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Community Foundation Update (09/11/2021) | Philanthropy news


The San Diego Foundation has announced the launch of the San Diego Regional Policy & Innovation Center, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit designed to engage government, corporations, and philanthropy and enhance the long-term sustainability and prosperity of the region. As a hub for innovative partnerships, the center will conduct research, support coordinated governmental and agency relationships, develop consensus regarding the region’s core needs, and recommend policy solutions to assist leaders in attracting federal and state impact funding and addressing issues such as improving critical infrastructure, creating stable high-paying jobs, and generating other measurable long-term socioeconomic and environmental benefits. In addition, the center will support recovery from the economic effects of COVID-19 and work to meet the needs of underserved communities by attracting funding and resources to the region; working with municipalities and regional agencies to co-design programs and pursue federal recovery and infrastructure funding; crafting policy solutions; and driving large-scale partnerships and investment opportunities.

The Wild Rivers Community and Humboldt Area foundations are helping deliver much-needed meals to Sutter Coast Hospital, the Del Norte Triplicate reports. The $30,000 grant from the affiliated foundations will help residents and county leaders work with local restaurants, food trucks, and caterers to provide prepackaged meals. Since pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020, the two foundations have awarded two hundred and forty-six grants totaling $3.3 million from their COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, most of which has been shared with nonprofits in Del Norte, Curry, Humboldt, and Trinity counties.


The Community First Foundation in Arvada and Jefferson County Public Health have awarded grants totaling more than $1.7 million to a dozen nonprofits working to improve food access in Jefferson County. The grants will support infrastructure and capacity-building efforts to build a resilient food system and ensure equitable access to locally produced and nutritious food in the county. Recipients awarded grants of between $16,000 and $300,000 include Warren Tech High School, GoFarm, Food Bank of the Rockies, and Hunger Free Golden.


The Greater New Orleans Foundation and New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson have announced $650,000 in immediate assistance grants to local nonprofits leading disaster response efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ida. Since activating the Disaster Response & Restoration Fund, over $2 million has been raised from more than five hundred and fifty individuals, including $300,000 in matching funds from Benson. The fund also received contributions from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the Baltimore Ravens and the Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation, the United Health Foundation, Chevron U.S.A., the Shreveport-based Community Foundation of Northeast Louisiana, and the PepsiCo Foundation.


The Omaha Community Foundation has announced another round of Community Resilience Fund grants. Three local nonprofits serving those disproportionately affected by COVID-19 were awarded funds totaling $65,000, including Boys Town, Gotta Be Me, and the Nebraska Center for Workforce Development and Education.

New Jersey

The Trenton Arts Fund at the Princeton Area Community Foundation has awarded a total of $25,000 in grants to eight nonprofits working to make the arts more accessible to the community. Recipients include Artworks Trenton, the Trenton Circus Squad, Trenton Museum Society, and Trenton Music Makers.

New Mexico

The Santa Fe Community Foundation has announced the winners of its Pinon Awards, which recognize nonprofits for their contributions to northern New Mexico communities. Each of the four organizations will receive an unrestricted grant of $4,000. Recipients are Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary, Communities in Schools of New Mexico, the School for Advanced Research, and Hermit’s Peak Watershed Alliance.


The Dayton Foundation has announced that five older adults have been selected as the latest fellows for its Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative, which deploys retired or career-transitioning older adults into the community to work on significant community issues. The fellows include Antonia Dosik (Yellow Springs Senior Center); Beth Grubb (Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce Minority Business Partnership), Donna Kastner (The Collaboratory), Leigh Sempeles (Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission), and Joni Watson (Brunner Literacy Center).


The S.W. Smith Memorial Public Library distributed nearly eight hundred free healthy snacks to local children with a grant from Bradford-based McKean County Community Foundation, the Bradford Era reports. In the spring of 2020, the foundation established a COVID-19 Assistance Fund, which enabled the library to distribute the snacks at summer library events and programs such as Star Wars Reads Day, 5K Run/ Walk and Kids Fun Run, Holiday Extravaganza in July, Leap into Science Parts 1-3, Pop-Up Story Hour, Pop-Up SummerQuest, Family Fun Day, Splish Splash Day, Jeffini the Great, and Jim Ronan and the Juice Box Heroes.


The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee in Nashville has announced a first round of grants totaling $200,000 in support of eleven area nonprofits and organizations helping those affected by the deadly flooding in Humphreys, Dickson, Houston, and Hickman counties on August 21. Recipients include the Dickson County Help Center, Salter’s Chapel AME Church, Bethesda Community Mission, and McEwen Church of Christ. 


The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has announced it is conducting the second part of its virtual A Milwaukee for All series about early childhood education on September 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and Sherri Killins Stewart, director of state systems alignment and integration and co-director of state services with the Build Initiative, will join area changemakers and others from the community to learn how to help transform the education system.

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Candid launches ‘U.S. social sector’ dashboard | Philanthropy news

Candid has launched a U.S. Social Sector Dashboard, a free resource designed to “demystify” the sector by providing data on its scope, constraints, and potential.

Developed with funding from Amazon Web Services and Vanguard Charitable, the dashboard offers key data and insights about the makeup and impact of civil society, including previously unreleased statistics on the racial composition of leaders and funding flows to charities. According to the dashboard, the social sector, which employs 12.5 million people, comprises more than 1.81 million nonprofit organizations: 501(c)(3) charitable organizations (80 percent), which include public charities (73 percent) and private or community foundations (7 percent); 501(c)(4) advocacy and social welfare groups (4 percent); 501(c)(6) business associations (4 percent); 501(c)(7) social and recreation clubs (3 percent); labor unions and other 501(c)(5) groups (3 percent); and fraternal societies categorized as 501(c)(8) and 501(c)(10) organizations (2 percent).

According to the dashboard, religious organizations currently make up 18 percent of public charities, followed by those focused on human services (17 percent), community and economic development (15 percent), education (14 percent), sports and recreation (8 percent), arts and culture (7 percent), philanthropy and nonprofit management (7 percent), health (7 percent), and the environment and animal welfare (4 percent). In terms of funding flow, in 2018 public charities received $292 billion in contributions from individuals, $76 billion from foundations, $40 billion from bequests, and $20 billion from corporations; $174 billion in government support; and $1.6 trillion in earned income.

And among reporting nonprofits, 60 percent of CEOs identified as white, 10 percent as Black, 5 percent as Latinx, 3 percent as Asian/AAPI, 1 percent as Native American/Indigenous, 3 percent as multiracial/multiethnic, and 1 percent as additional ethnicities, while 17 percent did not disclose. Among board members, 66 percent were white, 15 percent Black, 7 percent Latinx, 5 percent Asian/AAPI, 1 percent Native American/Indigenous, 2 percent multiracial/multiethnic, and 0.4 percent additional ethnicities, while 4 percent did not disclose.

“Candid exists to get people the information they need about the social sector to do good. Many of our tools focus on one organization, one grant, or one issue at a time; that kind of focus can be critical for decision makers,” said Candid executive vice president Jacob Harold. “This new dashboard builds on that focus by offering a fuller picture of the social sector as a whole. We hope that this tool will help people build a better understanding of the nonprofit and philanthropic ecosystem and its central role in our society.”

(Photo credit: GettyImages/Prostock Studio)

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UW–Madison receives $20 million for Letters & Science building | Philanthropy news

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has announced a $20 million lead gift from brothers and alumni Jeff Levy (’72) and Marv Levy (’68, JD ’71) in support of a new academic building in the College of Letters & Science.

Construction on Irving and Dorothy Levy Hall, named for the parents of Jeff and Marv, is expected to begin in 2023 and be completed in 2025. Once complete, the building will establish a unified home for the Department of History and nine other L&S academic departments, programs, and centers that currently are spread across eight facilities on campus. The five-story building will feature nineteen classrooms as well as a space where students can gather and interact informally with each other and their instructors to maximize collaboration.

The Levy brothers own and operate Phillips Distributing Corporation in Madison. Their commitment was contingent upon the Wisconsin state legislature and governor including the project in the 2021-23 state budget with $60 million in state support, which occurred earlier this year.

“We envision this vital new facility as a highly collaborative and state-of-the-art learning environment for all,” said College of Letters & Science dean Eric Wilcots. “We are immensely grateful to the Levy family for their support of this vision. Our students deserve classroom space that enhances interactive learning and engagement through cutting-edge technology. They also deserve a building that inspires, rather than intimidates. The Levy family’s gift will reverberate through future generations, touching many lives.”

“We are proud to help make this building a reality. We hope it will be a central educational location for the undergraduate experience at UW-Madison,” said Marv Levy. “Our hope is that by honoring our family legacy of charitable giving with this gift, we can offer to future generations some of the opportunity that the UW has provided us.”

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U.S. nonprofit sector uneven in impact and recovery, report finds | Philanthropy news

While nonprofits have contributed significantly to U.S. society and economy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health of the sector is uneven in both impact and recovery, a new report from Independent Sector finds.

Based on aggregated survey and research data from multiple sources in four categories — financial resources, human capital, governance and trust, and public policy and advocacy — the second edition of the Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector (43 pages, PDF) found that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic varied by subsector and organization size, with arts organizations and those that rely on fees for service hit especially hard. Yet, even as 40 percent of nonprofits saw declines in total revenue and all subsectors except social services saw drops in gross output, the sector contributed 5.9 percent of GDP in 2020 — up 0.4 percentage points from 2019. And while 57 percent of nonprofits cut overall expenses, 64 percent suspended services, 44 percent reduced the number of programs or services, and 47 percent reported serving fewer people in 2020, Independent Sector’s Trust in Civil Society survey found that, as of early 2021, 57 percent of surveyed Americans had received nonprofit services and 84 percent expressed confidence in the ability of nonprofits to strengthen American society, up 3 percentage points from 2020.

According to the report, the sector’s advocacy efforts in 2020 helped secure notable federal resources that served as financial lifelines to nonprofits, particularly through the Paycheck Protection Program, payroll tax credits, and temporary universal charitable deduction. In addition, a study by Nonprofit VOTE found that voter engagement efforts helped reach underrepresented communities and narrow participation gaps.

The report outlines recommendations in each category to strengthen the sector, including prioritizing flexible funding, developing a shared understanding of equitable financing, promoting evidence-based practices to close workforce diversity and equity gaps, building capacity of virtual volunteering, improving the quality and depth of metrics for equity and “healthy” governance, improving digital access and literacy, and establishing public policy advocacy as a core competency of nonprofit management and governance.

“We have much to do to build the nation we, as changemakers, dream of becoming,” wrote Independent Sector president and CEO Dan Cardinali in the report’s foreword. “What can galvanize us to greater positive action? It’s that the everlasting human qualities of resilience, kindness, and collaborating for collective progress do not fade easily. They are within our grasp every day, giving all of us hope and confidence. The health of our nation is the sum of the richness and diversity of our members and sectors working together, elevating dignity, honoring our differences, and building for the common good.”

(Photo credit: Los Angeles Regional Food Bank)

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