Blogs

Carlton Turner to Depart Alternate ROOTS Effective February 2018

In an email to colleagues, Executive Director Carlton Turner announced his decision to end his tenure at Alternate ROOTS effective February 2018.

I have spent the past thirteen years as a ROOTS' staff member, in service to the ROOTS mission of supporting artists working at the intersection of arts and social justice. In that time, I have seen the organization grow its roots deeper in its founding principles, while the coverage of its canopy stretched wider to encompass more and more creatives. All of this happening as ROOTS' profile as a regional organization with national institutional impact has expanded to be more accessible and equitable than ever. It is a great time to transition.
US Arts Nonprofits Generated $166.3 Billion in Spending in 2015, AFTA Report Shows

Americans for the Arts recently released its Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 report, which compiles national data to examine the economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences. As reported on Hyperallergic:

The report, tabulated with the help of economists from the Georgia Institute of Technology, draws from detailed spending and attendance figures provided by 14,439 cultural organizations and a whopping 212,691 audience surveys. It offers startlingly detailed figures about US citizens’ typical cultural consumption patterns and the way cultural organizations’ spending generates even more economic activity in their communities.
Larry Kramer: Down the Rabbit Hole? Impact Investing and Large Foundations

Larry Kramer, president of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, has recently published an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review:

No topic in philanthropy has generated as much interest and excitement in recent years as impact investing. And while talk has so far exceeded action by a wide margin, that’s starting to change as the steady drumbeat to join the party gains momentum. Yet the very one-sidedness of the discussion—and it has been entirely one-sided—gives me pause. For there are good reasons to hesitate before jumping down the for-profit rabbit hole, particularly for large grantmaking foundations like Hewlett.
New Online Dashboard from Foundation Center Presents Latest Data on Community Foundations

Insights, a service of Foundation Center, has announced the launch of the Columbus Survey Dashboard – the most up-to-date, comprehensive dataset reflecting the current financial state of community foundations in the United States. The research, which has been conducted annually since 1988, is available for the first time in an online, interactive format. The data show that community foundation assets reached a total of more than $76 billion in 2016, after a year of negligible growth in 2015.

F.B. Heron Foundation President Clara Miller to Step Down

From Philanthropy News Digest:

The F.B. Heron Foundation in New York City has announced that Clara Miller will step down as president at the end of December. Miller, who has served as director and president of Heron since 2010, will assume the role of president emerita and will continue to write, speak, and undertake research aimed at advancing the foundation's mission.

The widely respected Miller launched a strategic review of the foundation's grantmaking in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis that led to the adoption of a new operating model focused on impact investments in enterprises that create reliable income streams for people striving to lift themselves out of poverty.

Todd Stein Named CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance

The Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) board of directors voted unanimously on June 9, 2017 to appoint Todd Stein as its new chief executive officer.

Stein will lead M-AAA, the nation’s first regional arts organization that fosters and serves artists, cultural organizations, and communities in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and beyond. He has been serving as the organization’s interim CEO since August 2016 and before that as its chief operating officer.

Funders Supporting Social Issues and the Persuasive Power of Film

An article in the PhilanTopic blog highlights the work of the CrossCurrents Foundation to support films that explore social issues:

Soon after [co-founders Ken Grossinger and Michelíne Klagsbrun] created their foundation, the couple contacted Gittens with a proposal to establish the Justice Matters film series and award.

"Over the past eight years, Justice Matters has featured forty-one films," Blackaby told me. "And thanks to the Wyncote Foundation, we've been able to create that community connection, too: taking films out to schools and other settings, using social media to reach new audiences, and bringing the filmmakers and resource people to post-screening discussions."

Latest ‘Giving USA’ Report Shows National Charitable Donations at $390.1 Billion in 2016

From The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Charitable giving hit a record high for the third straight year in 2016, reaching $390.1 billion, according to "Giving USA," an annual study that estimates American philanthropy. However, donations rose at a slower rate than in recent years — 1.4 percent — as key economic indicators grew modestly and a divisive election season sowed uncertainty.

Foundation and corporate giving saw modest gains, with each increasing by a little more than 2 percent, to $59.3 billion and $18.6 billion, respectively. Giving to arts and culture groups grew by 5.1 percent, the second-biggest jump [by giving category], reaching $18.2 billion.

Preserving Cultural Space During a Real Estate Boom - 30 Ideas from Seattle

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture has released a report exploring mechanisms for creating, activating, and preserving cultural spaces amid the city’s real estate boom.

“Despite cultural space’s role in strengthening neighborhoods, creating and maintaining these spaces in strong real estate markets can be extremely difficult. The older, smaller, more eccentric spaces that often house cultural uses and small businesses are particularly vulnerable to development-driven displacement.”

The Charitable Deduction: How Tax Reforms Could Affect Foundations

The Council on Foundations had published an informative update on how potential federal tax reforms affecting the charitable deduction (which allows individuals to write off contributions to nonprofits on their taxes) could negatively impact giving to private foundations. To mitigate consequences of changes to the charitable deduction, the Council encourages funders to advocate for “a universal charitable deduction as a part of tax reform.” The update from Council offers detailed information on how private foundations can engage in advocacy and lobbying on this issue.