Monthly Archives: December 2012
December 19, 2012, 9:16 am
“Elite” nonprofits like arts institutions and colleges tend to benefit more from corporate giving than do social-welfare charities, according to a study published in the journal Organization Science.
The higher the concentration of corporate headquarters in a city, the faster the growth of local nonprofits, the study found. But the impact was greater on nonprofits that enrich the culture or higher learning of a community than on groups that aim to alleviate social problems.
The study examined the influence of locally headquartered corporations in 100 U.S. cities from 1987 to 2002.
“Corporations are vessels for aggregating resources,” Gerald Davis, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and a co-author of the study, said in a written statement announcing the study’s publication. “We find that across every major American city, the resources of the…
December 17, 2012, 8:26 am
The Council on Foundations, an organization that represents many of the nation’s biggest grant makers, has eliminated 19 positions in the last two months, part of a “redesign” its president says will enable the organization to better serve its members.
In an interview, Vikki Spruill, who has led the association since July, said the change was driven by a need to work differently, not a decision to cut certain services or programs. The council, she said, would focus on better anticipating the needs of member foundations and would be creating up to a dozen positions next year that fit that new approach.
“It’s a different business model, and we need different skills and competencies to support a new business model,” she said.
The organization, Ms. Spruill said, would also aim to be less “hierarchical.” As an example, she said the council eliminated its chief operating officer…
December 14, 2012, 8:18 am
The Funding Exchange, a 33-year-old organization that helped to pioneer social-justice giving, announced this week that it is ceasing operations.
Financial woes stemming from declining investment earnings from the group’s donor-advised funds led to the decision, said Casey Cook, executive director of the Bread and Roses Community Fund and chairman of the Funding Exchange’s board.
“Ultimately the board had to make the very difficult decision to cease operations at this time in order to be able to honor our existing commitments,” she said. “The board acted on its fiduciary responsibility not to operate in a deficit.”
In addition to its donor-advised funds, the Funding Exchange held an endowment of roughly $12-million that supported the 16 member foundations that made up the collaborative. The board has yet to decide what exactly will happen to the endowment, but it will continue…
December 12, 2012, 9:15 am
Foundation jobs are often viewed as the most-desirable positions in the nonprofit world, but a new study finds they do not guarantee happiness.
Employees at the nation’s grant makers rated their job satisfaction an average of 5.3 out of 7, according to a study based on a survey of more than 1,000 people conducted by the Center for Effective Philanthropy.
Employees are far more likely to express satisfaction with their jobs if they feel they are respected, their ideas are valued, and they can use their skills and creativity to make a positive difference, according to the study. Those factors were more important than pay or workload, the study says.
To encourage a feeling of “empowerment” among employees, the study recommends, foundation leaders should clearly communicate goals, conduct employee reviews that are fair and helpful, and give workers the sense that they are valued.
December 5, 2012, 9:53 am
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has selected a longtime board member, Tom McDonnell, to serve as its new chief executive, the grant maker said today.
Mr. McDonnell is a business leader who is retiring this year after nearly 40 years as chief executive of DST Systems, a technology company in Kansas City. He has served on the Kauffman foundation board since 2003 and as its chairman since 2006.
Mr. McDonnell succeeds Carl Schramm, who led Kauffman from 2002 until last year.
Mr. McDonnell said in a statement that he was “honored” to serve as the foundation’s leader. “Our important work in education and entrepreneurship has made an impact both around the globe and in our hometown of Kansas City,” he said.
His nonprofit affiliations include serving as chairman of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the Kansas City United Way Campaign.