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Apply Now: Several Philanthropic Opportunities, particularly for next gen’ers

October 31, 2014

While it’s been awhile since we posted here on the blog, please remember to keep up to date via our SAPP Facebook page!   And we are always looking for contributors to this site, get in touch for more info on how to submit.

In the meantime, too many good opportunities for professionals, volunteers and students, so here’s a few for your consideration:john-f-kennedy-quotes-sayings-politics-leadership-learning

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
Students — Are you an exceptional volunteer? Have you helped your community or school become a better place?  The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. The program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level. The program’s goals are to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities. Over the past 19 years, more than 370,000 young Americans have participated in the program, and more than 100,000 of them have been officially recognized for their volunteer efforts. Learn more here and apply by November 4th!

Duke Endowment Fellowship Program 
The Duke Endowment is currently accepting applications for the 2015–2017 Fellowship. The fellowship is a two-year, full-time position for those who aspire to be leaders in the philanthropic or nonprofit sector.The Endowment is looking for applicants who have demonstrated an interest in the nonprofit sector and exhibited leadership potential in their civic and/or professional lives.  Eligible candidates include:
Past or current residents of North Carolina or South Carolina, or
Graduates of a college or university located in North Carolina or South Carolina
Have one to two years of work experience after obtaining an undergraduate degree, and/or have a graduate degree
Preference will be given to those who have demonstrated interest in the nonprofit sector. 

An informational webinar will be held on Thursday, November 20, 2014, from 5 pm-6 pm. The webinar will include an overview of the program and offer an opportunity for questions. For more information about the program and the application process, please visit the The Duke Endowment Fellowship page.  The deadline for submitting applications is January 5, 2015, at noon ET.

The Centre for Social Innovation, NYC
The Centre for Social Innovation is teaming up with 14 outstanding partners to support ten great ideas for a better New York City. Great cities are the product of engaged and active citizens. The types of people who insist on rolling up their sleeves to make their city a better place.  The Agents of Change: City Builders program was created to give these dreamers, doers and innovators a helping hand. The Agents of Change winners will be connected to the people, places and resources they need to unlock their potential and transform our city. Are you making New York City better? Apply here by November 30, 2014.

Echoing Green Fellowship
Could you use up to $90,000 to launch your innovative idea and change the world? Echoing Green Fellowship Programs invest in next generation leaders working to solve the world’s biggest problems with up to $90,000 and individualized support to launch their enterprise. Applications open December 2nd. Sign up to receive info and application guidance.

The Funders Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
Impact. That’s what every grantmaker seeks.  But mention equity and diversity to the philanthropic community and often the conversation turns to the struggle of making outcomes match ideals. Work done in vulnerable and distressed communities often falls short of intended outcomes or doesn’t translate into lasting impact. Because the needs and perspectives of low-income communities, often comprised of people of color, have been systematically disregarded in decisionmaking about growth and development, the Funders’ Network developed the PLACES Fellowship. Professionals Learning About Community, Equity and Smart Growth (PLACES) is designed as a year-long fellowship program that offers tools, knowledge, and best practices to enhance funder grantmaking decisions in ways that are responsive to the needs and assets of low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.  All fellows go through a competitive application process and are selected based on a variety of factors, especially a commitment to learning about equity in the context of smart growth and a willingness to invest in their professional and personal growth.   Learn more and apply to become a PLACES Fellow.   Deadline is midnight ET December 5, 2014.  Interested applicants should register  11/7 for an informational call that will take place on November 13th from 2:30 pm-3:30 pm.

Resource Generation’s Next Gen Fellowship
The Next Gen Fellowship Program is a 6-month intensive peer-to-peer learning program for trustees and individual donors under age 35 seeking to align their values with the management of their assets. It is run by Confluence Philanthropy and Resource Generation. Next Gen Fellows work together to answer the following question: How can the next generation of donors leverage the full weight of their philanthropic assets and personal resources for social change? Previous fellows have moved millions of investable dollars towards the issues that they care about, such as sustainable development in Native American communities; affordable housing in low-income city neighborhoods; public education; and sustainable agriculture.  Through in-person learning retreats, professional leadership coaching, investment faculty advising, webinars and peer support, the fellowship aims to strengthen next gen participants’ capacity for social change and alignment of assets with philanthropic goals. The nomination deadline is December 1, 2014; prospective fellows may nominate themselves.  Nominated, eligible fellows will be invited to apply by December 29, 2014.

21/64’s Next Generation Donors Retreat
The #NextGenDonors retreat is for those 21-40 year old next gen donors who are or will be stepping into roles in their family philanthropy and donors who are earners themselves who want to clarify their philanthropic identity and direction and seek a peer learning experience about philanthropy. The retreat will be a fusion of experiential learning and purposeful skill building, all keenly designed for next gen donors to become strategic and effective in their philanthropic decision-making, expand and strengthen their next gen donors network and inspire them to take next steps in their own giving, individually and/or collectively.  Retreat dates are February 5-6, 2015 in New York City. Click here to register now.

Volunteer Abroad with Your Family & Friends this Summer – Opportunity with Allowance for Good & Spark Ventures

April 16, 2014

Want to grow in service by volunteering abroad?  This summer Allowance for Good is offering youth and families a unique opportunity to build cultural bridges, combining their commitment to global change with direct service opportunities in a global context.

AfG logoThe nonprofit organization Allowance for Good educates the rising generations of philanthropic leaders ages 13-18 who cultivate global citizenship and empower others around the world to achieve their full potential. Through educational programs, training sessions, and experiential trips, AfG educates young people on giving back time, talent and treasure.

On this global expedition to Nicaragua taking place August 4th-10th, Allowance for Good and Spark Ventures will provide a service learning opportunity for individuals, families and friends with  Spark Ventures’ Latin American partner organization, Asociación Las Tías.  You’ll establish unforgettable relationships with the children and dedicated staff at Las Tías and explore the natural beauty of Nicaragua on this exclusive trip curated by Spark Ventures.  You’ll experience first-hand stories of transformation, volunteer in meaningful programs and learn about Nicaraguan history, the effects of extreme poverty and a model for sustainability.

For more information about this opportunity, visit the Allowance for Good site.  Registration is due no later than April 25th.


Families Giving Back Together – the Case for Starting Now

February 14, 2014

I was honored to be asked by Allowance for Good to contribute a blog post about giving back with our families.  In it, we discuss why it’s never too early (or late) to start making your family’s giving plan for the year!

[Crossposted from Allowance for Good]

If you’re like many people, you likely do much of your charitable giving in the last quarter of the year, when you’re thinking about the holidays, the tax deduction, receiving donation requests or attending events and fundraisers that typically fall in the fall/winter.   It’s no coincidence that World Gratitude Day (September 21), World Kindness Day (November 13), Thanksgiving and as of two years ago Giving Tuesday (observed on the Tuesday after the post-Thanksgiving deal days) as well as a host of other holidays that revolve around giving, thanking and gifting all occur during virtually the same time frame.   It’s end of year, when school food drives and coat drives and other collections take place, when nonprofit organizations are doing their year-end appeals and you could essentially be out at a fundraising event every day of the week – it’s just the typical time of year that has come to be known for giving back.

Network for Good reports that a third of all online annual giving (through their system) occurs in December, and 22% of annual giving happens in the last two days of the year.  And while most charities report receiving around 40% of their annual individual charitable donations in the last few weeks of the year [Source: Charity Navigator], here’s a push to start thinking about our philanthropy way before the traditional holiday season begins.  How about committing to set our philanthropic goals at year-beginning and spreading out our giving over the entire year? We’ve all partaken in some form or fashion in making our resolutions, budgeting, travel planning, and setting work, sports or school-year goals as we ring in the new year.  Doesn’t our philanthropy deserve the same planning?

Philanthropy, which quite literally means “love of humanity,” is sharing, helping, caring, showing concern and interest in the well-being of others. By starting the New Year with discussion of what we value as well as goal-setting, we prioritize our philanthropy for ourselves, for our families and for the causes and communities we care about.  We intentionally make space for it in our lives.  We are not rushed to identify organizations or balancing charitable giving and volunteering with budgets and schedules tapped out with holidays, travel, shopping and spending.  Starting sooner and taking time earlier gives individuals and families an opportunity to explore and perhaps be more thoughtful about the practice of not only giving back but acknowledging the deeply critical role connecting, giving and appreciating have in our lives.

Introducing philanthropy – thoughtful actions, meaningful impact

In our family, we have taken the approach of utilizing teachable moments vs.  one or repeated conversations about charity/giving back.   Philanthropy is not something you can just teach with words, it needs to be demonstrated.  I’m reminded of a quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin:  “Tell me and I’ll forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

At the beginning of last year, my family set aside a specific place for the kids to collect toys and clothes for donation throughout the year. This could include items they’ve outgrown, books in good condition, or unopened gifts.  It’s allowed them to be mindful of what they have and what others may need.  We taught them about the value of money and how it’s used and gave each one a save/spend/invest/donate piggy bank. They devised their own ways of utilizing the four options and methods for withdrawals.  So that when Hurricane Sandy hit, for example, they were ready and able to draw from there.  One of the most touching moments was watching my son figure out if he had enough in his spend or donate section to help his sister meet her Girl Scout cookie sales goal.


We added a few extra items to the grocery list to be donated at upcoming food drives. And we researched shelters, hospitals or churches where we could volunteer to help out throughout the year.  Together, we joined other families and volunteers to participate in Be the Change National Day of Service canvassing the Devon area in Chicago with information about enrolling in the new health insurance coverage made possible by the Affordable Care Act.  

We implemented the practice of keeping a gratitude jar. Throughout the year, we all periodically take a moment to jot down something we are grateful for and deposit the slip within the container. Notes have ranged from what we’ve given, received, achieved, shared and experienced.  At the start of the New Year, we open the jar and read the notes together.  It’s a chance to both reminisce and celebrate because so much of philanthropy is about being grateful and sharing.

A few years ago, the adult members of my extended family decided to make a family contribution to an organization in lieu of exchanging individual gifts.  How enlightening it was to engage in a process of getting to know each other’s values and motivations and then to ultimately see a compounded gift go a distance further in achieving something good.  Who knew — until we asked — what each of us was involved in, cared about and where we overlapped.   It was an incredible experience to see how the simple “ask” to give turned into discovering individual family member interests and existing charitable giving initiatives.

It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.   – Joyce Maynard

Take time to explore and identify values together

What issues are important to everyone in your family, and why? We may have various personal causes, but what’s the common denominator?  How much can we/do we want to give, and what might we want to achieve?  What might it mean we let go of or give up?  This dialogue is actually a quite critical piece of the act of charitable giving, whether you do it collectively as a family or couple or individually.

Other questions that have come up in our family discussions:

  • In these tough financial times, why should we give (time and/or dollars)?
  • How do we as donors decide which groups to give to or spend our time with?
  • What information should we review to make sure our time and resources are well-spent? Where can we seek out good advice and guidance as we make decisions?
  • And how do we evaluate charities and causes before and after our gifts?
  • What tools exist to make giving back easier, more impactful and lasting?

[Coming Soon! Check out some research and planning tools.]

Some tips to get started on giving back with your children:

  • Talk to each other – Share what you see, what they see, what they hear, what they have questions about.
  • Tell them about your job/career/extracurricular activities – Why do you do what you do, how and where does money come from and what it is used for.
  • Share what giving back is all about – Why is it important and how it makes you feel.  Your child may get an allowance or cash as birthday gifts. Consider having them set aside portions to save, spend, donate and invest.
  • Start small – It may be your child putting a few of their coins into the collection tin. Eventually, she might choose to make a donation to a specific cause in lieu of birthday gifts.
  • Identify interests, values and make a commitment – Giving back comes in many forms: time (volunteering), talent (skills/resources), treasure (money) and ties (relationships/connections) … Have a conversation about what works best for your child(ren)/family and decide on something specific.
  • Volunteer together – Make it a family affair by selecting an activity together. While you may be interested in serving Thanksgiving meals at a food pantry, your child may love animals.  Perhaps a visit to the local animal shelter would draw your child’s interest.

Whatever avenues you choose to bring your family into the fold, know that it’s an invaluable component to building stronger individuals, families and communities.  Being philanthropic together is an opportunity to discover and learn about other people, other places, current events and important issues.  It’s a way to understand the world and how to relate to others.  It opens up possibilities to grow as people, to develop community and to foster change.  Giving back is not only personally fulfilling (there’s research about how doing good helps us feel good and keep us healthy!), it generates an awareness of one as connected to something bigger and beyond.  And that is the truest meaning of philanthropy.

Allowance for Good is a nonprofit organization developing the rising generation of global philanthropic leaders through education, civic engagement and leadership development activities.

New report on social sector leadership and success – How do you measure up as a 21st century leader?

October 3, 2013

I was honored to be part of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) new report and video series that takes a look at how the social sector must adapt to succeed in meeting 21st century challenges and opportunities.


EPIP and La Piana Consulting’s new project, Doing Good in the 21st Century, addresses issues such as how the social sector can address leadership development and succession, cross-sector collaboration, new technology, diversity and equity, the next gen, and social entrepreneurship.

Via workshop sessions and interviews conducted this past April, EPIP and Council on Foundation conference participants were engaged to comment on emerging trends and surface examples of individuals, organizations and networks proving their ability to succeed in the 21st Century. The video vignettes are the beginning of a conversation EPIP hopes to continue and take to the next level.  Peruse the report and videoslearn more about how rising nonprofit professionals measure up as a 21st Century leaders, and join the dialogue.

Find the report here and see the videos below:

New Reality Which organizations, individuals, and networks will succeed in the new reality, and why?

Sector Blur There are new opportunities for cross-sector collaboration. The nonprofit sector is increasing not the only locus for doing good. In the face of huge challenges, we need all hands on deck.

Technology Technology has changed the way the sector works. But how, and what does it mean?

Philanthropy’s Role Philanthropy works. But does it work as well as it could?

Diversity and Power There is power in diversity. But are those in power recognizing this power and leveraging it?

Business Models Social change business model diversification is needed.

Generational Shift It’s not a leadership “hand-off”. It’s finding a new path forward- together.

EPIP’s new monograph: What Emerging Leaders of Color in Philanthropy Think about Race

July 12, 2013
A new monograph released by Emerging Professionals in Philanthropy (EPIP),  The Next Generation Speaks: What Emerging Leaders of Color in Philanthropy Think about Race provides a current snapshot of the experiences and perspectives of emerging philanthropic professionals of color on issues of racial equity.

the_next_generation_speaks_epip-2013-1Through seven years of People of Color Network programming, EPIP has compiled thoughts shared by more than 125 emerging professionals of color in the field regarding challenges and opportunities to move racial equity in philanthropy.  Responses addressed identifying values, learning from the past, intergenerational mentoring, creating shared spaces for exploration and education, peer support across and beyond race, bringing a racial equity lens to grantmaking and the need for institutional and sector-wide awareness and commitment.

Key highlights include:
• The complexity of managing the power and privilege associated with working in philanthropy as an emerging leader of color
• A deep desire for mentoring by seasoned leaders of color
• A critical need for peer-to-peer engagement across race for emerging leaders of color
• Acknowledgement of the differences between addressing race with White colleagues and people of color colleagues in the philanthropic sector
• Desire for institutional conversations and commitments to addressing racial equity
• Recommendations and resources for advancing racial equity in philanthropy

As one young professional stated:

“The only time we talk about racial equity is [in the context of] how the organizations we support address those  issues—how grantees are trying to reduce racial disparities. But we don’t talk about racial equity as part of our institution.”

And another shared:

 “[Seasoned leaders of color]  were fighting for rights and access. It called for a different  kind of focus, a narrow and targeted journey that lasted for  years. [Our generation] benefitted from that. But now, we are  fighting for rights for more people [on multiple fronts] — which makes it different.”

Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy  is a national network of foundation professionals and social entrepreneurs who strive for excellence in the practice of philanthropy. EPIP exists to ensure that emerging foundation professionals are effective stewards of philanthropic resources and all social entrepreneurs reach their potential as leaders.

EPIP’s People of Color Network (PCN), formerly known as the Professional Development Fund (PDF), focuses specifically on supporting emerging leaders of color interested in philanthropy. The  PCN supports current and future grantmakers of color by building their visibility, networks, and knowledge by providing them access to professional development opportunities and placing them within a network of peers.  Learn more here.

Challenges to serving the community through board service – two recent articles

March 27, 2013

A quick post about two articles of interest this week on board service:

The Price of Board Membership in this week’s Crain’s Chicago Business details the pros and cons to nonprofit board member “give-or-get” requirements as fundraising strategies.  They certainly guarantee revenue and help to engage board members in the organization’s work. But could those annual minimum donation guidelines or policies also serve as a deterrent for those who may be unable to commit those amounts or be put off by the high cost to participate, and therefore ultimately left out of the opportunity to serve?  


And then, this piece Boards are Not Ready for the Next Generation of Trustees in the Chronicle of Philanthropy explores the very real challenge of board service as a young person… A rising generation of younger donors could bring new money to nonprofits and fresh ideas to their boardrooms but many nonprofits are not up to par when it comes to performance, operations and management to keep innovative, thoughtful and high-energy young people focused on impact and effectiveness engaged.

In their report “Next Gen Donors: Respecting Legacy, Revolutionizing Philanthropy,” the philanthropic consulting firm 21/64 and researchers at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University describe next-gen donors as driven by personal values, often those passed on from their parents and grandparents, and motivated strongly by potential social impact instead of recognition or obligation.

As we’ve discussed here before, volunteering and board service are critical ways to enhance our involvement in the important work around the services, education, outreach and advocacy our community organizations provide.   What can we do to ensure serving in this manner is a positive experience?  Do you have an interesting story to share about your volunteer service?  SAPP would love to hear from you!


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