5 Questions for...Mark Brewer, President and CEO, Central Florida Foundation

October 19, 2017

In September, with the Houston area still wringing itself out after the historic rains dropped by Hurricane Harvey two weeks earlier, parts of the Caribbean and Florida suffered their own disaster, as Hurricane Irma became the first Category 5 storm on record to hit the Leeward Islands and then moved over much of Florida as a Category 3 storm, causing millions of Floridians to evacuate and leaving the Florida Keys cut off from the mainland.

Recently, PND spoke with Mark Brewer, president and CEO of the Orlando-based Central Florida Foundation, about the relief and recovery efforts in his region and what the foundation is doing to help nonprofits in the area get back to normal.

Philanthropy News Digest: What is the extent of the damage in the region served by CFF?

Mark_Brewer_Central Florida FoundationMark Brewer: Finding the answer to that question has been an evolving process. As I'm sure you know, there are three phases to these events: response, recovery, and rebuilding. In some parts of the region we're still in response mode, in part because of the widespread electrical outages and water-related issues in the counties on the coast. But response and recovery is going to look different here than it does in South Florida and the Caribbean, even though we suffered a large amount of unseen damage.

This morning [September 25], for example, more than a hundred daycare centers didn't open because they suffered damage to their buildings or their employees couldn't get into work. That translates into thousands of people who couldn’t get to work because they didn't have child care. So when you look out at the roads, things look like they're clearing up, the tree branches are being removed. But when you start looking at nonprofits in the region, you see that they're struggling to get back to full strength.

PND: What are the most immediate needs, and how do you think things will unfold over the next several months?

MB: The response phase is wrapping up. Most of the power has been restored, and people are starting to get back into their normal routines. Recovery is about getting back to business as usual. It's not just those daycare centers, it's also about making certain that everyone who cares for people with disabilities, children, and the elderly are back in business and the overall "quality-of-life-system" in the region operates as it’s supposed to. For the rest of 2017, we're going to be moving into recovery and making certain that service providers are operational and have what they need. Then for most of 2018, I think it will be a mix of recovery and rebuilding as it becomes clearer who was able to recover from the storm and who wasn't. Remember, while we're happy to have FEMA on the ground, it can sometimes take months  even years  for FEMA to pay the bills. That means you will see a lot of nonprofits that are stressed in terms of their capacity to help people with things that they've been told they'll be reimbursed for later.

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Deepening Audience Engagement With Long-Form Content

October 18, 2017

Communicating complicated ideas can be a significant challenge for social change organizations trying to reach diverse audiences in a short-attention-span world. But it's something long-form content is particularly well suited for. If your organization publishes research, reports, and other types of long-form content, what strategies can you use to ensure that your content resonates with and engages your target audiences?

Audience-Engagement-bubblesDigital communications and social media have had a tremendous impact on our ability to maintain focus and attention — not just online, but in the real world. Online and offline, we are awash in content that's fragmented and comes at us fast. Distractions are everywhere and, for social change organizations, creating awareness around complex issues can feel like an uphill battle.

But even as short-form platforms like Twitter increasingly shape how issues are framed by the media, recent studies show that when it comes to audience engagement, long-form content performs better than shorter content. So, while we may live in a world dominated by short bursts of commentary, opinion, and insights, long-form content remains a critical (and effective!) format.

While every organization with a message to communicate has to learn how to navigate this dynamic, social change organizations face a bigger challenge. Because when your mission revolves around a complicated issue, is connected to a problem in a far-away place or the distant future, or is just removed from the concerns of everyday life, maintaining audience engagement is inherently more difficult.

Still, it usually boils down to the same question: How can we elevate our issue or cause and engage our target audiences? The time-tested principles used by storytellers since, well, forever are an excellent place to start.

Leveraging Narrative Structure

Whether presented as narrative or as academic research, all long-form content can benefit from the three-act structure of exposition, confrontation, and resolution familiar to professional storytellers. In general, it works like this:

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Best Practices for Implementing New Software

October 16, 2017

Puzzle_cooperation_250If your foundation or charity is thinking about implementing new software, it's essential that it have a well-thought-out technology strategy in place before proceeding. Such a strategy should include a holistic view of the pros and cons of the software under consideration, buy-in from key stakeholders, and a focus on ROI as well as costs.

Of course, any software implementation should be a team effort that has been blessed by leadership and is conducted in real partnership with the software implementer. Settling on a software solution that solves one problem for a single department without thinking through the entire organization's technology needs and ecosystem can lead to more problems than it solves, including:

  • a fatal lack of buy-in from staff and management;
  • technology needs that go unaddressed;
  • duplication of effort; and
  • lack of systems integration.

Selecting a vendor based on a solution's cosmetic features while ignoring the implementer's competence and capacity can also cause problems. And because many foundations and nonprofits are laser-focused on initial costs and frequently ignore longer-term return-on-investment (ROI) calculations, especially when it comes to choosing a firm to implement a solution, organizations often end up with software that is inexpensive but does nothing to drive impact or improve their bottom lines.

Long story short? Software solutions that appear to be inexpensive at first glance can result in significant unaccounted-for costs during the implementation process. Which is why forward-thinking organizations look for solutions that can help them advance their mission and yield a better-than-average return on investment.

Here are five types of software that are useful for foundations and grantmaking charities:

  1. CRM: Provides a holistic view of the constituent experience across the entire organization.
  2. Fundraising: Gives a clear view of performance and yield (including data enrichment services), processes donations, and helps empower your organization's “evangelists” to raise money on your behalf.
  3. Financial: Provides in-depth record keeping and custom reports that allow you to drill down into your finances.
  4. Grants management and impact measurement: Identifies, tracks, and measures the impact of grants and gifts (both cash and in-kind) against concrete outcomes.
  5. Analytics: Is used to harness the power of data and connect with constituents, highlight areas of operational improvement, and generate insights into potential organizational investments.

So how can organizations set themselves up for long-term success once they've chosen one or more of the above solutions? Here are five best software implementation practices:

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Weekend Link Roundup (October 14-15, 2017)

October 15, 2017

California-fire-story7-gty-ml-171012_4x3_992Our weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Arts and Culture

We've always admired Herb Alpert — chart-topping musician, innovative record producer/executive, generous philanthropist — and are happy to pass on the news that his foundation has a brand brand new website.

Economy

"[F]or the first time since World War II, American children have only a 50-50 chance of earning more than their parents" — proof that our "economic system is broken," and why jobs and opportunity are America's most pressing challenge, writes Rockefeller Foundation president Rajiv J. Shah.

Giving

How might tax reform affect charitable giving? On the NPR site, Jonathan Meer, a professor at Texas A&M University and an expert on charitable giving, shares his analysis.

Cash-strapped though they may be, cause-driven millennials are finding ways to support causes and organizations aligned with their passions and concerns. Justin Miller, co-Founder and CEO of CARE for AIDS, a faith-based NGO that provides holistic care to families affected by HIV/AIDS in East Africa, explains.

Grantmaking

On the Center for Effective Philanthropy blog, Anthony Richardson, a program officer at the Nord Family Foundation in Ohio, argues that it is critically important for funders "to listen and be discerning about what may be most helpful — and what may indeed be unintentionally harmful — to organizations doing challenging work on the front lines."

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5 Questions for...Rye Young, Executive Director, Third Wave Fund

October 12, 2017

The Third Wave Fund, an activist fund led by and for women of color and intersex, queer, and trans people under the age of 35, recently launched a pilot effort, the Our Own Power fund, aimed at fostering grassroots organizations in the gender and reproductive justice fields. Rye Young, a trans-activist and executive director of the fund, spoke with PND via email about the importance of representation — the notion that organizations representing vulnerable communities should be led by members of those communities and what nonprofits and foundations can do to boost representation within their organizations and in the sector more generally.

Philanthropy News Digest: What can nonprofits and foundations do to increase self-representation within their organizations?

Rye YoungRye Young: An important first step that many organizations skip is to acknowledge that there is a representation problem in the first place, and to appreciate that this problem does not have an easy fix because it is the result of many factors. There needs to be a conscious effort made to understand how this lack of representation came to be and why it hasn’t been addressed.

Once that understanding has been established, real conversations need to take place focused on why self-representation should be an organizational goal and to determine how far the organization’s leaders are willing to go. For instance, how much funding should be allocated to training? Are those in leadership positions who come from outside the community served by the organization willing to step down from their roles? Can job qualifications be changed or replaced with something more appropriate?

When deciding what steps it can and should take, the organization also must acknowledge the legitimacy of the problem and the many factors behind it. The root causes behind the lack of representation are varied, layered, and deeply embedded within most organizations. So, any decisions arrived at to address the problem must be long-term, and there must be buy-in at all levels of the organization.

PND: Can you give us an example of the kinds of things that result in a lack of representation?

RY: Racism, patriarchy, ageism, ableism — all can result in staff and board members not being members of the community being served, and in turn that can lead to a culture, a set of norms, practices, and values that are reflective of a more privileged or dominant group. And addressing the issue should go beyond changes in leadership or a few key staff; it has to involve a deep examination the organization’s work at every level, from mission and values, to its theory of change, to programs and its human resources policies.

Another example of a root cause could be that your field requires certain types of specialized education, eliminating many eminently qualified candidates and resulting in a small, privileged pool of “qualified” applicants. But there are many drivers. What’s important is that we all do some deep thinking and learning as to what exactly is going on at our own institutions.

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Funding Disability Arts

October 09, 2017

The following post is part of a year-long series ;here on PhilanTopic that addresses major themes related to the center's work: the use of data to understand and address important issues and challenges; the benefits of foundation transparency for donors, nonprofits/NGOs, and the broader public; the emergence of private philanthropy globally; the role of storytelling in conveying the critical work of philanthropy; and what it means, and looks like, to be an effective, high-functioning foundation, nonprofit, or changemaker in the twenty-first century. As always, we welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Fudning for disability artsThe stage has been set for a new and vibrant era of funding for disabled artists and disability arts. A spate of innovative programs — Dance/NYC’s Disability. Dance. Artistry. Fund, Alliance for Artist Communities’ Creative Access Fellowship Program, and the Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship, among others — are putting new dollars into art made by and with disabled people and raising the bar for the broader philanthropic sector.

With CreateNYC, released this summer, the City of New York established the first cultural plan in the United States with disability-specific strategies for expanding cultural access, including a new fund for disabled artists, cultural workers, and audiences. In this and other ways, the city is modeling the kind of leadership that is urgently needed at all levels of government.

Because they embrace disability as a positive artistic and generative force, these efforts are already generating value. They also represent a shift in arts philanthropy, where the exclusion of disabled people is entrenched and where niche disability-specific funds largely have been limited to facility improvements or programs focused on the therapeutic and educational benefits of the arts. And they are demonstrating how, by funding the field of disability arts and its workforce, philanthropy can move the whole creative sector forward — and, by extension, drive social change.

The moment is rife with opportunity. On the one hand, there are opportunities for more expansive disability-specific funds. Indeed, a new generation of disability arts organizations and fiscally sponsored projects is primed for capacity-building investments, and there are critical gaps in funding for disabled artists along the artistic development continuum, from public school classrooms to professional studios and stages.

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Weekend Link Roundup (October 7-8, 2017)

October 08, 2017

Tom-pettyOur weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Disaster Relief

ProPublica, no fan of the Red Cross, sent a team of reporters to Texas to see how the organization performed in the days after Hurricane Harvey swamped Houston and the surrounding region. They found a lot of local officials who were not impressed. And here's the official Red Cross response to the criticism.

Giving

In the Baltimore Sun, Aaron Dorfman, president of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, wonders whether elimination of the estate tax, as the Trump administration has proposed, will result in a decline in charitable giving, especially large gifts. That's what happened the last time the tax was effectively zeroed out, in 2010, a year that saw bequests from estates decline by 37 percent from the previous year ($11.9 billion to $7.49 billion). A year later, after the tax had been reinstated (albeit at a lower level), the dollar value of bequests rose some 92 percent (to $14.36 billion). And in an op-ed in the Argus Leader, Dorfman provides some numbers which suggest that the family farm argument for eliminating the tax is overstated.

Inequality

On the Washington Post's Wonkblog, Tracy Jan shares a set of charts from the Urban Institute that help explain why the wealth gap between white families and everyone else is widenening.

International Affairs/Development

In a welcome development, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, a coalition of disarmament activists, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. Rick Gladstone reports for the New York Times.

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The Secret to Motivating Donors

October 04, 2017

ActNowbuttonWith year-end fundraising season fast approaching, it's easy for development professionals to fall into the trap of focusing on a single project for which their organization really needs funding. Other nonprofit leaders are frantically crafting year-end appeals, checking and re-checking their donor lists, and trying to come up with creative new ways to engage donors.

No surprise, then, that this is the time of year when we're approached by nonprofits who want to know how they can develop a strategy for new donor acquisition and turn their one-time donors into loyal supporters.

The secret, we tell them, lies in connecting donors to the specific and general — in the same appeal.

Let me give you an example. Assume your organization is working to address a really big problem — say, eliminating hunger in the United States. Such a goal, and the language used to articulate it, can be hard for people to process. In our years of testing fundraising appeals, we've found that potential supporters often don’t understand or respond to messages asking them to support such an ambitious goal. Why? It's too big. What's the point of making a donation if you don't believe your donation will make a dent in the problem it's meant to address?

For a lot of nonprofits, a not atypical scenario looks like this:

  1. A donor — let's call her Margaret — receives a direct-mail appeal asking her to support Organization X, which is working to eliminate hunger in the United States: "Won't you help us end hunger?"
  2. Because she's a compassionate person, Margaret is a little overwhelmed. She isn't a celebrity activist or a deep-pocketed philanthropist, and she only has a couple of hundred dollars set aside for charitable giving. So many people in America struggle with hunger and food insecurity — how can her small donation possibly help?
  3. Margaret decides not to make a donation because she doesn't think it will make a difference.

Instead, we counsel our clients to tell the story of one individual who has been helped by their organization, in the belief that it's easier for a donor to grasp the specific rather than the general. Here's what that might look like:

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Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (September 2017)

October 03, 2017

September 2017. A month most of us would like to forget. But while folks in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands were being pounded by Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, our colleagues here at the Foundation Center were doing yeoman's work tracking the hundreds and millions of dollars (more than $300 million at last count) in corporate, foundation, and individual commitments for relief and recovery efforts. For folks interested interested in doing a deeper dive into who gave what, we posted (and regularly updated) some great tables during the month (see below) — as well as great posts by Michael Seltzer, Surina Khan, Tracey Durning, and Chris Kabel (Kresge Foundation), Amy Kenyon (Ford Foundation), and Sharon Z. Roerty (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation). Check it out...and RIP Tom Petty — our hearts are broken.

What have you read/watched/heard lately that got your attention, made you think, or charged you up? Feel free to share in the comments section below. Or drop us a line at mfn@foundationcenter.org.

5 Questions for...Ebony Frelix, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy and Engagement, Salesforce.org

September 28, 2017

The push to ensure that all students receive the high-quality computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education needed to compete in the twenty-first-century economy has been gaining urgency. This week, global Internet companies, foundations, and wealthy individuals announced commitments totaling $300 million in support of K-12 computer science education, including a pledge of $50 million and a million volunteer hours from customer-relationship management software provider Salesforce. That commitment was on top of grants totaling $12.2 million that Salesforce.org, the company's philanthropic arm, had awarded recently to the San Francisco and Oakland Unified School Districts to enhance computer science and STEM education, which included unrestricted funding of $100,000 each to middle school principals.

Earlier this month PND spoke with Ebony Frelix, senior vice president of philanthropy and engagement at Salesforce.org, about the organization's model of giving back 1 percent of equity, product, and employee time; its focus on equality in education; and the importance of expanding access to computer science education for tomorrow's diverse workforce — especially in a sector in which women and people of color are underrepresented.

Ebony_frelixPhilanthropy News Digest: This is the fifth consecutive year that Salesforce.org has provided financial support to schools in San Francisco and the second year it has done so in Oakland. What results are you seeing thus far in terms of enrollment in computer science courses specifically and overall curriculum quality in general?

Ebony Frelix: We know that computer science in general is essential in today's job market and it's imperative that students gain the technical skills they need to be successful in the future. Our goal is to provide opportunities for underrepresented youth in the communities where we live and work to gain exposure and experience in computer science that will help them become college- and career-ready. Ultimately, we believe this will lead to a more talented, skilled, and diverse workforce.

In the San Francisco Unified School District we've given $7 million this year and $21 million in grants to date. Over five years we've seen the enrollment of girls in middle school computer science classes go from nearly two hundred to more than thirty-eight hundred, and of underrepresented student populations from less than one hundred to more than thirty-eight hundred. What that means is that computer science enrollment now mirrors the San Francisco community, with women and underrepresented groups making up nearly half of the students. We also funded twenty-four hundred hours of math content coaching, and we've cut the percentage of students repeating Algebra I in half, from 51 percent to 23 percent, and we hope to see that number continue to drive down. We've also seen a drop in D and F grades in math classes, from 18 percent to 12.6 percent.

In Oakland, we've given $5.2 million this year and $7.7 million in grants to date. We saw an enrollment of nine hundred OUSD middle school students in computer science classes in the first year alone. That was very encouraging, and what was really neat was that those computer science classes are 45 percent females, 38 percent Latinos, and 29 percent African Americans, again closely aligning to the district as a whole. What's even better is that 80 percent of those students received either an A or a B in computer science.

PND: Through the Principal's Innovation Fund (PIF), this year's awards include grants of $100,000 to middle school principals in San Francisco and Oakland. How are principals using those funds?

EF: We like to think that principals are like the CEOs of their schools; they know best how to address the unique needs of their schools. We often hear from principals that failure is not an option, things like "We can't spend money on things that don't work," "We can't take a chance with the district's money." The PIF allows principals to try things and experiment with what works, and then share those learnings with the district. That way we can avoid potentially making a district-wide faux pas with funding or with a program that may not be successful.

We know also that, with a limited budget, principals haven't been able to modernize their schools to align with a twenty-first-century workplace. So if you go into a classroom, they look like they did decades ago — the teacher at the front of the room, the kids sitting in rows, facing the teacher — and that's preventing students from learning in a collaborative workspace. Principals can use the PIF to redesign the classroom, to create a twenty-first-century environment where students are able to learn at standing desks, couches, or pillows; move tables around; have LCD screens all around them. You don't know where the front of the classroom is versus the back of the classroom, because it's flexible. That's a really good way for students to learn, and it also mirrors the workplace they're going to be entering.

In addition, students continue to enter middle school far below grade level, so teachers are faced with having multiple grade levels within one class and having to provide differentiated instruction. Principals are using the PIF to hire additional staff to teach different levels within a multi-tiered computer science curriculum as well as to teach engineering, animation, and robotics courses. And they can implement online personalized learning programs to address the needs of each student and create lesson plans to bring them up to grade level.

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Once and for All: Lead-Free, Healthy Kids

September 26, 2017

Baby_mother_playing_400x300We want all our children to be safe and happy — that's why we have safeguards in place to protect them. Newborns are taken home from the hospital in car seats, kindergarteners must have all their vaccines to enter school, even playground equipment is closely regulated. Yet, despite these investments in their health and safety, children are still at risk in their own homes. While we are closer than ever to eliminating lead in homes, it's still all too prevalent, seeping into the lives of our children through peeling paint, unfiltered water from unsafe pipes, and other sources.

Even though lead poisoning is entirely preventable, 535,000 children under the age of six in the United States are exposed to the dangerous toxin each year through water, paint, soil, and other sources. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "at least four million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead." Lead exposure can lead to learning disabilities, speech delays, attention deficit disorder, reduced motor control and balance, and aggressive behavior. In fact, kids with lead poisoning are seven times as likely to drop out of school than their non-lead-poisoned peers, are six times as likely to become involved in the juvenile justice system, and as adults face increased risks of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, depression, and early mortality.

When the Flint water crisis became international news, it was easy to brush it aside as an anomaly — something that would never happen in your own town. But in 2016 a report by Reuters found three thousand localities across the country where at least 10 percent of children — double the rate of lead poisoning in Flint at the height of the crisis there — had elevated levels of lead in their blood. In some cities, "the rate of elevated [lead] tests over the last decade was 40 to 50 percent." Many of the affected communities are low-income and majority African-American and Latino populations, a sadly unsurprising fact given the stark racial disparities when it comes to addressing lead poisoning. In fact, African-American children are roughly five times more likely and Latino children nearly twice as likely to be poisoned by lead than their white peers.

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Commitments for Mexico Earthquake and Hurricane Maria Relief

September 22, 2017

Following hard on the heels of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Hurricane Maria has wreaked havoc in Puerto Rico, Dominica, and other Caribbean islands, many already devastated by earlier storms, and continues on its path of destruction. In Mexico City and surrounding areas, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake on September 19 — which followed an earlier quake September 7 — has left dozens of buildings completely collapsed and a death toll of 286 and climbing. Pledges from corporations, foundations, public charities, and individuals for relief and recovery efforts are beginning to come in. Here are the commitments of at least $25,000 tracked by our Foundation Center colleagues Andrew Grabois and Grace Sato as of September 22.

For commitments designated for both Harvey and Irma relief, please see our updates to the Harvey relief commitments announced by corporate foundations and corporate giving programs, foundations, public charities, and individuals. For commitments designated specifically for Hurricane Irma relief, see our post here. Please also see Foundation Center's Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy site for Harvey-related grants.

[We're continuing to update the tables as commitments are announced. Please scroll to the bottom of the post for ongoing updates.]

Company-Sponsored Foundations and Corporate Giving Programs

GRANTMAKER TYPE RECIPIENT AMOUNT NOTES
3M Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Multiple Recipients $1,000,000 For Latin American relief for Hurricane Maria, Mexico earthquake
Abbott Fund and Abbott Laboratories Corporate Giving Program Company-Sponsored Foundation, Corporate Giving Program National Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry, Multiple Recipients $2,000,000 For Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands and Mexico earthquake relief; includes $500,000 in cash and nutrition products and medicines
Amgen Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Direct Relief, Unknown Recipient(s) $5,050,000 $50,000 to Direct Relief for Mexico earthquake relief; $3 million for urgent relief and $2 million for long-term relief from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico
Bacardi & Company Limited Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $3,000,000 For communities in Florida, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Mexico impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and Mexico earthquake
CEMEX, S.A.B. de C.V. Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 Value of donated building materials; for Mexico earthquake of 9/7/17
Coach Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Direct Relief $66,000 For Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico and Mexico earthquake relief
Delta Air Lines, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $250,000 For Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Diageo PLC Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For Hurricane Maria relief in the U.S. Virgin Islands
E. & J. Gallo Winery Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $100,000 For Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
Eli Lilly and Company Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $625,000 For Hurricane Maria relief; also medical donations and emergency shipments
EVERTEC, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico
Facebook, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program International Red Cross $1,000,000 Will also waive fees on donations to UNICEF made on its Facebook page for Mexico earthquake relief7
Fundación Metlife México Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Fondo para la Paz $400,000 For earthquake of 9/7/17
Fundación Wal Mart de México Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(S) $2,200,000 For Mexico earthquake relief
Google.org Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(S) $250,000 Employee match for Hurricane Maria relief
Home Depot Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Multiple Recipients $500,000 For Mexican earthquake relief; also product donations from Home Depot Mexico
Honeywell Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Mexico Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (SEDENA) $400,000 Value of donated personal protective equipment for Mexico earthquake relief
Humana Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $250,000 Value of airlifted supplies to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria relief
JetBlue Airways Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For Puerto Rico for Hurricanes Irma and Maria relief
Kaiser Permanente Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program International Medical Corps, CDC Foundation $2,000,000 $1 million each for first responders for Mexico earthquake relief and public health support following hurricanes in Puerto Rico
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $500,000 For Hurricane Maria and Mexico earthquake relief
Major League Baseball Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Habitat for Humanity, Project C.U.R.E., U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Multiple Recipients $1,000,000 For Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico earthquake relief
M & T Bank Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $300,000 to assist victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the earthquake in Mexico
PepsiCo Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Pan American Development Foundation $2,250,000 For Mexican earthquake relief, including earthquake of 9/7/17; for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean
Suntory Holdings Limited Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Mexican Red Cross $200,000 For Mexican earthquake relief
United Air Lines, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipients(s) $50,000 Customer match; for Hurricane Maria relief
UPS Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Mexican Red Cross (earthquake), American Red Cross (Hurricane Maria) $25,000 Value of in-kind donation for Mexico earthquake relief
USANA True Health Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Children's Hunger Fund $50,000 Food, nutrition and other aid for Mexico earthquake relief
Vallarta Supermarkets Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program CENACED $50,000 Customer match; for Mexico earthquake and Hurricane Maria relief
Wal-Mart Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $565,000 For Mexico earthquake relief
Walt Disney Company Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Multiple Recipient(s) $500,000 For Mexico earthquake relief
Wells Fargo & Company Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $250,000 For Mexico earthquake relief
Western Union Foundation and Western Union Company Contributions Program Company-Sponsored Foundation and Corporate Giving Program Save the Children, Unknown Recipient(s) $55,000 Agent match ($10,000); employee match ($25,000) for Mexico earthquake relief
Total: $28,886,000

 

Table 2: Foundations

David Tepper Charitable Foundation Independent Foundation Feeding America $3,000,000 With Appaloosa LP; to help rebuild critical food distribution networks in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas following Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey
Total: $3,000,000

 

Table 3: Public Charities

Direct Relief International Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $100,000 For deployment of emergency medical response personnel and essential medical supplies; for Mexico earthquake of 9/7/17
Knights of Columbus Public Charity International Medical Corps $200,000 $100,000 each for Hurricane Maria relief in Puerto Rico and Mexico earthquake relief
Total: $300,000

 

Table 4: Individuals

Carlos Beltran Individual Fundación Carlos Beltran $1,000,000 For Hurricane Maria relief
Salma Hayek Individual GoFundMe $100,000 For Mexico earthquake relief
Jennifer Lopez Individual Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For Hurricane Maria relief
Ricky Martin Individual Unknown Recipient(s) $100,000 YouCaring campaign; for Hurricane Maria relief
Shawn Mendes Individual GoFundMe campaign $100,000 For Mexico earthquake relief
Mark Zuckerberg Individual Mexican Red Cross $1,000,000 For Mexico earthquake relief; also Facebook waiving fees on donations to UNICEF made through Facebook tools
Total: $3,200,000

 

September 25, 2017

The Amgen Foundation, Inc., which had pledged $50,000 for Mexico earthquake relief efforts, announces commitments totaling $5 million for Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

Carlos Beltrain announces a $1 million commitment for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

Facebook, Inc. Contributions Program announces a $1 million commitment for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Kaiser Permanente Corporate Giving Program announces a $1 million commitment for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

Jennifer Lopez announces a $1 million commitment for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

Ricky Martin announces a $100,000 pledge for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

Shawn Mendes announces a $100,000 pledge for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The United Air Lines, Inc. Contributions Program announces a $50,000 pledge for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

The UPS Corporate Giving Program announces a $50,000 pledge for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Wells Fargo & Company Contributions Program announces a $250,000 commitment for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

Updated total: $22,445,000


September 27, 2017

The Abbott Fund and Abbott Laboratories Corporate Giving Program announce commitments totaling $2,000,000 for Hurricane Maria/Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Coach Foundation, Inc. announces a $66,000 pledge for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Delta Air Lines, Inc. Contributions Program announces a $250,000 pledge for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

The Diageo PLC Contributions Program announces $1,000,000 commitment for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

The E. & J. Gallo Winery Corporate Giving Program announces a $100,000 pledge for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

The EVERTEC, Inc. Contributions Program announces $1,000,000 commitment for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

Google.org announces a $250,000 pledge for Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

The Major League Baseball Corporate Giving Program announces a $1,000,000 commitment for Hurricane Maria/Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Knights of Columbus announces $200,000 pledge for Hurricane Maria/Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Lowe's Companies, Inc. Contributions Program announces a $250,000 pledge for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Major League Baseball Corporate Giving Program announces a $1,000,000 commitment for Hurricane Maria/Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Suntory Holdings Limited Contributions Program announces a $200,000 commitment for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The USANA True Health Foundation announces a $50,000 pledge for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

The Walt Disney Company Contributions Program announces a $500,000 pledge for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.

Updated total: $29,461,000


September 28, 2017

The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation announces a $625,000 pledge for Hurricane Maria relief.

The JetBlue Airways Corporation Contributions Program announces a $1 million contribution in airlifted supplies to Puerto Rico for Hurricane Maria relief.

Kaiser Permanente, which had pledged $1 million in support of Mexico earthquake relief, announces a $1 million commitment for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

The M & T Bank Corporate Giving Program announces a $100,000 pledge for victims of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the earthquake in Mexico.

The David Tepper Charitable Foundation announces a $3 million commitment for relief efforts in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas following Hurricanes Maria, Irma, and Harvey.

Updated total: $35,386,000


SPARCC: Rewriting the Playbook on Equitable Infrastructure Investment

September 21, 2017

Sparcc_for_philantopicThroughout the history of the United States, major public infrastructure investments have spurred economic development and shaped entire regions. From the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 to the completion of the Interstate highway system in 1992, publicly funded infrastructure has played a critical role in the development of our modern economy.  

Yet the story of major infrastructure investments is hardly all positive: Residents of nearly any city in America can point to a large-scale project that displaced and decimated the wealth and social fabric of communities of color, for example. Interstate 81 destroyed the 15th Ward of Syracuse, New York, while Interstate 75 dismantled Detroit's "Black Bottom" neighborhood, home to thousands of people and three hundred and fifty African American-owned businesses. In New York City, mega-projects like the Cross Bronx Expressway put a physical barrier between low-income communities of color and opportunities to earn better livelihoods.  

Major public infrastructure projects can also have harmful impacts on health and climate by increasing our dependence on fossil fuel consumption, increasing CO2 emissions, exacerbating respiratory illnesses like asthma, and inhibiting people's physical activity. And too often, infrastructure investments in walking and cycling amenities, new transit, improved stormwater drainage, broadband, or parks don't reach the people and neighborhoods that need them most.

Mindful of the high stakes of getting infrastructure right, several leading foundations, working in close collaboration with four national partners, have launched the Strong, Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge. SPARCC aims to create opportunities for low-income people and communities of color through strategies that promote equity, better health outcomes, and climate resilience. All three of these goals can be realized by amplifying regional public investments in housing, transit, and other impactful infrastructure so that their benefits can be shared equitably—and by empowering the communities that stand to benefit.  By demonstrating how investments in the built environment can create a path for all of a city's residents to thrive, we aim to rewrite the national playbook for how such projects are designed and implemented in the future.

In this month's edition of the Community Development Investment Review, published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, we describe how the Robert Wood Johnson, Ford, Kresge, and JPB foundations and the California Endowment — along with our implementing partners, the Low Income Investment Fund, Enterprise Community Partners, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco — worked together to develop this ambitious six-site, $90 million initiative. Together, we aim to test a different model for development — one that harnesses a major public investment in infrastructure to prioritize the needs of low-income people for healthy, resilient, and connected communities, rather than cutting people off or displacing them. We hope that SPARCC can point the way toward reversing a series of urban policy and programmatic decisions that kept communities of color out of the decision-making process, and resulted in decades of disinvestment in low-income communities across the nation, fueling enormous disparities in health and economic opportunities between zip codes that are often just a few miles apart.

We designed SPARCC to capitalize on catalytic moments, those rare times in the life of a community when it is ripe for action. While a significant infrastructure initiative (like the buildout of a regional transit system) is often that catalyst, new leadership, population shifts, strong public will, policy overhauls — or even efforts to recover from a natural disaster, like Superstorm Sandy — can also attract a significant pool of private and public capital and accelerate opportunity. SPARCC pursues a multiplier effect in that opportune moment — for example, taking advantage of the buildout of transit to prioritize affordable housing development near transit stops, or ensuring that a major investment in greenways or revitalization offers benefits to low income communities, rather than triggering rising rents and displacement.

After a competitive review process, the SPARCC partners selected six places for SPARCC to support over the next three years: Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Memphis and the San Francisco Bay Area. In that period, each region will be awarded $1 million in direct grant and technical assistance funds to support cross-sector efforts to retool policy and development practice. Collectively, the regions will benefit from an additional $14 million for programmatic support in areas including data systems, policy, and communications. A $70 million pool of investment capital — some from the participating foundations, some leveraged through institutions that finance community development — will also be available for community-based projects.


Recognizing that SPARCC's ambitious goals will require more than a three-year grant period to achieve, we will support cross-sector leaders and accelerate change so that the six regions are equipped to carry out the vision over the long term — and share their learning with communities across the country. We plan to share our own learnings along the way, and invite the engagement of new partners who are also interested in learning how to leverage systems to achieve health, climate and equity goals.

Public infrastructure dollars can and should do much more to promote equitable, resilient, and healthy communities. Our aspiration is that SPARCC will begin to provide a new roadmap, based on the experience of these six regions, that can inform policy and practice in cities across the U.S.

Read our full article here.

Sparcc_compositeChris Kabel is deputy director of health at  the Kresge Foundation, Amy Kenyon is a program officer for equitable development at the Ford Foundation, and Sharon Z. Roerty is a senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Commitments for Hurricane Irma Relief

September 20, 2017

In the nearly two weeks after Hurricane Irma devastated wide swaths of the Caribbean and Florida, corporations, foundations, and public charities have pledged support for relief and recovery efforts. Here are the commitments of at least $25,000 tracked by our Foundation Center colleagues Andrew Grabois and Grace Sato as of September 20.

For commitments designated for both Harvey and Irma relief, please see our updates to the Harvey relief commitments announced by corporate foundations and corporate giving programs, foundations, public charities, and individuals. See also Foundation Center's Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy site for Harvey-related grants. We're also posting commitments designated for Hurricane Maria and the Mexico City earthquake.

[We're continuing to update the tables as commitments are announced. Please scroll to the bottom of the post for ongoing updates.]

Table 1: Company-Sponsored Foundations, Corporate Giving Programs

Grantmaker Type Recipient Amount Notes
Abbvie Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Multiple Recipients $1,000,000 Also employee match
Allergan Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $150,000 $100,000 to American Red Cross for relief efforts in Florida; $50,000 for relief efforts in Caribbean
American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program MusiCares $25,000
Amgen Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Direct Relief, American Kidney Fund $100,000 Also employee match
Amway Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $200,000 Employee match
Anthem Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Americares $75,000 Also employee match
AT&T Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Team Rubicon, Telecoms Sans Frontieres, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,400,000 $1,000,000 to Team Rubicon; $150,000 to Telecoms Sans Frontieres
Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,250,000 $1,000,000 to be allocated when an assessment is completed
BankUnited, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $100,000 For impacted areas of Florida
BB&T Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $500,000 Includes $250,000 in donated supplies
BBVA Compass Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $825,000 $75,000 for employee match
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For relief and recovery efforts in Florida
Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $100,000
Charter Communications, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Rebuilding Together $1,350,000 Includes $1,000,000 in donated public service announcements
Charter Communications, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Rebuilding Together $1,350,000 Includes $1,000,000 in donated public service announcements
Chevron Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program DonorsChoose.org $400,000 For local public school classroom projects in south Florida
Chevron Global Fund Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $600,000 Also employee match
Citi Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $1,000,000
Coach Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Direct Relief $33,000
Coca-Cola Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $1,000,000 Immediate relief and long-term rebuilding
CUNA Mutual Group Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation CUAid $50,000 For affected credit union partners and employees
CVS Health Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Florida Disaster Fund, CVS Health Employee Relief Fund $75,000
Duke Energy Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Volunteer Florida Foundation – Florida Disaster Fund, United Way, Energy Neighbor Fund, local community agencies $1,000,000
eBay Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $100,000 For impacted areas of Gulf Coast
Eli Lilly and Company Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Multiple Recipients $250,000 Also product donations from company
Enterprise Holdings Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Americares $1,000,000 $750,000 to American Red Cross; $250,000 to Americares
EVERTEC, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program United for Puerto Rico – Together Changing Trajectories, Unknown Recipients $150,000 For relief efforts in Puerto Rico; $50,000 for social media match
FedEx Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 Cash and value of transportation support
Fifth Third Bank Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $500,000 $250,000 for employee match
Ford Motor Company Fund Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $150,000 Employee match.
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $500,000 For relief and recovery efforts in Florida and the Caribbean. Also employee match
Google.org Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,250,000 For impacted areas in southeastern United States and Caribbean; $250,000 for employee match
Humana Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $1,000,000 Also employee match
IBM Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Multiple Recipients $1,000,000 Shelter and call center management. Also donations of Cloud and consulting, and technologies for large-scale volunteer management for Government and NGO partners
JPMorgan Chase & Co. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Multiple Recipients $1,000,000 For impacted areas in United States and Caribbean
Kohl's Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $1,000,000 Also employee volunteerism
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 Cash and in-kind donations. Also customer donations
MAXIMUS Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Volunteer Florida $100,000
McKesson Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Americares $185,000 Value of donated product
Mckesson Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $125,000 Employee match
Merck & Co., Inc. Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Hand in Hand Hurricane Relief Fund, Multiple Recipients 1,250,000 Also product donations
Microsoft Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $750,000 Also donation of tech services
New York Life Insurance Company Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Save the Children, Feeding America, UNICEF, NYLIC Family Disaster Assistance Fund $450,000 Also employee match; $100,000 for impacted agents and employees
NextEra Energy Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Florida Disaster Fund $1,000,000 Also employee match
Norfolk Southern Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Feeding Tampa Bay, Feeding South Florida $100,000
Paypal Holdings, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Save the Children $200,000 Also customer donations
PepsiCo Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Feeding America, American Red Cross $1,750,000 For assistance in Florida and the Southeast U.S., Mexico, Caribbean
Prudential Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross $500,000 Also employee match
Royal Bank of Canada Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $300,000 For relief and recovery efforts in Florida and the Caribbean
Scotiabank Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program Canadian Red Cross $500,000 $250,000 for relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean; young people in affected communities
Sealed Air Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program World Food Program USA, American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity $225,000 $100,000 each for emergency aid for the Caribbean and mainland U.S.; $25,000 for employee match; also product donations
StorageMart Partners, L.P. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program GlobalGiving $25,000 Employee match
SunTrust Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $500,000 $250,000 to American Red Cross
Target Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Save the Children, UNICEF, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 Cash and in-kind donations
United Air Lines, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $50,000 Customer match
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For impacted Florida communities. Also employee match
UPS Foundation Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $1,000,000 For recovery efforts in the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Includes cash grants, in-kind transportation movements and technical expertise
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $200,000 Employee match.
Verizon Communications Inc. Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Hand in Hand $2,500,000
VS Health Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $25,000 Value of donated water
Walgreens Corporate Giving Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $200,000 For relief efforts in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Also donating food and water.
Wal-Mart Foundation, Inc. Company-Sponsored Foundation Unknown Recipient(s) $10,000,000 Customer match
Walt Disney Company Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program Multiple Recipients 2,500,000 For Florida, the Caribbean, and other impacted areas
Wells Fargo & Company Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,100,000 $500,000 to American Red Cross; $100,000 for relief and recovery efforts in the Caribbean
Xerox Corporation Contributions Program Corporate Giving Program American Red Cross $75,000 $75,000 for employee match
Total: $50,243,000

 

Table 2: Foundations

Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, Inc. Independent Foundation All Faiths Food Bank, Pines of Sarasota Foundation $374,000 $172,000 for two weeks of food; $202,000 for air conditioning
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc. Independent Foundation Senior Resources Alliance, Feeding South Florida, Feeding Northeast Florida, Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County, Jewish Community Services of South Florida $500,000 For the immediate needs of older adults in areas most affected; for emergency food, water, supplies, and repairs throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties; for crisis case management, including counseling and financial assistance to low-income older adults for home repairs and other needs related to the hurricane
Total: $874,000

 

Table 3: Public Charities

American Kidney Fund, Inc. Public Charity Unknown Recipient(s) $120,000 Emergency disaster relief assistance to 500 dialysis patients
Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Public Charity Unknown Recipient $500,000 For rebuilding school libraries that have been damaged during this year's hurricane season
Our Family Foundation, Inc. Public Charity American Red Cross $250,000 For hardest hit areas in Florida
PetSmart Charities, Inc. Public Charity Miami-Dade Animal Services, Atlanta Humane Society, Unknown Recipient(s) $1,115,000 For animal welfare organizations. Also product donations
Total: $1,985,000


September 22, 2017

The CUNA Mutual Group Foundation announces a $50,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

The MAXIMUS Foundation, Inc. announces a $100,000 commitment for Irma relief efforts.

The New York Life Insurance Company Contributions Program announces a $450,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

The Norfolk Southern Foundation announces a $100,000 commitment for Irma relief efforts.

Updated corporate total: $50,194,000


September 25, 2017

The United Air Lines, Inc. Contributions Program announces a $150,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

The BBVA Compass Corporate Giving Program announces a $825,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

Updated corporate total: $51,069,000


September 27, 2017

The Coach Foundation, Inc. announces a $33,000 pledge for Irma relief efforts.

The Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries announces a $500,000 commitment for Irma relief efforts.

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation announces a $500,000 commitment for Irma relief efforts.

Updated total: $52,102,000


September 28, 2017

The Duke Energy Foundation announces a $1 million commitment for Irma relief efforts.

Updated total: $53,102,000


Disrupting the Traditional K-12 Model

September 19, 2017

Computer_classI remember my fourth grade classroom outside Seattle: rows of plastic desks with uncomfortable chairs that inevitably had old bubble gum stuck to the bottom. My teacher sat at a larger wooden desk in front of a large chalkboard, every inch of which was often covered. I remember hurrying to copy all those math equations and English homework questions into my notebook before they were all erased.

You will not be surprised to hear that my kids' teachers rarely use chalk. Students today will never take notes on paper or have to remember what had been on a long-erased chalkboard. These changes have affected not only the way teachers teach and the way students learn, but also the way classrooms and teaching tools can be designed to optimize teacher effectiveness and student ability.

I've noticed two tremendous opportunities in the disruption of the traditional K-12 model — trends that are helping educators reimagine the classroom and how they teach, and reshaping the student learning experience. The first is the imperative to democratize digital skills; the second is the increasing potential of personalized learning and approaches that put students at the center of education.

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