07/20/2012 09:32 pm ET | Updated Sep 19, 2012

The Vanguard Foundation's Great Con

It meant the world to Myra Levy to send her annual donation to the Vanguard Public Foundation, a public grant-maker dedicated to funding grassroots nonprofits often too radical to receive mainstream funding. For 30 years she and her partner had sent in a couple hundred dollars each December, a contribution Levy considered an investment in a future that would reflect her values. Levy's ties to the foundation were also personal. Her sister had served on the board, and several of the nonprofits Levy worked for over the years had been funded by Vanguard grants.

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