Marc Gunther is a veteran journalist, speaker, and writer whose focus is business and sustainability. Marc is editor at large of Guardian Sustainable Business US and a contributor at FORTUNE magazine. He’s also a husband and father, a lover of the outdoors and a marathon runner.

Committed to evidence

Foundations not only looking to solve problems, but to improve the way we solve problems

Many foundations try to solve specific problems. They seek to end homelessness, help veterans, protect oceans, or improve K-12 education. All worthy goals.

But what if the programs aimed at solving those problems don’t work? Or cost too much? Or create unforeseen consequences? How can they be improved?

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Reforming institutions through development

Spark MicroGrants is working with communities to provide cash (and possibly democracy)

This article originally appeared on Nonprofit Chronicles

Chickens. Cows. Cookstoves. Toilets. Solar panels. Job training. Clean water.

Western NGOs dole out lots of stuff to help poor people in the global south become less poor. Do such programs work? It’s hard to know, but when researchers for a series of World Bank studies called Moving Out of Poverty asked 3,991 households in 15 countries how they escaped poverty, just three of those households credited “NGO assistance.” Hmm.

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By Marc Gunther
The oldest (and most effective) anti-poverty program

This article originally appeared on Nonprofit Chronicles


People have migrated for millennia, mostly to escape poverty. Between 1880 and 1930, more than 27 million immigrants entered the US, most from Europe. Some six million blacks left the rural south for cities in the north and midwest between 1910 and 1970, in what’s known as The Great Migration. More recently, Hurricane Katrina prompted one of the biggest resettlements in American history.

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