Caroline Preston

Caroline Preston is a journalist based in Brooklyn, New York. She worked most recently as a features editor for Al Jazeera America Digital, and before that was a senior reporter with The Chronicle of Philanthropy. 

Recent Articles

Trump’s Other Ethics Quagmire: His Foundation

The Donald J. Trump Foundation has drawn less notice than his vast business empire, but it could also present conflicts of interest if he doesn’t sever ties with the organization.

AP Photo/J. David Ake
AP Photo/J. David Ake, File A $25,000 check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation to a political committee supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, in violation of the law against charities engaging in political activities. P resident-elect Donald Trump has pledged via Twitter to distance himself from his business empire in order to mitigate potential conflicts of interest once he takes office. But as with many matters involving the former reality show star, the details are hazy. Trump has punted the question of how he might carry out this handover plan to a December 15 press conference, leaving reporters to speculate that he may merely transfer the company’s operations to his children, a move seen as insufficient to safeguard the federal government from becoming a vehicle for Trump’s personal self-enrichment. Overshadowed by this discussion over the future of the Trump Organization is a secondary question that nevertheless merits scrutiny: What will become of the Donald J. Trump...

Is Wall Street Taking Over Charity?

For the first time in a quarter of a century, The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual ranking of the nation’s top-grossing charities places a financial-sector “donor-advised fund” at the top of the list.

(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock) A mericans might be forgiven for taking a dim view of our nation’s charitable practices this election cycle. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stands accused of diverting business income to his private foundation, using charity money to buy auction items like a six-foot-tall portrait of himself, and deploying philanthropic funds to bankroll an attorney general who was considering whether to investigate Trump University. Hillary Clinton’s family philanthropy, for its part, has drawn scrutiny for pocketing big checks from foreign donors with business before the State Department. Now The Chronicle of Philanthropy ’s newly released annual list of the nation’s top-grossing charities threatens to give the sector yet another black eye. Released on October 27, the report does contain some feel-good news about American generosity—overall giving is up by 7 percent, for example. But the ranking contains a startling revelation that could intensify scrutiny of the...

Oil Battles Wind on the Great Plains

The wind industry’s rising success in Oklahoma has kicked off a high-dollar lobbying fight by fossil fuels executives determined to regain ground.

AP Photo/David Crenshaw, File
AP Photo/David Crenshaw, File Wind turbines sit idle at the Oklahoma Wind Energy Center north of Woodward, Oklahoma. T he Great Plains of Oklahoma are dotted with cattle, wheat fields, and the seesawing donkey-shaped jacks that drag crude oil from the shale rock beneath. Notwithstanding the collapse of commodity prices, some 190,000 active oil and gas wells in the state provide jobs, directly and indirectly, to an estimated one in six Oklahomans. Even the statehouse in Oklahoma City is surrounded by wells; one is nicknamed Petunia , after the flower bed on which it was drilled. But increasingly, in Oklahoma’s western half, the land is also populated by wind turbines—giant, white structures on farms with names like Blue Canyon and Renewable Frontier. Those turbines are turning the storied wind that comes sweeping down Oklahoma’s plains into an increasingly critical statewide energy source. Wind now provides 18 percent of the state’s electricity, a higher share nationally than any...