Posts filed under ‘Philanthropy Ohio News’

Introducing our new board members

headshot of claudiaAt the start of the new year, Philanthropy Ohio welcomed four new philanthropy leaders to the Board of Trustees, but not one of them is new to philanthropy, as you’ll see in their brief bios below. Each brings a wealth of experience, layers of expertise and strong dedication to helping Philanthropy Ohio achieve its mission.

Cara Dingus Brook first discovered philanthropy as an intern at the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, where she now serves as president and CEO. Before joining the foundation in 2007, Cara’s experience included working for Senator George V. Voinovich and managing Appalachian Ohio Giving, a multi-sector partnership promoting philanthropy as a community and economic development tool. Cara received a master’s degree in public administration and a bachelor’s degree in English from Ohio University.

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Cara Dingus Brook is president & CEO of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.

Cara has been involved with Philanthropy Ohio in a variety of roles, beginning with an internship and more recently serving on the Endow Ohio Task Force. Philanthropy Ohio awarded her the Emerging Philanthropist Award in 2013; she received the Appalachian New Economy Partnership Award for Regional Economic Development from the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs in 2010 and the Young Alumni Spirit Award from Ohio University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2011.

Kate Keller serves as vice president, system strategies, at Interact for Health, where she is responsible for incorporating the grantmaking strategy and brand vision into the organization’s health policy and communications efforts. Kate also works with community partners to identify and advocate for health policies that improve the region’s health. Kate co-chairs the Philanthropy Ohio Health Initiative and serves on the Public Policy Committee.

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Kate Keller is vice president of system strategies at Interact for Health.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Cincinnati. Previously, Kate was the senior program officer for School-Aged Children’s Healthcare. The strategy involved her working with grantees in developing school-based health centers, which provide primary care and behavioral health services to children in the school setting. Kate also worked with grantees to improve access to behavioral health services for school-aged children.

John Mullaney, executive director of The Nord Family Foundation, has been actively involved in Philanthropy Ohio since he was hired at the foundation in 1998. He is a member of the Public Policy Committee (which he will now chair) and a founding member of the Education Advisory Committee. John’s experience in philanthropy began in 1982, when he served as a country representative for Catholic Relief Services in El Salvador during that country’s civil war. John completed his undergraduate education at Boston College and a holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University.

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John Mullaney is executive director of The Nord Family Foundation.

Prior to his tenure at The Nord Family Foundation, John worked in both the education and nonprofit sectors and developing countries. He was a program and research manager at Harvard University’s Institute for International Development and a program director for the Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities, also at Harvard University.

Cecilia Render is the executive director of the Nordson Corporation Foundation, where she began as a program officer in 1999. During her tenure, grantmaking levels have grown from $2 million per year to $8 million and 10 of Nordson’s international facilities have adopted giving programs.


Cecilia Render is executive director of the Nordson Corporation Foundation.

Cecilia holds a Master’s of Education from Cleveland State University with a concentration in Adult Learning and Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Smith College. She has been active in the Education Advisory Committee and the Corporate Funders group in Cleveland. Cecilia is also involved with ReacHigher, the Lorain County P-16 council, the STEM education workgroup and the Programs and New Member Engagement committee with the Association of Corporate Contribution Professionals. She has worked as an advisor for Cleveland Scholarship Programs and the Educational Opportunity Program at Tri-C and has also been a part-time instructor at Cleveland State University in the School of Education. Cecilia was the 2015 recipient of the Eric Nord Award for Excellence in Leadership, awarded annually by Leadership Lorain County.

We’re thrilled to have these four smart leaders join our board.

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Claudia Y.W. Herrold


January 19, 2016 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

3,600 Stories… and Counting

headshot of claudiaOhio’s philanthropies are making incredible impacts in their communities—impacts I’ve learned about in recent conversations and media. Here are just a few of the stories of the state’s foundations, federated funds and United Ways who support their grantee partners.

boy writing with pencil The Wilson-Sheehan Foundation’s funding is bringing SPARK (Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids) to Springfield city schools, as described in this recent news article. SPARK is an incredibly successful program, begun in 2003 in Canton that is now in nine Ohio counties. The program is a family-focused, in-home program that improves children’s transitions into elementary education.

two girls look at a rock with a magnifying glassThe Cleveland Foundation is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a monthly gift to the community. On May 24 – following record-breaking attendance at the zoo that was part of its April gift – the foundation will celebrate its longtime support to cultural institutions in University Circle by sponsoring free admission to Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Western Reserve Historical Society.

United Way logoUnited Way of Greater Cincinnati’s annual report, which includes videos (watch a few here), tells the story of the organization’s impact. With its investment of over $50 million last year, its efforts resulted in a 180 percent increase in quality early care and education and $20 million in tax returns to local families.

The Community Foundation for Perry Countystudents stand in front of statue (administered by the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio) sent 8th grade students from Sheridan Middle School to Washington, DC. It was the first the school had sent students to DC, where they had a full agenda of activities they’ll remember for years to come.

cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and lettuce on a tableFirstEnergy employees – with support from the company – conducted fundraisers that resulted in their contributing the equivalent of 2.2 million meals during the Harvest for Hunger campaign. Employees raised more than $310,000 from bake sales, office salad bars and pizza lunches and more than 16 tons of food in six states where the company operates.

These are just a few of Ohio’s philanthropic impact stories. What’s yours?

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Claudia Y. W. Herrold

May 12, 2014 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World, by Beth Kanter and Katie Delahaye Paine, and My Thoughts for 4 Take-aways You Can Use Today

networked nonprofitI just finished this thought-provoking read and wanted to share some of the biggest take-aways with you that can help improve the way you do business.

Now four years ago, Beth Kanter co-authored with Allison Fine a book that reshaped some widely-accepted thinking in the nonprofit world when it came to the value of social media. The Networked Nonprofit (Jossey-Bass, 2010) introduced the concept of creating a social network as a strategic endeavor, and the authors brought the information together almost as a primer, providing all the tools any nonprofit would need to get started with social media – a game changer at that time.

In my very first webinar last week (whew, glad the first one is over), I mentioned Beth Kanter’s newest book as one of my current reads. This time, she’s teamed up with Katie Delahaye Paine, a measurements expert, for the follow-up book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit: Using Data to Change the World (Jossey-Bass, 2012). And I believe she again will change the way nonprofits think when it comes to data, with this book.

Return on Investment (ROI) is one of Kanter’s major themes in all her works, and particularly as it pertains to social media. Her contention is that social media will never be fully mature or even fully accepted until there are very clear and very effective ways to measure it. In this book, she and Paine use great organizational examples and offer helpful tips and information for any nonprofit that is either thinking about, or actively engaged in, the social media world.

Here are 4 thoughts from the book that really resonated with me:

  1. Let Data Inform, Not Drive Your Organization – Kanter and Paine make the compelling case for nonprofits to be “data informed, not data driven.” By focusing on strategy, and keeping ROI and measurement squarely in the service of your nonprofit mission, you will keep your organization from being consumed by the numbers.
  2. From Baby Steps to Full Flight – The authors are truly cognizant of the nonprofit world and know that not every nonprofit will have a sophisticated board and/or staff who understand the importance of having and measuring data and social media. So they suggest these stages, which are explained in greater details in the book: Crawl, Walk, Run, and Fly. Each stage has steps which prepares the organization for the next level of engagement and understanding, with the thought that failures are just part of the learning model.
  3. Create a Data-Informed Culture and Measurement is Power – In these chapters I nearly depleted a new highlighter! Kanter and Paine include many examples of how small nonprofits are using data to help accomplish their missions. Using the “Ladder of Engagement,” which they equate to a marketing funnel, they illustrate the stages that people move through to become real stakeholders in an organization’s cause, and they remind us that each stakeholder group has different communication and relationships needs.  Remember AIDA from Marketing 101?  Here it is revisited:
    • Awareness – when someone becomes simply aware of your organization and what it does.
    • Interest – when a person gets actually interested in learning more about your cause.
    • Desire – for a nonprofit, this might be when someone starts to identify with your cause as something that he or she wants to support.
    • Action – the point when a prospect actually donates, volunteers, shares information about your cause with others, signs a petition, or takes some other action on your behalf.
  4. Advanced Measurements, But Not Until You’re Ready  The last section deals with more advanced measurement concepts, network improvements and influence measurements, all of which are important, but as the authors remind the reader constantly, you have to crawl before you fly.

What are your social media stories?  Your successes and failures? Your best practices? I think it’s fair to say that we are all working on this to some extent, and I hope we can learn from each other.

For real-life examples and more tips, pick up a copy of Kanter’s book. Happy reading!

February 12, 2014 at 8:15 am 1 comment

Engage in 2014

employee-engagement1Never has making it through the first month of a new year seemed such grounds for celebration – or to take so long! But it is a new year and with it comes many ways to make the most of your Philanthropy Ohio membership. (Not a member? Join now.) Here are 10 ways to increase your skills, further your career and build your network of philanthropic peers across Ohio.

  1. Attend the inaugural Philanthropy Ohio Learning Institute on July 9. The new Institute is our major statewide convening in 2014 and will be held at the Blackwell Center at The Ohio State University. Look for next year’s annual conference in Cincinnati.
  2. Join a leadership initiative. We have 4 different leadership initiatives underway related to health reform, education policy, a tax credit for gifts to community foundations and diversity. Call Claudia at 614.224.1344 to find out more.
  3. Come to Foundations on the Hill. On March 5 – 6 we’ll be visiting members of Ohio’s congressional delegation.
  4. Write a blog post. Our Let’s Talk Philanthropy blog is a platform for discussing current topics so consider sharing your thoughts and ideas as a guest blogger. Contact Claudia Herrold if you’re interested.
  5. Volunteer for a committee. Serving on a committee is a great way to build your leadership skills and your network. We have room for you on our public policy or membership services committees. Call Susan at 614.224.1344 if you’d like to volunteer.
  6. Check out the new website. With its hundreds of sample documents, resources, publications and calendar of events it’s a treasure trove of all things philanthropy.
  7. Send us your news. We love to hear about your accomplishments, your new staff and news coverage. Email us at
  8. Register for our Corporate Funders series. National expert Bea Boccalandro’s monthly webinars this spring focus on different aspects of High Impact Corporate Giving.
  9. It’s time for bootcamp. If you’re new to the community foundation world, this is a can’t miss opportunity to learn the basics with your staff and trustee peers from across the Midwest.
  10. Tune in to Suzanne Allen’s monthly talks. Grab your lunch on the first Friday of the month for an informal conversation about hot topics in philanthropy.

I hope you’ll try out a few of these options this year!

Claudia Herrold

February 3, 2014 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

Ohio Gives report

This week’s blog presents data on Ohio giving in an infographic that can be downloaded and printed.

Ohio Gives

January 27, 2014 at 10:00 am 1 comment

Let’s Blog Philanthropy

headshot of suzanne allenDo you ever find that a song or a quote sticks in your head?  I do, and the one that is currently making the rounds in my little gray cells is one from Wayne Dyer that goes like this: “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

With the New Year now in the rearview mirror, and the resolutions made, I thought you might like to know what changes or “things” the staff and I at Philanthropy Ohio are working on and how these “things” can impact you and the work you do.

First, we reaffirmed our mission to provide great service to our members in meaningful ways and we have a staff advance (not retreat) planned to implement this belief. We are also looking at how we work, how our work is organized and how we can focus our efforts so that we meet the many and varied needs of our members. Here are a few of our big “things:”

  • A new calendar of events – watch your mail boxes – that lists all the programs, webinars, convenings, collaborations and other learning, leadership and networking opportunities for the year.
  • One of the exciting programs is our inaugural Summer Learning Institute, which will be held at The Ohio State University’s Blackwell Center. Save July 9th and plan to join us in Columbus to engage in intensive learning opportunities for building capacity, increasing impact and bringing new resources to bear as advocates for change. The Summer Learning Institute will serve as our statewide gathering in 2014; we look forward to seeing you at the annual conference in Cincinnati in 2015!
  • A big “thing” we’ve spent a lot of thought and time on is our website, which was constructed as a massive project with 16 other regional associations.
  • A truly creating “thing” is how we’ve rebranded and reorganized our monthly electronic newsletters for each organization type, bringing the latest and best resources to your inbox, and our quarterly Philanthropy Review magazine, special reports and hundreds of sample documents.
  • Another “thing” is a yearlong Core Competency webinar series to build essential skills and strategies to support your work.
  • More “things” include our regional funders’ interests groups, with focus ranging from arts and culture to education to the Appalachian region.
  • We’re also working to provide collaborative programs with national and regional partners including National Center for Family Philanthropy, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, BoardSource, Midwest Community Foundations’ Ventures and several others.
  • We’ll be continuing our advocacy work on your behalf in the areas of education, health care, tax reform and organizing an Ohio delegation for Foundations on the Hill in Washington, DC in March.
  • Also, I’ll be hosting a monthly webinar called “Let’s Talk Philanthropy” in which we can discuss areas of interest and concern and share great ideas and work from our members.

We are changing the way we look at “things” because we are committed to helping people engaged in philanthropy become more effective, powerful change agents so that our communities and our region are strengthened.  The “things” we are looking at are changing, and I think that’s great!

I’d love to hear from you.

January 21, 2014 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

Congratulations to The Cleveland Foundation

clevefdnThe Cleveland Foundation kicked off the year-long celebration of its 100th birthday on January 2, announcing an array of special activities and gifts to mark this historical event. Chief among the planned celebrations is a series of monthly gifts to the community, all of which will highlight community assets the foundations has helped to build through the years. The first such gift: a day of free rides on the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, which the foundation first supported in 1981. I can’t wait to see what other gifts will be made: stay tuned for announcements, to be made on the second of each month throughout the year.

You can read much more about the planned activities – including addresses by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and General Colin Powell – online. And be sure to check out the new website that shows the growth and development of the foundation since its founding, complete with period photos and key events presented a decade at a time.  Its searchable, interactive timeline is packed with interesting facts, stories and videos.

Happy birthday to you, Cleveland Foundation!

January 13, 2014 at 8:49 am Leave a comment

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