Monthly Archives: July 2011


Why One Big Foundation Wants to Make Unrestricted Grants

When Bank of America Charitable Foundation is considering potential grantees, it favors charities that have a clear sense of their long-term mission as well as those that can offer volunteer opportunities to bank employees, says Kerry Sullivan, the foundation’s president.

Among the biggest mistakes grantees make, she says: not taking Bank of America seriously when it says it wants the charity to apply for general operating support rather than support for a specific program.

“We would prefer to …


$200-Million Foundation Effort Seeks to Increase Healthy Food in California

Mother and daughter in the produce section

The California Endowment wants to increase access to healthy food in poor neighborhoods.

The California Endowment got a little help kicking off its newest project. First Lady Michelle Obama announced the start of the California FreshWorks Fund during a ceremony at the White House. The new $200-million loan fund is designed to increase access to healthy, low-cost food in poor neighborhoods in the state.

“Healthy food is often the prescription that your medical practitioners provide you with if yo…


A Job Hunter Gets Advice on Landing Her First Job in Philanthropy

Elena Fracchia

Elena Fracchia

Elena Fracchia admits she is on an unusual job hunt.

She graduated in June with a master’s degree in public administration and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Oregon, with hopes of finding work as a grant maker.

But in informational interviews this past spring, she discovered that many grant makers fell gradually into their roles. What’s more, many of the foundation job listings she found asked for 10 or more years of experience.

This wasn’t…


Gates Foundation Seeks to ‘Reinvent the Toilet’

After five years of making grants to help the developing world deal with water, sanitation, and hygiene issues, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that it will narrow its focus to sanitation.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who leads the Seattle foundation’s global-development program, made the announcement at a conference on sanitation in Kigali, Rwanda.

Gates anticipates spending the same amount—roughly $40-million per year—on sanitation as it has been giving to date in the three …


Four Paths to Becoming a Grant Maker

How do grant makers get their jobs?

We recently spoke with four foundation executives, all of whom took different routes to their jobs working in corporate philanthropy or for private foundations.

One came from a background in academe and social work, another is a lawyer who worked in different branches of government, and another came from the business world. And a fourth grant maker worked her way from a low-level foundation job two decades ago.

How did you get started working for a foundation…