Monthly Archives: September 2011

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Atlantic Philanthropies Appoints New President

Atlantic Philanthropies announced today that it has chosen Christopher Oechsli, who has been serving as interim leader since June, as the foundation’s new president.

Mr. Oechsli, 57, is a lawyer who has served recently as counsel to Russ Feingold, the former Democratic senator from Wisconsin, and as associate fellow and project director at the Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington think tank.

He is also a former employee of Atlantic, the philanthropy started by Charles Feeney, the billionai…

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Merck Program for Safer Childbirth to Pay for Technology and Advocacy

Merck, the pharmaceutical company, has provided some details about its commitment, announced earlier this week, of $500-million over the next decade to reduce the number of women who die in childbirth.

Some of that money will be in the form of cash grants to charities, Geralyn Ritter, president of the Merck Company Foundation, tells The Chronicle. The company will also pay to develop new technology—for example, a system to store a drug that helps prevent women from bleeding to death after chi…

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Jobs, Women, and Children’s Health Are Focuses of Pledges on First Day of Clinton Event

[caption id="attachment_740" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="President Bill Clinton speaks at the first day of his annual philanthropy event. (Photo by Cibele Vieira / Clinton Global Initiative)"][/caption]

New York

Merck, the pharmaceutical giant, announced this week a $500-million commitment over the next decade to help reduce the number of women who die in pregnancy and childbirth. Details of the plan are forthcoming, but the company says it will work with Save the Children, among other groups.

The announcement was one of several made during the United Nations meeting and President Clinton’s annual philanthropy event, which compete with teach other for the attention of world leaders, corporate chieftains, nonprofit officials, and foundation executives.

Mr. Clinton’s event opened on Tuesday morning with a group of heads of state, including leaders of Bangladesh, Mali, Mexico, and Norway, who shuttled from the U.N. headquarters to the conference’s Times Square hotel location to speak about climate change.

A focus of the event this year is on how to create jobs. At an evening session on Tuesday, Ford Foundation president Luis Ubiñas shared the stage with Gavin Newsom, California’s lieutenant governor, and Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications billionaire, to discuss how to spur job creation in “megacities.”

To attend Mr. Clinton’s event, donors and nonprofit leaders must make a “commitment” to effect change on a specific topic.

Among the announcements of new commitments made on Tuesday:

• Donors including the Ford, Nike, NoVo, and William and Flora Hewlett foundations announced a new partnership to reduce the number of girls who are forced into marriages before the age of 18. Child marriage affects an estimated 10 million girls each year, the donors said. About $1.5-million has been raised so far for the effort. The Elders, a group of world leaders dedicated to improving human rights, is spearheading the new partnership.

• The nonprofit group PATH announced a $25-million grant to improve women and children’s health in Mozambique and South Africa. The money comes from BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, the nonprofit arm of BHP Billiton, an Australian mining and gas company.

• The Western Union Foundation unveiled a three-year effort to spur job creation in sub-Saharan Africa. The fund will contribute $1.5-million in the first year and provide technical assistance, business training, networking opportunities, and other aid to small and midsize businesses in the region.

• The Exxon Mobil Foundation is giving $1.5-million to the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to study how mobile-phone technology can help women entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses. Continue reading

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Giving News Roundup: Arts and Health News, Plus More

Among the recently announced news from grant makers:

• Eli Lilly and Company, the pharmaceutical giant, announced on Tuesday a new commitment to fighting noncommunicable diseases in the developing world. The business is one a growing number of donors supporting efforts to fight non-infectious diseases like diabetes and cancer in poor nations. Lilly says it will spend $30-million over five years on research and other efforts to fight the health problems.

• The investor George Soros’s philan…

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MacArthur Fund Unveils New Approach to Environmental Grants

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced today a new grant-making effort that expands its environmental giving beyond efforts to preserve land, seascapes, and species to tackle major threats to ecosystems, such as climate change, overfishing, and harmful agricultural practices.

The Chicago fund, one of America’s biggest philanthropies, plans to spend roughly the same amount on conservation issues—$176-million over the next decade—as it has been devoting to the cause in the…

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A Cross-Country Trek to Document What Americans Give Away


In June, Jenna Isaacson, a freelance photojournalist, climbed behind the wheel of a recreational vehicle to begin a summer trek across the United States.

Her mission: to document how Americans rely on second-hand goods and thrift stores. Goodwill Industries International helped sponsor her seven-week trip, which began June 18 in Phoenix, and recently ended in the same city after she crisscrossed the country through 30 states.

Along the way, she visited more than 60 thrift stores, traveling 10,…

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Rockefeller Official to Head Nonprofit Finance Fund

Photograph of Antony Bugg-Levine

Antony Bugg-Levine

The Nonprofit Finance Fund, which offers consulting services and loans to charities, has selected Antony Bugg-Levine as its new leader.

Mr. Bugg-Levine has served as a managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation since 2007. He developed and led the fund’s effort to promote “impact investing,” which is built on the idea that businesses can help solve social and environmental problems while still making a profit.

Mr. Bugg-Levine is also a co-author of the book Impact Investi…