RE: Philanthropy Blog

After a week of nonviolent protests following the death of Freddie Gray, Baltimore erupted on the evening of Monday April 27. Stores were looted, cars were burned, tear gas hung in the air. On the morning of Tuesday April 28, leaders of the Baltimore Community Foundation gathered to discuss what BCF’s role and response should be, and quickly decided to establish The Fund for Rebuilding Baltimore.

While we wait with great hope for a positive outcome on nationwide marriage equality from the U.S. Supreme Court, we in philanthropy must recognize that when it comes to LGBTQ rights, one favorable court decision or one great television season are not going to address the lingering problems of discrimination, health disparities, poverty, and homelessness that LGBTQ people face.

Jesse Salazar

A few weeks ago, we were happy to join several hundred of our colleagues in San Francisco for Hispanics in Philanthropy’s (HIP) 2015 Conference and HIPGiver Gala. The daylong series of events focused on Latino leadership in the philanthropic sector, as well as exploring the needs and opportunities for investing in the Latino community.

Today, the Council on Foundations is releasing its 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report. The most comprehensive source on national foundation staff composition and compensation, the report provides us with an opportunity for self-reflection about our individual management practices. It also serves as a stark reminder of the demographic changes the country and field are experiencing.

Americans donated an estimated $335 billion to charitable causes, and foundations an estimated $50 billion in 2013 according to Giving USA. These numbers validate President John F. Kennedy’s notion that philanthropy is “a jewel of an American tradition.”

On a busy Monday morning, attorney and community advocate Steve Reyes arrives for his first day on the job. Already there are back-to-back meetings and everyone on staff seems to need a few minutes to talk with him. Steve’s job, directing California Community Foundation’s (CCF) newly-created Our Children Relief Fund, leaves him little time to get settled in.

In summer 2012 I was a brand new Program Officer and wasn’t sure what to expect when I joined a group from the Jewish Funders Network (JFN) on a rural bus tour of eight youth camps in three days. My traveling companions were members and guests of the JFN Disability Peer Network. We were all trying to understand better how well children with disabilities are included in the Jewish camping movement.

For nearly 100 years, the California Community Foundation (CCF) has been defined by the diverse passions of the more than 1,700 donors who share a dream for a better future. CCF’s initiative, Building a Lifetime of Options & Opportunities for Men (BLOOM), exemplifies this passion by addressing some of L.A. County’s toughest challenges by bringing community and financial resources to the table to create possible solutions.

How can we engage older residents while tapping their expertise? In 2006, The New York Community Trust responded to an invitation from Atlantic Philanthropies offering challenge to get people over 60 involved as they improve life for everyone in their communities. Atlantic’s effort, called the Community Experience Partnership, used this tagline: “in the 60s they changed the world, in their 60s they might do it again.”

I love my city of Chicago. One of my prouder moments occurred in 2010 which, to me, witnessed the manifestation of about ten years of outreach, communication, and deepening mutual respect across normative borders. It came out of years of interfaith dialogue and growing friendships.