The California Consortium of Education Foundations convened at Stanford University on March 19.
I was honored to serve as a keynote speaker at the California Consortium of Education Foundations annual conference at Stanford University last month. Attendees included representatives from school districts and foundations all over Northern and Central California (a similar gathering for Southern California was held a week prior in Anaheim).
What was remarkable about this group was the wide disparity in size and structure of the foundations represented. Whereas a few had full-time staff, highly engaged boards, and strong public presence, others had no staff at all and are being run solely by volunteers serving on a small board. One thing all held in common, though, is the knowledge that our public schools must be supported by private gifts and other revenue sources beyond state budget dollars if we are to adequately provide staffing, professional development, and programs and services to ensure that all children have an opportunity to succeed. Continue reading
The New York Times recently ran an interesting piece on the growth in philanthropic giving among Asian-Americans in the United States. It’s certainly a trend that bears not only watching, but active understanding, among those in the fundraising profession. This newly-minted center of wealth is also becoming a center of power in philanthropic circles.
Kyung B. Yoon (center), executive director of the Korean American Community Foundation, rode on a float during the Korean Parade on Avenue of the Americas in October. SOURCE: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
The Times article describes “a new class of affluent Asian-Americans, many of whom have benefited from booms in finance and technology” that are making big splashes in the U.S. Their gifts – including multi-million dollar ones – are not only going to “groups focused on their own diasporas or their homelands.” These donors are also giving to education institutions, museums, performing arts venues, and health care organizations, particularly the more prestigious ones. Continue reading
“It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will some day give shade to people he may never meet.” – Dr. David Trueblood
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at a ceremony placing the cornerstone for the permanent Medical School campus, November 2012.
In fundraising, sometimes we get lucky. Sometimes we get to work on a fundraising campaign that means even more than the buildings it funds, the programs it underwrites, or the students it helps. And sometimes a project presents donors with the rare opportunity to change not only an institution or its constituents, but an entire population and an entire region of the world.
One such example: the Bar-Ilan University School of Medicine in Israel. The University is in the early stages of a $400 million capital campaign to fund construction of a permanent campus for Israel’s first new medical school in nearly 40 years. The campus will be built in the Galilee, in the underdeveloped northern region of Israel, where multiple ethnic populations (both Israeli and Arab) live without access to the same levels of infrastructure, health care, job opportunities, and other assets that exist in the center of the country.
Why does this matter? Several reasons, and they stretch well beyond the impact the medical school will have on the University and its students. Continue reading
Late last year I wrote about the billboards, posters and other media currently being utilized in a campaign to generate support for public education in Los Angeles. I wasn’t a big fan of the campaign (which portends an “or else” doomsday scenario) as a means of garnering donor support, but it certainly is striking.
Words to live by…
This week I saw a photo making its way around the Web of a much simpler billboard . This one, done by hand by someone on a message board outside what appears to be a typical suburban strip mall, strikes me as being much more inspirational than the negativity of the previously referenced campaign.
This simple message doesn’t involve a multi-million campaign, scare tactics, or shock media. It’s just a thought from someone who wanted to spread a positive message.
It reminds me of a quote I’ve often referenced in the past:
“It takes a noble man to plant the seed for a tree that will one day provide shade to people he may never meet.” – Dr. David Trueblood, philosopher and writer
The essence of philanthropy is embodied in the above quote and on that sign pictured above. Sometimes simple, positive messages carry much more weight than complicated negative ones.
The Philanthropist is now available on DVD.
I’ve been seeing commercials for the new Kevin Bacon TV drama called The Following lately, which co-stars James Purefoy as an imprisoned serial killer who has somehow created a Manson-like flock of followers.
What does this have to do with philanthropy? Well, very little…except that I couldn’t place where I remembered Purefoy from…until I looked him up. Turns out this is quite a departure from the show he was the lead in a few years back, a 2009 NBC summertime drama called The Philanthropist. Continue reading
"Poverty’s cost clearly exceeds the cost of donations" - simply yet elegantly stated, and absolutely true.