A free roundup of the most important news, opinion, tools, and resources of the week. Delivered every Saturday.
From: Stacy Palmer
Subject: Anti-Asian Violence, Foundation Shifts to Racial Equity, Fundraising Grows
The rampage in Atlanta that left six women of Asian descent dead this week prompted renewed calls to action for philanthropy.
Patricia Eng and Erik Stegman took to the Chronicle’s pages immediately after the shootings to urge “philanthropy to do a lot more to curb the rising violence and hatred by using the power of its voice and its grant dollars.”
Eng and Stegman both represent associations of grant makers: Eng’s focuses on the needs of Asian Americans and Stegman’s on Native Americans. Both say they are a part of groups that are painfully invisible in the world of philanthropy — and that’s a danger to the nation.
“A truly inclusive democracy demands that we meaningfully support these rich and diverse cultures,” they write, “especially when some seek violence against them. “
Here’s What Else You Need to Know
- How a family foundation is shifting its mission and operations to better embrace racial equity. Alex Daniels goes inside the Satterberg Foundation to learn how it has been adapting its mission and operations to better meet its ambitions to advance Black and Indigeneous-led groups. C’Ardiss Gardner Gleser, the first person of color hired by the foundation back in 2016, says the staff is trying to show trustees that they can work as partners with grantees and should loosen their group on the grant-making decision process. “They are really getting used to the idea that we can blow all of this up,” says Gardner Gleser. Still, she says, trustees don’t always find it easy, especially when grantees point out that they wield power simply because they inherited a fortune, not because they have direct experience in aiding people of color.
- Buoyed by small donors, fundraising grew by more than 10 percent last year. A new study by the Fundraising Effectiveness Project found that charitable giving grew 10.6 percent in 2020, driven by increased need during the Covid-19 pandemic. Small donors were especially generous, writes Eden Stiffman. Gifts of less than $250 grew by 15.3 percent over 2019, according to new data from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project, she notes. One reason for the rise in small gifts could be Congress’s decision a year ago to let everyone take charitable deductions, not just people who itemize. “It’s striking that on December 31, there was a 28 percent increase of $300 gifts, which is exactly the maximum amount a donor can take using the universal charitable deduction,” says Jon Biedermann, chair of the Fundraising Effectiveness Project. Big donors are still essential for most groups nonetheless. Turn to Maria Di Mento’s latest Ask the Expert column for tips on how to approach them as social-distancing rules are easing in some places — but not all donors feel comfortable meeting in person.
- The Jessie Ball duPont Foundation had an unusual and effective response to the pandemic: It helped its grantees increase the sophistication of their digital fundraising skills so they could raise what they needed effectively and efficiently. Mari Kuraishi, head of the fund, knew that without access to in-person events and donor meetings, many groups would need to rely more than ever on online gifts but weren’t prepared to do so. “It became increasingly clear that we needed to help them shift wholesale into a digital environment,” she says. “If they didn’t have social-media experience, if they didn’t have digital fundraising, it was a ‘you’re-going-out-of-business’ type of situation.”
We hope you have a chance to read and recharge this weekend. We also hope you’ll share articles you find helpful with your colleagues. Everyone has access to a select number of articles with a simple email signup. Let us know what else we can do to help you and everyone at your organization thrive.
Government and RevenueThe goal of the measure is to prevent job losses at thousands of nonprofits as demand for services rises but budgets are strained.
Finance and RevenueCompanies donated or pledged about $8.2 billion of the $12 billion in total contributions that were earmarked for racial equity since the police killing of George Floyd.
Work and CareersThe $2 billion philanthropy said the new chief operating role is designed to accelerate the organization’s work, especially its focus on equity and economic inclusion.
OpinionThe nation’s multiple crises have left small-nonprofit fundraisers stressed and exhausted. They are more likely to stick around if they can connect with informal networks of like-minded professionals.
OpinionEven with growing optimism for the economy and the health crisis spurred by vaccines, charities and foundations must keep looking at a range of possibilities for how society rebounds. Here’s our latest research about what to keep in mind.
Gender and PhilanthropyOlder couples and households with children under the age of 18 are more likely to make giving decisions together, according to a new report. A man is more likely to make giving decisions alone in younger couples and in more religious couples.
Grants RoundupAlso, the J.P. Fletcher Foundation has given $25.5 million to Boston Children’s Hospital for a neuroscience center, and Google.org has pledged $25 million to its new Impact Challenge for Women and Girls.
OpinionCalls for more government help fail to recognize who is actually doing the hard work during this time of extreme crisis — the local groups that know their communities best and can respond quickly.
TransitionsAlso, a lawyer from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation is joining the Obama Foundation, and the leader of the Seattle Foundation is stepping down.
What We’re Reading Elsewhere
Here are some of the articles that attracted our attention in the past week. We provide these summaries every day in our free Philanthropy Today newsletter. (Sign up now)
The nation’s homeless population grew last year for the fourth year in a row, reaching “devastating” levels even before the pandemic took hold. “We know the pandemic has only made the homelessness crisis worse,” said Marcia Fudge, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A count in January of 2020 found that more than 106,000 children were homeless, mostly in shelters or transitional housing, although nearly 11,000 were living outside. Thirty-nine percent of homeless people were Black, and 23 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino. (NPR)
Former first lady Michelle Obama is spearheading an effort to help families struggling with hunger make nutritious meals. Pass the Love w/ Waffles + Mochi, which grew out of Obama’s Netflix show for children about healthy eating, will work with the nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America to distribute 1 million meal boxes to families, starting in cities with the highest rates of child poverty. Walmart and Blue Apron will support the effort by making donations of their own and encouraging their customers to contribute. (Associated Press)
The Jesuit conference of priests has pledged to raise $100 million to atone for its slave-holding past. The order used slaves to build its early American institutions, including Georgetown University, and it relied on slave sales to fund its operations. Most notoriously, the order sold 272 people to save Georgetown from financial collapse in 1838. The new fund, which was set up in partnership with a group of descendants of the order’s enslaved people, will be parceled out to groups working on racial-reconciliation projects and to the descendants as scholarships and educational grants or as aid for those who are old or infirm. Georgetown aims to raise $400,000 a year for the effort. (New York Times)
Plus: See a Chronicle oped about the role of colleges and foundations in reparations.
New Grant Opportunities
Your Chronicle subscription includes free access to GrantStation’s database of grant opportunities. Among the latest listings:
- Community planning. Community Heart & Soul is a resident-driven process that engages the entire population of a town in identifying what they love most about their community, what future they want for it, and how to achieve it. Startup funding of $10,000 goes to resident-driven groups in small cities and towns and requires a $10,000 cash match from the participating municipality or a partnering organization. Applying organizations must be from communities with populations of 2,500 to 30,000. Applications that are submitted by the last day of the month will be considered the following month. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all grants have been awarded.
- Youth violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeks to address multiple forms of violence impacting adolescents and young adults, particularly in communities with high rates of violence. The program requires recipients to address multiple forms of violence, develop or enhance a jurisdictional violence-prevention strategic plan, develop and implement an evaluation plan, develop a sustainability plan, and participate in a multi-sector coalition. In addition, this funding will address risk factors such as social determinants of health (e.g., concentrated poverty, limited educational and employment opportunities) and racial inequity. The application deadline is May 1.