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.

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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!

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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 areyoucoveredohio.org 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. areyoucoveredohio.org 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

Because of philanthropy. . .

headshot of claudiaIn this month when we celebrate philanthropy and give thanks, I am reminded of the countless ways that philanthropy impacts the lives of millions of Ohioans.

Because of philanthropy:

hands raised with heartsThese are just a few examples of the impact philanthropy makes in communities across the state. I could go on and on building a list that encompasses all 88 counties, because Ohio is a very generous state.

We’ll be releasing our Ohio Gives infographic in a few weeks, which demonstrates this generosity with data on the amount and range of giving but here’s one quick data point: in 2012 – the latest year for which we have data – individuals and organizations gave $7.8 billion to support all kinds of nonprofits. That’s up significantly from the $6.6 billion of the year before. We’ll be mailing Ohio Gives to members and posting it on this blog as well as our website next month.

fingerprint heart: National Philanthropy Day imageWe’re not the only ones celebrating the impact of philanthropy this month. While National Philanthropy Day is formally designated as November 15, it’s celebrated throughout the month here in Ohio and across the country. Around the state, local Association of Fundraising Professionals chapters are hosting lunches and other special events that recognize community members for their outstanding contributions. A few Philanthropy Ohio members are among those being recognized at these events, including The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, Austin-Bailey Health and Wellness Foundation and CareSource, and we congratulate them on their awards.

Let’s all celebrate philanthropy, its strength and vitality, in all its forms.

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Claudia Y.W. Herrold

November 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment

Lame duck doesn’t have to be lame

headshot of claudiaIt’s been just a week since the midterm elections, where in Ohio a little over 3 million voters – 40 percent of those eligible – cast ballots. The vitriolic attack ads have been replaced by holiday ads and when we answer the phone showing an “unknown number” it’s now likely to be a charity calling for an end-of-year appeal (and that’s a topic for another blog post) rather than a robo-call urging us to vote for – or against – a politician.

And, whether you think that the country is on the right track or going down the tubes after the election, it’s over until 2016. Our thoughts now turn to finishing out the rest of the year, as the Halloween candy sits in the sale bin, replaced by candy canes, green and red M&Ms and foil-wrapped chocolate coins on store shelves.

ducks on crutches walking to White HouseWith the election over, political pundits now fill air time talking about the lame duck period and whether any significant policy can be made. The term lame duck refers to elected officials continuing in office during the period after an election and before the inauguration of the successor, whether an individual or a body like the Ohio General Assembly or U.S. Congress. And, as I listened in to the post-election commentary discussions I wondered: why is it a lame duck, rather than a sinking duck, and why a duck at all?

I turned to the Internet, having forgotten – if I ever learned – the origin of the term in my political science classes in under- and post-graduate work. Turns out the phrase originated in the 18th century and was used to refer to investors in the British stock market who were unable to pay their debts, so couldn’t keep up with the flock.

The term was first used in U.S. politics in 1863, and since then has been depicted in countless political articles, commentary and cartoons,  including this one showing Democrats – on crutches – leaving congress and heading to President Wilson’s White House for help in finding their next jobs.

democrat party donkey and gop party elephantApplying the term to legislators is unfortunate, because both the Ohio General Assembly and the U.S. Congress have important work to do during their limited days in session this month and next. I hope the Ohio Senate uses its scheduled days to take up HB 408, which passed the Ohio House back in the spring. It would encourage people to make charitable contributions to community foundations that address critical local problems, from pre-school access to college scholarships, from job training to safety net services and so much more. We are grateful for the 84 House members who voted for the bill and for our Senate sponsors of the companion bill, Senators Schaffer, Peterson, Hite and Beagle.

capitol building in DCI also hope that the U.S. Senate will pass the America Gives More Act, another bill dedicated to encouraging charitable giving. The bill, which the House passed in July, includes a provision that would make the IRA Charitable Rollover permanent. This provision, which allows individuals to give retirement assets directly to qualified charities without tax consequences, expired at the end of last year. The bill has yet to get a hearing in the Senate, and thousands of taxpayers are waiting to see if they can use those assets this year to support their favorite charities – including community foundations but also universities, museums, YWCAs and countless other organizations and causes. And, since both Ohio’s senators will remain in office next year, I hope they will “lead the flock” of their lame duck colleagues to get the bill onto the Senate floor and passed.

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Claudia Y.W. Herrold

November 11, 2014 at 11:32 am Leave a comment

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