Many of our 140-plus programs are dedicated to your professional development—and we are now working on several new series that offer a deeper, more immersive learning experience. The first is Essential Skills and Strategies for New Grantmakers (ESS), which kicks off on November 2nd with a welcome dinner and then runs on November 7th and 9th here at Philanthropy New York.
ESS is the result of a partnership between several regional associations, the Council on Foundations, and the Forum of Regional Association of Grantmakers. It is an intensive course designed to provide a thorough introduction to grantmaking and philanthropy for program officers with less than two years of experience in the philanthropic sector and give these new grantmakers the knowledge, insight, skills, and tools to be effective in their work.
The highly interactive sessions will help newcomers to the field build a framework for understanding ethical and effective grantmaking and engage with their peers around the expectations, core tensions, opportunities, and challenges of foundation work. The session teachers, all from our membership, have extensive experience in philanthropy, including their current duties at the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Citi Foundation.
There has been an overwhelming interest in ESS among our members—which unfortunately means that we quickly reached our limit for November's participants and had to say no to many of you. We're keeping the class size small to create the best learning environment and core dynamic for this initial group. Given the interest, we will make this program available again in the future, along with other upcoming series featuring this same type of intensive, focused learning opportunity, for more senior grantmakers.
As always, we welcome your input and opinions on the ways that we can optimize professional development for you, as well as your suggestions for the types of programs you'd like to see in 2012.
President, Philanthropy New York
The Carnegie Corporation of New York has announced the winners of the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy. Now in its 10th year, the Carnegie Medal is awarded every two years to individuals and families in recognition of their exceptional and sustained records of philanthropic giving as well as the important and lasting impact their philanthropy has had on a field, nation, or on the international community.
The 2011 winners received the medal at an invitation-only ceremony at the New York Public Library on October 20th, hosted by Judy Woodruff, Senior Correspondent at the PBS NewsHour.
"We are honored to bestow the 2011 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy on truly extraordinary individuals and families who have demonstrated an exemplary, longstanding commitment to philanthropy," said Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. "This year's medalists were selected because their vision of philanthropy reflects the ideals of Andrew Carnegie, who asserted that the rich are 'trustees' of their wealth and are under a moral obligation to reinvest it in society in ways that promote the progress of society."
New York Life Insurance Company held the company's Month of Service in September and had more than 1,600 employees and agents volunteer in their local communities where the company does business. Volunteers worked on 116 community projects to support the theme of childhood bereavement and gave more than 6,000 hours of service—the equivalent of 3.3 people working full-time for an entire year. The estimated monetary value of this volunteer time is more than $128,000.
"While New York Life has provided peace of mind and financial security to families after the loss of a loved one for 166 years, helping others in need goes beyond the reach of our business, it's part of our culture," said Chris Park, President of the New York Life Foundation. "The Foundation added childhood bereavement as a content area in 2008, and by choosing the theme of childhood bereavement for the company's Month of Service this year we are able to add people power to highlight the importance of this issue. Our agents and employees were able to offer their time and talent and improve the lives of young people and their families coping with loss in the cities and towns where they live and work."
Also last month, the New York Life Foundation announced the launch of www.AChildInGrief.com, a comprehensive, user-friendly website for parents, families, and educators to support bereaved children. The site will continually be enhanced and most recently a video was added, "Learn to Help a Child Through Grief," featuring Ms. Park and Dr. David Schonfeld, a developmental behavioral pediatrician and an authority in the field of childhood bereavement.
The Citi Foundation's redesigned website provides a wide array of information on the work of the foundation, whose mission is to support the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income individuals and families in communities where Citi operates.
"Through this new format, we intend to highlight our investment strategy that is resulting in impactful contributions to move people closer to sustained economic stability and prosperity as well as contributing to the global discourse around financial inclusion issues," said Pam Flaherty, President and CEO of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi.
The site features several new sections, highlighting how the foundation invests in its mission; its thought leadership and knowledge-building activities for policymakers and the financial services sector; and the collaborative problem solving, program development, and skill-based volunteering that leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its employees.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs have announced that Essensa, a New York-based group purchasing organization, will be offering membership to nonprofits working with New York City. As the latest addition to a set of initiatives Mayor Bloomberg announced in 2009 to assist New York City's nonprofits, this group purchasing plan will help maximize savings on purchases and give New York City-funded nonprofits access to discounts on a wide range of goods and services.
"With more than 40,000 nonprofits calling New York City their home, a strong nonprofit sector is vital to job creation and it is equally vital that New York City support these businesses," said Mayor Bloomberg. "In 2009 we took several steps to help the nonprofit sector survive and strengthen and today, with group purchasing discounts, we deliver further on that commitment."
"We are proud to have been part of the development of this unique approach that will reduce costs for New York City nonprofits and enable them to put the dollars saved toward essential services during these challenging times," said Gordon Campbell, President & CEO of United Way of New York City. "We thank the administration for thinking outside of the box and for this critical support of the sector.
(View a full text, PDF version of Philanthropy New York Currents, October 2011.)