Monthly Archives: February 2011

Philanthropy and the Arts: Why Our Support Matters

Over at Minnesota Council on Foundation’s Philanthropy Potluck blog, the team has been doing an amazing job keeping with the latest in the budgetary debates, both on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures.

Last week, Chuck Peterson, MCF’s vice president for member relations, had a stirring post on the proposed cuts the National Endowment for the Arts. In the post, Chuck argues that a decrease in government funding for the arts may pose a greater risk to the ecology of arts funding that it first appears on the surface. In fact, proposed cuts to federal funding for the arts could result in an unintential decrease in  private support:

Arts and culture play a significant role in our society, and NEA dollars are often a critical piece of the funding equation in supporting state and local budgets. NEA grants require at least a one-to-one match of federal funds from the private sector – on average each NEA grant leverages at least seven dollars from other state, local and private sources. As a result, the deep cuts to NEA funding could have the unintended impact of dramatically reducing private support of cultural funding.

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The Next Evolution of GrantCraft

Last week it was announced that GrantCraft will be transitioning from the Ford Foundation to relaunch as a joint project of the Foundation Center and European Foundation Centre.

For the past ten years, we’ve known GrantCraft under the leadership of Jan Jaffe, who has been instrumental in capturing and advancing grantmaker knowledge. In a recent blog post, Gerry Salole of European Foundation Centre put it this way:

GrantCraft works so well because it focuses on grantmakers’ tacit knowledge: that which is understood and gained from experiential learning, but which is not regularly expressed or discussed. Grantmakers are often not aware of how much knowledge they actually possess, or how valuable it can be for others; GrantCraft skillfully taps into this.

Salole goes on to discuss  GrantCraft in the context of a “bricoleurs toolbox” – “the assortment of fundamental skills and expertise that can be mixed and matched” to take advantage of the collaborative and exploratory nature of the craft of grantmaking.

If you’re interested in learning more about the changes happening at GrantCraft, check out the videos on the GrantCraft homepage in which Jan Jaffe, Bradford Smith, and Gerry Salole discuss the transition. Also, be sure to keep up with their blog for regular updates at

New President at West Virginia Grantmakers

West Virginia Grantmakers has announced that Paul Daugherty will begin work as the organization’s new president in mid-March.

WVG’s board describes Paul as a “dynamic leader capable of taking us to the next level of excellence.” Continue reading

Conference Hotel Announcement & Request for Agenda Feedback

We are excited to announce the conference hotel for our 2011 annual conference, The Curtis Hotel!  The Forum’s annual conference will be August 1-3 in Denver, CO.

The Curtis (part of the Hilton Doubletree family) is a fun one-of-a-kind boutique hotel in downtown Denver only steps away from the 16th Street Mall and the Denver Performing Arts Center.  The hotel boasts a complimentary business center on the same floor as our meeting space, a newly renovated fitness center, and an on-site Starbucks.  Each floor of guest rooms has its own theme and all the rooms come with:

  • an oversized desk
  • comfortable reading chair
  • 26” flat screen TV
  • iPod docking station
  • complimentary high speed wired and wireless Internet access (even in the meeting rooms!)

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New Research Reports from FPN

In advance of Foundations on the Hill, Florida Philanthropic Network has released two new research reports on charitable giving in Florida:

Giving in Florida: The State of Philanthropy in the Sunshine State, 2011 Edition

2011 Florida Grantmaking Outlook Report

Unveiled at their annual conference last week (the largest one ever!), FPN will use the new research data from these reports throughout the year, including to support meetings with their congressional delegation at FOTH and in Florida.

Are you collecting data to back up your conversations with legislators at FOTH? What are the best resources you’ve found?

What is FOTH?

We throw around a lot of acronyms and inside lingo here on the blog.  Sometimes it’s helpful to take a step back and explain exactly what we’re talking about. With FOTH (that’s Foundations on the Hill) under a month away, Forum CEO Michael Litz and Council on Foundation’s CEO Steve Gunderson have put together an informative video to answer all your questions. Check it out! And be sure to share it with those not yet in the know.

CNJG Releases Facing Our Future: Rethinking Government Services in a Time of Fiscal Crisis

By 2016, state government in New Jersey faces a shortfall of up to $10.3 billion; municipalities face a shortfall of up to $2.75 billion; the counties face a shortfall of up to $1.1 billion, and school districts face a shortfall of over $1 billion. Those gaps do not include either the $94 billion underfunding of state-funded public employee pension and health benefits systems, including post-retirement medical benefits – or the additional $27 billion in unfunded liability at the municipal and county levels of government for employee pension and health benefits – which may be the single biggest fiscal challenge to New Jersey’s future.

New Jersey can no longer sustain its antiquated system for raising and spending money at all levels of government. The effect on public services – including schools, public safety, transportation and healthcare – is severe and will be felt by virtually every citizen in the state.

In response, the Council of New Jersey Grantmakers (CNJG) seeks to educate the public about these realities, and to provide an independent, objective analysis of how various government entities in New Jersey raise and spend money. The hope of their new report, Facing Our Future, is to educate the public and to foster an informed public discussion. The core questions critical to the discussion – and to the state’s future – are simple: what are our priorities; are we organized effectively and efficiently to deliver on those priorities within all levels of our government; and are we able to fund those priorities? Continue reading