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Multiyear Grants From Foundations Have Been Dropping Sharply

In a new analysis of grants by more than 1,400 foundations, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy found that multiyear grants to charities dropped by $2.2-billion, or 32 percent, from 2008 to 2010.

Multiyear grants peaked in 2008 at a total of $6.9-billion. But in 2009, they declined by 21 percent, to $5.5-billion. They dropped again in 2010 to $4.7-billion.

When the nation’s largest grant maker, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is excluded from the analysis, the 2009 decrease i…

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Robert Wood Johnson Steps Up Public-Policy Influence

In an effort to educate lawmakers about health issues, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last week announced that it has appointed David Colby as its first vice president for public policy.

Mr. Colby currently leads the foundation’s research and evaluation work. He spent nine years in federal government before joining Robert Wood Johnson.

“David’s experience in both the federal government and academic sectors make him uniquely qualified to lead our representation on important matters of pub…

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Kellogg Foundation CEO to Depart in 2013

Sterling Speirn, president of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, announced today that he plans to step down at the end of next year.

Mr. Speirn has led the organization since 2006. He said in a letter that he does not plan to retire but will instead continue to focus on ways to help vulnerable children and families.

“He’s had a lot of accomplishments here, a lot to be proud of, and I think he likes the idea of going out on the top of his game,” said Joanne Krell, vice president for communications, in …

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Saudi Princess Uses Philanthropy to Bridge Cultural Divides

Saudi Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, in Ghana

Saudi Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel says she wants to use philanthropy to bridge cultural divides and prevent violence like the recent attacks on U.S. embassies sparked by an anti-Islam video.

In New York last month for former President Bill Clinton’s annual philanthropy summit, the princess spoke about her ambitions for the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundations, where she serves as secretary general. The philanthropies are financed by her husband, Prince Alwalee…

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Charitable Deduction Should Be a Constitutional Right, Says Lawyer

The fate of the charitable deduction worried many of the donors, grant makers, and nonprofit experts gathered in Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday for the opening of the Philanthropy Roundtable’s annual conference.

Loss of the deduction would be so devastating to philanthropy, said one legal expert, that she urged donors and other nonprofit advocates to push to amend the Constitution or the federal tax code so that a donor’s gross income would be reduced by the amount he or she contributes to char…

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Ford Pledges $25-Million to End Child Marriage

The Ford Foundation announced Wednesday that it will commit $25-million over five years to end marriages for girls under age 18.

About 10 million girls worldwide are married off at a young age, often before they turn 15, the foundation said. Young brides are at higher risk of dropping out of school and suffering complications from pregnancy.

“Our ability to tackle the central issues affecting women and families in developing countries—from reproductive health and education to ending poverty an…

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15 Foundations to Speed Up Release of Grants Information

Fifteen of the country’s biggest philanthropies have agreed to release information on their grants in a consistent, timely way, the Foundation Center said Tuesday.

Known as the “Reporting Commitment,” the project is the latest attempt by the Foundation Center to encourage openness on the part of philanthropies.

The 15 foundations will provide their grant-making data to the Foundation Center on at least a quarterly basis. Some will release that information daily.

The grants data will be shared on…

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Voter-Rights Groups Get a Lift From Wealthy Donors

A billionaire businessman is helping charities that protect voter rights raise money just ahead of  their busy Election Day efforts.

William Louis-Dreyfus said in an advertisement in the online and print editions of Tuesday’s New York Times that he would provide $1-million to help charities that are trying to challenge new state laws that limit access to the polls for those who lack identification.

Mr. Louis-Dreyfus, who amassed a fortune estimated at more than $3-billion in the global commoditi…

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Foundation Giving to Aid Black Males Rises Slightly, Report Says

Grant makers are channeling more money to projects explicitly designed to help black men and boys, but those dollars make up a tiny share of overall giving, according to a new study.

The study, Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys, was financed by the Open Society Foundations, which last year pledged $30-million to a New York City program dedicated to improving opportunities for black males. The report was based on Foundation Center data and a separate survey of…

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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.

“It’…