Monday, September 29, 2008

Reporting Foundations

I like the lede I wrote for a story about a firefighter who's raising money for sick kids, but that's not the take-away reporting tip. That's just self-regard. The tip has to do with researching foundations.
Here's the lede:

By Michael Doyle | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Virginia firefighter Alec Oughton lost his child and gained a cause, which is no deal at all. Neuroblastoma had gripped his daughter, Grace. She was 3, and he was desperate.

Here's the tip: The wonderful Foundation Center maintains an online directory, posting websites, summaries and -- here's the beauty party -- the IRS 990 forms for thousands of U.S. foundations. In a snap, you can identify foundations of interest -- say, ones based in your hometown, or ones set up by politicians of interest -- and track down to the penny where they are spending money. Check it out:
And here's the rest of the story:

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