Foundation News

Enterprise Community Partners, Ford, MacArthur “Makes Room” for Rental Housing Crisis

“The Make Room campaign links Enterprise with partners such as the MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation to generate greater national awareness of the nation’s rental housing crisis, wherein 11 million renter families pay at least half of their monthly income in rent. Compare that to the official benchmark of affordability, which says families should be paying no more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing, and note that half of all renter households pay more than that. By this measure, the least affordable states for renters are New York, New Jersey, and California—and surprisingly, Florida, Louisiana, and Michigan.”

Foundations Help New Orleans Mend Finances and Neighborhoods

“Challenges remain, including some that pre-date Katrina. The recovery has been uneven, with neighborhoods including the flood-ravaged Ninth Ward not coming back as quickly as others. Poverty and joblessness persist, especially among the black population. And crime continues to be a problem, although it is lower than it was in the 1990s. […] New Orleans received a MacArthur grant to reduce incarceration rates in its jails that could provide as much as $2 million for implementation. It also is among the first municipalities to participate in “What Works Cities Initiative,” a program to help enhance the use of data to improve residents’ lives from Bloomberg Philanthropies, established by Michael Bloomberg, majority shareholder in Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP.”

Lending Wi-Fi Program Chips Away at Digital Divide

“The New Yorkers trickling into the basement reference room of the Fort Washington branch library on the Thursday before Independence Day were among the 730,000 New York City households without broadband internet in the home—but not for much longer. After a brief orientation they each walked out with a pocket-size Wi-Fi hotspot, theirs for the next six months—a full year if they choose to renew. The New York Public Library (NYPL), which serves Manhattan, Staten Island, and the Bronx, first received a $500,000 grant from the Knight News Challenge last year to run a year-long, 10,000-unit hotspot lending program. Since then, the library has received $1 million from Google, with additional support from Open Society Foundations and the Robin Hood Foundation, and has partnered with the Brooklyn and Queens public libraries to expand the program across all five New York boroughs.”

Foundations in Michigan have come together to support early childhood education in Detroit.

“The Troy-based Kresge Foundation has committed $20 million over five years to build out a high-quality early childhood development system in Detroit in collaboration with local, state and federal partners. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, based in Battle Creek, is also supporting the campaign with a $22 million investment in Michigan. Of that, $7.5 million will go to grantees in Detroit.”

A Closer Look at a Bank's Strategy to Boost Opportunities for Urban Youth

“One of the big players in workforce development for youth is the Citi Foundation. Citi recently announced the 12 nonprofits selected to receive $250,000 from the Youth Opportunity Fund, a $3 million initiative to support city-level, innovative and scalable programs for youth. America's Promise Alliance is the partner organization carrying out the Youth Opportunity Fund mission, an alliance born in 1997 with ambitious goals for improving high school graduation rates and college enrollment.”

Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Finds Prescription Drug Costs Create Financial Burden for Low-Income Consumers

“About 24 percent of the respondents said paying for their prescriptions is difficult. These reported difficulties increase among consumers who are low-income (33 percent) or currently taking for or more prescription drugs (38 percent), and are highest for those in fair or poor health (43 percent), according to the news release.”

Northwest Area Foundation grants include two Minnesota nonprofits

“The two Minnesota grants were among $2.3 million distributed in a round of 14 second-quarter grants announced this week. The grants reflect the Foundation's recent focus on creating jobs and helping low-income communities -- especially Native Americans, immigrants and other communities of color -- improve their ability to earn, save and invest.”

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Award Aims To Recognize Community Development through Sports

“The inaugural award is aimed at recognizing communities using sports to build stronger neighborhoods, help children stay healthy and fit, rid their streets of bullying, violence and abuse, and provide more opportunities for those living in poverty. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for 10 years has had its Patterson Award to honor “impactful athletes and sports organizations,” but the new award is more about organizations that use sports in collaborative, innovative ways to make “their communities healthier places to live.”

Gorman Foundation awards $1 million to 52 Maine nonprofits

“In recent years, the independent statewide foundation has moved to focus strategically on four key areas: improving educational achievement for children, promoting successful transitions to adulthood for vulnerable older youth, helping struggling parents to support their families and enabling low-income seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible.”

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Poll Finds Most Back Healthy School Meals

“A majority of Americans support providing schoolchildren with healthy meals that consist of more fruits and vegetables and fewer foods high in calories and sodium, according to a national poll released on Tuesday by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.”

Clinton Global Initiative, Stanford partner to provide at-home literacy tools for low-income children

“A pilot of the text message program, called READY4K!, was conducted among mostly low-income families at 31 San Francisco schools during the 2013 – 2014 school year. It was such a success that researchers now plan to roll it out to 50,000 families in 16 states next year. The Clinton Global Initiative will help the researchers maintain dialogue with some school systems once the program is implemented.”

Gates Foundation seeks to ease federal financial aid process

“The Gates Foundation has taken aim at the FAFSA as part of its strategy to make college more accessible to low-income students, said Dan Greenstein, director of the Postsecondary Success team at the foundation.”

Annie E. Casey Foundation releases 2015 Kids Count Data

“The 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book focuses on America’s children in the midst of the country's economic recovery. While data show improvements in child health and education, more families are struggling to make ends meet, and a growing number of kids live in high-poverty neighborhoods. In addition to ranking states in several areas of child well-being, the report also examines the influence of parents’ education, health and other life circumstances on their children.”

JPMorgan endows $1M scholarship towards tuition of low-income students

“JPMorgan Chase is endowing a scholarship in the memory of the late Jimmy Lee, the bank's beloved vice chairman and one of Wall Street's top rainmakers. The $1 million scholarship, called the ‘Jimmy Lee Fund,’ will help pay for the tuition of low-income students attending inner-city Catholic high schools, the release said.”

BlueCross BlueShield Foundation awards $10.7 million in health care grants

“The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation announced more than $10 million in grant awards to 14 health care organizations across the state that primarily serve poor communities. […]Since 2003, the foundation has awarded more than $70 million health care-related grants in South Carolina.”

Gates Foundation invests in Pittsburgh startup

“[...] the Gates Foundation has made an equity investment in the company, as Acrobatiq completed a $9.75 million Series A funding round. Draper Triangle Ventures led the round, and Hearst Ventures also invested in the developer of personalized online learning solutions that improve outcomes for students. It's unclear how much the Gates Foundation funded Acrobatiq. […]“Low-income and underserved postsecondary students are balancing jobs, families and other priorities, and personalized learning is a tool that empowers these students to complete their degree or credential,” Jason Palmer, deputy director of Postsecondary Success at the Gates Foundation, said in a statement.”

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Donates $4.7 Million To Benefit Young Men Of Color

“Seeking programs already in place, the foundation sought to donate funds to “organizations that were doing things like working with young people around getting their G.E.D. completed [and] working with young people around job skills so they have hands on experience working with people,” William Buster, director of the foundation’s Mississippi and New Orleans programs, told The Huffington Post.”

Project ECHO receives significant financial boost from GE Foundation

“The foundation, on Monday, announced a three-year, $14 million grant aimed at growing the number of federally qualified health centers within the project. Project ECHO's initial intent was to enable primary care providers in rural areas to achieve outcomes for treating hepatitis C that were comparable to those of specialists at the medical center in Albuquerque.”

Marin activists seek support in campaign against child poverty

“The Freedom School, a summer enrichment program at the Hannah Project, was created by the Washington D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund to encourage reading and to build leadership skills. Bettie Hodges, the Hannah Project’s executive director, said about 45 children, nearly all from low-income families, are participating in this summer’s Freedom School. The Hannah Project is an education and cultural organization based in Marin City.”

New ‘PropelNext’ Partnership Supports Groups Serving California Youth

“PropelNext helps organizations strengthen their programming and enhance their ability to collect, use, and apply data for ongoing improvement and learning–with the ultimate goal of making a greater impact on the lives of California youth. […] We are honored to partner with these nonprofits, which work with a range of youth–from homeless or foster youth to youth out of school or out of work. They provide these youth with critical services such as housing, after school programs, and important leadership development opportunities.”

Inequality, the Ford Foundation, and Humility

“[…] Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, announced that the foundation would shift its programming to focus exclusively on grantmaking that addresses inequality. In many ways, the move was very much in character for the evident culture and values set of the current leadership.”

Cooking up forgotten traditions to curb obesity, poverty

“[Boston nonprofit] Oldways has engaged volunteers around the country to run more than 100 such classes over a two-year pilot phase that began in 2012, with striking results. Based on interviews, weigh-ins, and blood-pressure readings taken before and after the six-week sessions at 50 of the classes, more than half the participants lost weight (an average of four pounds) and inches from their waist, and saw decreased blood pressure. […] ‘We have a lot of people that are new to poverty and don't know what to do, and also people moving in from impoverished places elsewhere," she said. "One of our challenges in our community is no one cooks anymore, and we rely way too much on processed foods. So I'm very excited to bring this to our community.’”

Knight Foundation grants $1.5 million to revitalize Charlotte’s northwest corridor

“If city officials have their way, Charlotte's northwest corridor could become like South End - a bustling residential and commercial hub that connects directly to uptown Charlotte. […] To assist in that, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is investing $1.5 million over three years to help revitalize the area, one of Charlotte's oldest African-American neighborhoods that has experienced a slowdown of business growth and lower income levels over the years.”

Chicago Scholars CEO empowers underserved teens with path to college

“Dominique Jordan Turner was born to a teenage mother from a Chicago housing project, and she had peers who struggled to avoid the crime that plagued their neighborhood. But Turner ("Mika" to her family) had an advantage — a mother with foresight […] since 2013, she has been the CEO of Chicago Scholars Foundation, which helps talented but underserved Chicago high-schoolers get into and stay in college.”

City of Richmond Announces $300,000 Grant from Kellogg Foundation

“The City of Richmond announced today that it has been awarded a grant of $300,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan. The grant was awarded to support the city’s continued work toward a stronger system of early childhood development and education in the City of Richmond. This award is a direct result of the work of the Early Childhood Task Force, whose key goal is to define a shared roadmap for the provision of comprehensive support services for families of young children, particularly low-income families, from birth to age five.”