Category Archives: Managing


MacArthur ‘Genius’ Winners Include Leader of Antipoverty Nonprofit

Maurice Lim Miller, founder of a nonprofit that’s trying to reshape social services for low-income people, is one of 23 people to receive a “genius” grant this year from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

For the past decade, Mr. Lim Miller has led the Family Independence Initiative, which  The Chronicle profiled in 2010. Until recently, the group, which eschews professional case workers in favor of direct cash awards to poor people, has struggled to win foundation support.



Nonprofits Are Dissatisfied With Foundations’ Evaluation Efforts

Nonprofits say they want more help from donors in measuring their performance, according to a new survey from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

More than 70 percent of the 177 nonprofit officials surveyed said they don’t receive assistance with evaluation from foundations. About 62 percent said they would like help with that work.

And despite many foundations’ public insistence that they want charities to measure performance, how to do so isn’t a big topic of conversation between donors and…


New Nonprofit Seeks to Improve Giving for Disaster Relief

Bob Ottenhoff, chief executive of Center for Disaster Philanthropy

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has appointed Bob Ottenhoff as its first chief executive.

In just a few days, the nation will mark the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and a few weeks later, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Those disasters posed major challenges for the philanthropic world, as donors wanted to help but weren’t always sure how they could. Now a new organization plans to help such donors—and to ensure that more m…


Few Grantees Pay Heed to Foundations on Social Media

Few nonprofits pay much attention to the videos, Facebook pages, and tweets of their foundation backers, according to a new study by the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

The study surveyed more than 6,000 grantees that receive money from a set of 34 large foundations. Social-media use among those grant makers was widespread: About 68 percent post videos, 59 percent use Facebook, 56 percent are registered on Twitter, and 29 percent write blogs.

But only 16 percent of nonprofits surveyed said th…


How a Change in Foundation Strategy Can Upset Beneficiaries

As foundations adjust their approaches to dealing with the tough economy and changing needs, they often face a big challenge in how to tell grantees that money is about to disappear.

The situation can be even tougher when a grant maker takes a new approach to dealing with some of society’s most vulnerable, as the Annie E. Casey Foundation has learned the hard way in recent weeks.

Casey announced last month that it was getting out of the business of providing direct support to foster-care familie…


Atlantic Lays Out Strategy for Final Years of Giving

Ten months after appointing a new president to conduct a review of its final years, the Atlantic Philanthropies is giving nonprofits some additional clues about what to expect between now and the time its last grants are announced in 2016.

In a letter Tuesday to grantees, Christopher G. Oechsli, Atlantic’s leader, says that “not all program work will continue to 2016.”

The foundation’s giving in Australia concludes this year, while grant making in South Africa and Vietnam will finish in 2013. A…


Casey Fund to End Foster-Case Unit and Direct $20-Million a Year to Nonprofits

The Annie E. Casey Foundation on Tuesday announced plans to close a foster-care unit it runs, a move that will eliminate 280 jobs and free up roughly $20-million a year in grants to nonprofits that help government agencies serve the needy, including youngsters in foster care.

The closure of Casey Family Services affects employees who provide services in seven states.

Patrick McCarthy, president of the Casey Foundation, said he believes his organization can do more good by providing grants to imp…


MacArthur Taps Economist to Lead ‘Genius’ Program

Cecilia Conrad, an economist and dean of Pomona College, will serve as the new director of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Fellows Program, informally known as the “genius” awards, the foundation said today.

Ms. Conrad will start the job in January. She succeeds Daniel Socolow, who is stepping down after 15 years.

The fellows program provides “no strings attached” awards of $500,000 to help some of the country’s most talented people pursue creative work. Winners are drawn fr…


Nonprofits Want Pro Bono Aid, but Securing It Is a Challenge, Says Study

Two-thirds of nonprofits say they need pro bono help, but many report challenges in recruiting volunteers who can lend their business skills, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,348 charity officials found the greatest demand for pro bono marketing and branding (cited by 78 percent), technology (70 percent), and strategic-planning and management expertise (more than 51 percent).

But despite the needs, nearly half of those surveyed said they didn’t know how to attract volunteers with busin…


Bloomberg’s Philanthropy Mission: Becoming Mayor of the World

Michael Bloomberg’s third term as mayor of New York may have been the product of his indecision over what to do with his time after leaving office—and a reluctance to devote himself full-time to his philanthropy, according to a profile in New York magazine.

As he contemplated a run for the presidency in 2008, says the article, Mr. Bloomberg came to the conclusion that his chances of victory were slim. With that dream deferred, the mayor found himself at loose ends.

“Up to that point, [philanth…