Equity: is Your Foundation Ready to Invest in Building Opportunity for All?

Research shows that one of the greatest impediments to a prosperous future for all of Michigan’s people is unequal access to resources. To help foundation leaders and their boards begin essential conversations about marginalized populations and determine the extent to which their organization’s culture and grantmaking practices are aligned with a commitment to expanding opportunity in the communities they serve, CMF developed this discussion guide and self-assessment.

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Catagories: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Families Funding Change

Social justice grantmaking is an important part of many family foundations’ strategies. These foundations use their reputation and financial capital for systemic reform by funding work such as nonprofit advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement. Yet, many family foundations also encounter hurdles when they consider a shift to strategic social justice giving.

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Laying the Groundwork for a National Impact Investing Marketplace

Impact investing is an umbrella concept encompassing several investment tools, including mission related investments (MRIs), program related investments (PRIs), and screening mechanisms for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) priorities. The practice of impact investing is rapidly gaining momentum, but the level of activity among individual and institutional investors, including philanthropists and foundations, has barely penetrated projections of market potential. Foundations are among the most reluctant investors and represent the smallest share of current activity. The academic, nonprofit, Denver-based Impact Finance Center1 (IFC) has established a proof point for creating impact investing “marketplaces” at a statewide scale across all sectors, asset classes, Read more

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Moving Beyond Job Creation: Defining and Measuring the Creation of Quality Jobs

Since the end of the Great Recession, almost 12 million jobs have been created — but most have been in low-wage occupations and at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants. Average wages for working Americans have dropped 23 percent. It’s become clear that job creation does not equate to lasting economic change. In order to reverse the troubling trends we’re seeing, we no longer find it defensible to focus on job creation alone. We must shift our focus to the creation of higher quality jobs that are good for workers and their families, good for businesses, and good for communities. Through a better understanding of Read more

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Participate: The Power of Involving Business in Social Impact Networks

If you are involved in a collective effort to address a large-scale social challenge and are wondering how companies could play a meaningful role, this handbook is for you. It is a companion to ENGAGE: How Funders Can Support and Leverage Networks for Social Impact, a resource for philanthropic funders considering whether a social impact network might be the right investment; and if so, what kind of network to engage with, and what role to play. Building on that guidance, this handbook focuses on the particular models for building social impact networks that engage the private sector. Why would a Read more

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









Program-Related Investment Rules for Private Foundations

This free (and fun) video resource defines and helps the user understand the basic legal rules for program-related investments.  The video guides the user through the PRI process, and discusses how these investments can support the organization’s programmatic work and/or expand the organization’s charitable work. The training features “Maya,” a program officer that helps participants through the course in a way that reflects actual experiences. Participants can return to the training at any time for a refresher and click on the individual modules to refer back to specific topics.

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector









What are the issues with donor-advised funds?

If the media reports are any indication, interest in donor-advised funds (DAFs) is on the rise. DAFs enable donors to claim a tax deduction by placing their donation in a fund run by a charity, which will later be distributed, under the advice of “donor advisers,” to other Internal Revenue Service–registered charities. Recent headlines imply that DAFs reduced money distributed for charitable purposes, but that is misleading, if not wrong. In fact, because of additional investment gains that must be distributed and low overhead costs relative to other forms of endowed giving, DAFs tend to increase what charities receive over Read more

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Catagories: Models and Approaches, Resources, The Philanthropic Sector