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People in the News (03/06/2022): appointments, promotions, obituaries | Philanthropy news



The Kresge Foundation has announced the appointment of ELIZABETH DAVIDSON as a portfolio manager in its Social Investment Practice as a portfolio manager. Davidson will help manage the portfolio of 80 active impact investing transactions and about $340 million in active commitments, including loans, equity, deposits and guarantees. She most recently worked as an associate focused on innovation and growth strategy with Innosight, a Massachusetts-based company. 

The Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH) has announced the appointment of JULIE LOUISE GERBERDING as its CEO, effective May 16. Gerberding joined the FNIH board of directors on March 1. She previously served as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an executive at Merck

The Iowa West Foundation has appointed two new board members to serve three-year terms. TRAVIS CASTLE and JOANIE POORE will serve as rural representatives of southwest Iowa. Castle owns Castle & Associates of American Family Insurance, while Poore is CEO of the Omaha Housing Authority and has served for several years on the foundation’s Healthy Families Advisory Committee. 

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has announced the addition of ROMANITA HAIRSTON as CEO and executive director, effective in July. She previously has served in leadership roles at World Vision, Microsoft, and the Murdock Trust.

The Surdna Foundation has announced the promotions of ALISON CORWIN to program director in the Sustainable Environments department, SARIAN SANKOH to senior program associate in the Thriving Cultures department, and ALYA DAVIS to senior program associate in the Sustainable Environments department. Corwin will oversee a $9.2 million grantmaking portfolio investing in strategies that build power in service of racial justice. Sankoh will work closely with the Thriving Cultures program’s grantee partners to foster the conditions in which artists of color become leaders in the cultivation of a racially just society. And Davis will lead project management and strategic planning for the Sustainable Environments team and serve as data analyst.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has announce the addition of KO BARRETT to its board of trustees. A globally recognized expert on climate policy and a champion for gender equity in science, Barrett currently serves as senior advisor for climate at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and was one of the first women elected to serve as a vice chair for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a role she has held since 2015. 

The Kaplan Educational Foundation has announced that NOLVIA DELGADO will serve as its next executive director, succeeding NANCY LEE SANCHEZ, who will remain to help with the transition before she leaves to become chief operating officer at Phi Theta Kappa International. A Kaplan Leadership Program alumna and first-generation college student, Delgado recently rejoined KEF from global law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where she has been serving as a community engagement specialist. 

Jonas Philanthropies has announced that LENDRI PURCELL and her uncle, JOHN JONAS, will serve as the foundation’s co-presidents. They previously served as co-vice presidents. Purcell is the founder of Families Advocating for Chemical and Toxics Safety, while Jonas is founder and CEO of the Jonas Group, an executive search firm that specializes in retail and wholesale fashion and also oversees Jonas Philanthropies’ vision health initiatives.

Easterseals has announced the selection of KENDRA E. DAVENPORT as its new president and CEO. A longtime nonprofit executive, Davenport has managed several national development and communications portfolios, served as president of a nonprofit serving veterans’ families, and was a philanthropy and communications consultant to several national and international nonprofit organizations. Most recently, Davenport managed multichannel global philanthropy efforts as chief development officer of Operation Smile.

The Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF) has announced the addition of SARAH BRENNAN as an associate director, effective March 11. A leader in climate philanthropy for more than a decade, Brennan has been working on climate issues at Bloomberg Philanthropies since 2019. She will help lead RFF’s Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas.

The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) has announced the selection of SIMON HARFORD as its inaugural CEO. In addition, RAVI VENKATESAN will serve as board chair. With more than 30 years of experience at the intersection of finance, business-building and global development across both emerging and developed markets, Harford most recently served as senior adviser and co-head of the Africa program at Actis, a leading global investor in sustainable energy infrastructure and champion of responsible investing in growth markets. Venkatesan is currently a special representative for young people at UNICEF, serves on the board of the Rockefeller Foundation, and founded the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship.



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One-third of donors directed half their giving to disaster relief | Philanthropy news



Last year, 37 percent of American donors gave half or more of their charitable contributions to disaster relief efforts, and 64 percent gave to a charity they had never supported before, a survey commissioned by Vanguard Charitable finds.

Conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Vanguard Charitable, the survey of more than 1,300 American donors found that the top reasons American donors gave to disaster relief included wanting to assist those impacted by humanitarian crises (46 percent), feeling overwhelmed by a situation and wanting to help (33 percent), seeing charitable giving as the only way they could provide support (30 percent), and having a personal connection to the disaster/crisis (30 percent). The survey found that donors who contributed to disaster relief efforts gave more overall, meaning that disaster relief giving did not take away from, or occur in place of, ongoing giving. 

“From COVID-19 to a devastating humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, we’ve seen donors respond to disaster relief needs in inspiring and meaningful ways,” said Vanguard Charitable president Rebecca Moffett. “In fact, this data reflects that disaster relief support is an integral part of the giving landscape, often increasing total generosity as donors look to give when and where support is needed most. And because the money in donor-advised funds has already been set aside for charitable purposes, donations from DAFs tend to be more responsive in moments of crisis, and more resilient during moments of economic uncertainty.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Drazen Zigic)



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Trust in nonprofits fell slightly last year, survey finds | Philanthropy news



While there is room for U.S. institutions across the board to increase public trust, a majority of respondents believe nonprofits will do what is right for society, a survey conducted by Independent Sector finds. 

Conducted in February in partnership with Edelman Data & Intelligence, the third-annual Trust in Civil Society survey found that 56 percent of Americans said they trust nonprofits, down 3 percentage points from the 2020 benchmark study (59 percent). Trust in philanthropy edged down from 36 percent to 34 percent during the same period. According to the survey, financial well-being and education are major drivers of trust, and trust of nonprofits among women fell during the pandemic.

Given the findings, Independent Sector recommended that nonprofits work to make greater progress to support and strengthen the country, for example by leveraging trust in the social sector to strengthen U.S. democracy, deepening engagement with communities and institutions, and upholding public expectations of government accountability.

“Increasing public trust of institutions and the social sector is a pressing issue for the U.S. We all benefit from strong public trust,” said Independent Sector president and CEO Daniel J. Cardinali. “Trust is the priceless currency for nonprofits, philanthropies, business charity programs, and all of us to build a healthy, equitable society. We see what happens when trust breaks. Our 2022 Independent Sector Trust in Civil Society report elevates important data and recommendations for conversations about how the social sector can engage more deeply and do better so everyone in our country thrives.” 

(Photo credit: Getty Images/SDI Productions)



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Digital, other channels of giving are expanding, study finds | Philanthropy news



Emerging trends in the United Kingdom and Brazil reveal an expansion of digital and other types of channels for giving, including online giving, crowdfunding, charity rounding up, and social impact publishing, a new research series from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI finds.

The research series, Digital for Good: A Global Study on Emerging Ways of Giving, builds on the school’s Global Philanthropy Environment Index and Global Philanthropy Tracker and will be released in phases over the next five months. The first two studies examine philanthropic engagement in Brazil and the UK prior to and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with profiles of China, India, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea to follow.

Based on an analysis of three case studies in Brazil, the first profile found that prominent emerging ways of giving include charity rounding up, crowdfunding, and social impact publishing, which involves the production of inspiring, revenue-producing editorial content. Donations collected through rounding up for charity via Arredondar increased from BRL1,091 in 2013 (equivalent to $590 in 2021, adjusted for inflation) to more than BRL1.6 million in 2020 (equivalent to $330,186 in 2021, adjusted for inflation). In addition, the study found that the most successful initiatives prioritized transparency and accountability in giving.

Based on an online survey of nearly 3,000 individuals in the UK, the profile found that prominent expanded methods of giving include online giving and crowdfunding. Among donors interviewed between May and July 2021, 60 percent reported that gifts they had made in the past year had been made online, with the most common way being through a third-party app. In addition, researchers found that 63 percent of people who used social media to request donations also made requests in person.

“The results of the first two country profiles suggest an evolution in giving practices and highlight a significant expansion of digital giving practices and peer-to-peer giving,” said Amir Pasic, the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “While these findings are the first in a series, the documented growth in digital giving and shifting donor expectations in the UK and in Brazil reinforce existing evidence that digital practices can help democratize the practice of philanthropy. Digital innovation makes philanthropy accessible and fosters greater transparency and accountability for how gifts lead to impact.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images)



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