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18 posts from November 2012

No More Free Rides: Foundations Need to Increase General Operating Support Now

November 02, 2012

(Niki Jagpal is research & policy director, and Kevin Laskowski is research & policy associate at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. Niki and Kevin are authors of "The Philanthropic Landscape," a series of studies that analyzes the most recently available data on the latest giving trends.)

PhilanthropicLandscape-StateofGeneralOperatingSupport-MediumWhenever grantees are asked about the kind of foundation support that would be most helpful to them, general operating support usually tops the list. Unfortunately, the proportion of grant dollars made as general operating support has not moved substantially in a decade. For years, foundations have ignored this much expressed need of nonprofits while simultaneously claiming to be partners with them in change.

This breach of trust is unsustainable. It is time for grantmakers to increase the proportion of grants dollars given as general operating support.

A new analysis by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) finds that foundations collectively gave 16 percent of grant dollars as general operating support from 2008-10, the same percentage as from a previous sample of grants given in 2004-06.

Even during the economic crisis -- when foundations were encouraged to cut the strings on at least some of their restricted grants -- grantmakers as a group simply continued grantmaking as usual.

Despite the convincing case made by NCRP and other organizations such as the Center for Effective Philanthropy, CompassPoint, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, and Independent Sector in favor of core support, data from the Foundation Center consistently demonstrate how foundations overwhelmingly prefer restricted over unrestricted support.

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Donations for Sandy Relief Efforts: Update

November 01, 2012

Sandy-car-floodedAs millions of people remained without power, heat, or water for a third day in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, million-dollar donations and in-kind gifts continued to pour in from corporations and their foundations in support of relief and recovery efforts.

As of Thursday morning, FedEx Corporation had pledged $1.2 million in cash and in-kind transportation to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Heart to Heart International, and Direct Relief International for food, shelter, clothing, medical supplies, hygiene kits, and other assistance for those affected by the storm.

Financial services institutions also continued to step up, with BNY Mellon announcing a commitment of $1 million -- a $500,000 grant and $500,000 to match donations made by its employees -- to the Red Cross, local food banks, and other frontline agencies; Capital One announcing a $1 million commitment, including $200,000 in emergency relief grants, $600,000 for longer-term recovery efforts, and up to $200,000 to match contributions made by customers through its Web site; and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation announcing a commitment of $500,000 over two years to the Red Cross' Disaster Responder Program.

The auto industry also revved up its support for relief and recovery efforts in affected communities, with Toyota ($1 million), Mercedes-Benz USA ($1 million), the Volkswagen of America Foundation ($500,000), and Ford employees and the Ford Motor Company Fund ($50,000) announcing donations to the Red Cross and other nonprofits.

Elsewhere, the Coca-Cola Foundation pledged $1 million in support of relief efforts; PepsiCo announced donations of $500,000 to the Red Cross for its Annual Disaster Giving Program and $250,000 to Feeding America for its annual disaster relief fund; News Corp. announced a donation of $500,000 to the Mayor's Fund to Advance NYC and $500,000 for relief efforts in New Jersey; the Starbucks Foundation announced a donation of $250,000 to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund and $250,000 to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund for longer-term assistance; and the New York Yankees and Sutter Health each pledged $500,000 to the Red Cross.

Other Donations (Updated: 10:30 EST, Friday, November 2)

In-Kind Giving

Sources (click on jump link below)

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Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (October 2012)

Here in Manhattan, things post-Sandy are slooowly getting back to normal. For tens of thousands of people in Queens, Staten Island, and New Jersey, "normal" will never be the same. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who lost loved ones. For everyone else, these were the most popular posts on PhilanTopic in October:

What have you read/watched/listened to lately that you liked?

Quote of the Week

  • "[L]et me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance...."

    — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States

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