As part of our current Strategic Plan, Philanthropy New York is committed to forging working relationships with public policymakers to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of philanthropy and to allow grantmakers and government officials to partner effectively and appropriately for the common good.
Our Board of Directors has determined that there may be policy matters in the future on which it will make strategic sense for Philanthropy New York to take a public position. Before making any decision, the Public Policy Committee, now in formation, and the Board will consider the issue's relevance to and potential impact on Philanthropy New York's members and the wider philanthropic community. Our Board currently anticipates that Philanthropy New York would take a public position only on matters that would directly affect the regulation or independence of the nonprofit sector.
Philanthropy New York's Public Policy Committee, which will include both Board members and members at large, will lead this effort, using our mission, vision, and values as a guide. The Committee will be charged with determining in the first instance if, and when, the organization should comment on a specific issue. The process that follows that determination will include, unless time is of the essence, an opportunity for members to weigh in via our website. The final decision on any particular issue will rest with the Board of Directors, or its Executive Committee.
This decision and the process it will set in motion have been made as democratically as possible and with the utmost care. Both the Board and the membership have deliberated and weighed in on this step over this last year as we moved forward with a new strategic plan. And, of course, many of our colleagues in other Regional Associations have taken this step long ago, and we have used their experience to help guide us as we moved forward.
I look forward to sharing more with you about this process in the coming weeks; we will post a detailed description on our website and let you know how you can make your voice heard.
President, Philanthropy New York
Philanthropy New York will continue to monitor the emerging philanthropic response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene on our dedicated webpage for the disaster.
We encourage all of our members to contact us directly about their current or potential plans for emergency assistance and support.
Thirty-two more foundations from across the country (including Philanthropy New York members Funding Exchange, the Ms. Foundation for Women, and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation) have made a commitment to dedicate a majority of their grants to benefitting underserved communities by joining Philanthropy's Promise, an initiative by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy launched in June 2011, which seeks to encourage effective and strategic giving that leads to positive and lasting social change. To date, 96 foundations have signed on to the Promise, representing more than $2.94 billion in annual giving.
Foundations that have signed on to Philanthropy's Promise submitted public statements explaining their commitment. In the statement for Funding Exchange, Barbara Heisler, its Executive Director, wrote, "We understand what it means to fund in communities of color, immigrant communities, and working class communities. We, and a majority of our members, signed on to Philanthropy's Promise as a pledge to our constituents that we will continue to work hard towards social and racial justice around the country."
In recognition of the need to devote more time and resources to helping military personnel, veterans, and their families, Citigroup recently announced that Christopher Page, currently a Vice President in Control & Emerging Risk, is taking on a new role focused on developing, coordinating, and supporting all of Citi's products, programs, and activities that serve military personnel and veterans.
Mr. Page is a veteran of the U.S. Army, has served in the 18th Airborne Corps Artillery in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina and in Germany, and is currently a sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. Leading the Citi Veterans Initiative, Mr. Page will oversee their Disabled Veterans Mortgage Relief Program, the North America Service Initiative, and the Citi Military Network.
Citi employs more than 1,500 veterans across its businesses, and they have hired about 150 veterans this year; over the next 12 months, they also plan to hire nearly 500 more. Citi also belongs to Veterans on Wall Street, an initiative established along with Bank of America, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs to raise awareness of the value of veterans in the workforce and help more former military personnel find job opportunities on Wall Street.
Originally scheduled for June 2011, a free exhibition celebrating a new book of photographs by Robert Rauschenberg is being held now in the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation's warehouse space at 455 West 19th Street. The images can be viewed from the street between 12:00 noon and 9:00 pm until October 3, 2011.
(View a full text, PDF version of Philanthropy New York Currents, September 2011.)