Why is the New York Life Foundation Investing in Young Entrepreneurs? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

The latest news of big foundation funding to create tomorrow’s workforce comes from Virtual Enterprises International (VEI), which is starting a VE Junior Ventures Career Academy for middle schoolers to immerse them in hands-on entrepreneurial and work-based learning experiences. The funding for this expanding effort will come from the New York Life Foundation, which will invest $1 million over four years to support the Academy.

We’ve featured the New York Life Foundation’s work before, particularly its massive support for childhood bereavement—helping children navigate the difficult terrain of loss and the accompanying emotional adjustments. With this new grant, the foundation is more focused on youth educational enhancement rather than emotional support, and this time it is filling a critical niche in the path of young people into productive careers.

via Why is the New York Life Foundation Investing in Young Entrepreneurs? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – 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 So Interesting About Atlantic’s Huge Health Care Give – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

It’s a fascinating time in health care philanthropy, as funders ramp up a sprawling and ambitious push to improve the most dysfunctional health care system in the world.

Over the past year, we’ve covered the pivot of top health care funders away from a historic battle to expand access—now largely won with implementation of Obamacare—to an even tougher challenge: reining in costs while improving care and, more daunting still, boosting the overall health of Americans.

via What’s So Interesting About Atlantic’s Huge Health Care Give – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – 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.

The Funders Who Can Claim Some Credit for the Massive Uptick in ACA Enrollment – Inside Philanthropy

Back in the spring of 2013, when plans for the first enrollment period for ACA were underway, funders were skittish about the public knowing of their support for enrollment efforts, fearing negative backlash from conservative critics. Now, with the White House’s recent announcement that 11.4 million Americans have successfully signed up for Obamacare, funders are more openly acknowledging their support for enrollment efforts.

via The Funders Who Can Claim Some Credit for the Massive Uptick in ACA Enrollment – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

As the Odds Improve, MacArthur and Other Funders Step Up Fight for Criminal Justice Reform – Inside Philanthropy

Criminal justice is one of those areas where funders have been banging their head against a wall for years—working against harsh practices that defy social science research, not to mention common sense.

Now, that blood-stained wall is finally starting to crack, as policy leaders and the public alike wake up to the negative consequences of embroiling so many Americans in the criminal justice system. With the wind finally blowing in the right direction, some foundations are stepping up efforts to make change.

via As the Odds Improve, MacArthur and Other Funders Step Up Fight for Criminal Justice Reform – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Can Gates Break Down the Silos Between Housing and Education? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

Recently, we caught up with Kollin Min, senior program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the Pacific Northwest region. We wanted to find out how his division, and the Gates Foundation as a whole, is working on housing, and how better linking this issue to education could raise student achievement, both in the Pacific Northwest, and possibly, across the nation.

Where did we get the idea that the Gates Foundation is growing more interested in housing nationally? There have been a several signs, including a grant to the DC Council on Large Public Housing Authorities for $150,000 in 2013 and another $50,000 in 2014 for “a national convening on the topic of how housing authorities and public school districts can more effectively partner to improve the educational outcomes for children residing in public housing or receiving federal housing subsidies.”

via Can Gates Break Down the Silos Between Housing and Education? – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.