What’s Sam’s Club Doing for Workforce Development? – Workforce | Labor | Grants – Inside Philanthropy

It’s a win-win. Retail suppliers like Sam’s Club that invest in small business development are not only helping the economy, they are creating more customers for themselves. With $700,000 in gift cards and training, Sam’s Club is working this double win by sponsoring a contest for a second year to build and mentor small businesses.

Sam’s Club recently announced 102 winners of the American Small Business Championship. With two winners in every state and the District of Columbia, these businesses will receive a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, an all-expenses-paid trip to a training event, SCORE mentoring for one year, and promotion throughout the year to showcase each Champion’s story.

via What’s Sam’s Club Doing for Workforce Development? – Workforce | Labor | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

Why is the Blackstone Foundation Funding Social Enterprise in Rhode Island? – Workforce Development – Inside Philanthropy

Memo to development officers: It’s always good to have a U.S. Senator in your corner. Case in point: $200,000 in funding for two nonprofits in Rhode Island doing workforce development.

Through the Blackstone Foundation’s Innovation Grants Initiative, the Founders League and the Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) were selected to receive funding to support startups located in Rhode Island. Blackstone gave out $3 million in gifts this year to organizations around the country doing work to improve local economies and support business activity. Now in its third year, the Blackstone Innovation Grants program is a big piece of the foundation’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship in the U.S. and abroad.

via Why is the Blackstone Foundation Funding Social Enterprise in Rhode Island? – Workforce | Labor | Grants – Inside Philanthropy.

Bon Jovi is an Affordable Housing Funder. Who Knew? – Housing – Inside Philanthropy

For longtime rock star Jon Bon Jovi, both creative juice and philanthropic prowess seem to be flowing quite readily these days. While Bon Jovi reports spending many daytime hours in the studio working on a new album, he is also winning awards for his philanthropic efforts, particularly for his foundation’s work with distressed communities and affordable housing.

Besides squeezing out The Boss as New Jersey’s top rocker, Jon Bon Jovi is squeezing in a lot of time for his charitable work. His foundation, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation (formerly the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation) is a non-profit organization doing work all over the country to help poor and middle class families fight the tide of inequality.

via Bon Jovi is an Affordable Housing Funder. Who Knew? – Housing – Inside Philanthropy.

Behind Knight’s City Awards: A Vision of Urban Renewal Driven by Three Key Ingredients – Inside Philanthropy

What does it take to create a vibrant city with lots of opportunity? Well, in an earlier times, people might have cited a big anchor business or port facility or prime tourist attraction. But after years of thinking and research about urban renewal, the answers have gotten more nuanced and complex.

A city has got to attract talented people—like those creatives we always hear about—but not in a way that pushes out the working class that actually makes things go. Developing a cutting edge industry can be a boon, but cities also need to nurture ladders of opportunity that lead upward from low-wage service jobs. You want engaged citizens, yes, but too much NIMBYism can make it hard to undertake big projects.

It’s not easy distilling the secret sauce of urban vitality, but the Knight Foundation is making an effort with its Knight Cities Challenge, which just announced 32 winners to divvy up $5 million in funding from the foundation.

via Behind Knight’s City Awards: A Vision of Urban Renewal Driven by Three Key Ingredients – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse: Republican Budget Unfair and Unreal

From the Whitehouse press office:

Washington, DC – Early this morning, the U.S. Senate voted to approve the Republican budget resolution by a vote of 52-46. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Budget Committee, released the statement below regarding the vote:

“I voted against the Republican budget proposal because it calls for severe cuts that would dramatically harm Rhode Islanders while protecting every single tax loophole for the rich and powerful. It would slash Medicaid and food stamps, undermine the promise of Pell Grants for students, and repeal provisions of the Affordable Care Act that have helped over 16 million Americans get affordable health care coverage. And yet it would preserve hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate tax giveaways, like incentives for shipping American jobs overseas and reincorporating in a foreign country, and special breaks for coal, oil, and gas companies. That’s why it has to rely on accounting gimmicks to achieve balance within ten years. It’s simply an unfair and unreal document.”

Whitehouse: Tax the Billionaires and Save Social Security

From the Whitehouse Press Office:
Senators Offering Amendment to Protect Social Security in Budget

Washington, DC – As the Senate continues debating the Republican budget proposal this week, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) will offer an amendment to guard against potential efforts to cut Social Security benefits. The Democratic amendment would establish as “not in order” any budget proposals that would reduce Social Security benefits, increase the retirement age, or privatize Social Security.

Senator Whitehouse will speak on the Senate floor at approximately 4:00 p.m. to call up this amendment. Please tune in on C-Span 2 or online. The amendment was filed by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), in addition to Whitehouse.

“Social Security benefits are a solemn promise that our seniors have earned over a lifetime of work,” said Whitehouse. “Sadly, Republicans have made it their mission for decades to dismantle that promise, attempting to turn it over to Wall Street and cut benefits through misguided ideas like the so-called ‘chained-CPI.’ Our amendment would protect Social Security from these kinds of right-wing attacks and ensure that seniors can continue to count on the benefits they have earned.”

“Social Security is the most successful government program in our nation’s history. Through good times and bad, Social Security has paid out every benefit owed to every eligible American,” Sanders said. “The most effective way to strengthen Social Security for the future is to eliminate the cap on the payroll tax on all income above $250,000 so millionaires and billionaires pay the same share as everyone else.”

The amendment could come up for a vote on the floor as early as this afternoon or tomorrow.

Social Security is projected to remain fully solvent through 2033 and is not driving our current budget deficits. Senator Whitehouse has long argued that it has no place in short-term budget debates, and supports a long-term solution that would make the program solvent for future generations by asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share into the system.

The Arnold Foundation is Betting Big On Pay for Success – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

It’s hard to think of a funder that is more obsessed with finding breakthrough solutions than the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. One day, it’s laying out big bucks to find alternatives to expensive college textbooks, and the next day, it’s forging a left-right coalition to reform criminal justice policies.

Its big move last week? Pumping $8.4 million into a major initiative at the Urban Institute to advance Pay for Success (PFS), which aims to reward successful programs in the social sector. The investment will pay for a variety of technical resources aimed at bolstering and evaluating PFS projects, with an eye toward upping the game of all the players involved in PFS: government, service providers, evaluators, and funders. Tools developed by the Urban Institute will help to structure deals, determine which projects are most effective and cost-efficient, and set benchmarks for success.

via The Arnold Foundation is Betting Big On Pay for Success – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.