Community Foundation Update (04/01/2023)

Community Foundation Update (04/01/2023)


The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham has announced that it is working with the Community Foundation of Washington County (CFWC) in Greenville, Mississippi, to help address the devastation that occurred when tornadoes tore through Alabama and Mississippi earlier this week. CFWC has established the South Delta Disaster Recovery Fund to ensure that relief and recovery funding allocation stays local.


The Community Foundation for Southern Arizona has announced that William Horst, one of the founders of the Splendido Residents Association Scholarship Fund, is the 2023 recipient of the Southern Arizona Civic Leadership Award. The award recognizes community members who have gone above and beyond to make the area a more inclusive and welcoming place. Horst, who taught in the Metallurgical Engineering Department faculty at the University of Arizona, is a volunteer and leader with the Splendido Residents Association and an active member of the Splendido Resident’s Council and helped establish the Splendido Scholarship Fund, which has awarded more than $1.2 million to Splendido employees and their families pursuing continued education and professional development.


The Marin Community Foundation (MCF) in Novato has announced that it is making changes to the Pirkle Jones Fund Visual Artist Support Program (VASP), which provides support and opportunities for emerging or mid-career artists in Marin County. Beginning this year, the foundation is moving the timeline of the award from late spring/summer to the fall in order to garner more participation in and awareness of the program. It also is doubling the grant amount to $50,000 to provide the recipient with a truly meaningful level of support to dedicate to their craft. In addition, MCF is broadening its outreach to help build awareness and participation from a broader cadre of applicants and artists that more fully reflect the people and communities of the county.

The Santa Barbara Foundation has announced that Elisabeth Fowler and Joe Howell have been selected as the 80th Persons of the Year for the Santa Barbara area. The two will be honored for their volunteer contributions and service to the community at an in-person luncheon on April 19. Since moving to the region 18 years ago, Fowler has been an active volunteer for several nonprofits focused on health care, conservation, and education. Howell, who leads a law firm, has been involved in the local business, education, and athletic communities for 50 years.


The Connecticut Community Foundation has announced the launch of its general operating support program, which will distribute unrestricted multiyear grants to four organizations whose missions align with the foundation’s strategic priorities, including addressing the disparities in opportunities, outcomes, and well-being among greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills residents based on race, income, age, gender, geography, and other characteristics. In selecting grantees, the foundation prioritized organizations with which it had a grant history and those that showed sound financial management, are led by or serving people of color, and have demonstrated robust community engagement with programs and initiatives informed by resident voices. Recipients include Madre Latina, Neighborhood Housing Services of Waterbury, Save Girls on FYREs, and Waterbury Bridge to Success.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, and a group of local philanthropists led by Gerry and Karen Goldberg are partnering with More Perfect to enhance service opportunities for young adults across the United States. The institutions and private donors have committed more than $200,000 to seed a national strategy to double the number of civilian national service opportunities for young adults from 125,000 to 250,000 by 2026. More Perfect is an alliance of 14 presidential centers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Karsh Institute for Democracy at the University of Virginia, and more than 100 organizations that are uniting around the advancement of five “Democracy Goals,” which include national service and volunteering. Through the new strategy, More Perfect aims to create a more efficient and effective way to expand paid service opportunities for young people of all backgrounds in communities.


The Central Kansas Community Foundation has announced that Menocause, a men-only component fund of Valley Center Community Foundation, has grown and sustained a membership of 101 men in 2021 and 2022. In February, it awarded $25,250 in grants to local charities and invested $25,500 in its endowment.


The Seattle Foundation and King County have announced grants totaling $2.8 million to 18 community partners to advance systems and policy change to improve health, social, and economic outcomes in the region. Awarded through Communities of Opportunity (COO)’s systems and policy change strategy, the grants prioritize investments in community-led and community-engaged efforts to transform systems and policies that will decrease and/or prevent continued racism and inequities related to economic opportunity, health, housing, and community connections in communities of color in King County. Recipients include Casa Latina, FEEST, Seattle Indian Health Board, and Surge for Reproductive Justice.


The La Crosse Community Foundation has announced that it will receive a bequest of $3.2 million from English professor Ronald Burnam, who died in January. The bequest will be divided among four funds—three existing funds dedicated to arts education in memory of Burman’s wife, Valerie Burman, who taught art at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse, and Western Technical College—and a fourth to be created. The existing funds include the Valerie Burman Art Plus Scholarship Fund, which provides three annual scholarships to area high school graduates seeking a double major in art and another field like education; the Valerie Burman Master of Fine Arts Fellowship, which provides fellowships to students pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, with preference given to Valerie Burman Art Plus Scholarship recipients; and the Ronald & Valerie Burman Fund for Visual Arts, a new fund Burman established just days before his death to support the Coulee Region Alliance for the Visual Arts by providing scholarships for aspiring artists in grades 6-12 to purchase art supplies, memberships to local art museums and galleries, art classes, and more.

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Lumina Foundation awards $1.6 million to Coastal Enterprises

Lumina Foundation awards $1.6 million to Coastal Enterprises

Coastal Enterprises, Inc (CEI) in Brunswick, Maine, has announced a $1.6 million investment from the Lumina Foundation to expand its Child Care Business Lab, which provides training and an opportunity to access capital to start childcare enterprises in the state.

The funding includes a $600,000 grant and a $1 million program-related investment. The funding will provide low-cost capital to lend to childcare business owners starting their enterprises, which is traditionally difficult to access due to the industry’s nontraditional collateral, tight margins, and delayed income from reimbursements for subsidized programs.

“The lack of access to quality child care is a chronic problem across the country. We are excited to support CEI’s Child Care Business Lab,” said Lumina Foundation vice president of learning and work Chauncy Lennon. “The curriculum is a ready-made and replicable model that can work in other places. The skills the Child Care Business Lab provides lead to good jobs, higher pay, and greater opportunity to learn and serve others.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Sol Stock)

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Niarchos Foundation commits $32.5 million for cultural center

Niarchos Foundation commits $32.5 million for cultural center

The Athens-based Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has announced a three-year commitment of up to €30 million ($32.5 million) in support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).

The center, which opened in 2017, is a safe, open, accessible, and environmentally sustainable public space envisioned and created by SNF. The new commitment, which will cover operating and programming costs, includes €10 million ($10.8 million) for the first year, €9 million ($9.8 million) each for the subsequent years, and up to €2 million ($2.2 million) as a matching gift for the maintenance of SNFCC facilities. With this most recent commitment, SNF has awarded a total of €641 million ($695 million) to the SNFCC, including support for its construction, operating costs, events, programming, and infrastructure. To date, more than 6,100 cultural and educational events and more than 16,100 sports activities have taken place at the center, with admission largely free due to support from SNF.

“We are particularly pleased that the Greek state also embraces and recognizes the value of the SNFCC, and that…the organization will continue to perform its important role as an evolving, sustainable, and universally accessible public space,” said SNF co-president Andreas Dracopoulos. “This collaboration reinvigorates the concept of public-private partnership in practice, which we believe will give the SNFCC the opportunity to keep on being a unique destination and integral part of everyday life for everyone, and to activate even more of its potential as a modern Agora in constant dialogue with the Greek and international community.”

(Photo credit: Getty Images/Sotirakos)

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Stream Now to Hear About “The Generosity Crisis: The Case for Radical Connection to Solve Humanity’s Greatest Challenges”

Stream Now to Hear About “The Generosity Crisis: The Case for Radical Connection to Solve Humanity’s Greatest Challenges”

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Credit: Arreva

Hear the most compelling interview about the generosity crisis with co-authors of “The Generosity Crisis: The Case for Radical Connection to Solve Humanity’s Greatest Challenges,” Nathan Chappell, CEO of Changing our World, and Brian Crimmins, Senior Vice President of DonorSearch AI. During this episode’s interview with David Blyer, CEO of Arreva, and Jay Fiske, Co-President of MaestroSoft, our Nathan and Brian discuss and share what can be done in to change the crisis around charitable giving.

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LinkedIn for Nonprofits Resource Hub

LinkedIn for Nonprofits Resource Hub

Credit: LinkedIn

The LinkedIn for Nonprofits Resource Hub is a free, curated collection of guides, best practices, live webinars, and more that equips global nonprofit professionals with the knowledge and support they need to help their organizations get the most out of free LinkedIn features to further their mission.

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5 Essential Steps for Your Nonprofit’s Stakeholder Surveys

5 Essential Steps for Your Nonprofit’s Stakeholder Surveys

Nonprofits vary greatly in size and focus, from community organizations that feed the hungry to global institutions protecting the environment. But one thing all nonprofits have in common is the need for stakeholder surveys.

Surveys allow nonprofits to better understand — and then better serve — their stakeholders. They are like a dialogue with your community — a chance to hear what’s working, what’s not, and what needs to change. When done right, stakeholder surveys allow nonprofits to zero in on their constituents’ problems and solve them effectively. Alternatively, when done poorly or not at all, nonprofits can lose sight of what’s truly important to those they serve and how to make an impact.

In 2023, as your nonprofit gears up for one or more stakeholder surveys, here are five essential steps for ensuring the process is productive and impactful.

1. Ask the Right Questions

The substance of a stakeholder survey — that is, the questions being asked, and how they’re being asked — is what differentiates the good from the great. As you assemble your survey, avoid questions that are too broad and not actionable. 

For example:

  • “Is our organization meeting your needs?” Instead, craft questions that are granular and actionable. 
  • “Did our latest food drive provide a wide-enough variety of fruits and vegetables?” Having the right mix of open-ended questions, where participants respond in their own words to the prompt, and multiple-choice questions is also essential. Posing the same question as a multiple-choice option or as an open-ended question can result in different feedback. 

It’s also crucial that survey language is clear, concise, and accessible. Speak to your stakeholders in their language; no jargon or indecipherable acronyms. Otherwise, you risk stakeholders turning away — and losing valuable data and insights. 

2. Be Inclusive

It’s critical that you speak to all your stakeholders, and not just select pockets of them. To be inclusive in your survey, make sure you’re taking various issues into account: 

  • What language(s) is the survey published in? 
  • Is it available online and in print? 
  • Are people only able to take it at certain times of day? 

Think about how to make it easy for your stakeholders to complete the survey, and then disseminate it with that in mind. When you do, you’ll capture a holistic picture. If you don’t, you’ll collect data that is biased or incomplete. To increase participation, you can also provide incentives for completing the survey, like an event with food or gift cards.  

3. Learn From the Pandemic

COVID-19 provided a long list of lessons for nonprofits — one of which was how to creatively engage with stakeholders. Indeed, the pandemic has significantly impacted stakeholder survey design and data collection. 

Many nonprofits adopted tools, like Mailchimp and Google Forms, out of necessity but have stuck with them due to their ease of use and functionality. Similarly, nonprofits connected with stakeholders over Zoom and other video platforms during the height of COVID-19, but learned they should have been doing so much earlier. Tools like these allow you to reach more people more quickly — and make parsing data easier. 

4. Don’t Make Assumptions

Stakeholder surveys are about gleaning new insights, especially unexpected ones. Stakeholder surveys are not about reinforcing existing assumptions. As you craft and disseminate your survey, ensure you’re not going into it with predetermined ideas. 

Instead, treat it as a blank slate. You may think you know what your constituents need, but you’ll never truly find out if your questions are leading. Also, make sure you’re collecting data that is relevant to the current moment. Don’t recycle questions from past surveys — even surveys that are only a year or two old. 

5. Set a Clear Timeline

Nonprofits know the importance of having a program that runs like a well-oiled machine. Your stakeholder surveys are no exception. Like any initiative, your survey should have a clear calendar: a start date, an end date and milestones. Make sure you hold yourself accountable, and don’t move from one phase to the next until all the necessary data has been collected. 

This year — and all years — make sure your nonprofit is investing in stakeholder surveys. By following these five steps, you can ensure you’re collecting all of the valuable insights your nonprofit needs to best serve your community and make an impact. 

The preceding blog was provided by an individual unaffiliated with NonProfit PRO. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of NonProfit PRO.

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