5.21 Fluff Free News Digest

May, 2021
 
Has it been one year already?! So nice to see some of those lovely plywood window treatments begin to disappear. Hopefully, the funders’ commitments to justice and accountability won’t get stored in the garage alongside the plywood.
 
BIG NEWS AT ACCESS!
 
Beginning the week of May 17th 1st, our friend, and AP Senior Advisor Matt Ladhoff (matt@accessphilanthropy.com) will become our Manager Partner. He’s a wonderful, knowledgeable, high-interest, and high-performance guy, and we couldn’t be happier.
 
“I am a lifelong learner who loves connecting with others and applying business acumen towards impact-oriented solutions. I earned my MBA from the University of Minnesota, where I currently serve as an adjunct faculty member. 
 
I have previous experience leading Career Programs at Wallin Education Partners, a Twin Cities-based education equity nonprofit. Additionally, I worked at 3M for six years, working in corporate social responsibility, as well as strategic sourcing, while leading 3M’s New Employee Opportunity Network (NEON). Above all, I am an optimist and a life enthusiast. I am proud of the work of Access Philanthropy and the clients we serve. I look forward to joining the team!” s/Matt Ladhoff
 
A GOOD TIME TO INTRODUCE MORE GREAT NEW AP PEOPLE
The new guys. Catch their bios on the AP homepage (www.accessphilanthropy.com)
  • John Munger, Senior Advisor
  • Mary Hartnett, Senior Advisor
  • Kathy Jenkins Hart, Senior Writer
  • Mary Beth Schleif, Senior Writer
  • Jodi Vannett, Senior Writer
  • Justin Spenner, Senior Writer
  • Laura Wilson, Research Crew
 
They join our current great crew
  • Mike Newman, Senior Advisor
  • Greg Lais, Senior Advisor
  • Jo Seton, Lead Writer
  • Christine Schwitzer, Lead Writer
  •  Katie Selinsky, Senior Writer
  •  Mary Anne Welch, Digital Assets and Database Guru
  • Gail Morrison, Everything Coordinator
  • Jana Simmons, Lead Research Wizard
 
THIRTY MINUTES WITH AN AP SENIOR ADVISOR?
AP continues to offer free thirty-minute telephone/zoom chats with an AP Senior Advisor. Sometimes we talk grants, sometimes general fundraising planning, and often we include a few minutes on how you are handling the latest pandemic. Email gail@accessphilanthropy.com
 
FUNDER NOTES
Union Pacific Foundation Community Ties: Greatly expanded areas of interest, and a specific contact person for Minnesota. Application timeframe has been moved to June 1-July 31. 
 
Otto Bremer Trust: Trustees will continue to control grantmaking, but will no longer serve on the banking operation’s board of directors.
 
Bush Foundation: Has committed $100 million toward increasing the wealth of Black and Native American people. Currently, they’re looking for two organizations to act as re-grantors.
 
Skoll Foundation: National funder, based in Northern CA. Used to be ONLY about social entrepreneurship in almost any form. Now, the foundation is returning to interest areas: health systems reform, effective government, global security, racial equity, and climate change.
 
TCF/Huntington Bank: TCF Bank, based in Detroit for the last couple of years, was purchased by Columbus, OH’s Huntington Bank. When you’re two degrees of separation from the home bank (like Minnesota and Huntington), you get regional or state presidents (see JPMorgan, Bank of America, PNC). For TCF, Darrel German is the new Minnesota regional president.
 
Bill and Melinda Gates are getting a divorce after 27 years of wedded philanthropy. Some time, remind me to tell you my Bill Gates vs. Saint Francis of Assisi story …
 
The Asian American Foundation: a new foundation intended to support Asian American empowerment movements. Lots of investment types on the board, but it also includes several well-respected Asian American community leaders No grants yet.
 
EARMARKS
The Congressional Community Project Funding process, otherwise known as “earmarks,” is underway for all 435 members of Congress. Each member is allowed up to ten requests of just about any size (think millions, rather than thousands). Many members’ requests/earmarks are already being “considered” by Congressional Committees, while some members haven’t even started their application process.
 
Fifth District Representative Ilhan Omar just announced the ten groups that she will be presenting to the appropriate committees: Skills Training for Clean Energy Careers; Afro-LatinX Immigrant COVID-19 Workforce Re-Engagement; BC Health on the Go!;, All Roads Campaign; Sabathani Community Center Building Revitalization Project; North Commons Regional Vision; NEON Food Entrepreneur Incubation; Fire Protection Upgrades; Waadag Commons; and Hennepin Healthcare East Lake Clinic Rebuild.
 
NO EXCUSES
If you need to upgrade your Microsoft Office Suite for Nonprofits, TechSoup has a deal for $39 which includes free training.
 
GOBS AND GOBS OF JOBS
So many jobs this month! Many of them are simply unfilled from last month, but plenty of new opportunities, too, from major funders nationally and locally. BTW, these are not paid want ads. We believe that getting Minnesota people into national foundation jobs will be to the benefit of all Minnesota groups.
 
Yellow Chair Foundation (northern CA) needs Senior Program Officers for their Democracy and Justice, and Climate Advocacy and Equity Programs.
 
W.K. Kellogg Foundation wants a Vice President for its Place-Based Programs, to take care of its four geographic priorities – MS, MI, NM, and New Orleans.
 
Wallace Foundation (NYC) needs a Research Officer for Education Leadership.
 
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation has LOTS of jobs available, with a special need for a Racial Justice Initiative Director.
 
San Francisco Foundation, a great community foundation with very interesting funding areas, is looking for a Chief Philanthropy Officer.
 
Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation (Seattle) needs an ED – public education, theatre, patient care, and career works.
 
Walton Family Foundation needs a lot of people, but if you know anything about NW Arkansas, you have a much better chance of grabbing one of the foundation’s Home Region positions.
 
Annie E. Casey Foundation is also looking for lots of new people, including a Director of Employment, Education and Training. 
 
Lots of other funding jobs are available at the Bill and Melinda Gates, Robert Wood Johnson, Astraea, Nationwide, and Morgan Family foundations, and the Catholic Community Foundation of San Diego.
 
FUNDRAISING REPORTS
A.    Virtual Events
According to Classy’s Why America Gives 2020, virtual fundraising did okay during the last year.
  • Nearly one-third of U.S. consumers said they have supported or participated in a virtual charity event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Of those, the majority (60%) said they donated and/or raised more in the virtual environment than they have for past in-person events
  • Preferences between in-person and virtual donations differ somewhat among the various age groups.
 
B.    Interest Areas Giving
Also from Why America Gives 2020 report, American donors noted these giving preferences.
 
2020 Donor Preferences
  • Health – 46%
  • Disaster Relief – 34%
  • Education – 31%
 
2019 Donor Preferences
  • Disaster Relief – 46%
  • Health – 37%
  • Environment – 37%
 
2018 Donor Preferences
  • Disaster Relief – 43%
  • Health – 37%
  • Environment – 36%
 
We spent many hours last year (and this) Zooming with funders and donors. Many of these folks believe several major nonprofits (e.g., museums and housing groups) vividly reframed themselves as now being health organizations.
 
While some donors were offended by what they believed was “hiding behind the pandemic,” other donors were happy to support old non-health friends who they believed were shifting their programs to support the community’s urgent need. Many nonprofit leaders agree with the latter – shifting to health messaging helped their constituents deal with the pandemic.
 
So, whether you are changing or just shifting a little to health programs, maybe now is a good idea to think about how you handle “re-messaging.”
 
C.    Crowdfunding: A Less Religious, Single, and Young Person’s Game
Indiana University released a survey on crowdfunding. Key findings:
  • Turns out most people know about crowdfunding (91%), but less than one in three people (31%) contribute through the mechanism
  • Both crowdfunding donors and non-donors have positive attitude about crowdfunding
  • Crowdfunding donors tend to be younger, less religious, and are more likely to be single, compared to traditional charitable giving donors
  •  Crowdfunding donors gave an average of $189, and most (52.5%) supported the charitable causes of a family member or close friend
  • Overall, 20% of American donors give to social justice causes, but crowdfunding donors gave 27.7% of their support to social justice causes.
 
D.   Multi-Year General Operating Support Grants (MYGOS)
The grantseekers’ holy grail – multi-year general operating support grants will remain “more goal than gold,” according to the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP), which found a huge gap between grantseekers’ and grantmakers’ attitudes toward MYGOS.
 
According to CEP, “Our findings reveal a sobering disconnect between attitudes of foundation leaders and the experience of nonprofits … We are left to conclude that a majority of foundation leaders simply have not felt it a fit with their approach, or important enough to prioritize shifting their funding practices [to MYGOS grants].”
 
E.    Memberships
According to an M+R Benchmarks 2021 survey, revenue from nonprofit membership programs with defined, tangible benefits increased by 17% in 2020.
 
F.    Email Fundraising for Small Organizations
Also from M+R research, it turns out that small nonprofits received a better response rate for email solicitations during 2020 than did large and mid-sized groups.
 
So many opportunities and discussion points here. Think about how this works for you. Or just call an Access Philanthropy Senior Advisor (gail@accessphilanthropy.com) to chat.
 
NOTHING PERSONAL, OF COURSE
Mark Twain wrote, “God first made idiots (that was for practice) then He made…Boards!”
 
FUNDING REPORTS
 
Asian Americans: A new Asian American Pacific Islander report finds that foundation funding designated for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities accounts for only 0.2 percent of all U.S. grantmaking, about the same as the 1992 report.
 
That means for every $100 awarded by foundations, only $0.20 was designated for AAPI communities. Overall, AAPI foundation 2018 funding totaled $174 million, a drop from 2009.
 
Since 2018 2,000 funders awarded grants to, or for, AAPI communities. But the top five funders accounted for nearly 40% of AAPI funding (California Endowment, Ford, Doris Duke, and W.K. Kellogg. Top interest areas were arts, youth services, and basic human services.
 
In Minnesota, the top five AAPI grantmakers in 2018 were Minneapolis Foundation and its donor-advised funds, Otto Bremer, Wells Fargo, St Paul/Minnesota Foundation, and its donor-advised funds, and the Bush Foundation.
 
TAKING IT UNDER ADVISEMENT
Edgar Villanueva, partner in Decolonizing Wealth Project co-authored an interesting piece in the Chronicle of Philanthropy on white philanthropy. He writes that one of the clearest indicators of white colonial philanthropy is when funders respond to a grantee with, we’ll take that under advisement.”
 
As a former Catholic seminarian who was on the giving and receiving side of that defense, I think that language is closer to a mortal sin than a venial sin. 
 
EVEN IF YOU THINK YOU DON’T HAVE TIME, make time to tip a glass to the memory of George Floyd on the first anniversary of his death. May the many murals, photos, and depictions of Mr. Floyd remind us of why we are committed to a better universe.
Need to talk to someone about fundraising? Let Gail know (gail@accessphilanthropy.com).