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Letter to Our Readers

May 4, 2022

Dear Reader,

Today we’re announcing exciting plans for a major leap forward in how the Chronicle of Philanthropy serves you and the rest of the nonprofit world.

We plan to significantly expand our staff so we can provide more information and insight to nonprofit and philanthropy professionals. And we’re getting ready to do much more to ensure that journalists around the nation put the spotlight on the growing and increasingly diverse social sector.

As the Chronicle’s reporters and editors have tracked the nonprofit world’s response to the pandemic, racial reckoning, growing economic inequality, threats to democracy, and so much more, we have thought hard about what more we can do to help you and your colleagues better meet the challenges of the moment and in the months ahead.

After more than a year of careful research, we’ve crafted a blueprint to lift up more diverse voices, build a robust public commons for philanthropic debate, take you inside major philanthropic efforts to show what leads to success, and tailor our information so you can find what you need when you need it.

We’ve also been building our connections to local newsrooms and global organizations, such as the Associated Press, to ensure stories about nonprofits and foundations reach new and broader audiences and that those stories appear year-round — not just during the holiday season or when crises like the war in Ukraine erupt.

As we embark on this more ambitious mission, we realize it’s also time to change the Chronicle’s organizational structure so that we can put even more emphasis on expanding our social impact. We plan to become an independent nonprofit, spinning off from our parent company, the Chronicle of Higher Education, which has nurtured our growth since our founding in 1988.

In recent months, we sought expert advice about our plans, and we’re pleased to let you know that we have already received about $6 million in foundation support to help us undertake this transition.

To guide our transformation into a nonprofit focused on growth, innovation, and impact, we have assembled a founding board of directors that will be chaired by Trabian Shorters, founder of BMe Community and a former Knight Foundation vice president. Joining him will be:

  • Ana Marie Argilagos, CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy
  • Amanda Barrett, a senior news leader at the Associated Press
  • Anna Nirmala, a vice president at American Journalism Project
  • Pamela Gwaltney, chair of the Chronicle of Higher Education Inc.
  • Michael Riley, the Chronicle’s CEO, will also serve on the board

The expertise these board members offer will be especially helpful in ensuring that our integrity and independence remain paramount, even as we receive greater philanthropic funding. Our newsroom will collaborate with outside experts to build on our existing gift-acceptance and disclosure policies, always prioritizing our editorial independence, transparency, and the needs of our readers.
For the Chronicle’s staff, this is also a milestone moment. We will be able to offer my colleagues more professional growth opportunities, and they will soon be joined by new staff members who will augment their expertise with new skills, perspectives, and additional capacity. All of that will allow us to serve you better.

As we move forward, I welcome your questions, suggestions, and ideas. We’re always eager to learn what more we can do to advance your essential mission. And you have my pledge that our commitment to you is unwavering, no matter how much we’re about to change and grow.

Stacy Palmer, Editor