Charlotte, North Carolina embodies a tale of two cities. It is a leader in economic development in the South and a hub for the financial services industry. But it is also a dead-end place for people seeking to escape poverty. Harvard economist Raj Chetty, in his 2014 study, The Equality of Opportunity, ranked the city dead last of […]
Looking to Wealthy Donors to Lower Tuition Costs—Is This the Answer?
St. John’s College, a private liberal arts college known for its “Great Books” curriculum and with campuses in Santa Fe and Annapolis, is slashing its annual tuition from $52,000 to $35,000 this next school year, with plans to make up the revenue loss through a $300 million fundraising campaign. Almost $200 million has already been […]
Rural Hospitals Face Growing Financial Trouble, Says Moody’s
Moody’s says that even as some nonprofit health systems prosper, others are falling short. According to Les Masterson in Healthcare Dive, the Moody’s report indicates that “28.4 percent of nonprofit hospital experienced operating losses, an increase from 16.5 percent in 2016. Also, 59 percent of providers reported lower absolute operating cash flow, which was more than double the […]
Large New Philanthropic Fund Responds to Coal Country Transitions
The story is familiar: Factories leave, farms mechanize, mines close, and the community suffers and shrinks. Finding a new economic engine that can provide jobs, power the tax base, and keep the kids from leaving is a daunting task in today’s rural America. Fortunately, that’s the focus of the Just Transition Fund (“the Fund”), at […]
Waco Looks Inward to Turn Around Troubled Schools
It’s now a familiar story: low-performing schools, nearly 100 percent poor kids of color, are given a stark set of choices by the state education agency, first through No Child Left Behind and now through the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA)—close, reconstitute with new staff, or cede control to non-district charter operators. The affected communities […]
Nonprofit Thrift Store Told to Take “PTA” out of Its Name
One of Carrboro, North Carolina’s most beloved nonprofits, the 66-year old PTA Thrift Store, is under fire from a key stakeholder, the Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools PTA Council (PTA Council), for not distributing enough of its income back to the 19 parent-teacher associations in the school district. In 2010, the PTA Thrift Store donated $221,488 to […]
Nonprofit Uses of Data: Communities in Schools Plays It Right
A recently announced four-year, $17 million grant from the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF) to the national nonprofit Communities in Schools (CIS) to help fund its new strategic business plan clearly demonstrates the returns of heavily investing in data collection, promoting a culture of learning, and balancing the inherent tension between a national brand and […]
Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University: A For-Profit in Nonprofit Garb?
Jerry L. Falwell Jr.’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia generated $215 million in net income in 2016 on nearly $1 billion in revenue. This tax-exempt nonprofit university’s net assets now exceed $2.5 billion, up from $1.6 billion in 2016. Their recipe? “The booming and lightly regulated realm of online higher education,” mostly subsidized by student […]
Place-Based Philanthropy: Illustrations from the South
“The vision of an inclusive and thriving South is still elusive,” laments MDC in its newest State of the South report, “[as] we have substituted a culture of withdrawal for a culture of investment.” This 2018 report, “Recovering our Courage,” looks back over fifty years of progress and change in this swath of 13 states […]
“Safety Net” Is Out, But Will Better Framing Impact Poverty Levels?
The term “safety net” is out for the largest groups that represent the nation’s human services sector, the result of an extensive reframing initiative conducted by the National Human Services Assembly. What’s in? The “Building Well-Being Narrative,” an “overarching story” and extensive toolbox intended to “build public understanding of human services to encourage more vibrant […]
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