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.

What’s Behind These Surprisingly Big Grants to Boost Small Businesses?  – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

President Obama has talked a lot in the past year or two about “middle-out” economics—the idea that prosperity is driven not by a few job creators at the top, but by building a thriving middle class. Historically, a robust small business sector has been one key to such broad prosperity, and philanthropic efforts in this area have lately gained steam. Still, there’s not a huge number of funders focusing here in a big way, and many that do are from the business world and see a win-win in boosting mobility while expanding their customer base.

One funder in this space, as we’ve reported before, is Sam’s Club and the Sam’s Club Giving Program. Now it’s stepping things up, recently announcing the Small Business Economic Mobility initiative, a five-year investment in small business growth through increased access to capital and financial skills education. The move was unveiled during National Small Business Week.

via What’s Behind These Surprisingly Big Grants to Boost Small Businesses?  – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

May the Best Study Win: Will More Funding for Evidence-Based Policy Make a Difference? – Inside Philanthropy

If you want to change public policy in the United States, you’ll eventually find your way to the influential world of Washington think tanks. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF), one of the most aggressive foundations seeking to move big ideas, has been investing in Beltway policy shops for a while now. Earliest this year, in its biggest such give yet, the foundation made an $8.4 million grant to the Urban Institute to help develop its Pay for Success work. Now Arnold is taking things a step further: It’s setting up its own wonk operation in the nation’s capital.

via May the Best Study Win: Will More Funding for Evidence-Based Policy Make a Difference? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

A Look at the Arnold Foundation’s Big Bet on Social Innovation Financing – Think Tanks | Research | Grants – Inside Philanthropy

Three big multi-year grants went out from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation starting in 2014 to investigate and support “Social Innovation Financing.” And this is just part of the picture of what the Arnolds are doing to fund Pay for Success (PFS) initiatives. What is going on with this new trend?

via A Look at the Arnold Foundation’s Big Bet on Social Innovation Financing – Think Tanks | Research | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

What’s J.K. Rowling Doing to Help Vulnerable Kids Avoid Institutional Care? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

It appears that Harry Potter books bring the power of “Lumos” to the world in more ways than one. While research suggests that young people who read the Harry Potter books are more tolerant and compassionate, and while the books have sprouted a millennial-style fandom nonprofit called the Harry Potter Alliance, the greatest contribution to human progress may be coming directly from the author, J.K. Rowling, and her profound understanding of the disservice that institutionalization does to children—and how we need to move away from it as a model to address emotional, behavioral, and social problems.

Rowling recently came to New York to announce the start of Lumos USA, the new U.S.-based outpost of the nonprofit she founded in 2005. The goal of Lumos is to redirect the care of disadvantaged children away from group homes and orphanages, and find more ways to support them, and their families, in the community. Its target is the 8 million children worldwide who are cared for in institutions.

via What’s J.K. Rowling Doing to Help Vulnerable Kids Avoid Institutional Care? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

What’s this National Collaborative Doing to Enhance Workforce Development? – Workforce Grants – Inside Philanthropy

Since the Great Recession, a slew of new workforce development efforts have launched all across the country, but how much do the different programs know about each other, and how can proven strategies be effectively replicated?

The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is on the case. This Boston-based fund is a group with a long list of big-name foundations working to improve career advancement for low-wage workers. By engaging employers in more than 30 communities across the U.S., the National Fund develops employer-led industry partnerships that guide educational and training investments. This is the kind of employer-employee matching that makes for strong, long-term employment prospects, and a more stable economy for the region.

via What’s this National Collaborative Doing to Enhance Workforce Development? – Workforce | Labor | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

Seven Cities Compete for $3 Million to Drive Innovation and Create Jobs – Workforce Grants – Inside Philanthropy

May 19th is going to be a very big day for three of the seven cities competing for urban renewal dollars from Living Cities and the Citi Foundation. Three cities will find out on May 19th that they are the winners, cashing in on a $3 million jackpot to help drive innovation and workforce development in their hometowns.

Seven U.S. cities have made it to the final round of the Living Cities City Accelerator—Albuquerque, Atlanta, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans and Seattle—from which three cities will be chosen for the investment of $3 million dollars from Living Cities and the Citi Foundation to adopt innovative city plans to support low-income populations.

via Seven Cities Compete for $3 Million to Drive Innovation and Create Jobs – Workforce | Labor | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.