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Trouble in Paradigm: Foundations Bargain with the Devil

Foundations should be doing much more.

This article was originally published by NPQ on June 30, 2021. Used with permission.   "But what were you doing before?” A young man, standing at the back of a lecture hall in Michigan, posed this question after a presentation I made in 2011 when I was president of the Heron Foundation. I was explaining with gusto that Heron was aligning all its assets—100 percent of endowment capital—with its anti-poverty mission. But he was unimpressed. He thought he was coming to hear about “cutting-edge philanthropy.” And he learned that until recently, our supposedly innovative foundation wasn’t even doing what he…
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Clara Miller writes, speaks and advises on finance, investing, and accounting. She is President Emerita of the Heron Foundation (2011-2017) and was founder and President/CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund (1984-2011). She serves/has served on and chaired a number of boards and advisory boards, including the U.S. Treasury (CDFI), Federal Reserve ... Read more
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