Philanthropy Forward ’17

headshot of claudia smilingPhilanthropy is shifting. It’s applying new practices and strategies addressing equity disparities and focusing on the future of philanthropy in Ohio – and that’s the focus of this year’s statewide convening, Philanthropy Forward ’17. Registration opened last week online for the conference we’re holding in Cleveland on October 4 – 6.

As always, the planning team has crafted three days of outstanding learning and connecting opportunities for the year’s largest gathering of Ohio philanthropic organizations and individuals.

Our plenary speakers will challenge you to think and act differently on big picture themes that have daily application to your work:

plenary collage philanthropy forward 17 squarePhil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, will headline the conference with his session Leading Effective Organizations in Complex, Changing Times. He’ll draw on recent CEP research (The Future of Foundation Philanthropy and other studies) to offer insights on the state of philanthropy. Small group discussion will let you react to the data and share your own experiences.

Dr. Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. (chair, Center for African American Studies at Princeton University) will lead a conversation on The Value Gap: A Challenge to Equity, focused on philanthropy’s role in addressing equity and racial disparities. His latest book, Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, provides the context for his discussion of the value gap that has left many behind socially and economically as well as the complexities, vulnerabilities and opportunities for hope.

Our third plenary speaker is Trista Harris, president of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, who will speak about the future of philanthropy as she explores trends and leads a panel discussion of Ohio philanthropy leaders who reflect on leading from where they are, strengthening the leadership pipeline, new skills for the constantly changing landscape and stepping fully into a place at the table.

The learning continues in our 20+ breakout sessions that cover a multitude of topics, including fundraising practices, early literacy, neighborhood instability, civic engagement, gender gaps, racial disparities and immigrant populations. The list goes on and on, with something for everyone at every level of experience.

PhForward17-image 1300x650And, we know how much conference attendees value opportunities to network with colleagues they see once a year so we’ve planned lots of time for informal conversation. Meet up during designated networking breaks, dine-arounds, and the Welcome Party – Ohio Roots: Home Grown, a lively celebration at the Great Lakes Brewing Company Tasting Room.

There’s also time to explore Cleveland during four learning tours:

  • Why Parks Matter: Learn about the positive impact parks have on equity, health, property values and a sense of community as RAND and City Parks Alliance share recent research findings during a tour of public spaces and Cleveland’s neighborhood parks.
  • Social Enterprise for Sustainable Growth: Tour several Cleveland social enterprise organizations to explore how philanthropy and social enterprise can collaborate to promote sustainable growth. Learn how funding can facilitate entrepreneurial growth as a component of an entrepreneurial ecosystem to increase regional prosperity.
  • STOMP! Five Strategies for Professional Development: Experience the unique STOMP! System’s five self-guided strategies to assess, develop and fulfill your career ambitions. You’ll learn the top competitive-edge skills of extraordinary professionals, assess your current progress toward your career aspirations and learn to progress in your professional power.
  • Playhouse Square: With five fully-restored historic theaters, Playhouse Square is the largest theater restoration project in the world. Today, Playhouse Square is the largest performing arts center outside of New York City and hosts nearly one million guests and one thousand curtains each year. Join colleagues on a tour to discover how these gems were saved from the wrecking ball.

All this and much more await you at the 2017 conference: find out more online and register today.

Claudia Y.W. Herrold

July 10, 2017 at 12:30 pm Leave a comment

The American Health Care Act and preserving Medicaid

headshot of claudia smilingLast week we wrote the following letter to Senator Rob Portman, which several of our members signed on to, regarding the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

Dear Senator Portman,

The Philanthropy Ohio Health Initiative began as a member-initiated coalition focused on improving the health of Ohioans. Our membership includes private and community foundations, corporate funders, public charity grantmakers and United Ways. The Health Initiative envisions a future where Ohio communities – including the philanthropic sector and the health care system – support health promotion, disease prevention and patient-centered, quality care accessible by all Ohioans. To do this we also work with other community organizations, government and partners who share our goals, many who have joined us in signing this letter. Like many others who invest in the health and welfare of our communities, we are deeply concerned about the impact on Ohioans of key changes being considered in the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

shutterstock_445553Senator Portman, we appreciate your leadership in directly confronting the impact of Medicaid changes proposed in the House-passed version of the AHCA. As you said in your letter to Senate Majority Leader McConnell (dated March 6, 2017), Medicaid “reform should not come at the cost of disruption in access to health care for our country’s most vulnerable and sickest individuals…and we will not support a plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states.” We could not agree more.

We respect the concerns about the cost to the state and federal government of providing Medicaid coverage and want to collaborate with good-faith partners in addressing these concerns. However, we believe the longstanding state-federal financing partnership is not fundamentally broken.

As you indicated with Anthem’s announcement to withdraw from the Obamacare Exchange (the Marketplace), “the status quo is unsustainable.” We agree. The Anthem withdrawal leaves 19,000 Ohioans in 20 Ohio counties without any option to purchase an individual plan on the Marketplace; that is 11% of Ohio’s total Marketplace enrollment. However, despite the need to fix the Marketplace, there is no need to alter the current underlying federal-state financing structure for Medicaid—it works.

Today, Medicaid efficiently provides comprehensive health care for 3.1 million Ohioans, including 723,000 receiving coverage through the Medicaid Expansion. The AHCA’s proposal to shift Medicaid financing to ‘per- capita caps’ will jeopardize Ohio’s ability to provide health care to all Medicaid enrollees, including children, seniors, and people with disabilities, and would have a significant negative economic impact on our state. Consider the following:

Per-Capita Cap, Children & Other Extraordinary Medical Needs

  • Ohio’s child protection system is seeing a dramatic increase in the rate of opioid-exposed babies. The life threatening medical issues these babies face result in immediate and long term needs for care and support. These babies are not covered by the Medicaid Expansion. Their needs require an ongoing, guaranteed federal- state partnership, which cannot be assured with “medical CPI plus 1%.”
  • Ohio spends $2,488 per child on Medicaid, the 11th lowest in the country. With per-capita caps in place, this would become a permanent federal funding ceiling. Can we absorb the short and long-term cost of care for the opioid-exposed babies or other unexpected emerging public health threats? Further, as we work to improve health care quality and efficiency for children, if our spending falls below the federal cap, the recently discussed idea of periodic “rebasing” would further lower our federal funding ceiling, making the per-capita caps even more damaging.
  • We ask: How do we absorb the short and long-term cost of care for the opioid-exposed babies? How would Medicaid financed by per- capita caps support our state’s needs in times of health and economic distress?

A Dedicated Pot to Replace Medicaid Funding for Opiate Treatment

  • $650 million of the $1 billion dollars Ohio spent last year to reduce drug use and overdose fatalities was paid for by Medicaid. More than 50% of all prescriptions in Ohio for Buprenorphine (an opioid recovery medicine) in 2016 were paid for by Medicaid. Our healthcare system and these services are increasingly integrated to serve individuals holistically across the continuum of care, whether the need is identified in primary care, emergency rooms, or specialized services locations.
  • We ask: Will the opiate funding pot that is being contemplated be large enough and grow commensurate with our $650 million need? How would this pot address each individual’s comprehensive needs and be integrated in a system of care? Why would we create a pot of funding for treating opiate addiction? We don’t pay for hip replacements or care for diabetes that way–these are part of holistic healthcare coverage.

Impact on Rural Communities, Veterans, Elderly, and Intellectually Disabled Individuals

  • old_lady_with_drA Medicaid per-capita cap and phasing out the Medicaid Expansion will have a disproportionate impact on rural communities. Roughly 21% of Ohio’s Medicaid Expansion are individuals who live in rural communities. From 2009 to 2015, Ohio had the third largest decline in the number of uninsured adults nationally, as an additional 115,000 adults received Medicaid or Marketplace coverage.
  • The uninsured rate among non-elderly Veterans has dropped 42% since 2014.
  • Medicaid home and community-based services are an optional service. Today Ohio is serving almost 100,000 individuals in community services; that is 65% of our Medicaid long-term services spending. While seniors and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities would have a more generous growth rate in the per-capita cap, from 2000 to 2011 Ohio’s growth rate was higher than most states; 3.5% and 5.1% for aged and disabled, respectively.
  • We ask: Faced with estimated reductions of $22 billion dollars over a ten-year period to Ohio, can we honestly assure families and individuals that these optional home and community based services will be supported at a level commensurate with their changing needs and will not be a prime target for reduced funding? Can Veterans and those in rural Ohio feel secure that there will not be disruption in their access to services, at the expense of others who also have significant needs?

A per-capita cap means that Ohio will have fewer resources over time to address these issues and will not be able to respond effectively to future public health crises. A federal funding cap cannot account for the specific spending pressures, needs and values of Ohio. The current federal matching formula already takes into account changes in each state’s demographic and economic conditions. Ohio’s health transformation is being driven by Governor Kasich and his Medicaid leadership team: the fundamental federal-state partnership doesn’t need to be abandoned, but deliberate progress continued. The President’s new team at HHS has many tools to continue and enhance this progress.

Capitol Hill2With this in mind, we strongly urge you to oppose any health reform bill that would cause Ohioans to lose health care coverage or benefits that they currently have. Specifically, we urge you to vote against any bill that would effectively end the Medicaid expansion, as we know it by completely phasing out the enhanced federal match or end the Medicaid program as we know it by shifting billions in Medicaid costs to states through a per-capita cap.

In closing, we, and the others who have signed on, pledge to work with you in any constructive manner to improve our state’s health care system. We appreciate your continued leadership on these important issues.

Sincerely,

Philanthropy Ohio

June 28, 2017 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

What I’m reading

headshot of claudia smilingPhilanthropy Ohio’s president and CEO, Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D., and I are quite voracious readers, both on the job and off. Suzanne listens to a lot of books on CD during her travel around the state and I’m always amazed at the depth and breadth of what she’s reading. It’s a rare week that goes by without one of us saying to the other, “Here’s a GREAT book I just read, I think you’ll like it.”

The love of reading – and learning – has extended to us creating a “book club” for staff: the current book, which we’ll be discussing during a staff meeting on Wednesday, is Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. As J.D. explains, he wrote the book because “I want people to understand what happens in the lives of the poor and the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty has on their children. I want people to understand the American Dream as my family and I encountered it.” If you haven’t read the book, check out his TED talk for a glimpse into his life. J.D. Vance has recently moved back to Ohio, as he explains in this NY Times piece, where he’s started a nonprofit focused on the opiate addiction crisis.

 

stack of books on a table

Another Ohioan’s experience about living the American Dream comes in Robert Putnam’s book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, in which he analyzes and compares his growing up in Port Clinton during the 1950s to what’s happening half a century later. Putnam is perhaps best known for his Making Democracy Work and Bowling Alone books, two of 14 books he’s written during his academic career. I’ve read a few of them and just recently finished Our Kids.

Putnam brings the same careful, thoughtful scholarship to this book as he portrays the lives of diverse families at opposite ends of the economic spectrum. At the beginning of the final chapter, Putnam writes, “This book has presented a series of portraits of the contrasting lives of American young people from more and less privileged backgrounds, alongside more rigorous evidence that those personal portraits represent nationwide realities. We have examined the concentric circles of influence… and we have seen how in recent decades the challenges and opportunities facing rich and poor kids have grown more disparate.” He then describes his recommendations for how parents, communities and schools can change the opportunity gap.

Another book I’ve dipped into is Bruce Bartlett’s The Benefit and The Burden: Tax Reform – Why We Need it and What It Will Take. Although published 5 years ago, it is still of great relevance to the debates heating up in Washington D.C. this year. Bartlett served in economic policy positions for both Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush and is a frequent contributor to a variety of news media outlets. One of my favorite quotes is this: “Ideally, one would like to start with a clear philosophy of what government should do and how much it should spend, and only then decide how to raise the revenue to pay for it” – not a likely scenario in 2017.

Next up on my reading list is The Givers: Wealth, Power and Philanthropy in a New Gilded Age by David Callahan. He’s the founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy and co-founder of Demos, “a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy.” I’ll be interested to read his description and analysis – and his opinion of – the rise of new philanthropists and how they are changing life in America. I suspect I’ll get a different set of perspectives and opinions in the next book in my reading stack, Philanthropy in Democratic Societies, a series of essays edited by Rob Reich, Chiara Cordelli and Lucy Bernholz.

Claudia Y. W. Herrold

June 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

Welcome Emily to Philanthropy Ohio

2016-jessica-blog-photoWe are pleased to introduce Emily Gneiser to the Philanthropy Ohio team! Emily will serve as the executive assistant to President & CEO Suzanne Allen and Executive Vice President for Communications and Public Policy Claudia Herrold, as well as manage calls and meetings in the Columbus office.

She’ll be posting questions to the listservs on behalf of members, supporting board and committee work, helping with registration for Health Initiative meetings and ensuring the Columbus office runs efficiently and effectively. Emily comes to Philanthropy Ohio with a background that includes nonprofit work and event planning.

Gneiser_Emily Philanthropy Ohio

Emily Gneiser joins Philanthropy Ohio as the executive assistant.

I asked Emily to tell us a bit more about her.

What’s the best part of your job?
Being connected to change agents in Ohio!

Career background/education?
I studied organizational communications at university. Since graduating, I’ve worked at a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., a family forum in Wisconsin, a resort in Vermont and an event company in Columbus.

What do you love about where you live?
I love all the coffee shops, breweries and great places to eat in Columbus.

 Favorite brand or flavor of ice cream?
Ben & Jerry’s strawberry cheesecake ice cream

What do you do outside of work?
In my free time, I like to hang with my sister and her family, hunt for the best donut and volunteer with Rock City Church.

Welcome Emily!

jessica signature
Jessica Howard

May 22, 2017 at 2:55 pm 2 comments

U.S. House vote ends Medicaid Expansion

headshot of claudia smilingI’m disappointed in last week’s U.S. House vote repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), ending the Medicaid Expansion that we have supported since Governor Kasich first introduced it. Over 700,000 Ohioans have health insurance because of the expansion, insurance that is critical to getting care – whether it’s care that addresses pre-existing and chronic conditions or wellness and prevention – that improves their health, keeps them in school or lets them get and keep jobs. Ohio philanthropies – private and community foundations, United Ways, health conversion foundations and more – are strong co-investors in improving the health of Ohioans, and, because of Medicaid Expansion’s coverage of so many who were previously uninsured, have been able to redirect their resources to intractable problems like infant mortality and opiate addiction crises in the state. Philanthropy can’t possibly fill the gap that will be left by the bill’s elimination of the expansion group and the restructuring and decreased funding for Medicaid.

shutterstock_445553I’m glad that Reps. Joyce and Turner stood firm in their objection to the American Health Care Act and disheartened that so many of their colleagues chose to support the bill: Reps. Chabot, Davidson, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Latta, Renacci, Stivers, Tiberi and Wenstrup. About half – 323,000 – of the Medicaid Expansion population lives in the districts of those who supported the repeal.

The bill now moves on to the Senate and faces two distinct barriers. First, the Senate parliamentarian must determine that the various provisions are appropriately in a budget bill. Second, as I’ve been hearing for months, the Senate (including our own Senator Portman) has its own ideas about repealing and replacing the ACA and will likely introduce its own version. Once any bill moves through the Senate, congress will need to iron out the differences.

Capitol Hill2

Our advocacy efforts will continue in coming months with members of Ohio’s delegation, educating them about the negative consequences of the AHCA bill as passed and urging them to keep Medicaid Expansion and the current structure and funding of the Medicaid program in place.

Claudia Y.W. Herrold

May 8, 2017 at 4:27 pm Leave a comment

Philanthropy Ohio and members speak out in Washington

headshot of claudia smilingIn mid-March, I headed to Washington, D.C. for my 18th time leading a delegation of Ohio’s philanthropy leaders at Foundations on the Hill (FOTH). Sponsored by the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers (on whose board I serve, co-chairing the Government Relations Committee), the annual FOTH event engaged 300 people from 28 states in meaningful conversations with elected officials and their staff. Ohio was well represented, with 16 of us from across the state making the trip to D.C.

Wearing comfortable walking shoes for traipsing the marble halls of the House and Senate office buildings, with one-pagers and packets in hand, we started our day with an 8:30 a.m. coffee with Senator Portman and ended it talking with Rep. Tiberi’s chief of staff, having met with eight other offices during the intervening hours.

portman

Ohio philanthropy leaders met with Senator Portman during Foundations on the Hill 2017.

Among the thousands of visitors to congressional offices that day, philanthropy’s voice was strong and collective; although every state’s delegation focused on its own particular issues, many of us delivered two key messages:

  • Don’t repeal the Johnson Amendment; and
  • Preserve and protect the full scope and value of the charitable deduction.

The Johnson Amendment, adopted over 60 years ago, prohibits tax-exempt organizations from political campaigning. While nonprofits can lobby (within limits) on policy topics, they cannot support or endorse political candidates. We at Philanthropy Ohio, along with more than 2,300 other organizations, think that’s a good thing (and a recent poll shows that most Americans agree with us.) But President Trump promised at the National Prayer Breakfast to get rid of the prohibition and several members of Congress agree: HR 172 would repeal the provision, while S 264  and HR 781 would substantially weaken it (it has 53 co-sponsors including Reps. Jordan and Renacci). We’ll be reaching out to Ohio’s congressional delegation in coming weeks to urge them to vote against weakening or repealing this amendment that keeps nonprofits above the political fray and charitable dollars directed to addressing critical local needs and not filling campaign coffers.

UW

Cory Schmidt (far left), Claudia Herrold (center) and Garth Weithman (far right) met with Rep. Stivers (center) during Foundations on the Hill 2017.

We also asked our elected policymakers to preserve the charitable deduction, which allows taxpayers to deduct their charitable donations from their federal tax liability. About one-quarter of Ohioans do so, and collectively they gave over $6 billion to charities in one year alone. Current suggestions to double the standard deduction and eliminate the deduction for all but the top 5% of donors would, we believe, have a significant negative impact on giving.

Philanthropy is a strong, effective co-investor in communities and it was clear during our visits last month that our senators and representatives value the sector. But again and again, as we see the intent to pull back government funding from safety net services, we must make it clear that philanthropy cannot fill the resulting gap: there simply aren’t enough charitable dollars to replace public funding in education, health care, human services, the environment and so many other areas. We’ll be meeting with our delegation in their district offices in coming months to discuss these and other issues and I invite you to join us or to reach out individually to those who represent you in the 115th Congress.

Claudia Y.W. Herrold

April 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

Open Letter to Senator Portman

March 8, 2017Nurse Checks Young Patient

Senator Rob Portman
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C.

 
Dear Senator Portman,

As the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act moves forward in the Senate we appreciate the thoughtful consideration you are giving to the provisions and potential changes – along with the significant related implications. Thank you for your letter to Senator McConnell affirming the need that any reform protect those who are most vulnerable and in need of health care.

We have supported Governor Kasich’s Medicaid Expansion and are heartened to see its positive impacts, as presented in the recent report by the Ohio Department of Medicaid. Many of our members who fund in health (over $200 million a year goes to the health area in Ohio by foundations), as a result of Medicaid Expansion, have been able to re-direct their grant dollars to other pressing problems, including the opiate/heroin addiction crisis. We urge you to stand firm in your support of the expansion and the Medicaid program, keeping both in the bill that comes before the Senate; we strongly support keeping the current structure and federal payment stream in place and ask you to support them.

Capitol Hill2More specifically, among the proposals we urge you to oppose are the shifting of Medicaid to block grants and instituting per capita caps: both of these would cut Medicaid funding and reduce coverage for millions of Americans. Either of those revisions also would shift huge costs to Ohio, forcing us to ration coverage and care and philanthropy cannot possibly fill the resulting gap. We stand ready to help in any way we can and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Suzanne T. Allen, Ph.D.                  Claudia Y. W. Herrold
President & CEO                               Senior Vice President

March 13, 2017 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

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