November 2, 2012, 5:24 pm
In a new analysis of grants by more than 1,400 foundations, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy found that multiyear grants to charities dropped by $2.2-billion, or 32 percent, from 2008 to 2010.
Multiyear grants peaked in 2008 at a total of $6.9-billion. But in 2009, they declined by 21 percent, to $5.5-billion. They dropped again in 2010 to $4.7-billion.
When the nation’s largest grant maker, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is excluded from the analysis, the 2009 decrease is even bigger—33 percent. That year, the Gates foundation gave away $2.9-billion in multiyear grants—more than half of the overall total.
In multiyear grant making, Gates is unusual indeed: Over all, 90 percent of foundations in the study did not report or make any multiyear grants from 2004 to 2010.
“Clearly multiyear grants are difficult for nonprofits to find,” the…
October 29, 2012, 10:56 am
In an effort to educate lawmakers about health issues, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation last week announced that it has appointed David Colby as its first vice president for public policy.
Mr. Colby currently leads the foundation’s research and evaluation work. He spent nine years in federal government before joining Robert Wood Johnson.
“David’s experience in both the federal government and academic sectors make him uniquely qualified to lead our representation on important matters of public policy,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the philanthropy’s president, in a statement. “He will significantly enhance our presence in Washington.”
Mr. Colby will split his time between Washington and the foundation’s headquarters in New Jersey. His responsibilities will include sharing with politicians the foundation’s research on health care, in an effort to influence how government…
October 22, 2012, 4:49 pm
Mr. Speirn has led the organization since 2006. He said in a letter that he does not plan to retire but will instead continue to focus on ways to help vulnerable children and families.
“He’s had a lot of accomplishments here, a lot to be proud of, and I think he likes the idea of going out on the top of his game,” said Joanne Krell, vice president for communications, in an e-mail. Mr. Speirn will be 65 at the time of his departure.
In a statement, Rod Gillum, Kellogg’s board chair, said Mr. Speirn had strengthened the foundation’s work aiding needy families by “creating new systems that provide better, more affordable food, higher-quality education options, and clear paths out of multigenerational poverty.”
The foundation also made explicit long-term …
October 16, 2012, 4:12 pm
Saudi Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel says she wants to use philanthropy to bridge cultural divides and prevent violence like the recent attacks on U.S. embassies sparked by an anti-Islam video.
In New York last month for former President Bill Clinton’s annual philanthropy summit, the princess spoke about her ambitions for the Alwaleed Bin Talal Foundations, where she serves as secretary general. The philanthropies are financed by her husband, Prince Alwaleed, a multibillionaire and nephew of the Saudi king. They give away at least $70-million a year in 70 countries, she said.
With $2-million in initial financing, she is starting a project called Opt4Unity, which she describes as an “uncommon table” of nonprofit leaders, business executives, and philanthropists who can …
October 15, 2012, 10:00 am
The fate of the charitable deduction worried many of the donors, grant makers, and nonprofit experts gathered in Palm Beach, Fla., on Thursday for the opening of the Philanthropy Roundtable’s annual conference.
Loss of the deduction would be so devastating to philanthropy, said one legal expert, that she urged donors and other nonprofit advocates to push to amend the Constitution or the federal tax code so that a donor’s gross income would be reduced by the amount he or she contributes to charity.
“Stop calling it a deduction and start calling it an incentive,” said Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who advises nonprofits, corporations, and political candidates and campaigns. “If you give money to charity, it should not be defined as income.”
Sandra Swirski, head of the Alliance for Charitable Reform, a coalition of foundations and donors, said she feared reductions in the a…
October 10, 2012, 11:35 am
The Ford Foundation announced Wednesday that it will commit $25-million over five years to end marriages for girls under age 18.
About 10 million girls worldwide are married off at a young age, often before they turn 15, the foundation said. Young brides are at higher risk of dropping out of school and suffering complications from pregnancy.
“Our ability to tackle the central issues affecting women and families in developing countries—from reproductive health and education to ending poverty and increasing opportunity—begins with the end of child marriage,” Luis Ubiñas, Ford’s president, said in a statement.
The new commitment expands on Ford’s two years of work with Girls Not Brides, a coalition of more than 100 nonprofits trying to call attention to the issue. The foundation last year pledged l $3-million.
Grantees to date have included Child in Need Institute, in India;…
October 10, 2012, 9:31 am
Fifteen of the country’s biggest philanthropies have agreed to release information on their grants in a consistent, timely way, the Foundation Center said Tuesday.
Known as the “Reporting Commitment,” the project is the latest attempt by the Foundation Center to encourage openness on the part of philanthropies.
The 15 foundations will provide their grant-making data to the Foundation Center on at least a quarterly basis. Some will release that information daily.
The grants data will be shared on the Foundation Center’s Web site in an open format so it can be independently sorted and analyzed. An interactive map of the data aims to provide viewers with a sense of the geographic reach of U.S. foundations.
Bradford Smith, the Foundation Center’s president, wrote in a blog post that philanthropy is playing catch up.
“In a world where value is being created exponentially by…
October 5, 2012, 8:43 am
A billionaire businessman is helping charities that protect voter rights raise money just ahead of their busy Election Day efforts.
William Louis-Dreyfus said in an advertisement in the online and print editions of Tuesday’s New York Times that he would provide $1-million to help charities that are trying to challenge new state laws that limit access to the polls for those who lack identification.
Mr. Louis-Dreyfus, who amassed a fortune estimated at more than $3-billion in the global commodities business, called on other wealthy people to join him in the effort and directed donors to the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University.
Mr. Louis-Dreyfus, a supporter of President Obama and other Democratic candidates, says he became concerned after hearing news reports that the laws might restrict voting among students, minorities, and people with disabilities—groups that …
October 2, 2012, 9:47 am
Grant makers are channeling more money to projects explicitly designed to help black men and boys, but those dollars make up a tiny share of overall giving, according to a new study.
The study, Where Do We Go From Here? Philanthropic Support for Black Men and Boys, was financed by the Open Society Foundations, which last year pledged $30-million to a New York City program dedicated to improving opportunities for black males. The report was based on Foundation Center data and a separate survey of 50 grant makers.
Among the study’s findings:
- Foundation dollars explicitly designated to aid black men and boys rose from $22-million in 2008 to $29-million in 2010. That was about 0.1 percent of total foundation giving.
- Education was the main focus of those dollars, receiving 40 percent of total giving.
- Most foundation money to benefit African-American males (87 percent) was…
October 1, 2012, 5:55 am
Maurice Lim Miller, founder of a nonprofit that’s trying to reshape social services for low-income people, is one of 23 people to receive a “genius” grant this year from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
For the past decade, Mr. Lim Miller has led the Family Independence Initiative, which The Chronicle profiled in 2010. Until recently, the group, which eschews professional case workers in favor of direct cash awards to poor people, has struggled to win foundation support.
“It’s a game changer,” Mr. Lim Miller said of the MacArthur Fellows award. “We’ve been kind of swimming against the current for 10 years. We have the data. I know it works. But our work is counterintuitive. This kind of credibility will, I think, get people who are skeptical to really stop and think about some of the core pieces that are essential to do this work.”…