Strengthening Communities

Where you live shouldn’t determine how far you can go in life. The Opportunity Index is the nation’s first tool to holistically measure opportunity in communities. Connecting multiple economic, educational, and civic factors, the Index is a powerful way for states and counties to track and advance opportunity. The webinar included key highlights and trends from the latest data as well as examples of how leaders from the philanthropy, business and non-profit sectors around the country are using it to drive positive change.

Low-income families typically have few options for emergency cash, forcing many to rely on high-cost payday loans for unexpected financial needs. But these loans, which are disproportionately marketed to low-income and minority communities, lead to repeated cash shortages that drive consumers to take out successive payday loans, trapping them in vicious cycles of debt.

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.”

Philanthropy in San Diego is healthy and growing thanks to community residents from Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, 4SRanch-Del Sur, Rancho Bernardo, Chula Vista, La Jolla and San Ysidro collaborating through pooled philanthropy and a shared vision to build a powerful catalyst for immediate and lasting improvements in their regions.

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”

Youth and young adults are engaging with each other and their communities in many different and new ways that affect their philanthropic activities. Both formal and informal structures to support youth and young adult philanthropy are now emerging, building on the long tradition of youth philanthropy in the community foundation field. Many community philanthropic organizations are working with young people to help them become more engaged with their communities, but are not aware of the innovative work going on in other countries. Identifying the most promising practices can give insight to community foundations and community philanthropic organizations as they look to expand their work with young people.

The Richmond Community Foundation began, in 2002, what was to become its largest community initiative: The Nystrom United Revitalization Effort (NURVE). The Foundation began to convene Richmond, California community residents and stakeholders through focus groups, surveys and planning charrettes to develop a vision for the Nystrom community, considered at the time one of the most violent communities in the United States.