RE: Philanthropy Blog

Personal story is a key element of the Orton Family Foundation's Community Heart & Soul™ method of community development that uses story to illuminate a community's history, priorities, and aspirations, and then distills them in a way that enables residents to drive local decision-making and take action.

Some people are drawn to snow-covered mountain peaks, others to the lush canopies of forests, a meandering river, a shimmering plain. For me it is the call of the sea.

As I've read and watched others' reflections on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's destruction of a great American city, I'm compelled to tell some of my story.

California's historic drought has us talking about access to water — who gets it, where to store it, how much it should cost — for the first time in 50 years. Many of us have taken water for granted and can use much less. At the same time, empty wells and desperate drilling should remind us how vulnerable many households are. Access to water is a human right, even in a drought.

Last week, I got to see philanthropy in action on a great trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan. After just a few days of meeting with philanthropic leaders in Western Michigan, I had new energy, new ideas, and more proof that collaboration is driving the field forward.

In Pennsylvania, we’ve recently seen the failure of our state’s political leadership become a threat to many local nonprofits that provide much-needed assistance to our friends and neighbors. The governor and the state Legislature have not yet agreed on a budget, which has frozen funding for nonprofits that depend on those dollars. Some nonprofits are almost entirely dependent on state funding for their operations. Others operate with little or no state funds. Which organizations will be affected, and how badly they will be affected, will depend in part on how long the impasse in Harrisburg drags on. Nevertheless, in prior budget impasses, the challenges to local communities have been significant. When a state government fails its constituents, it is up to communities to sustain those in need. That’s where community foundations come in.

Kathleen McLaughlin - President Walmart Foundation

With the American Business Act on Climate Pledge, Walmart saw formally supporting it as meeting all five of these tests, and therefore being a prudent decision for our business. It was a natural extension of our decade-long commitment to reduce emissions, and make our business more efficient.

On the Fourth of July, our nation comes together to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy, freedoms our service members, veterans and their families have made possible through their sacrifices.

Impact Investing is a hot topic for foundations, philanthropists and investors alike. And rightfully so. The ability to do good by offering financial support with capital that can be recycled over and over for multiple initiatives and missions is an attractive compliment to traditional grantmaking and other support. Creating the ability to greatly extend community impact, it is no wonder that organizations and individuals are responding to this funding mechanism.

Well, the phrase “Culture of Health” can mean different things to different people. But in general, it means recognizing that health is an essential part of everything we do… And that every [BOG1]person deserves the chance to achieve well-being.