Posts tagged with "nonprofits"

Senate called on to include $200 billion for charities in relief package

A coalition of nonprofit groups is calling on the U.S. Senate to include a temporary emergency stimulus in its next pandemic relief package. The proposal would unlock $200 billion in charitable funds to assist charities overwhelmed by the pandemic, with updates to the laws governing private foundations and donor-advised funds (DAFs). The proposal would release more of the estimated $1.2 trillion they currently hold by increasing required distributions to 10 percent annually for three years.

“Nonprofits need emergency help right now. Millions of nonprofit jobs have been lost, one-third of them in health care. Up to 120,000 nonprofits are shutting down completely,” said Scott Wallace, co-chair of the Wallace Global Fund, a private foundation that committed to spend 20 percent of its own endowment in 2020. “We urge Congress to enact an Emergency Charity Stimulus to force philanthropies to increase their support for nonprofit organizations – immediately, urgently, and temporarily, to allow time for deployment of a vaccine and economic recovery.” 

“We are collectively facing the most dire moment that many of us have seen in our lifetimes, and it is likely the tip of the iceberg in terms of the challenges that await us as a society and a planet,” said Aileen Getty, founder and president of the Aileen Getty Foundation and granddaughter of billionaire J. Paul Getty.

“While some foundations and donors are stepping up at this moment, others continue to treat the five percent payout as a ceiling not a floor,” said Chuck Collins, director of the Charity Reform Initiative at the Institute for Policy Studies. ““Donors have already taken the tax break for these contributions. Congress needs to raise the bar for those donors who haven’t figured out this is no time to sit on your treasure.”

Led by the Charity Reform Initiative of the Institute for Policy Studies, Patriotic Millionaires, and the Wallace Global Fund, the groups first proposed the idea in May with a letter to Congress. The letter has now been signed by almost 800 philanthropists and leaders of foundations as well as several thousand nonprofit leaders and staff.

The proposal calls for a temporary doubling of private foundation payout from 5 percent to 10 percent for three years and would establish a similar 10 percent payout for donor-advised funds (DAFs) that currently have no mandate.

Researchers at the Institute for Policy Studies estimate these policies would unleash an estimated $200 billion in additional charity funds over three years, with no additional cost to taxpayers. The independent nonprofit sector is part of the front-line response to the pandemic and other natural disasters. The sector employs 12 million workers or more than 10 percent of the private workforce.

Prominent signers of the letter include: Scott Wallace, Wallace Global Fund (PA); Abigail Disney (NY); Aileen Getty, Aileen Getty Foundation (CA), Sara Miller, Miranda Family Fund (NY), Rory Kennedy (CA), Ning Mosberger-Tang (CO); Catherine Gund, George Gund Foundation (NY); Mary Mountcastle, Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation (NC); Anna Fink, Amalgamated Charitable; Ellen Friedman, Compton Fund (CA); Jerry Hirsch, Lodestar Foundation (AZ); Morris Pearl (NY); and Stephen Prince (TN). 

About the Charity Reform Initiative

The Charity Reform Initiative of the Institute for Policy Studies aims to modernize the rules governing philanthropy to increase the flow of resources to the nonprofit independent sector and protect the integrity of the tax system. 

About the Patriotic Millionaires

The Patriotic Millionaires are high-net worth Americans, business leaders, and investors who are united in their concern about the destabilizing concentration of wealth and power in America. The mission of The Patriotic Millionaires organization is to build a more stable, prosperous, and inclusive nation by promoting public policies based on the “first principles” of equal political representation, a guaranteed living wage for all working citizens, and a fair tax system. 

About the Wallace Global Fund

The mission of the Wallace Global Fund is to support people-powered movements to advance democracy and rights and to fight for a healthy planet.

Jewish Community Foundation of LA COVID-19 Relief

By Cassandra Yany

The Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles reported Thursday that its donors have recommended grants of $5.4 million to COVID-19 response and relief programs. These grants come from donor advised funds and family support organizations that are administered by The Foundation.

The Foundation is the largest manager of charitable assets for Los Angeles Jewish philanthropists. According to the institution, Foundation donors have directed a total of 412 grants to 121 nonprofits to date for COVID-19 relief. 

Among the Los Angeles organizations to receive the largest grants from donors are the Mayor’s Fund, The Jewish Federation, Jewish Family Service and Food Forward. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee was a significant national beneficiary, as well.

After the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March, The Foundation created an online COVID-19 Response Hub, where donors could find vetted nonprofit organizations. These included “safety-net” programs that address food, housing and financial insecurity, as well as access to healthcare locally and in Israel. 

“In response to the sudden and most profound crisis of this generation, our family of donors has demonstrated its remarkable capacity for generosity and compassion,” said Foundation President and CEO Martin I. Schotland. “Our donors are selflessly drawing on their charitable funds established with The Foundation at a time it’s needed most – as demand for services surges and nonprofits experience sharp declines in giving.”

The Foundation previously announced that it was redirecting its own institutional grantmaking this year to support COVID-19 programs, approximating $8.5 million— the largest amount ever directed to a single cause. This brings the total amount of grants awarded in response to the pandemic by the institution and its donors to nearly $14 million. These institutional grants include $2.5 million that was directed during the summer to 22 nonprofits that serve Los Angeles, with the remaining $6 million dollars to be awarded later this fall.

About The Jewish Community Foundation

Established in 1954, the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles manages charitable assets of more than $1 billion entrusted to it by over 1,300 families and ranks among the 10 largest Los Angeles foundations. It partners with donors to shape meaningful philanthropic strategies, magnify the impact of their giving, and build enduring charitable legacies. In 2019, The Foundation and its donors distributed more than $129 million in grants to 2,700 nonprofits with programs that span the range of philanthropic giving. Over the past 10 years, it has distributed nearly $1 billion to thousands of nonprofits across a diverse spectrum.

*Food Forward Photo Courtesy of Andrea Sipos

Community service illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE.

Nonprofits in a COVID-19 World: Engaging Stakeholders in Times of Crisis

By Jenny Perez, Executive Director, Herbalife Nutrition Foundation

The ability to quickly adapt to change is a key aspect of running any successful organization. However, in times of crisis, that change can often come quicker than the organization and its stakeholders could imagine. Unfortunately, for nonprofit organizations and their beneficiaries, the COVID-19 global crisis has drastically changed the world. The need in our communities is greater. However, the opportunities for raising much needed funds have been hampered by social restrictions. So how does a nonprofit organization keep their donors engaged in times of crisis?

Communications

Communicating with our stakeholders is an integral part of telling our story. In a normal operating environment, we share with people who know us and those who don’t, who we are and what we do. We explain our challenges and needs, and we celebrate our successes with thanks to donors for their collective support.

But our story, much like the operating environment, has now morphed. We have quickly recognized the need to change how and what we communicate. We understand that donors are being bombarded with information about all the current needs in our society. So rather than get lost in the noise, we are finding a balance of increasing communication without being overwhelming, through impactful storytelling – where donors can clearly see the need and the impact of their donation.  And, we are adjusting the way we raise funds, while continuing to lend support to the organizations that have been a part of our flagship program.

We also understand that there are many who will undoubtedly rise to the occasion, even before we can ask for a helping hand. And for that, we are grateful.

Technology

Our focus at the Herbalife Nutrition Foundation is simple and globally unifying – help bring nutrition to children and families in underserved communities around the globe. So, with donors spread throughout the world, engaging with them can sometimes be a challenge, but that is something we’ve adapted to, and now relish in that global reach.

The challenge we are facing today as a result of COVID-19 is that we are an event-driven organization that raises 90% of funds from events, to one where events have been eliminated. So, since we are limited on the ability to host events and gatherings, and failing our communities is not an option, we must adapt and move forward.

Thanks to technology, we found a way to offer peer-to-peer fundraising tools that allow those who want to help, to create their own fundraisers. Donors can share heartwarming videos about why the cause means so much to them. They can inspire others by snapping photos of their outreach. Without social media, it would be much more difficult to bring a global audience together, to share in our collective work and our reach, helping so many along the way.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

English poet John Donne famously wrote, “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” These words are evident in the way people have come together to support each other in these critical times, and the way organizations have stepped up or partnered with others to lend a hand to those in need.

Our partner organizations around the world are doing amazing work and setting examples of how adaptation in times of crisis can be done right – from changing the way they operate daily, to offering services to more than children. For example, SOS’s Children’s Villages is working to educate and reduce the spread of COVID-19, offering psychosocial support and alternative childcare in developing countries. Other organizations like Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), are helping provide meals to children and families who otherwise would go without, while also working to provide adequate technology to students who are now studying from home.

This is who we are and what we do. We adapt and we overcome. We use technology to help us tell our story. And our story will be shared again and again, helping us not only to raise awareness, but allowing us to collect funds that will make an impact in the lives of children and families, all around the globe.

360 Magazine, Ahmaud Arbery, Politics

Hearst Foundation × American Nonprofits

HEARST FOUNDATIONS ANNOUNCE OVER $50 MILLION IN SPECIAL GRANTS TO AMERICAN NONPROFITS IMPACTED BY PANDEMIC

The Hearst Foundations announced today that they are granting over $50 million in emergency funding to more than 100 U.S. medical, humanitarian and cultural organizations severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made today by William Randolph Hearst III and Virginia Hearst Randt, presidents of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation of California and the Hearst Foundation, Inc. of New York, along with Frank A. Bennack, Jr., chair of the gift committees of the two foundations.

“These grants are in addition to the regular support the two foundations make annually to hundreds of worthy nonprofit organizations. These actions are being taken early in the crisis and in recognition of the critical and immediate need for the funds which are expected to be received by the organizations within the next 10 days.”

About Hearst Foundations

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health and social services. The Hearst Foundations identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. The Hearst Foundation, Inc. was founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1946. In 1949 Hearst established the California Charities Foundations, later renamed The William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Both foundations are guided by the same charitable mission, which reflects the philanthropic interests of their founder. The Hearst Foundations are independent of Hearst corporation. Visit the Hearst Foundations at http://www.hearstfdn.org/.

Bolder Advocacy

Los Angeles City Ethics Commission Makes the Right Move on Nonprofits

Following the announcement this week by the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission that certain nonprofits will not be forced to register as lobbyists under a proposed expansion of city lobbying rules, AFJ ‘s Bolder Advocacy program Director for California, Nona Randois, released the following statement:

“This is great news for smaller charities and for charities that are directly engaged in helping the city’s neediest residents. While more transparency in lobbying is an important goal, it’s equally important that well-intentioned measures aimed at achieving that goal don’t crush the efforts of small nonprofits providing vital services to their communities. Many of those organizations would face enormous obstacles in continuing their work if they were hit with onerous new rules. Bolder Advocacy has worked with a coalition of Los Angeles nonprofits to make the case for exempting certain nonprofits from having to classify themselves as lobbyists, and we hope to see this exemption carried forward in any final version of the rules approved by the City Council.”

As part of a proposed package of lobbying reforms, the Ethics Commission voted to exclude nonprofits with budgets under $2 million, as well as nonprofits that are formed for the purpose of providing food, shelter, and similar services to low-income populations, from having to register as lobbyists and comply with extensive reporting requirements. These organizations will be included as part of the exemption carved out for 501(c)(3) organizations in proposed revisions to the Los Angeles Municipal Lobbying Ordinance.

In a letter to the Ethics Commission, Bolder Advocacy’s Nona Randois and Shyaam Subramanian used the following illustration to explain why key services could be impacted by imposing extensive new requirements on many nonprofits:

“For example, a community-based organization that assists homeless residents may decide not to produce a report outlining the need for more public toilets on Skid Row if it is unsure whether the cost of the report is a lobbying expense, since preparing the report could force the organization to file regular lobbying reports subject to potential civil and criminal penalties for mistakes or late filing. This robs the City of vital input and expertise which otherwise would help the City make decisions that are fair and equitable at a time when so many traditionally disadvantaged groups are being targeted.”

Bolder Advocacy believes that the solution proposed by the Ethics Commission strikes the right balance. The proposal as it is now written avoids a deterrent effect on community-based organizations that advocate on behalf of underrepresented people, but also helps ensure meaningful disclosure of lobbying activities to the public.

Bolder Advocacy promotes active engagement in democratic processes and institutions by giving nonprofits and foundations the confidence to advocate effectively and by protecting their right to do so. Our goal is to demystify and decode advocacy by equipping organizations with knowledge and tools. We help organizations fully understand the rules and become assertive in their right to pursue their policy goals.