Over the next year, nearly 2.3 million veterans will be returning home to their families and communities. Government organizations will not have enough resources to assist all of them as they make the transition to civilian life. Many vets prefer to find and use the services they need in their own communities, and those communities will be hard pressed to address all of the unique needs.
Philanthropy New York has held several recent meetings to hear from our members and other experts on the issues facing veterans and how funders can help. Many of our members are developing their own unique programs, and some include opportunities for other members to join in for learning and/or funding:
These projects will build over the next several months as the number of returning veterans peaks at the end of 2012. This fall, we will continue to offer opportunities for our members to connect with each other and share their knowledge about the best ways to assist veterans and their families.
Other veterans initiatives are in the development stage and we will give you updates as they progress. If you or your organization are starting to think about the special needs of veterans and want to stay connected to developments in this area, please contact us.
We will also continue our fiscal sponsorship of Veterans on Wall Street, a program dedicated to promoting career development in the financial services industry for former military personnel.
Helping our returning veterans is one of the most urgent challenges affecting our nation—and funders in all issue areas contributing to their full and healthy integration into civilian life is a great opportunity for philanthropy to serve the common good.
President, Philanthropy New York
We are very saddened to announce the passing of Lawrence D. Moreland, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration at the William T. Grant Foundation and a long-time Board member of Philanthropy New York, on June 10th due to complications from cancer.
Larry joined the William T. Grant Foundation in 2001 and directed the Foundation's financial and administrative functions, including budgeting, accounting, audit activities and oversight of endowment investments as well as human resources and information technology. He also served as an Assistant Treasurer, Officer of the Foundation and member of its senior management team. Larry managed the Foundation's endowment and an investment portfolio that ranged from $200.5 million to $339.7 million and ensured that the Foundation remained fiscally sound during the recessions in the early 2000s
Over a 30-year career in the nonprofit sector, Larry also served as CFO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, CFO of St. John's Community Services, Inc., Assistant Auditor General for New York City's Board of Education and Director of Contract Agency Finance for the New York City Department of Youth Services.
As a Philanthropy New York Board member for seven years, Larry served as Board Treasurer, Chair of our Audit and Finance Committees and on our Committee on Directors. He worked with the Council on Foundations on its Finance Committee and as part of its Independent Foundations Advisory Group and several of its Annual Conference Planning Committees and was also on the Audit Committee of both the Association of Black Foundation Executives and the Bide-A-Wee Association.
"Larry's expertise and judgment were integral to our success as well as that of the many other organizations he served during his distinguished career," said Robert C. Granger, President of the William T. Grant Foundation. "He was a central presence at the Foundation, and he will be sorely missed."
All of us at Philanthropy New York send our deepest condolences to Larry's family, friends and fellow colleagues.
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation's new venture, PropelNext, will help promising nonprofits connect their passion for transforming young people's lives with sharpened skills to advance their effectiveness. In March 2012, the Foundation selected 15 organizations in ten states to be the first cohort of grantees participating in this initiative.
EMCF will help these grantees refine their program models, enhance their use of data for learning, self-evaluation and ongoing improvement and strengthen their business practices.
Over the next three years, the first cohort of PropelNext grantees will receive two successive 18-month grants, each ranging from $150,000 to $200,000, as well as expert support that will include customized technical assistance and coaching, group learning and access to an interactive online learning community.
"We look forward to learning as much from these grantees as they will learn from us," said EMCF President Nancy Roob. "We hope this learning will help more vulnerable young people beat the odds against them and realize their full potential."
The Black Male Achievement (BMA) Fellowship is a joint project of the Open Society Foundations and Echoing Green to identify and fund emerging social entrepreneurs dedicated to creating innovative solutions to advance the lives of black men and boys in the United States.
The nine members of the inaugural class of BMA Fellows will address the most complicated and entrenched problems facing the black community today, including access to college financing, green jobs, and redefining black masculinity.
Each fellow will receive $70,000 in startup capital, as well as technical support through exclusive trainings, consulting opportunities, mentorship and access to the broad network of Echoing Green and Open Society fellows.
In a daylong conference on June 25th, the Ford Foundation will bring together leaders from the world of design, social innovation, art and journalism who are thinking in creative ways about digital storytelling. Participants will learn how those on the leading edge are using new digital tools to visualize, map and create narratives that enlighten minds and provoke action for social change.
Session presenters will include Jake Barton, Founder and Principal of Local Projects, an award-winning media design firm for museums and public spaces; New York Times Graphics Editor Amanda Cox; Laura Kurgan, Co-Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University; and Jake Porway, the Founder of DataKind, which seeks to match nonprofits in need of data analysis with freelance and pro bono data scientists who can work to help them with data collection, analysis, visualization or decision support.
On May 15th, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation brought together leaders from government, policy, academia and the media to address our long-term fiscal challenges and offer solutions on how to set America on a fiscally sustainable path.
Through speeches, interviews and panel discussions, as well as videos featuring Americans from across the country, the Fiscal Summit explored the potential for progress and the importance of building bipartisan consensus to generate the political will for action.
(View a full text, PDF version of Philanthropy New York Currents, June 2012.)