The Wall Street Journal

Donors Find Gift Annuities Can Stop Giving
May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — It sounds good on paper: You make a donation to a worthy cause and, in return, receive regular lifetime payments. But so-called charitable gift annuities don't always deliver what they promise -- a risk that could intensify if the recession persists.

Foundation Backs Foreclosures Project
May 1, 2009

May 1, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — The Ford Foundation plans to pump $50 million into a new nonprofit venture that will help municipalities buy foreclosed homes from financial institutions, in an effort to stem property-value declines plaguing U.S. neighborhoods.

Social Actions Announces Three Change the Web Challenge Winners
April 29, 2009

San Francisco, CA, April 28, 2009 — Three developers, whose web applications and widgets will make it easier for web surfers to find and share ways to make a difference, were named the winners of the Change the Web Challenge today. Social Actions (, a web-based nonprofit initiative committed to making it easier for people to find and share opportunities to make a difference, produced the Challenge. The winning applications were announced at NTEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Francisco, CA.

Helping Themselves
April 24, 2009

April 22, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — When your mission is serving the needy, tough times can be doubly difficult: More people need help, but you have fewer resources.

Eating From the Hand That Bites You
April 24, 2009

April 24, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — This week, the president signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which authorizes a huge expansion of the Americorps program, potentially tripling the number of its government-paid "volunteers." The legislation -- which also promises federal funds for "effective solutions developed by social entrepreneurs" -- was heralded as a victory for patriotism and public service. It was enough to draw Jimmy Carter to share the podium with Ted Kennedy -- both on hand for the signing ceremony at a charter school in a poor section of Washington, D.C. But is it truly good news? Those who cherish the independence of American philanthropy and the nonprofits it supports actually have reason for worry.

Ivy League Lessons
April 24, 2009

April 22, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — For many years, the Harvard and Yale endowments performed brilliantly, far outpacing the major stock market averages. They grew and grew, and their strategies became widely popular among professional investors. Yale's lead money manager, David Swensen, became a kind of guru for endowment investing and published "Pioneering Portfolio Management" in 2000 to codify his insights. In 2005, he brought out "Unconventional Success," a popular book that tried to explain to individual investors how they could mimic aspects of his approach to managing Yale's money.

New Unrest on Campus as Donors Rebel
April 24, 2009

HARTFORD, Conn., April 23, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — Financially strapped colleges are angering their benefactors by selling school radio stations, auctioning Georgia O'Keeffe paintings and dipping into endowments for purposes their donors may not have intended.

Family Charities Shift Assets to Donor Funds
April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — Robert Morris started his own private foundation in the early 1990s to funnel money to private schools, churches and hospitals. But as the years went on, running it became a hassle.

Politically Tainted Contributions Put to Good Use With Charities
April 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — Most charities once refused cash carrying a whiff of scandal. Now they often are accepting -- and in some cases seeking -- campaign contributions from disgraced Wall Street firms and figures that have been unloaded by politicians eager to escape public outrage.

A Time for Giving
April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009, The Wall Street Journal — It may be tough expanding your wealth in an economy that is teetering, but giving it away to heirs is getting a whole lot easier, thanks to rock-bottom interest rates.