Seeing a New Opening, Annie E. Casey Is Pushing Hard on Poverty and Opportunity – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is named after a widow who struggled to raise her four children as a single mother. One of her children, Jim, founded UPS and became wealthy—while never forgetting where he came from. For decades, the Annie E. Casey Foundation—now with assets of some $3 billion—has been a premier grantmaker focused on the well-being of children and families. Inevitably, these issues have taken the foundation deep into the realm of public policy, and since the mid-1990s, it has led a broad push to reduce poverty and expand opportunity for low-income communities.

As Casey’s director of policy reform and advocacy, Michael Laracy has been near the center of that push for 21 years. He advances the foundation’s efforts to inform, guide and influence public policy at the state and federal levels. He also takes care of the foundation’s KIDS COUNT network and State Priorities Partnership (previously called the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative, or SFAI).

via Seeing a New Opening, Annie E. Casey Is Pushing Hard on Poverty and Opportunity – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

These Donors Dig Dads: How Fatherhood is Getting Attention From Philanthropy – Inside Philanthropy

There’s lots happening in philanthropy these days around fatherhood, and with Father’s Day just around the corner, we figured it was a good time to survey some of more innovative and promising fatherhood-fostering initiatives out there.

But first, a quick review of where we are in time on the role of fathers. Those of us who were fortunate enough to benefit from a positive fathering relationship understand the massive value of this. But having a nurturing and involved father was not always the norm, and in different times in America’s history, father involvement in the family has come in and out of fashion. Fathers in Colonial times were more involved with children since religious beliefs dictated that work and home duties be closely aligned, whereas 19th century industrialization required men to work away from home and resulted in women being relegated as sole caretakers of the home and children as well as “dependents” on the husband as “provider.”

via These Donors Dig Dads: How Fatherhood is Getting Attention From Philanthropy – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Voices That “Need to be Heard.” Inside OSF’s Global Work with Marginalized Groups – Inside Philanthropy

In the United States, discussion of marginalized groups often revolves around terms like discrimination, rights, and integration. Elsewhere in the world, though, the focus is more on inclusion versus exclusion—which, arguably, is a more comprehensive and useful frame.

A commitment to battling exclusion is core to the Open Society Foundations, which has offices in over 30 countries and partners in dozens more. By now, the OSF story is the stuff of legend—how George Soros, the philosopher hedge fund king, used his market winnings to help bring down communism and went on to bankroll a global network of local foundations to advance the ideals of open society, making sure “no one has a monopoly on the truth” and no groups are consigned to the margins.

via Voices That “Need to be Heard.” Inside OSF’s Global Work with Marginalized Groups – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Still in the Dark: Why Philanthropy Remains a Black Box — Inside Philanthropy

When I started Inside Philanthropy 18 months ago, I was certainly interested in the age-old questions about transparency and accountability in the sector, but I can’t say I was preoccupied with them. To me, the most exciting stories are about how funders are trying to solve big problems, often in new ways. I still think that, and IP tries to tell those stories every day at a moment when more cool funders are doing more cool things than ever.

Over time, though, I’ve become ever more frustrated by just how hard it is to gauge what philanthropists are doing or who in this sector is having the most impact.

Compared to earlier times, I know the sector is doing a better job of assessing itself. And I know that more answers are now available to certain questions, like how grantees perceive funders, what kinds of collaborations are most successful, how best to evaluate grants, and so on. All that’s a good thing, and the pioneers of that work—like the Center for Effective Philanthropy—have moved the ball forward in impressive ways.

via Still in the Dark: Why Philanthropy Remains a Black Box – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

Who Will Watch the Charities? by David Callahan NYTimes.com

LAST week federal authorities disclosed that four cancer charities had bilked tens of millions of dollars from donors. Questions continue to surface about the lack of transparency at the Clinton Foundation. Philanthropy, we’re learning, is a world with too much secrecy and too little oversight. Despite its increasing role in American society, from education to the arts to the media, perhaps no sector is less accountable to outsiders.

The charitable sector is a bit like the Wild West — by design. Foundations have long been granted expansive freedom, on the view that the diversity of America’s civil society is one of the country’s signature strengths, as Alexis de Tocqueville famously said, and that government shouldn’t mess with this magic. Both political parties have been content to impose a minimum of rules on philanthropy.

via Who Will Watch the Charities? – NYTimes.com.

“Philanthropy Needs to Go Where Government Won’t.” A Funder Looks Out for Sex Workers – Inside Philanthropy

The health and safety of sex workers: It’s not an issue most of us tend to think about every day, but it’s yet another example of how marginalized populations are often left out of essential public policy discussions on subjects like health care, housing, education, and workforce development.

That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to jump on the phone with some leaders in the field of health and safety for sex workers to find out what philanthropy is doing, and what philanthropy could do, about this segment of our community. We talked with Scott Campbell, executive director of the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF), and Crystal DeBoise, co-director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center, to learn more about what is going on for sex workers, and what philanthropy can do to bring this issue in from the margins.

via “Philanthropy Needs to Go Where Government Won’t.” A Funder Looks Out for Sex Workers – Inside Philanthropy: Fundraising Intelligence – Inside Philanthropy.

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.