In Memoriam: Michael G. Shinn, CFP

headshot of claudiaLast week, Ohio philanthropy lost a passionate voice with the death of Mike Shinn. Mike was the founder and current secretary of the Shinn Family Foundation as well as secretary of Philanthropy Ohio’s Board of Trustees. He also chaired our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, taking on primary responsibility for guiding Philanthropy Ohio’s efforts in that arena. Mike joined the board in 2010, just a few years after starting his family foundation, which was headquartered in Cleveland.

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Michael G. Shinn, CFP

Suzanne T. Allen and I were in Washington, DC, prepping for our visits to the Hill, when we learned of his passing last week. To say it was a shock is an understatement; Suzanne had lunch with Mike just a few days before, introducing him to Brittany Zaehringer (GAR Foundation) so they could talk about the diversity work he was leading at Philanthropy Ohio.

michael shinn

Mike Shinn participates in the Human Services Restructuring Project: Case Study Release and Discussion in 2012.



Mike started his business career at General Electric, having received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, and he stayed there until he retired in 1998 after 31 years of services as an engineer, manager and corporate staff consultant. He was a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, where he founded a Fellows Program; each year, a top scholar receives the Mike Shinn Distinguished Fellow Award from the society. Mike was also a certified financial planner, having written a nationally syndicated personal financial planning column, Your Money Really Matters, and earned his MBA from Case Western University.

Board members at the Fall Forum in October 2014, Mike Shinn, Susan Urano, Scott McReynolds

Board members Mike Shinn, Susan Urano and Scott McReynolds at the 2014 Fall Forum.

In addition to his philanthropic efforts through the Shinn Family Foundation, Mike was also an active and respected community volunteer, devoting countless hours to a long list of organizations. Whether he was serving on the boards of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center or the Mt. Zion Congregational Church, the JumpStart Emerging Market Venture Capital Fund or the Kansas University Endowment Association, he was a dedicated and tireless philanthropist giving generously of his time, talent and treasure. I know there are many others who join me in honoring his life and legacy.

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Claudia Y.W. Herrold

March 24, 2015 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

Making the case for investing in women

headshot of JessicaMarch is National Women’s History month and the perfect time for philanthropy to take a look at equality and what we all can do (men included!) to advance society by applying a gender lens to charitable giving.

Last week, Otterbein University, in partnership with Bowling Green State University and the University of Findlay, hosted a Women in Philanthropy Summit to start the conversation around improving gender equality by investing in women. A cohort of Philanthropy Ohio staff, students and our philanthropic peers from all over Ohio came together to hear about the staggering issues plaguing policies, workplaces and societies for women and girls across the U.S. and globe.

Dr. Musimbi KanyoroOne of the highlights was Tuesday night’s keynote speaker, Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. She shared the mission and goals of the International Women’s Fund as well as her own experience working to change treatment, opportunities, policy and future outcomes for women and girls worldwide.

Dr. Kanyoro said that for movements to succeed, they need capacity building and leadership. Many women have ignited change, and many girls have gained their voice – the kind of philanthropy that she’s proud of.

As for where to start, Dr. Kanyoro said to connect with a group doing good, and then take it to scale. You’ll recognize that social change has been attained when the issue is reframed, resources are invested, policies and regulations are improved and justice is achieved.

Another highlight of the event was on Wednesday morning, when we heard Katie Koch – the head of Global Portfolio Solutions International for Goldman Sachs United Kingdom – present research on what it’s like to be a female in a developing versus a developed nation. She shared the work Goldman Sachs is doing to improve the availability of small business financing and public policy when it comes to investing in women entrepreneurs worldwide.

“How can any country move ahead when leaving half of its population behind? 90% of countries had one or more gap in legal protections for women. Some countries had 10 or more,” Koch said. “Women make 45 cents on the dollar to men in the developing world. We have to prove to families that education is a good return on investment… more often boys are seen as an asset on the balance sheet, while girls are seen as a liability.”

Goldman Sachs launched 10,000 Women in March 2008, a global initiative to drive economic growth by providing 10,000 women a business and management education as well as links to networks, capital and mentors. By the end of 2013, 10,000 women from across 43 countries had been reached through a network of 90 academic and nonprofit partners.

“Investing in women and girls has the largest ROI for the developing world,” Koch said.

Wrapping up the summit, a panel of smart women leaders – including Shelly Bird, executive vice president, office of the CEO at Cardinal Health – answered questions posed by The Columbus Foundation’s Lisa Courtice, Ph.D.

Q and A women's panel“Investing in women and girls is the best philanthropic strategy. It strengthens families and communities,” Bird said. And her advice to girls: “Pull up a chair because no one is going to give up their seat.”

The summit left me with a full notebook as well as a mind full of thoughts and ideas to ponder. Gender equality and investing in women are topics that not only are increasingly popular among philanthropists and nonprofits, they are key to improving our community for women and men alike. We hope to continue the flow of conversation and great ideas at our conference in the fall, Philanthropy Forward ’15. So stay tuned!

If you missed the Women in Philanthropy Summit, you can see the tweets at #investinwomen and view the full recorded summit here.

Best regards,

jessica signature



March 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

Déjà vu in the U.S. House

headshot of claudiaIn mid-February the U.S. House passed the America Gives More Act of 2015, just as it did back in July of last year.

As passed the bill would:

  • Restore and make permanent the IRA Charitable Rollover provision, allowing individuals aged 70 ½ and older to make tax-free contributions from IRA assets to qualified charities;
  • Reduce the tax private foundations pay from the complicated, two-tier structure to a simple 1 percent rate;
  • Restore and make permanent an expanded tax deduction for small businesses that donate their food inventory, and expand to allow farmers and ranchers to take a deduction for donations of fresh produce, dairy, and meat; and
  • Restore and make permanent an expanded tax deduction to promote donation of land for conservation purposes.US House Seal

The vote was 279 to 137 – not veto proof – and largely along party lines. The bill now goes to the Senate, where prospects for quick consideration appear grim.

Philanthropy Ohio thanks Representatives Chabot, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Latta, Renacci, Tiberi, Turner and Wenstrup for their yes votes on the bill. We appreciate their support for the philanthropic sector and the critical work it does in thousands of communities across the country.

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Claudia Y.W. Herrold

February 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Get on the map and get savvier with your grantmaking

headshot of JessicaAs one of Philanthropy Ohio’s membership services associates, it is my job to make sure our members (you) have access to the information and resources you need to be the most effective and successful at your job.

We all know that foundations, United Ways and funders play a very important role and do great work for our communities, but what if it you could do good, better?

That is why I’m so excited about the launch of the Get on the Map campaign.

Beginning this week, 20 regional associations, including Philanthropy Ohio, representing over 2,700 organizations and more than $38 billion in grantmaking will work with funders across the country to harness the data that supports our individual and collective work and enables all of us to tell a more accurate version of the story of philanthropy. Twenty Philanthropy Ohio members are already on the map, and now it’s your chance to get on the map, too!

Foundation Center data mapsThe Get on the Map campaign encourages funders to share grants data using  Foundation Center’s eReporting standard. Organizations that participate by submitting their data electronically will receive a free interactive map of their own grants to use as they wish. Delivered via Foundation Center’s Foundation Maps platform, the maps will provide funders with anytime access to timely information about the activities of their peers, regional funding gaps, potential collaborations and more.get on the map logo

Just imagine: rather than making dozens of calls, you’ll be able to sit at your desk and in just a few clicks, access an interactive mapping tool that gives you current information on who is funding what and where in your community. Now imagine being able to target populations and key elements of the actual grant — not just a list of recipient institutions and organizations.

Best of all, it’s free to participate and access the maps, as part of your Philanthropy Ohio membership.

So what are you waiting for? Visit our website for more information, and get on the map! If you have any questions about the Foundation Maps member benefit, please let me know!

Happy Mapping!

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Jessica Howard

February 10, 2015 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

Summit Celebrates and Encourages Ohio Women in Philanthropy

headshot of suzanne allenI am so pleased to share news of an exciting event Philanthropy Ohio is a part of – The Women in Philanthropy Summit – and its genesis was pure serendipity.

Last summer, in a conversation with Nichole Dunn, president and CEO of the Central Ohio Women’s Fund, I mentioned my personal goal to convene a group of leaders from Ohio funders – independent and community foundations, United Ways and other grantmakers – that fund issues related to women and girls: I wanted to create a place where they could talk and share. As it happened, Nicole was having the same conversations with Dr. Kathy Krendl, president of Otterbein University, who was working with the fairly new female presidents of Bowling Green State University and The University of Findlay to raise awareness of the vital role that women play in philanthropy.

The three universities were in the second year of a three-year initiative where each school hosts a summit to educate and empower women of different generations, from high school students to women serving in senior leadership positions.

We all met, agreed on common goals and began planning an event I’d been thinking about for a long time. A fabulous team emerged and we developed the Women in Philanthropy Summit: Investing in Women for the Common Good, to be held on Otterbein University’s campus, March 3 – 4, 2015.

This collaboration is bigger than my original idea of women funders and philanthropists coming together. And, it is better. The planning team agreed that the conversation would not be complete unless it included a seat at the proverbial “philanthropic table” for all ages of interested women (and men.) Through a generous scholarship, registration fees for high school and college students are covered. (Fees for non-students are $35 for both days or $25 per day.)

The scholarships are possible due to the generous support not only from the three universities, but also from The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, Philanthropy Ohio, The Benefactor Group, The Nord Family Foundation, Cardinal Health and The Columbus Foundation.

I am delighted with the agenda, which includes roundtables, panel discussions, a world café and networking opportunities, all featuring women leaders from around the state. Not only will we have opportunities for statewide women’s funding groups to talk about their important work, we also have two incredible women as keynote speakers.

musimbi_kanyoro headshotThe Tuesday afternoon keynote speaker is Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro, president and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. Dr. Musimbi Kanyoro is a passionate advocate for women and girls’ health and human rights and social change philanthropy. She is an accomplished leader with three decades of experience managing international non-governmental organizations, global programs and ecumenical agencies in cross-cultural contexts.

katie_koch headshotOn Wednesday, Katie Koch, senior portfolio strategist and chief of staff for the Goldman Sachs Asset Management Office of the Chairman, United Kingdom, provides the keynote address. Hired by Goldman Sachs straight out of university, Koch has been with the firm for nine years and, under her leadership, the team more than tripled equity fund assets under management from $1.6 billion to $5.1 billion.

I hope you’ll join me at the Women in Philanthropy Summit: Investing in Women for the Common Good. And I hope you’ll share the information about this event within your sphere of influence. Do plan to attend and bring someone who will also benefit from the collaborative work and thoughtful conversations.

Call me if you’d like more information or you can register for the summit online.

I’ll see you there!

suzanne signed in blue ink
Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D.

January 26, 2015 at 12:08 pm Leave a comment

Expanding Access for Uninsured Ohioans Tackles Tough Health Issues

headshot of claudiaOhio ranks 40th in the nation in terms of total population health, according to a 2014 United Health Foundation report. Individual health indicators as reported by various national organizations paint a decidedly grim picture:

  • Ohio life expectancy is 77.8 years, 1.1 years less than the national average;
  • Our rates of overweight and obese adults/individuals and adult smokers exceed national averages;
  • More than 1 million Ohioans have diabetes, and the rate of diabetes jumped from 10 percent to 11.7 percent in just one year in 2012; and
  • Ohio has a higher-than-average infant mortality rate, and more than twice the number of black babies die compared to white babies.

nurse checks child patientWhile these statistics alone are stark enough, their significance is compounded by the fact that 1 million Ohioans lack access to affordable health insurance. This has resulted in too many Ohioans with chronic diseases delaying doctors’ visits or foregoing them altogether.

Research shows a strong link between health insurance coverage and access to care leading to improved health. Health insurance is a ticket to services at doctors’ offices, where preventive screenings and care often are provided with minimal or no co-pays.

That is why more than 250 organizations across the state – the Ohio Network for Health Coverage and Enrollment supported by the Philanthropy Ohio Health Initiative – are working together in the network to help uninsured Ohioans learn more about their health insurance options and get them signed up by the February 15, 2015 enrollment deadline for the Health Insurance Marketplace or anytime throughout the year for Medicaid.

gray ohio outlineOur target is the 1 million uninsured Ohioans, many of whom live in traditionally underserved areas such as communities of color and rural areas. operates in all 88 Ohio counties and offers free assistance, both on the phone and in face-to-face meetings near where clients live. As they did for 37,000 Ohioans last year, these organizations answer questions or walk people through the entire process of Health Insurance Marketplace shopping and enrollment.
These programs provide new hope. More than 150,000 Ohioans are now insured through the federal Marketplace, and at least 150,000 more have free or low-cost health insurance through Ohio’s Medicaid expansion. Of those who signed up in the Health Insurance Marketplace, 4 out of 5 received financial assistance on paying premiums.

Time is short for those not yet covered, but fortunately there are now 16 available health insurance plans in Ohio, up from 12 available last year. Participants still need to ensure they have access to the needed doctors, treatments and hospitals close to where they live.

doctor lab coat pocketAffordable monthly premiums are only part of the story, though. The fundamental public health benefits from expanding health insurance will lead to a healthier Ohio. This transformation in health insurance access won’t occur overnight. But each year we can see accessibility improving, helping more Ohioans obtain the insurance, doctors and hospitals they need for better health outcomes – a key goal of many of our members here at Philanthropy Ohio and a focus for our Health Initiative.

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Claudia Y.W. Herrold

January 13, 2015 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Welcome to the White House, Philanthropy

headshot of suzanne allenOn December 1, I had an opportunity to join with other regional association and community foundation leaders from across our country to celebrate 100 years of community foundations. Having been to Washington many times to attend meetings and meet with legislators, I’d never been invited to the White House. And it was indeed an honor, and the convening that celebrated the service of community foundations was a terrific way to start a Monday.

In an article about the event, Jonathan Greenblatt, the director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, said, “America has led the world in developing a national culture of civic participation, but one of the most enduring institutions that we created has been the community foundation. Today, President Obama is proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the community foundation with a convening here at the White House, where we welcomed more than 100 leaders from this field. Together, we commemorated a century of achievement by community foundations and looked forward to the possibilities that lie ahead.”

And it was a day of thoughtful celebrations. We heard from community foundation leaders and senior White House staff about the roles and responsibilities of the foundations, and more importantly, how those roles and responsibilities are changing.

The questions in our smaller group discussions were vital ones. What are funders thinking about for the future? Who are your communities’ catalysts? How are businesses and philanthropic organizations convening and working together?

A panel led by Diana Aviv in Wash DC. Foundation leaders on successful partnerships.

Led by Diana Aviv of Independent Sector, a panel of foundation leaders speak about successful partnerships in Washington, D.C.

These questions and more were raised and discussed at a reception hosted by Independent Sector and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, whose CEO Emmett Carson said, “Community foundations must lead in community discussions about local populations and local issues. They have the nuanced abilities to meeting issues head-on and can convene leaders and financial resources.”

But he challenged the assembled group with one final question that asked each of us ponder: are we mission and values-based, serving the needs of our communities?

This question and others are ones I know our community foundation leaders constantly ask themselves and their colleagues. And because of this constant inquiry, Ohio stands as a leader in the community foundation field. Whether large or small, or somewhere in the middle, our community foundations are daily reminders of the vision and fortitude of our state’s dedicated citizens – those who knew that to prepare for the future, we must preserve and invest our wealth in perpetuity.

It was a great day in Washington, D.C.

suzanne signed in blue ink

Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D.


December 10, 2014 at 9:54 am Leave a comment

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