Our Annual Meeting is only 3 weeks away—and while this is always an exciting time of year for us at Philanthropy New York, our panel with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, New York State Education Commissioner John B. King and New York City Chancellor Dennis Walcott promises to be one of our most memorable and informative sessions. We're almost at capacity, so if you haven't, please RSVP as soon as you can.
The panel discussion will be an opportunity for these education leaders to hear your concerns and ideas—and I encourage you to visit this special page on our Smart Assets blog to submit your questions ahead of time for consideration.
I also hope you will take advantage of the question-and-answer forums earlier in the day with David Firestone of The New York Times and Pedro Noguera of New York University. Both of these experts will help us explore new ways of looking at the intersection of philanthropy and public policy.
Whether or not you fund in the area of education, these leaders, both in the early sessions and the keynote panel, will help us think about the larger picture of public policy and the best ways for philanthropy to approach issues where the governmental sector plays a significant role.
Education is a complicated topic and our keynote panel is just over an hour, so there will be many issues and questions that we don't have the opportunity to discuss in this forum. However, our Education Working Group, chaired by Fred Frelow (Ford Foundation) and Rich McKeon (The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust), has provided just under 20 opportunities to meet with education leaders and peer funders to discuss the issues and work together to ensure your funding dollars are as effective and coordinated as possible.
The working group's next program, which will explore how to stem learning loss over the summer, is on June 11th, and we encourage you to join us there as well.
Whatever your funding focus might be, we believe that the June 4th Annual Meeting will provide insights as you think about your own work and mission. Please join us!
President, Philanthropy New York
The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the launch of its Centennial initiative. The initiative, which will run through the end of 2013, marks 100 years since John D. Rockefeller started the Foundation on May 14, 1913, with the goal of "improving the well-being of humanity throughout the world."
The Centennial will celebrate the richness of the Foundation's past work and look ahead to the identification and development of innovations that address many of the challenges of the future.
The Foundation will host no fewer than seven convenings throughout the world that focus on a number of global issues, publish a series of books that draw on the Foundation's past to provide lessons for the future and engage with people through new digital platforms to encourage discussion on a variety of different issues and allow people to participate in centennial activities from all over the world.
"We forge boldly ahead, toward our second century, steadfast in our conviction that The Rockefeller Foundation's role—as a partner and a leader—has never been more crucial," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. "We are proud to launch our Centennial initiative as we redouble our efforts to solve global problems into the next century of our work."
The Heckscher Foundation for Children seeks proposals for a new funding initiative focused on strengthening the boards of New York City-based organizations serving children and youth by engaging and developing a next generation of board leaders.
The funded project(s) will recruit, train, place and engage a group of young, promising board members who have the potential to help guide and lead City-based nonprofits for years to come, with the potential for expansion to a larger model for board development in NYC.
The deadline for applications is Friday, June 29, 2012.
The Strategy Challenge is Morgan Stanley's signature skills-based volunteer program and pairs teams of employees with leading nonprofits to provide strategic consulting.
Each of the 15 nonprofits will work with their team of Morgan Stanley employees for eight weeks. The teams will advise the nonprofits on issues relating to their business models and growth strategies and develop recommendations in order to help them fulfill their missions in more effective and efficient ways. The nonprofits work on causes ranging from youth development and microfinance to arts and culture and are based in San Francisco, Chicago and New York.
"Through the Morgan Stanley Strategy Challenge, charities across the country are getting specific advice and tools to help them address their scalability and growth potential in order to serve more people," said Joan Steinberg, Head of Morgan Stanley Community Affairs and President of the Morgan Stanley Foundation. "The Strategy Challenge, now in its fourth year, recognizes that nonprofits are critical to the health and vibrancy of the communities in which we live and work."
(View a full text, PDF version of Philanthropy New York Currents, May 2012.)