A Council of Foundations and Foundation Center report outlines international giving trends by US foundations. The numbers reveal that US foundations, even when funding international programs, most often give to US groups rather than local organizations.
First Nations Development Institute’s report highlights some challenges facing organizations that serve Native Americans, since foundation giving to these groups declined by almost a third over an eight-year period.
An outsider gets a bright idea that he promises will revolutionize a field and gains access to a wealthy funder. The donor or foundation takes a big risk and makes a mega-grant, then the organization lands on the field like a giant unsocialized toddler and goes belly-up within a few years, with little to show for the endeavor.
Communities in Schools’ ability to secure sizable long-term grants from a “big bets” funder is based on its emphasis on metrics, willingness to change, and resourced commitment to bring its entire network of affiliates in line—rather than from clear-cut evidence of impact.
Until last Friday, George Mason University strenuously denied that donor conditions put its academic independence at risk. But news sources revealed that donors had been granted direct input on faculty appointments and weighed in on faculty evaluations.