Tag Archives: Florida Philanthropic Network

FPN White Paper on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

ACA White PaperA new report by Florida Philanthropic Network looks at how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is likely to impact the lives of Floridians, and suggests key roles for philanthropy to play as the ACA is implemented in the state.

The report, entitled “White Paper on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act & Its Implications for Florida Philanthropy,” describes the underlying policy issues that the ACA is intended to address; outlines the key elements of the law; details ACA issues of particular salience in Florida; and considers the potential role that philanthropy might play in the complex set of processes by which the law is being implemented. 

Among the possible roles for philanthropy identified in the report related to ACA implementation are public education about the law, development of programs and interventions to support ACA implementation, and assessment and evaluation of the ACA’s implementation and effectiveness.

For more information or to download the report, please visit FPN’s website at www.fpnetwork.org/ACAreport2013.


What’s Happening in Florida with the Engagement Initiative?

Guest Post by Maggie Gunther Osborn, Vice President, Florida Philanthropic Network

Florida is a natural partner for work in the aging arena right?  Of course, we have been called “God’s waiting room” and the place where older Americans come to retire and snowbirds that drive south during winter to warm their bones.  It’s where everyone comes to visit Mickey Mouse and Grandma and Grandpa.  Florida’s population is among the oldest in the country and in fact, we have the oldest county demographically in America, Sarasota County.

Sarasota median age: 44.5 years
Florida median age: 41.3 years
National median age 36.8 years

When I joined FPN in 2010 we were awarded a grant to be part of the final cohort of the GIA Engagement Initiative and I knew right away that I was in very new territory. My background as a grantmaker had been primarily in children and youth. Beyond funding for Seniors in Service I was very unaware of issues surrounding our aging population and even less familiar with what the members of FPN were doing in this arena. I had just not been in a place where I thought much about this burgeoning part of our community. As we began to discuss the possibilities of where we could go with our two years of effort, we signed on to partner with SECF, who was a year ahead of us in their engagement work and was creating regular webinars in which FPN’s members could participate. This being established we began to think of what else we could do. The discussions with my members, our funders, and the baseline survey provided the answers.

The member survey and subsequent programming have employed a broad view in asking our members about their funding and involvement in the aging arena. It was clear from our initial research and inquiry that, outside of the traditional framework of health funders, there were no funders among our membership that identified themselves as aging-issue funders, although many of them have some investment in the space. As FPN moved through planning discussions, we chose to work within the framework that all funders, in one way shape or form, are touching the aging population, especially those that are investing in safety net programming, economic development and housing during these difficult times. To address the broader audience of funders, FPN chose to meet them where they were in their funding, offering an additional lens of aging through which they could view their grantmaking.

We began to frame the conversation and all future programming outside traditional silos. Rather it became, and continues to be, the goal of FPN to look at the aging population as a lens that should always be used when looking at any grantmaking; not separate or apart but rather just another framing or piece of the whole puzzle. FPN has also tried to raise awareness of issues and opportunities not by separating out the conversation but rather by infiltrating conversations that Grantmakers and partners are already having. We have also tried adding some joy and energy to what can often times be heavy and unappealing subject matter; approaching from a frame of abundance rather than deprivation.

So what does this look like in Florida? First, one simple example was instead of having a session on aging issues at the 2012 summit that the usual suspects would attend, we educated the entire body of attendees by holding a trivia contest on aging facts that qualified attendees to be part of a drawing for an iPad and drew them to visit vendor booths. At the other end of the spectrum in Florida lies the incredible work that has given birth to The Institute for The Ages in Sarasota. The Institute for the Ages is a new “think” tank that came out of Florida’s economic development efforts. Their mission is to activate ideas that prepare us for the opportunities and challenges associated with aging populations. In addition to providing the infrastructure for, and access to, Sarasota County’s community test bed, the Institute connects members of the community, government, research organizations, companies and other partners to identify policy, product and service innovations that will improve the lives of people across age groups. The idea that aging populations are an economic engine that can be engaged and will drive the economic future for Sarasota is a reframing of the tradition conversation of this population being a drain on resources.

FPN has taken and will continue to take a nontraditional approach to this work and mark our success by shifts in attitudes and breadths of grantmaking that will encompass not isolate the aging populations as a valuable asset in our portfolios.

Florida Philanthropic Network and Donors Forum of South Florida Announce Merger

Donors Forum of South Florida has merged with Florida Philanthropic Network. The merger, which was approved by the two organizations’ boards of directors in early May, brings together the two largest philanthropy associations in Florida. The organization will maintain the Florida Philanthropic Network name and logo, and will continue to be led by FPN President and CEO David Biemesderfer.

“We are delighted to welcome even more South Florida foundations and corporate grantmakers into Florida Philanthropic Network,” said Steven Marcus, Board Chair of Florida Philanthropic Network and President and CEO of the Health Foundation of South Florida. “Their presence will enable FPN to provide an even stronger, more unified voice for the state’s philanthropy sector.”

As a result of the merger, Florida Philanthropic Network will open a South Florida office with locations in both West Palm Beach and Miami by early June, and will have a staff person working on the ground in South Florida to meet the needs of FPN’s members in the region.

Bipartisan Success for FPN at FOTH

Everyone can get behind the charitable sector but not everyone realizes what an important role philanthropy can play in improving our communities. Raising awareness of the role that philanthropy plays in society is a primary objective of Foundations on the Hill. Florida Philanthropic Network President and CEO David Biemesderfer put it this way, “At a time when more people than ever are struggling to make ends meet in Florida during these difficult economic times, we hit the Hill to stress to our legislative leaders the important role that philanthropy can play to help our state recover and thrive.”

FPN’s FOTH meetings were a success on this front. In a recent blog post, Biemesderfer writes:

While on the Hill we were pleased to hear broad support for philanthropy throughout Florida’s congressional delegation – on both sides of the aisle. The visits have already led to an increase in support for key foundation issues in Congress. After the FPN team visited the office of Congressman Dennis Ross (R-FL12), for example, he decided to support current bills to expand and extend the IRA charitable rollover provision and simplify the private foundation excise tax.

Read more at FPN’s blog.

It’s great to hear about all the productive meetings that regional associations and their delegations had with Members of Congress. Do you have your own success story to tell? Let us hear it in the comments.

FOTH: A Time to Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk … Comfortably

Guest post by David Biemesderfer, President and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network. This post also appears on RE:Philanthropy, a blog from the Council on Foundations.

Florida Philanthropic Network is pleased to once again be leading the state’s delegation to Washington, D.C., for Foundations on the Hill (FOTH), March 21–22. Although we coordinate visits with our members of Congress back in their home districts throughout the year, FOTH is a critical part of our annual public policy engagement work.

Because Florida is such a large state, FOTH offers a great opportunity for our grantmaking members from Miami to the Panhandle to gather in the nation’s capital for two days of focused interaction with our senators and representatives and their staffs. Our FOTH team members always walk away from the experience feeling energized and inspired by the collective voice we bring to Washington, on the statewide and national levels, and they enjoy the camaraderie that the FOTH experience always engenders.
FOTH is also a great model of collaboration between the Council on Foundations, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, and the Forum’s members across the country. Our sector is much better served, and has much more power, when we all come together for the common good.

A highlight for us last year was our meeting with Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who at the time was a new member of the all-important House Ways and Means Committee. Two years ago, it was our meeting with then-Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, which led directly to her introduction of a bill to extend the IRA charitable rollover. Talk about seeing our Hill visits make a difference! We always walk away from our days on the Hill learning something new, making new connections, and feeling like we moved the needle just a bit further in helping philanthropy to build a better Florida.

I’ve been involved with FOTH since the beginning, and my advice to our delegation members never changes. First, make sure you tell your story, in your own words, about the good work you’re doing in your communities. Second, always wear comfortable shoes.

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?

10 Questions or Less for David Biemesderfer

10 Questions or Less is a feature here on the Forum’s Forum in which we get to know regional association staff members a little better—their work, what drives them, and more. This week,  David Biemesderfer, President & CEO at Florida Philanthropic Network.

Dave BYou’re the Foundations on the Hill delegation captain for Florida. What issues do you plan on addressing with Congress this spring?

First and foremost, we plan to update members of Florida’s congressional delegation on some of the great work our members have been doing across Florida recently, and to continue to strengthen relationships between FPN, our members, and our representatives and senators. As is true with many other states, Florida has several new members of our congressional delegation, so we plan to inform these members, in particular, about FPN and how we can be a resource to help them with their work and with their constituents. Of course, we also plan to discuss the top federal-level issues that are of high importance for the field. Continue reading