December 27, 2016

Culture, Equity, and the Challenges of Leadership: Hot Topics on Our Opinion Pages

Christophe Vorlet For The Chronicle

Throughout the past year, The Chronicle’s opinion pages were filled with people in and out of philanthropy discussing the role of nonprofits and foundations in an election year, including a call by George Mason University scholar Alan Abramson to give nonprofits a seat at the White House table.

Concerns philanthropy will need to address as Donald Trump takes the White House in 2017 were already clear in some of the pieces we published well before November 8 — including a column by Bruce Karmazin of the Lumpkin Family Foundation calling on grant makers to adopt a strong rural strategy and a plea by James Canales of the Barr Foundation and Kate Wolford of the McKnight Foundation for philanthropy to give more attention to local efforts to fight climate change.

But many of our most popular opinion articles explored ways our contributors believe foundations, donors, and nonprofits need to change, including a piece from Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman urging organizations to build healthier and happier cultures to nurture their employees.

And our best-read opinion article was a mea culpa from Hal Harvey, an early cheerleader for strategic philanthropy, who took to our pages to explain his regrets about the movement he helped create.

Among the other notable pieces we published in the past year:

November 02, 2016

Opinion: Foundation CEOs Shouldn’t Serve on Corporate Boards

Darren Walker’s decision to join Pepsi’s board undermines his philanthropic agenda and raises questions about what makes foundations different from businesses and government.

October 27, 2016

Opinion: Charities and Taxpayers Deserve More From Donor-Advised Funds

As the controversial method of giving becomes increasingly common, concerns about the funds become ever more consequential.

February 29, 2016

Opinion: Stop Tolerating Donors Who Sexually Harass Fundraisers

Charities must pledge not to put up with donors who cross a line with fundraisers, no matter how generous they are.

February 29, 2016

Opinion: 21st-Century Fundraising Requires Nonprofits to Shake Up Their Cultures

Not everybody needs to ask for money, but getting more people involved in building relationships can solve some of fundraising’s chronic problems.

September 06, 2016

Opinion: Foundations Are Losing Sight of Nonprofits’ Struggles

More and more grant makers fail to give the organizations they fund the freedom, flexibility, or resources required to solve complex problems.

September 12, 2016

Opinion: Ford’s Push on Disability Rights Should Be a Model for Philanthropy

The foundation’s explicit outline of steps it will take to aid people with disabilities sends a strong signal to grant makers everywhere.

March 30, 2016

Opinion: Now or Forever: Rethinking Foundation Life Spans

Philanthropists, Congress, and the courts have all weighed in on whether grant makers should spend down their assets or continue in perpetuity, but it's time to take a closer look.

May 02, 2016

Opinion: Fellow Billionaires: Let's Listen to the Poor

The creator of 5-Hour Energy drinks urges his fellow philanthropists to measure results, not dollars spent, and to stop pretending that putting their names on buildings is an act of humanity.

May 03, 2016

Opinion: 5 Issues Foundations Must Confront to Stay Relevant

As criticism of philanthropy mounts, grant makers must rethink how to spend their endowments and work with grantees — and with one another.

July 01, 2016

Opinion: Charities, Stop Stereotyping People of Color as Needy

Too many nonprofits use photos in marketing and other materials that dehumanize minorities as indolent "takers" of services they do not deserve.