A Movie Star Gets Behind a Clean Energy Startup, With Help From a Matchmaker – Inside Philanthropy

Philanthropy is getting ever more entwined with venture investing, and many funding efforts are done collaboratively, with smaller foundations teaming up on impact investments with other partners. You can see this in one issue area after the other, as we report often.

One new player making things happen in the clean energy space is PRIME, a nonprofit whose mission is to “accelerate the commercial deployment of technologies that reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.” More specifically, PRIME says it “empowers philanthropic investors with the critical tools they need to make direct, for-profit investments that address climate change.” (See more details here.) In other words, it’s a matchmaker.

via A Movie Star Gets Behind a Clean Energy Startup, With Help From a Matchmaker – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Shut Up About the Clinton Foundation’s Problems for a Minute to Look at Its Programs  – Inside Philanthropy

With all the hype in the media about the Clinton Foundation, we wonder how many Americans actually know what the foundation does—or how many members of the media, for that matter.

Listening to news reports, you’d think the sole purpose of this outfit is to help the Clintons get rich and do favors for their shady friends. And while, to be sure, some of the reports about specific donors have been troubling—and suggest questionable judgment by the Clintons—what’s missing is a broader, more balanced look at how the foundation mobilizes money for good causes and who, in reality, puts up most of that money. (Hint: It’s not dictators looking for favors from the State Department.) While people shouldn’t stop asking hard questions about the foundation, they should pay more attention to its approach and programs.

via Shut Up About the Clinton Foundation’s Problems for a Minute to Look at Its Programs  – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Behind Knight’s City Awards: A Vision of Urban Renewal Driven by Three Key Ingredients – Inside Philanthropy

What does it take to create a vibrant city with lots of opportunity? Well, in an earlier times, people might have cited a big anchor business or port facility or prime tourist attraction. But after years of thinking and research about urban renewal, the answers have gotten more nuanced and complex.

A city has got to attract talented people—like those creatives we always hear about—but not in a way that pushes out the working class that actually makes things go. Developing a cutting edge industry can be a boon, but cities also need to nurture ladders of opportunity that lead upward from low-wage service jobs. You want engaged citizens, yes, but too much NIMBYism can make it hard to undertake big projects.

It’s not easy distilling the secret sauce of urban vitality, but the Knight Foundation is making an effort with its Knight Cities Challenge, which just announced 32 winners to divvy up $5 million in funding from the foundation.

via Behind Knight’s City Awards: A Vision of Urban Renewal Driven by Three Key Ingredients – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Inside Philanthropy is a Year Old. Here Are Ten Things We’ve Learned – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

When you are one, you have only just learned to speak. You move about clumsily and knock things down a lot. You don’t yet know what is possible, but you are burgeoning with life.

Inside Philanthropy is a Year Old. Here Are Ten Things We’ve Learned – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Our Top Philanthropy Obsessions in 2015 – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

As the New Year gets underway, we could conjure up a list of “top trends” in philanthropy for 2015 or make a bunch of predictions that we would probably regret twelve months from now, along with all the junk we ate over the holidays.

But we’re going to skip such exercises and instead offer up a quick tour of the obsessions, favorite causes, and pet peeves that we’ll be indulging this year. If you’re still wondering what the agenda is at Inside Philanthropy, you’ve clicked on the right post.

via Our Top Philanthropy Obsessions in 2015 – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Behind the Knight Foundation’s Push to Revive Akron – Workforce Grants – Inside Philanthropy

Four decades after de-industrialization began in the 1970s, reviving jobs and opportunity in battered manufacturing cities across the U.S. remains a daunting challenge.

Various foundations have come at this problem from different angles over the years, and one funder that’s especially focused here these days is the Knight Foundation. In September, the foundation announced a new $5 million Knight Cities Challenge, seeking ideas to make cities more successful, with a particular eye on attracting and retaining talented people, and creating economic opportunity.

via Behind the Knight Foundation’s Push to Revive Akron – Workforce | Labor | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

What Has Michael J. Hanley Been Doing for Fair and Sustainable Housing? – Housing – Inside Philanthropy

When it comes to the big names in housing and particularly sustainable housing for the underserved community, one man stands out from the crowd fairly quickly. Michael J. Hanley, President of the Hanley Foundation, has been working for more sustainable housing, and housing for those in need, for over 15 years.

via What Has Michael J. Hanley Been Doing for Fair and Sustainable Housing? – Housing – Inside Philanthropy.