RE: Philanthropy Blog

The second a disaster strikes, it is a terrible situation; something you cannot imagine. The next few minutes, hours, days, and weeks could be worse. The good news is, with the right collaborative team in place, they can be better.

Columbus, Indiana is a town of 46,000 best known for being the worldwide headquarters of Cummins Inc. and according to the Smithsonian Magazine a “veritable museum of modern architecture”

Immediately after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, people feared a tsunami might be triggered on the San Mateo County coast, a beautiful area south of San Francisco that includes numerous small towns, rural farmland and redwood forests. Fortunately, a tsunami did not materialize. But a warning was issued and the community sprang into action – with many people later reporting that they were confused about what to do, where to go, and how real the danger was. Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s board of directors commissioned a study of this community response.

Before “gift” was a verb, it was a noun – and in Indiana it was GIFT, an all-caps philanthropic initiative of Lilly Endowment Inc. to help Indiana communities build and strengthen a network of community foundations.

As we celebrate and ponder a century of Community Foundation impact in our society, the convergence of community and climate is increasingly relevant. In just a few days, EGA, the Council on Foundations, and Funders Network for Smart Growth are bringing together community foundations who have led the field in incorporating sustainable communities and resilience into their work with leaders in climate science to have more dialogue on how environment, communities and community foundations connect and need to connect as we face increasing challenges to our neighborhood and world.

100 years. A lot happens in 100 years. Just take a moment to imagine life in 1914. An unprecedented World War was just starting. The Great Depression, the Civil Rights movement, and personal computers were still in the future. Even the science fiction of the time couldn’t predict the world of 2014.

Fifteen years ago, a dedicated group of Appalachian Ohio’s leaders recognized a significant gap in their region. Appalachian Ohio was woefully undercapitalized in philanthropic resources, making it harder for the region’s communities to address challenges and pursue opportunities. The philanthropy gap was standing in the way of community and regional progress so, leaders from across the region created the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO).

A few years back, leaders in Des Moines, Iowa, faced a common dilemma. While there was no shortage of people and organizations working to better the community, there was little alignment or master planning to coordinate the efforts.

“It goes without saying that increased technology has allowed us not only to stay in operation but to thrive and therefore to continue to meet the needs of children and families.”

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.