Cleveland, 100 years later, continues to serve as the focal point of the community foundation world. Since the inception of the idea of a community of people making small gifts to create change on a large scale – to the gathering of over 1,500 people to share ideas about the changing community foundation world – Cleveland has been in the spotlight.
The Council on Foundation’s fall conference for community foundations was a grand statement to the important role community foundations have in “placed-based” giving. And for me, it was a wonderful opportunity to connect with many friends from Ohio’s community foundations and those in our neighboring states, as well.
A gathering of community foundation leaders from Ohio, Michigan and Indiana made it clear that while our communities may be different, the roles of our community foundations are remarkably similar: to discover and understand the differences; to challenge the status quo; and to be the change agent and problem solver each community needs.
Thanks to Suzie Light, executive director of the Kosciusko County Community Foundation in Indiana; Carla Roberts, president & CEO of Fremont Area Community Foundation in Michigan; and Keith Burwell, president and CEO of Ohio’s Toledo Community Foundation; for their panel discussion demonstrating how they play these roles so effectively in their communities.
And kudos to the team from The Cleveland Foundation and other Ohio foundations for their work in making this conference a stellar event, reinforcing the role of Cleveland in this philanthropic movement.
The community foundation field continues to grow, both predictably and in nuanced ways, and Philanthropy Ohio remains committed to serving these needs. We are dedicated to engaging, listening and developing learning opportunities to help all our members become problem solvers. In The Cleveland Foundation video, which won an award at the conference, Frederick Goff (the founder of the Cleveland Foundation in 1914) said that the role of a community foundation is to identify the causes of a problem, like poverty, and then “fix it.”
Each week, we share news about the “fixers” and problem solvers in Ohio in our news digest. [Sign up to receive our news digest.] We love hearing your stories about the meaningful work you do in your communities and your regions. At the end of the day, it’s what we all appreciate… making a difference.
Congratulations to the field of community philanthropy, happy first 100 years!
Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D.
Chief among the data: last year, with more than 37,000 registered nonprofits, 14,010 were large enough – i.e., had gross receipts of $50,000 or more – to be required to file the federal information form 990 that details their finances, programs, donations and governance practices.
The data on these 14,000+ organizations clearly demonstrate the vitality of the sector. Here are just a few of the aggregated figures that caught my eye.
- Had $70 billion in expenditures – roughly 15% of Ohio’s gross domestic product;
- Held $71 billion in assets;
- Made three-quarters of their revenue from services and contracts; and
- Employed more than 487,000 people – the 4th largest employer type – and these employees earned about $20 million in wages – nearly 9% of the state’s total payroll.
A few other interesting data points illustrate how nonprofits are spread across the state. Monroe and Vinton Counties had only 10 each, compared to Franklin County’s 1,966; clearly, some parts of the state remain underserved.
Just as diverse are the different programmatic areas that are the focus of nonprofits: more than 9,000 are religion-related, 5,201 focus on education and only 143 focus on civil rights, social action and advocacy.
These numbers tell only part of the story. They don’t begin to tell the story of the countless people who find jobs, further their education, receive immunizations and are fed, housed and clothed because of dedicated nonprofit employees.
Take a few minutes to read the report and celebrate the strength of the sector.
Claudia Y.W. Herrold
We’ll be presenting our lifetime achievement in Ohio philanthropy award to Denise San Antonio Zeman, who recently retired from leading the Saint Luke’s Foundation for 14 years. During her presidency, she grew the foundation, expanded partnerships and increased local and national advocacy. Under her leadership, the foundation’s grantmaking budget increased from $3 million to $13 million, with further growth expected. Denise also served as co-chair of the Human Services Strategic Restructuring Pilot project, which brought together 18 funders to examine how to support nonprofit organizations in strategic restructuring as they grappled with unprecedented social change, economic challenges and other shifts in their operating environment in 2009. In whatever leadership role Denise played in the greater Cleveland community over the years, she was compassionate, thoughtful, curious and eager to challenge the status quo, advancing philanthropy and we congratulate her as we present her with the 2014 Ohio Philanthropy Award.
Andrea Timan will receive our Emerging Philanthropist Award next week, honoring her six-year tenure on United Way of Greater Cleveland’s Young Leaders Cabinet, the guiding body for programming that unites young professionals around philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy. In serving as the cabinet’s co-chair, she developed and implemented the framework for the Young Leaders Corporate Chapter program in 2013, with 11 corporate chapters currently in place. Andrea’s ability to build targeted partnerships between disparate organizations, engaging individuals and showing leadership in advancing philanthropy make her the ideal and deserving emerging philanthropist. Congratulations, Andrea, on your commitment to leadership in philanthropy so early in your career!
We’re also excited to be honoring Shiloh Turner, vice president of community investment at The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, with our second annual Innovation Award. Shiloh leads a new approach for addressing large challenges, called collective impact, which is a disciplined effort to bring together a cross-sector partnership aligning action around a common agenda to make large-scale community change. She took charge of establishing six backbone organizations core to the community’s success, developing a robust technical assistance program to support them as they lead community collaborations. This new way of working together has resulted in dynamic changes at Cincinnati Public Schools, leveraging investments to improve neighborhoods and establishing a community of practice, thanks to Shiloh’s leadership.
I hope you’ll join me in honoring and congratulating these extraordinary women next week at our Fall Forum.
Claudia Y.W. Herrold
Philanthropy Ohio achieved Charity Navigator’s coveted four-star rating for sound fiscal management and a commitment to accountability and transparency.
A strange phenomenon occurred this summer, and it’s only beginning to show signs of slowing. Its appeal is the combination of grassroots charm and our culture’s love of selfie-based technology. And I’ll bet as a reader of this blog, you have or you know someone who has participated in the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge.
According to the August 29 edition of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, in just a few weeks this sensation has raised more than $100 million for the ALS Association and has generated nearly 1 million new philanthropists to this organization. Compare that with the $19.4 million in total contributions they received last year!
The Ice Bucket Challenge first received media attention at the end of June on the Golf Channel program, Morning Drive, when a live, on-air Ice Bucket Challenge was issued. A few weeks later, television anchor Matt Lauer accepted Greg Norman’s Challenge and was doused with a bucket of ice water on NBC’s The Today Show.
Presidents, CEOs, musicians, actors, athletes and many of your friends and mine have taken the challenge. There’s a really cute video of Kermit the Frog accepting the challenge and one of my daughter and a son-in-law that were so funny. But I digress.
The rules state that within 24 hours of being challenged, participants have to record a video of them in continuous footage. First, they are to announce their acceptance of the challenge, followed by pouring ice into a bucket of water. Then, the bucket is to be lifted and poured over the participant’s head. Then the participant can call out a challenge to other people and the participant should make a donation of $100. Whether that’s always the way it happens is up for debate and the subject of another blog.
But the real question is: “What can we learn from this marvel of selfie technology?” Here’s what I think:
- People will give to a cause they care about if they can identify with it. But the message has got to be short and sweet: Raise money for ALS and get wet.
- It’s got to be fun. Who didn’t laugh as their friends screamed like children when the icy water hit their heads? We really like to laugh and be entertained. According to one researcher, by maintaining an aura of lightheartedness, you allow people to connect with your organization in an authentic way.
- It’s got to be easy. If it was hard to make the donation, or if it involved a stamp or something signed by witnesses, you might still see the videos, but ALS wouldn’t have 1 million new donors and $100 million in the bank.
- It’s got to be quick. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge rules say that the participants only have 24 hours to complete the event in order to challenge others. They’ve realized a simple marketing strategy: give people a deadline and the initiative will become a greater priority. And they used multiple platforms to get the word out. Use social media, it’s really quick!
- Give people an opportunity to feel really good about helping others. This campaign was particularly poignant because no matter the size of the donation, folks felt a shared sense of unity with other people – those famous and rather infamous.
That’s what it’s really about, connecting with others in a meaningful way and feeling good about it.
Suzanne T. Allen, Ph. D.
It’s been a busy few weeks for the 42-member Ohio Standard Coalition, on which Philanthropy Ohio and many of our members serve.
The Coalition has been hard at work clarifying myths and showing support for Ohio’s New Learning Standards, within the Common Core State Standards – in light of proposed H.B. 597.
We had nearly 130 speakers and written testimony submitted showing support for Ohio’s New Learning Standards at the H.B. 597 hearings. Click here to view the testimony.
Beyond the Coalition, community leaders have also backed our position, and last Thursday, the Ohio Standard Coalition held a press conference at the Statehouse where Ohio business leaders expressed their strong support for the standards and opposition to H.B. 597. In addition, a representative from the State University Education Deans spoke about the deans’ opposition to the bill. Check out the website for ongoing coverage and updates.
The next committee hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, September 4, at 10 a.m. at the Ohio Statehouse Room 313. At this hearing we expect amendments to the bill and a possible vote.
Over the last few weeks, there has been amazing outreach, support and engagement from individuals and organizations. This has been a great team effort – exactly why this Coalition was created. I hope we can keep up this level engagement over the next few months because we are not done when the hearings end.
Your dedication to our children is inspiring!
Claudia Y.W. Herrold