Way for the No. 1 spot ends in a photo finish. International groups have surged over the past 25 years, while private colleges, surprisingly, have slipped a bit.

Are the disruptive forces that have wreaked havoc in corporate America now at work in philanthropy? It’s hard to know. The old order certainly won’t fade away anytime soon; our 25 years of rankings prove that change doesn’t come easy in philanthropy.