Nonprofits Candid and Council on Foundations make a rare deal the way corporations do

Sep 5, 2023, 6:18 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — It’s a transaction that would be commonplace for a corporation or a sports team, but it’s the kind of deal that is practically unheard of in the nonprofit sector.

The philanthropy research organization Candid will send control of its CF Insights website and the staff that gathered information about community foundations to the Council on Foundations, the association of nearly 900 nonprofit members, on Friday.

Candid CEO Ann Mei Chang says the shift will allow her nonprofit to focus more sharply on priority areas – including diversity, transparency and effectiveness in the sector – while providing its CF Insights information a larger audience and the potential to expand at the Council on Foundations.

“That was our No. 1 criteria about whether to move forward with this,” Chang said. “We believe more community foundations would be able to benefit from this tool at the Council than from Candid.”

Council on Foundations CEO Kathleen Enright said community foundations are unique civic institutions because they meet so many different needs depending on the area that they serve. Some focus on bringing federal and local money into the community, especially in the wake of disasters, like the way the Hawaii Community Foundation has helped focus donations for those affected by the Maui wildfires. Others aggregate philanthropic donations for a community. Many also serve as homes for the increasingly popular donor-advised funds. Some provide all of these services and more.

“They’re often the only community foundation in their region,” Enright said. “So being able to network with and benchmark against peers at the national level is incredibly important. It helps them make better decisions.”

Chang said CF Insights can help community foundations see how its peers handled expansion or compensation. And that information pairs well with the Council on Foundations annual surveys on compensation and benefits among community foundations.

In the corporate world, that would be called synergy.

However, nonprofits don’t generally go looking for synergy through mergers and acquisitions or restructuring.

“We don’t have the financial incentive,” Chang said. “In business, the way that you incentivize somebody to give up something that they have that’s good is that you give them a lot of money, right? That doesn’t happen in the nonprofit sector. We’re not buying things from each other.”

However, both Chang and Enright say that more nonprofits should look for more effective ways to use resources, including potentially sending some to other nonprofits.

“We are really trying to take a field first approach, thinking about what’s best for the field,” Chang said. “There’s no financial upside for us in making these deals. And there is a cost, so it’s a hard equation to square for organizations.”

Enright said even though both Candid and the Council on Foundations were interested in the deal, it still required resources from both nonprofits, as well as an external consultant, to get completed. She said she understands that smaller organizations may not have been able to complete it.

“It starts with putting the needs of those that we serve before ours,” Enright said. “That is really core to what we did here.”

Even though it was difficult, Chang said she hopes more nonprofits will consider it – perhaps with more support from donors looking to make nonprofits work better together. Candid recently donated some of its data to the new initiative led by The Aspen Institute, Charity Navigator, CitizenAudit, GivingTuesday, and The Urban Institute to create a clearinghouse for forms nonprofits file with the Internal Revenue Service.

“I’d love to see more of this happen,” Chang said. “I think investments like this can really help us create a much more robust sector that will be in a stronger position to, over time, be able to serve the needs of more people.”


Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

United States News

Associated Press

‘Catch and kill’ will be described to jurors in Donald Trump’s hush money trial as testimony resumes

NEW YORK (AP) — A longtime tabloid publisher was expected Tuesday to tell jurors about his efforts to help Donald Trump stifle unflattering stories during the 2016 campaign as testimony resumes in the historic hush money trial of the former president. David Pecker, the former National Enquirer publisher who prosecutors say worked with Trump and […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

America’s child care crisis is holding back moms without college degrees

AUBURN, Wash. (AP) — After a series of lower-paying jobs, Nicole Slemp finally landed one she loved. She was a secretary for Washington’s child services department, a job that came with her own cubicle, and she had a knack for working with families in difficult situations. Slemp expected to return to work after having her […]

7 hours ago

Several hundred students and pro-Palestinian supporters rally at the intersection of Grove and Coll...

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian protests sweep US college campuses following mass arrests at Columbia

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia canceled in-person classes, dozens of protesters were arrested at New York University and Yale, and the gates to Harvard Yard were closed to the public Monday as some of the most prestigious U.S. universities sought to defuse campus tensions over Israel’s war with Hamas. More than 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators who […]

9 hours ago

Ban on sleeping outdoors under consideration in Supreme Court...

Associated Press

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court weighs bans on sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court is wrestling with major questions about the growing issue of homelessness as it considers a ban on sleeping outdoors.

10 hours ago

Arizona judge declares mistrial in case of rancher who shot migrant...

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

An Arizona judge declared a mistrial in the case of rancher accused of killing a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

11 hours ago

Associated Press

Trial opens for former Virginia hospital medical director accused of sexual abuse of ex-patients

NEW KENT, Va. (AP) — The former longtime medical director of a Virginia hospital that serves vulnerable children used physical examinations as a “ruse” to sexually abuse two teenage patients, a prosecutor said Monday, while the physician’s attorney “adamantly” denied any inappropriate conduct. The trial of Daniel N. Davidow of Richmond, who for decades served […]

11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Nonprofits Candid and Council on Foundations make a rare deal the way corporations do