Shut Up About the Clinton Foundation’s Problems for a Minute to Look at Its Programs  – Inside Philanthropy

With all the hype in the media about the Clinton Foundation, we wonder how many Americans actually know what the foundation does—or how many members of the media, for that matter.

Listening to news reports, you’d think the sole purpose of this outfit is to help the Clintons get rich and do favors for their shady friends. And while, to be sure, some of the reports about specific donors have been troubling—and suggest questionable judgment by the Clintons—what’s missing is a broader, more balanced look at how the foundation mobilizes money for good causes and who, in reality, puts up most of that money. (Hint: It’s not dictators looking for favors from the State Department.) While people shouldn’t stop asking hard questions about the foundation, they should pay more attention to its approach and programs.

via Shut Up About the Clinton Foundation’s Problems for a Minute to Look at Its Programs  – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

A New Foundation That Believes in the Power of Play – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

A new foundation is on the scene to help bolster funding for early childhood development. And what do they want little kids to do? Calculus in the cradle? Digital skills training in diapers? SAT prep in kindergarten?

Thankfully, no. The Caplan Foundation for Early Childhood has its priorities straight and knows a few things about how to support our littlest folk, and more academic pressure and testing is not what they are into. Play—physical, emotional, verbal—in early childhood is what this foundation is all about.

via A New Foundation That Believes in the Power of Play – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

How a Cutting Edge Effort to Boost Family Financial Stability is Giving Out $3 Million – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

We’ve been keeping an eye on the Center for Financial Services Innovation, which is backing new ways to promote the financial health of Americans—especially the “underbanked and the underserved, traditionally an overlooked segment of the financial services market.”

A key premise of CFSI’s work is that companies can profitably serve the poor with low-cost financial service products—and help put the bottom-feeding predatory lending industry out of business.

via How a Cutting Edge Effort to Boost Family Financial Stability is Giving Out $3 Million – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Child Sexual Abuse: How Foundations and the Paternos are Funding Prevention – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Well, here we are again. Another child sexual abuse scandal rocks the nation. Josh Duggar, star of 19 and Counting, sexually abused multiple girls as a teenager. His behavior was reported to the police (his police records are now conveniently destroyed) and the whole thing was kept under wraps in the proud state of Arkansas as the family went on to film a “reality show” touting their ultra-squeaky-clean Christian living.

Key takeaway for youth funders: Invest more in sexual abuse prevention here, there, and everywhere. There are still way too many people involved in ignoring, minimizing, and/or covering up these crimes.

Before Josh Duggar, another recent case prompted national discussion and awareness about child sexual abuse—the trial and conviction of Jerry Sandusky. And that one seems to have spurred an increase in funding that is worth looking at.

via Child Sexual Abuse: How Foundations and the Paternos are Funding Prevention – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Some Funders Move Beyond the Culture War Over Family Stability and Poverty – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Not so long ago, the link between family stability and poverty was a highly divisive issue. The right tended to fixate on family breakdown as the main driver of a culture of poverty, while the left stressed the structural factors that limit opportunity. That debate isn’t over by any means, but many progressives have grown increasingly enthusiastic in recent years about anti-poverty efforts that focus on strengthening families and, in particular, the role of fathers.

That’s certainly true in parts of the funding community, and strong foundation support for the Center for Urban Families (CFUF) in Baltimore is a great example. Among other things, CFUF—which describes itself as a “leading voice in the national conversation on responsible fatherhood”—has an initiative called Couples Advancing Together, which seeks to ensure the success of couples with children by focusing both on strengthening relationships and employment assistance. Annie E. Casey is one funder that’s supported such work. And, earlier this year, the Kellogg Foundation swung behind this approach in a big way, a $1.5 million grant to CFUF.

via Some Funders Move Beyond the Culture War Over Family Stability and Poverty – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

With the Ax Starting to Fall at MacArthur, Housing Takes a Hit – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy

On Twitter, lots of folks in the nonprofit sector are passing on the news of the end of MacArthur’s work in studying and building affordable housing. There is very little commentary, yet. It seems like people just don’t know what to say.

The article in the Chicago Tribune—the only article available online about the announcement so far—reads like a grim obituary, sharing the highlights of MacArthur’s investments in housing initiatives, and quoting housing leaders who are already feeling the pain about MacArthur bowing out. Other leaders pay tribute to MacArthur’s housing work and the way in which a lot of big things could not have happened without the foundation’s support.

via With the Ax Starting to Fall at MacArthur, Housing Takes a Hit – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Edna McConnell Clark’s Big Experiment to Mobilize More Capital to Help Kids – Inside Philanthropy

We’ve all heard the complaint: Nonprofits, even some of the great ones, just can’t get to the scale needed to have real impact. And funders, even ones that believe in these nonprofits, too often won’t lift a finger to help organizations really break out.

Well, here’s a story about a funder that set out to break this familiar pattern, and what it learned.

In 2007, the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation (EMCF) launched something called the Growth Capital Aggregation Pilot, which was a collaborative funding effort to mobilize $120 million in capital to “propel the growth of effective nonprofits poised for scale.”

The foundation was taking some big risks. It was taking a risk on the three social service grantees in which it initially made exponential investments. It was also risking its time and money, as it not only rounded up a number of funders to join the effort, but greatly increased its own investments.

via Edna McConnell Clark’s Big Experiment to Mobilize More Capital to Help Kids – Children | Youth | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.