Posts filed under ‘OGF News’
After a six month national search, the board of trustees of Philanthropy Ohio (formerly Ohio Grantmakers Forum), the leading statewide network of philanthropy, has named Suzanne Allen, Ph.D., as its president, effective January 1, 2013. Dr. Allen succeeds George E. Espy, who is retiring after ten years as the organization’s leader.
Philanthropy Ohio continues the work of Ohio Grantmakers Forum, which has represented Ohio’s foundation community since 1984 and now encompasses all forms of philanthropy in the state. Its members voted in November to change the name to Philanthropy Ohio to more accurately reflect its broadening mission. Dr. Allen will be the third president of the organization.
Since 2007, Dr. Allen has been with the Akron Community Foundation, where she is Vice President of Development and Donor Services. Prior to her time at the Akron Community Foundation, she held leadership, teaching and senior development positions with several institutions of higher learning, including the University of Akron, Walsh University and Kent State University. During her career, Dr. Allen has also acted as a private consultant, serving clients in the nonprofit and academic sectors.
Gordon Wean, Chairman of the Board of Philanthropy Ohio, said that more than 50 candidates applied for the position of president during the process that culminated in the selection of Dr. Allen. “We wanted someone who could build upon the important achievements in recent years, in addition to leading the continuation of the important transition underway at Philanthropy Ohio,” said Wean. “We are thrilled that Suzanne Allen brings a wealth of experience in philanthropy in the state of Ohio, which will be a tremendous benefit to our members and the sector.”
Philanthropy Ohio’s mission is to represent the interests of the sector and enhance the ability of members to fulfill their charitable goals. Its members include private, community and corporate foundations and contributions programs, grantmaking public charities, individual donors, federated funds, giving circles and grantmaking governmental agencies.
OGF members took the final step in implementing our new strategic plan when they voted unanimously to change the organization’s name from Ohio Grantmakers Forum to Philanthropy Ohio, as of January 1, 2013. Members adopted the new name during their annual meeting, held in conjunction with the annual conference in Cleveland, on November 15.
The new name reflects the board’s decision to become the leading voice and resource for all types of Ohio philanthropy, opening membership beyond our historic foundations and corporate giving program membership categories. Membership is now open to individuals, federated funds, giving circles and government agencies, expanding the opportunities to network and collaborate to improve communities across the state.
The few hundred people attending the conference’s closing lunch saw the new logo during a celebration of Ohio philanthropy that included a wonderful video produced by The Columbus Foundation. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch it: it shows the many faces of Ohio philanthropy, its diversity and strength, its passion and commitment.
OGF’s Board of Trustees presented George Espy with an Ohio Philanthropy Award last week, during the closing lunch at the annual conference. George, who is retiring at the end of the year, had no idea he would be a recipient, joining Annie and John Glenn as this year’s award winners.
Who would have thought that staff and over 200 members could keep the recognition secret? But we did, and George was obviously surprised and very pleased with the honor. His wife, Cyndy, and daughters Amanda and Holly also surprised him by attending the lunch to see him honored. We presented George with a binder of letters — from OGF members as well as his colleagues at other regional associations – that expressed tremendous appreciation for his efforts on behalf of Ohio and the broader philanthropic sector.
In addition to presenting him with the award, the board created a donor advised fund in his name at the Erie Community Foundation, in Erie, PA. OGF members contributed about $15,000 to the fund as of last week, so George will become part of “organized philanthropy” in a new role of donor advisor next year, when he’s left behind his 12-year leadership at OGF.
If you’d like to add a letter to the binder, send it along to me at the Columbus office and I’ll make sure it gets added.
Here’s what we know about donations to help communities devastated by the storm:
Abbott and the Abbott Fund donated $1 million in funding and products;
Charter One and RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. has pledged $150,000 and is providing a new suite of emergency lending products and other services designed to expedite the recovery for individuals, small businesses and nonprofit organizations as well as low-interest loans, introductory no-interest credit cards and other recovery financing options in affected states;
The FirstEnergy Foundation contributed $25,000;
The Nets, Barclays Center and the arena’s developer, Forest City Ratner Co., will each donate $100,000;
In addition to pledging $500,000.00, Honda is establishing a donation network throughout the Honda/Acura family;
JPMorgan Chase & Company’s pledged relief will include $2 million to the American Red Cross, $1 million in matched funds for employee donations and up to $2 million in donations to local agencies;
Kellogg announced a $500,000 commitment;
Limited Brands, Inc., donated $1 million;
The Lubrizol Foundation Matching Gift Program will match, dollar-for-dollar, gifts over $100;
The Nationwide Insurance Foundation announced a $300,000 donation;
The PNC Foundation announced that it will donate $150,000 to the American Red Cross and $150,000 to the Salvation Army and will match PNC employee contributions up to a total of $150,000.
SC Ministry Foundation made grants to Catholic Charities USA and to Catholic Relief Services.
We’ve updated disaster resources on our website for anyone needing more information on donating to relief and recovery efforts, including links to IRS rules and best practices.
More than 125 communities across the country – including several in Ohio – will celebrate National Philanthropy Day, sponsored by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and its local chapters. Setting aside one day to celebrate how Americans give back to their community began in 1986, when then-President Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation officially recognizing November 15 as National Philanthropy Day.
Here in Ohio, the celebrations are mainly luncheon events open to the public that recognize local individuals, companies and foundations for their efforts to improve their communities. These started on November 2, with the AFP of Greater Cleveland Chapter’s event; it recognized OGF member Community Foundation of Lorain County.
The lineup for events in the next few weeks in Ohio includes:
AFP of North Central Ohio on November 9, which is giving its Foundation Leadership Award to OGF member Dominion Foundation;
AFP of Greater Dayton Region Chapter on November 13;
AFP of Greater Cincinnati Chapter on November 15;
AFP of Northwest Ohio Chapter on November 15;
AFP Mahoning/Shenango Chapter on November 15, presenting its Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist award to OGF member PNC;
AFP of Central Ohio Chapter on November 20.
And, as this year’s Ohio Gives report – to be released in December – will show, there is much to celebrate about Ohio philanthropy as it struggles back after the great recession. While still not close to the peak giving we saw in 2008, when giving by individuals and foundations in Ohio reached $7.38 billion, 2010 data show giving totaled about $6.2 billion. As is usually the case, the great majority of the donated dollars — $5 billion – came from individuals, both while living and through their bequests after death.
How will you be celebrating philanthropy this month? Let us know in the comments.
As we head into a few months devoted to producing several reports, OGF’s communications team has been exploring different data visualization methods as a way to create 21st century reports that turn data into information. We’ve been looking at lots of online resources, from the conceptual writing of Lucy Bernolz on her Philanthropy 2173 blog to hundreds of how-to practical resources and examples like this one on designing infographics.
This fall, we’re researching, writing and publishing reports on foundation salaries, Ohio giving, diversity at OGF member organizations and the grantmaking outlook for 2013, as well as developing rosters of the state’s community foundations and its youth philanthropy programs.
The effort to revamp the publications is not just about the aesthetics – although that’s part of it – it’s also that we recognize that people are less willing and have less time to read long narratives that explain data. Our first effort this fall can be seen in the cover of our 2012 Salary Report, based on data we collected with the Council on Foundations.
As we delved deeper into the topic, I was really interested to read a recent post by our friends at Philanthropy Northwest about a new initiative, Markets for Good, sponsored by the Gates Foundation (an OGF member) and Hewlett Foundation. There’s a great short video that explains its goal of improving the information infrastructure of the social sector in order to achieve better outcomes.
I’ll be interested to hear how others in the philanthropic sector are using data visualization techniques – including infographics – to give a new look and interpretation to our tired bar and pie charts!
Each year, Ohio Grantmakers Forum gives its Ohio Philanthropy Award to someone who represents the essence of philanthropy: building, nurturing and strengthening individuals and communities. When Ohioans think of who best represents the highest values of philanthropy and community service, two names are universally recognized: John and Annie Glenn. Their records of selfless service to Ohio and the U.S. are unsurpassed in this generation, as exemplified by: their support of alma mater Muskingum University; establishing scholarships for needy students; creating the John Glenn School for Public Affairs at The Ohio State University; Mrs. Glenn’s outreach to people with speech and hearing difficulties; and Mr. Glenn’s 24 years of U.S. Senator. OGF is privileged to name them Ohio’s philanthropists for 2012.
OGF President George E. Espy, who presented the award to John and Annie Glenn in September, remarked that, “A hundred years from now, when Americans think of great Ohioans, the names of John and Annie Glenn will come to mind. They humble us by the example they set of lifetime service to Ohio and America.”
A previous commitment prevents Senator and Mrs. Glenn from receiving the award at OGF’s conference in November; their acceptance of the award was videotaped and will be shown during the closing lunch on November 15.
In addition to the award presentation, Senator and Mrs. Glenn graciously agreed to a taped, half-hour interview, a wide-ranging conversation that discussed their deep and life-long commitment to philanthropy. Part of that interview will be shown at the conference and the entire conversation will be available online after the event.
Youth philanthropy councils can be effective tools to grow the next generation of philanthropists in community foundations, as those who attended OGF’s workshop devoted to practical advice and resources for engaging youth in philanthropy found out this summer.
Today I’m talking with Ramona Grigsby, who for the past 14 years has led one of the state’s first youth philanthropy programs, the Youth Fund Advisory Committee at the Community Foundation of Greater Lorain County. The interview is part of a longer article in the current OGF Connection newsletter, which you can read online. We’re also updating our directory of youth philanthropy programs across the state and will release it online in the next few weeks.
Why did your foundation establish a youth in philanthropy program?
In 1998 our Board of Directors chose to create an opportunity for youth in Lorain County to become directly involved in philanthropy. Led by the president of the board, they established an endowed youth fund, to be guided by an all-youth advisory committee. Students in grades 8-12 from the sixteen public school districts and several private schools in the county comprised the membership. The foundation’s board believed that fully engaging youth was a new and extremely effective way of creating new philanthropists.
It required trusting in a vision where empowered youth are given real responsibility over a sizeable amount of money. Teens are asked to make critical evaluations to determine which grant applications will be successful. They learn to ensure the grantee reports at project’s end and accounts for the funding. Are there signs that we are making new philanthropists? I believe we have some evidence. Sometimes our students graduate and go off to college and tell us that they’ve joined a community service group on their campus. They talk about helping their group decide where to contribute their charitable efforts.
What is the secret to engaging youth?
Be real and be truthful. Being young doesn’t mean a student can’t learn about philanthropy, it only means s/he may not have encountered this information yet. Teens are generally eager to learn new things and are quick to prove they can do what is required of them. Keep your expectations high. Their manner of accomplishing a job may actually prove more innovative than you expected! Over the last fourteen years I’ve watched high school seniors and juniors work closely with 8th and 9th graders to review grant requests. The older students treat the younger ones with respect. The younger ones catch on quickly that they are encouraged to speak up and offer constructive comments. Allow humor to dot the landscape and food to break the attention lag at meeting’s half-time. Be glad to see them . . . it will make their day.
Read more about what Ramona and others have learned from engaging young people in philanthropy and check out great resources if you’re thinking about starting a youth philanthropy program in your community.
For the last twelve years, the name of this organization has been Ohio Grantmakers Forum. Before that time there were two regional associations of grantmakers in Ohio – with Donors Forum of Ohio based in Columbus and northeast Ohio’s Grantmakers Forum headquartered within The Cleveland Foundation. In 2000 the two organizations merged to form Ohio Grantmakers Forum. At this year’s annual conference, OGF members will be asked to approve a recommendation that our name be changed again, from Ohio Grantmakers Forum to Philanthropy Ohio.
The rationale for this change is to ensure that our organizational name matches our mission. As a result of a two-year long planning process, we are expanding our statewide network beyond just grantmaking foundations to include other organizations and individuals actively engaged in philanthropy in Ohio. In addition to private, community and corporate foundations, other grantmaking public charities and corporate giving programs, membership in OGF is now open to giving circles, federated funds, governmental agencies and individual philanthropists. And while we expect that grantmakers will continue to comprise the great majority of members, we want our name to indicate that membership is open to all those engaged in philanthropy in Ohio.
OGF’s strategic direction is based on belief that as philanthropy slowly evolves, the organization that represents and serves philanthropy needs to change as well. Donors now have more options than ever before to achieve their charitable goals. The more awareness, information sharing and collaboration we can foster among all those involved in philanthropy, the greater the potential impact on issues of common concern.
A new chapter for OGF begins at this year’s annual conference. I hope you are there to cast your vote for more effective philanthropy in Ohio.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s new study, How America Gives, sheds new light on and offers some surprises about how much of their income Americans and Ohioans donate to charity.
The Chronicle’s data analysis is incredibly complex: it started with comprehensive 2008 tax records for itemizers who reported income over $50,000 or more. Then, the researchers used a variety of other data sources, including the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to determine discretionary income levels that subtract housing and living costs. Using the discretionary income figure, they calculated the giving levels for the U.S., states, cities and regions of the country. This is the first time I’ve seen this methodology for calculating charitable giving levels; I’m used to seeing data that show the level of charitable giving as a percentage of adjusted gross income.
It’s not just the wealthiest Americans who utilize the charitable deduction provided in the federal tax code. In Ohio, in 2008 63% of the 1.3 million itemizers who made charitable donations had incomes between $50,000 and $99,999 a year and just over 29% made between $100,000 and $199,999. That leaves about 8% of itemizers in the category of income over $200,000 – the category of wealthy Americans that has been the focus in current discussions around eliminating or reducing the charitable deduction.
The study shows that Ohio ranked 36th in giving, with 4.1% of income donated to charities; that’s over half a point lower than the 4.7% U.S. rate and lower than the Midwest’s 4.3%. Many of the states with higher percentages had higher contributions going to religious organizations and some of them have state tax incentives – such as credits for gifts to community foundations – for charitable giving, which Ohio lacks.
Here’s how Ohio’s major cities stacked up:
City % of income given