Philanthropy New York Currents May 2010


Dear Members,

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting our 2010 Annual Meeting at the MetLife Building, with Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch as our featured speaker. He gave our members a sobering assessment of the fiscal deficits that our state faces and the difficult challenges we face in coming to agreement about the necessary and inevitable cuts that must be made. The Lt. Governor also gave helpful advice on how funders can use targeted investments to produce better results in their giving and how they can attract—and retain—young professionals as they enter the workforce.

Given Philanthropy New York’s renewed focus on fostering collaboration between the governmental and philanthropic sectors, Mr. Ravitch’s address was especially helpful in pinpointing areas of mutual concern and opportunities for partnership.

In addition, our 2009 Annual Report is now posted on our website. We are delighted that in 2009 we hosted over 140 programs, produced a comprehensive report on diversity among foundations and nonprofits, initiated more web-based channels for members to engage with each other, and expanded our peer network groups.

Philanthropy New York will continue to be involved in local and national initiatives that support the work and stability of our sector, bringing back fresh ideas, resources, and connections to you, our members. We look forward to seeing you often—at programs, committees, and projects—over this next year.

Best Regards,

Ronna Brown
President, Philanthropy New York

Welcome New Members

Philanthropy New York Welcomes New Board Members

Thank you again to everyone who attended our 31st Annual Meeting!

We are happy to welcome Philip Li of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Joan Steinberg of Morgan Stanley, and Lynn Thoman of the Leon Lowenstein Foundation to the Philanthropy New York Board of Directors.

We also thank our departing Board members Orlando Bagwell of the Ford Foundation, Helen Dorado Alessi of the Early Years Institute, Joelle-Jude Fontaine of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Stephen J. McCarthy of the Mary A. and John M. McCarthy Foundation, and Elizabeth Olofson of the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation for their years of distinguished service.

Robert Bowne Foundation to Close in 2015

The board and staff of the Robert Bowne Foundation have decided to close its doors on December 31, 2015.
The Foundation has supported youth programs in New York City since its inception in 1968 by the late Edmund A. Stanley, Jr., then President and CEO of Bowne & Co. In 1987, under the leadership of Dianne Kangisser, the Foundation's work became more focused on afterschool programs that support literacy development, capacity-building strategies to make these programs programmatically and managerially stronger, and building the field that has become out-of-school time education.
"We have sketched out a general plan for spending out the Foundation's assets, and over the next year many of you will be invited to help us develop a strategy that we hope will have maximum impact in improving programs and the field," said Lena O. Townsend, the Foundation's Executive Director. "During the final three years of our grantmaking we will focus our resources on a smaller group of our long-term grantees that represent the Foundation's core principles that literacy happens in community; develops through active engagement; is a means to self-determination; and is a fundamental part of being human in 21st-century America."
Learn more about the Robert Bowne Foundation's spend-out plans.

Meet the Nonprofits Shaping Today's Bronx

On Wednesday, June 16th, We Are The Bronx Fellowship will present "Welcome To The Bronx: Meet the Non-Profits Shaping Today's Bronx," an event geared towards funders which will highlight the Bronx-based nonprofit sector and the issues, challenges, and successes taking place in the borough.
We Are The Bronx (WATB) Fellowship is generously funded by the J. P. Morgan Chase Foundation and receives consultation from CAUSE-NY, the intergroup relations department of the Jewish Community Relations Council of NY (JCRC-NY). Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne, Vice President of Upper Manhattan & Bronx initiatives at the J. P. Morgan Chase Foundation, will also be a featured speaker at the event.

For more information, and to register, please contact Orly Ben-Zvi via email or at 212-983-4800 ext. 144.

2011 Collaboration Prize

The Collaboration Prize is a national award designed to identify and showcase models of collaboration among nonprofit organizations. In 2011, the Collaboration Prize will award a total of $250,000 to the collaborations that best exemplify the impact that can result from working together. Each of the eight finalists will receive $12,500 and the winner will receive an additional $150,000.
The Collaboration Prize was created and is funded by The Lodestar Foundation, a Phoenix-based philanthropic organization dedicated to maximizing the growth and impact of philanthropy.
The online application process for the Prize will open on June 1, 2010 and close on July 16, 2010.
Learn more about the Prize, eligibility criteria, and the application process.

Ever Been an Outside Reader?

Philanthropy New York is exploring an outside reader project that would connect government grantmakers with private funders. If you have reviewed or rated funding proposals for other organizations or government agencies, and would like to share your experience with us, please contact Member Services Manager Kristen Ruff via email.

We are very interested in hearing from members who have served as outside readers in order to build our best practices and learn from your challenges.


  • The Cricket Island Foundation has moved to its new offices at 25 East 21st Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10010; the Foundation's new telephone number is 212-782-3730. Their website and email addresses remain the same.
  • Sharna Goldseker, Vice President of the Andrea and Charles Bronfman Philanthropies, has been elected to the board of the Council on Foundations; Lance Lindblom, President and CEO of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, has been re-elected to the CoF board.
  • Marcia A. Smith, Senior Vice President at The Atlantic Philanthropies, has been elected to the board of the Foundation Center.

A Closer Look at Philanthropy New York: Volunteer for a Philanthropy New York Committee

Philanthropy New York's Board of Directors maintains several standing and special committees to uphold their commitment to good governance and help strengthen the organization's work.
Our goal for committee membership is to involve as diverse a group of our members as possible and to gain from your expertise. Being a member of a committee also affords you the opportunity to interact with and learn from your colleagues and add your distinct voice to the direction of Philanthropy New York.
We invite you to review the committees and submit your preferences at (member login required).
If there are more people interested in a committee then there are available slots, the Committee chair, in conjunction with the Board chair, will select those members whose skills and training are not currently represented on the committee. If space is no longer available on the committee(s) of your choice, your interest will be noted for future openings.
The deadline for joining a Philanthropy New York Committee is Friday, June 11th.
If you have any questions, please contact Yves Etheart via email.


(View a full text, PDF version of Philanthropy New York Currents, May 2010.)


Members in the News & Resources

  • Families’ Every Fuss, Archived and Analyzed
    Source: The New York Times, May 22, 2010
    This article examines a three-year study during which nearly every moment in the lives of 32 families was videotaped; the project was financed by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
  • Vietnam, US still in conflict over Agent Orange
    Source: The Associated Press, May 22, 2010
    This article on the continuing controversy over the use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War mentions the work of a coalition of nonprofit groups led by the Ford Foundation.
  • Tisch Furthers Mission to Fight Childhood Obesity
    Source: The Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2010
    A profile of the recent work of Laurie Tisch and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
  • Ford Foundation to invest $200M nationwide for economic growth
    Source: Detroit Free Press, May 18, 2010
    The Ford Foundation plans to spend $200 million over five years to invest in key infrastructure and housing projects across the nation that will help metropolitan areas grow economically.
  • An impending national transformation
    Source: Politico, May 9th, 2010
    This op-ed co-authored by Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, focuses on the significant demographic shifts in the United States and the possible critical implications for policy and progress throughout this upcoming decade.
  • Citigroup teams up with Bethesda group to boost small business lending
    Source: The Washington Post, Wednesday, May 5, 2010
    Citigroup is teaming up with two organizations to start a $200 million lending program for small businesses in low-to-moderate income communities across the country.
  • A strategy for charitable giving makes donations go further
    Source: Alliance Magazine, May 1, 2010
    Antony Bugg-Levine, Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation, discusses its Impact Investing initiative.
  • Foundations See "Moment of Opportunity" to Improve Schools
    Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy, April 29, 2010
    Twelve foundations—including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, and The Wallace Foundation—have announced that they plan to spend $506 million this year on grants designed to bolster a new $650 million federal grant program to expand innovative school-improvement projects.
  • Clinton Announces Initiatives to Benefit Women
    Source: Voice of America, April 28, 2010
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has outlined several new initiatives to empower women around the world, some of which will be funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. (The foundation's president, Judith Rodin, is also quoted in the article.)
  • Energy Democracy: Community Scale Green Energy Solutions
    Published by the Center for Social Inclusion, April 2010
    This report argues that addressing the question of race is key to building a stronger and "greener" American economy and concludes that community-owned or controlled renewable energy and small-scale electricity production strengthens communities of color and provides benefits to the nation at large. Energy Democracy outlines key inequities and solutions in U.S. energy policy, identifies policy areas that must be addressed to encourage innovation in local energy production, and provides a blueprint to explore a better way to secure energy needs while building equity and wealth community by community.
  • is the public website for the Grantmaker Education Initiative launched by the Council on Foundations and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The site is designed to invite dialogue among those who are passionate about grantmaker education and act as a collaborative learning community with plenty of space for the ideas and wisdom of the field.