Monthly Archives: March 2012


Council on Foundations Names Ocean-Conservancy Head as New Leader

Vikki Spruill, president of the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy, has been named the new leader of the Council on Foundations, an association of grant makers.

Ms. Spruill replaces Jeff Clarke, who joined the council on an interim basis in September following the resignation of Steve Gunderson. Mr. Gunderson, a former Republican congressman, led the council for six years. Ms. Spruill will take the helm July 1.

Ms. Spruill, 54, has a background in communications and environmental advocacy. Following a …


Hewlett Picks Another Stanford Law Dean as New President

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced today that Larry Kramer, dean of Stanford Law School, will be its new president.

Mr. Kramer replaces Paul Brest, who also served as dean of Stanford’s law school before joining Hewlett in 2000. He will remain in the role until Mr. Kramer takes over on September 1.

“When we began this search, we certainly didn’t think we would hire another dean of Stanford Law School to lead the Hewlett Foundation,” Stephen C. Neal, a board member who led t…


Popularity of Water Grants Slows After 2007 Peak

The number of foundations giving to water, sanitation, and hygiene causes tripled from 2003 to 2010, according to a new study by the Foundation Center.

The report also found that the amount of money going to those three causes was $72-million in 2010, growing from $5-million in 2003. But that is much less than in 2007, when giving was $122-million, the highest point on record. That was the year the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed $27-million over four years to the nonprofit Internation…


Bloomberg Gives $220-Million to Anti-Tobacco Efforts

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a former smoker turned anti-smoking activist, is contributing another $220-million to fight tobacco use worldwide.

The pledge brings Mr. Bloomberg’s total commitment to the anti-smoking cause to more than $600-million, according to Bloomberg Philanthropies. In 2006, he announced a plan to give $125-million over two years to a coalition of groups including the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Tw…


Gates Foundation’s New Space Seeks to Balance Contemplation and Collaboration

Editor’s note: The Gates Foundation  says the opening of an earlier version of this article, based on a New York Times article, incorrectly stated that the philanthropy had instituted a ban on whispering in its offices.  For more on the Times‘ response, see reporting by the Puget Sound Business Journal. The Chronicle has revised the headline and opening to reflect the information provided by the Gates Foundation official, Chris Williams, who says “Gates Foundation employees are free to speak as …


AT&T Gives $250-Million to Help High-School Students Succeed

The telecommunications giant AT&T today  announced that it is committing $250-million over five years to expand its program aimed at helping more students graduate from high school and preparing them for college and careers. The program, called AT&T Aspire, was started in 2008.

The expanded effort has three components.

* Technology. The corporation will sponsor contests for mobile-application developers to foster the best solutions to problems in the education system. It will also support projec…


Most Foundations Gave Raises in 2011, Survey Finds

Foundation salaries grew by a median of 14.2 percent over the past five years, not accounting for inflation, according to a new survey of more than 910 grant makers.

And the vast majority of philanthropies surveyed—87 percent—said they had either increased or planned to increase their staff salaries in 2011. That share is ticking up with the improving economy: Last year, 62 percent of funds gave or expected to give raises.

Chief executives at the foundations surveyed by the Council on Foundation…


Foundations Didn’t Increase Focus on ‘Nonprofit Success’ in Downturn, Study Finds

As charities face a continuing struggle to raise funds in the slow economic recovery, they will not find lots of new sources of unrestricted aid or other help to make it through the tough times, according to a new study.

A survey of 755 foundations conducted in 2011 by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and the TCC Group found that 83 percent of foundations said they devote money to general support, compared with 80 percent in 2008.  And the median amount of foundations’ budgets devoted to …