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.

Ancient Egyptian technology may be our first line of defense from hospital infections

No matter where in the world you find yourself, hospitals are filled with bacteria and viruses and potential infections for patients. Constanza Correa and her colleagues believe they have found a simple, and very old, fix that could greatly reduce inpatients’ chances of infection—replacing bedrails with copper.

Ancient Egyptian technology may be our first line of defense from hospital infections.

How the Gates Foundation Tackles Housing Issues – Housing – Inside Philanthropy

Think of the Gates Foundation and housing is probably not an issue that comes to mind. But the foundation has actually spent millions to reduce homelessness and boost affordable housing options for low-income people, with nearly all this money going to support work in Washington State. 

How the Gates Foundation Tackles Housing Issues – Housing – 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.

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.

This Billionaire Is Spending Big to Control Healthcare Costs. Is That a Good Thing? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

To me, his foundation’s role in helping fan panic over deficits at the height of the Great Recession—when most economists argued that more stimulus was needed to spark growth, not austerity—was deeply irresponsible.

via This Billionaire Is Spending Big to Control Healthcare Costs. Is That a Good Thing? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.