The timing of the November 12 session, “A Look Forward on Tax Reform,” during the Public Policy Action Institute at Independent Sector’s annual conference could not have been more critical. It provided an important opportunity for attendees to get a clear sense of the urgency and potential impact our sector faces as the Obama Administration and Congress consider caps on the charitable deduction. Make no mistake: Political leaders have made it clear that addressing the “fiscal cliff,” deficit reduction, and tax reform means philanthropic incentives such as the charitable deduction are not sacrosanct.
Two years ago, Endeavor Foundation’s board of directors challenged staff to think beyond providing fund services and facilitated grantmaking by expanding our mission. Through a strategic planning process, we determined Endeavor should be a long-term advocate for Northwest Arkansas. Many refer to that as “community leadership.” Many in our region of 500,000 believe we’ve already had plenty of good leadership to build on, and we agree.
This year, Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) is celebrating its 10th anniversary operating as a community foundation serving “Indian Country”—generally defined as the land and communities within American Indian reservation boundaries as well as off-reservation trust lands. Since 2002, ILTF has invested nearly $20 million in grants and programs that support efforts to return control and management of Indian land to Indian people.
I first started working in the community foundation field more than 15 years ago. It goes without saying that I’m a big fan. I believe in this democratic model of philanthropy where the collective power of many creates powerful change. I’m also a fan because most community foundations understand that our work is constantly changing and adjusting to new needs. We cannot stand still. Indeed, the model of community foundation 15 years ago was vastly different than the one I see across the country now. The difference is the greater clarity about our leadership, and about our place-based expertise and connection. Community Foundation Week makes me reflect on that leadership.
This past January, awards season wasn’t just in Hollywood. In west-central Minnesota, West Central Initiative (WCI) awarded a share of $75,000 to 15 of its component funds for successfully meeting WCI’s 25th Anniversary Endowment Challenge.
The city of Charleston, W.Va., is embarking on a new beginning as it molds a revolutionary program for young professionals: Early Dynamic Guided Engagement (EDGE). The three-year program offers recent college graduates the opportunity to live in the heart of downtown Charleston for a subsidized cost while they participate in charitable activities, meet current leaders and community dynamos, and learn about our city’s assets, conditions, and challenges. Further, local businesses and EDGE sponsors can use the program as a recruiting tool to attract smart, new professionals to our city.
Yesterday, Americans cast their vote for the future course of our nation. Many of our fellow citizens affected by Hurricane Sandy endured much more difficulty than normal in voting, some using flashlights to see their ballots. Their resolve and resiliency is a tribute to the American spirit and reminds us all of our freedom to express our voice at the polls. But just as voting is a core characteristic of our national persona, our choice to give time, talent, and treasure is also firmly rooted in our heritage.
Hurricane Sandy has once again brought disasters—and the desire to help—to the forefront. Media attention has been critical to the nation’s preparedness efforts and in bringing immediate relief to affected communities. But lives will be impacted long after the storm has passed and media attention has faded. This is where private philanthropy can do its best work. It is critically important to long-term recovery because of its flexibility, ability to be forward thinking in every funding area, and capacity to complement public dollars.
Have you ever had to present a large amount of data to time-crunched colleagues? Instead of using tables or spreadsheets, think about using an infographic to tell your story. An infographic is a visual representation of data or information. Instead of making your audience do lots of reading or comb through tables full of numbers, an infographic helps you get your point across efficiently and in a visually pleasing way.
Telluride, Colo., a picturesque historical mining town perched just below 9,000 feet in the San Juan Mountains, has a rich history of innovation, invention, and reinvention. The well-known collaboration between LL Nunn, Nikola Telsa, and George Westinghouse in 1891 forever changed the delivery of energy. The mining era transformed the region into an economic engine that produced hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and employed thousands. And the 1970s and 1980s brought about the region’s transformation into a world-class skiing and tourism destination.