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)
Candid launches ‘U.S. social sector’ dashboard | Philanthropy news
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)
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.”
People in the News (10/10/2021): appointments, promotions, obituaries | Philanthropy news
The Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation has announced the appointment of EV BOSQUE to the newly created position of chief financial officer. A CPA with nearly thirty years’ experience as a finance executive, most recently as CFO for EMI Industries, Bosque will be responsible for maintaining the financial integrity of the foundation through the direction of its financial, fund accounting, and investment activities.
The Christensen Fund has announced the appointment of CASEY BOX as director of global strategy, effective October 18 and SHAWN WATTS as director of U.S. strategy, effective January 5, 2022. Box served for eight years as executive director of Land is Life, where he worked to advance Indigenous peoples’ rights; in his new role, he will focus on supporting international organizations, leaders, and movements in recognizing the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. Watts, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and a district court judge for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, previously served as director of the Tribal Law & Government Center, Tribal Judicial Support Clinic, and Mediation Clinic at the Kansas University School of Law.
The Ford Foundation has announced the appointment of CATHERINE CHINEDUM ANIAGOLU-OKOYE as regional director for West Africa. She succeeds the late INNOCENT CHUKWUMA, who served in that role from 2013 to 2021 and helped the foundation establish partnerships with donors, civil society, and public- and private-sector leaders in the region, and DABESAKI MAC-IKEMENJIMA, who served as interim regional director from January to September while continuing in his primary role as program officer. Aniagolu-Okoye most recently served as the country director of Technoserve; prior to that, she served as the country director for WaterAid in Nigeria, where she provided grants to civil society organizations advocating for improved access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services and strengthening civil society networks.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has announced the election of J. TOMILSON HILL as board chair, succeeding WILLIAM L. MACK, who has served for sixteen years in that position. Hill joined the board in 2019 and is a founding member of the Guggenheim International Director’s Council; in 2019, he and his wife, Janine, opened the New York City-based Hill Art Foundation, a public exhibition and education space. The foundation also elected poet, playwright, essayist, and New York University professor of creative writing CLAUDIA RANKINE to its board.
The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona, has named TOM EGAN as its executive director, effective October 18. Egan brings more than twenty years of nonprofit executive experience to the role, most recently as president and CEO of the Foundation for Senior Living. He previously held leadership positions with Catholic Charities Communities Services and Esperanca.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has announced the appointment of ROSA MARIA CASTAÑEDA as the inaugural director of its Racial Justice Initiative, a ten-year, $150 million commitment announced last year. Castañeda currently is a senior program officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she leads a body of work in the foundation’s Center for Economic Opportunity and, prior to that, worked at research and policy analysis organizations including the Urban Institute, the Center for Law and Social Policy, and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. In her new role, which Castañeda will take up in late November, she will develop and manage the grantmaking strategy for the initiative under the leadership of chief of equity and culture Charmaine Mercer.
The Rippel Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey, has announced the appointment of two executive vice presidents: ALAN LIEBER and REBECCA PAYNE. Lieber is former president of Overlook Medical Center, part of Atlantic Health System; he was instrumental in establishing numerous regional and national clinical centers of excellence and helped launch and served on the boards of two accountable care organizations. Payne has spent the last twenty years in leadership roles in federal government, including with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; she most recently spearheaded an effort among twenty-six agencies and civil society partners to develop a vision and strategy for the equitable long-term recovery and resilience of social, behavioral, and community health.
350.org has announced that ANNE SCHROEER has joined the environmental organization as fundraising director. In her new role, she will oversee global fundraising and help diversify funding into more countries to advance the organization’s mission of stopping all new coal, oil, and gas projects and building a renewable energy future for all. Schroeer previously led Oceana’ global campaign to curb plastics and, prior to that, was responsible for Oceana’s fundraising from foundations and major donors in Europe.
Fidelity Charitable has announced the appointment of JACOB PRUITT as president, effective October 18. Pruitt previously served as vice president and head of T. Rowe Price Charitable, where he led the firm’s charitable giving strategy and donor-advised fund program. He succeeds PAMELA NORLEY, who is retiring after five years leading Fidelity Charitable and more than twenty years in various leadership roles across Fidelity Investments.
The Marshall Project has announced that founder NEIL BARSKY is stepping down as the nonprofit news organization’s board chair after seven years. He will remain an advisor to the organization he founded in 2015 to “elevate the criminal justice issue to one of national urgency, and to help spark a national conversation about reform.” Heising-Simons Foundation co-founder and chair LIZ SIMONS will succeed Barsky as board chair. The Marshall Project also announced the election of three new board members: MICHELE ROBERTS, executive director of the National Basketball Players Association; CARTER STEWART, executive vice president for programs at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and Tow Foundation president EMILY TOW.
The National Gallery of Art has announced the election of former PepsiCo chair and CEO INDRA K. NOOYI to its board; the retirement of SHARON PERCY ROCKEFELLER, a policy maker and former president and CEO of WETA, as board chair; and philanthropist and Carlyle Group co-founder DAVID M. RUBENSTEIN as its new board chair. Rockefeller, who has served as chair since 2013, will become trustee emeritus.
The Urban Institute has named MYRA JONES-TAYLOR as its first chief policy impact officer, effective April 2022. In this newly created position, she will lead the institution’s policy impact strategy, working with experts and analysts to help maximize the impact of their research and evidence-based recommendations, while helping tell the story of how their work changes lives and strengthens communities. Currently the chief policy officer at ZERO TO THREE, Jones-Taylor leads the organization’s federal and state policy and advocacy work; she previously served as Connecticut’s founding commissioner of early childhood.
The USC Shoah Foundation ̶ The Institute for Visual History and Education has announced that executive director STEPHEN D. SMITH will step down at the end of 2021 after twelve years at the helm. While Smith will take a position in the private sector, he will continue to serve the foundation as executive director emeritus and pursue research and publish within Holocaust and genocide studies at USC as a visiting professor of religion. During his tenure, Smith led the effort to bring ten different genocide experiences into the Visual History Archive — the world’s largest collection of testimonies from the Holocaust — restoring dignity to those communities by putting a permanent spotlight on their stories. KORI STREET will serve as Andrew J. and Erna Finci Viterbi interim executive director chair.
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