Tag Archives: Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Big News — But Not Good News

[Note: This commentary is cross-posted in the November 15, 2012 edition of the  Chronicle of Philanthropy.]

Today it’s my duty to point out a disturbing trend for America’s charities.

Each year the Chronicle of Philanthropy compiles the Philanthropy 400, a list of the nonprofit organizations that have raised the most money in the past year. The troubling news? The number two nonprofit for 2011 was an entity called Fidelity Charitable. Continue reading

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A Trail Goes Cold

So these two guys walk into a bar.

Actually, I was one of them. It was the end of a conference in Minneapolis last fall, and I had to kill time (and find food) while I was waiting for a colleague to finish a meeting. So I grabbed lunch at a bar and struck up a conversation with the guy next to me.

He and I really hit it off. We talked movies, politics, and books. Lunch passed quickly. At the end we shared what we did for work. When he said he was a criminal lawyer, he saw me do a bit of a double-take. (He seemed used to that reaction.) So he said, in an obviously practiced response: “Remember: criminal lawyers are civil. Civil lawyers are criminal.”

A good line, with all due apologies to you civil lawyers out there.

So here’s my parallel reminder when thinking about charitable foundations: Private foundations are public. Public foundations are private. Continue reading

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