The Most Interesting Foundations, 2014 – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

We’ll be the first to say that “interesting” is a pretty vague metric on which to hang an end-of-year list. But it’s actually a yardstick that matters a lot here at Inside Philanthropy.

When you write all day about funders, one way to keep yourself going is to gravitate toward the most fascinating ones. That doesn’t mean you want ignore, say, the legacy foundation that specializes in renewal grants to the Brookings Institution, but it does mean you keep closer tabs on funders aiming to blow up whole sectors of society or revolutionize scientific research or save some forgotten swath of humanity or find answers to the hardest philosophical questions or leverage their money with jiu jitsu-like creativity.

The Most Interesting Foundations, 2014 – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

After Two Decades of Fighting Youth Incarceration, Has Casey’s Moment Arrived? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

“Dangerous, ineffective, unnecessary, obsolete, wasteful, and inadequate,” is how the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2011 report, No Place for Kids, describes the negative results of locking up youth. Once kids end up in jail, social workers do what they can to help them get out and start over on the right foot, but a better plan starts with keeping kids out of the slammer in the first place.

After Two Decades of Fighting Youth Incarceration, Has Casey’s Moment Arrived? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Can Innovation Help the Poor Escape from Payday Lenders? Ford Thinks So – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

The Ford Foundation has been working to close the racial wealth gap for over two decades, a gap much in the news these days, and one part of that effort has been to help “unbanked” low-income people escape from the shady world of payday lending and worse, and access the financial services that middle-class people take for granted. To that end, Ford recently gave $1 million dollars to the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) to continue its work on building financial tools for the underserved.

Can Innovation Help the Poor Escape from Payday Lenders? Ford Thinks So – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Dept. of Obscure Yet Crucial Funding Niches: Helping Grieving Children — Inside Philanthropy

Grief is one of the most difficult emotions for adults to work through. For children, the process can be even more confusing and overwhelming, with lifetime consequences if feelings are not acknowledged and resolved. The New York Life Foundation is one of the few donors thinking about this issue, and recently made a $1.4 million investment in work in this area. While this is definitely a niche funding area, it’s also a wise way to prevent later difficulties for children who’ve lost somebody important.

via Dept. of Obscure Yet Crucial Funding Niches: Helping Grieving Children  – Children | Youth | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

The Gates War on HPV Leads to Remote Mali and a Novel Way to Educate Women – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

De Groot recruited Eliza Squibb, recent Rhode Island School of Design graduate and global textiles expert, to help create a storytelling cloths that could accurately and attractively convey linkages between HPV and cancer, and teach Malian women about the benefits of the HPV vaccine. In collaboration with De Groot, Squibb produced a brightly-colored and medically sound storytelling cloth prototype. In blue, yellow, and orange, the cloth illustrates how vaccines prevent HPV infection, and how, unimmunized, women are prone to contracting HPV and potentially developing cancer.

via The Gates War on HPV Leads to Remote Mali and a Novel Way to Educate Women – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Teach for America on Page One Above the Search Results for “Diane Ravitch” Google

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I’m waiting for the day when organizations are paying to be on my google search results page. Meanwhile, Diane Ravitch already has Teach for America as a parasite for her search results. While in some ways it’s a tribute to the strength of Ravitch’s voice in the education reform debate, it’s also kind of creepy. For people who don’t notice the difference between ads and search results — like kids trying to educate themselves, for example — it could be very misleading and confusing.

The Upscale Grocery Chain Helping Kids Grow Gardens and Eat Salad – Public Health | Grants | Fundraising – Inside Philanthropy

Whole Foods, sometimes better known as Whole Paycheck thanks to the bite of its high prices, likes to think of itself as a responsible corporation with a particular interest in healthy eating. Through one of their foundations, the Whole Kids Foundation, they are helping to address better eating in schools in several significant ways—by funding school gardens and school salad bars, and by providing nutritional education to teachers.

via The Upscale Grocery Chain Helping Kids Grow Gardens and Eat Salad – Public Health | Grants | Fundraising – Inside Philanthropy.