04.11.13: US News Bits

News about grants, gifts

The California Endowment announced that nine Central Valley school districts have been awarded more than $1 million in grant funding to transform their approaches to school discipline through strategies proven to prevent misconduct, keep kids in school and improve school safety. Research from the American Association of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association and other experts has found that suspension is not an effective strategy for reducing school violence or improving academic achievement. One recent study found that even a single suspension in the ninth grade doubles a student’s risk of dropping out of high school.

Volkswagen of America Inc. announced that it has donated three Volkswagen Passats to the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company and the Sterling Volunteer Rescue Squad located in Sterling, Va., to help fire and rescue officials foster life-saving training techniques. The donation was part of a larger contribution of 190 model year 2012 Passats that Volkswagen has made to fire and rescue stations and learning institutions across the country.

News about people, groups 

The Blue Card, a national nonprofit dedicated to aiding destitute Holocaust survivors, has promoted Masha Girshin to Executive Director. In this role, Girshin leads the organization’s efforts to provide financial assistance to needy Holocaust survivors living in the United States, overseeing the administration of grants to survivors living at or below the federal poverty level.

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates has detailed its 2012 corporate giving in its first annual report on philanthropy. The Great Lakes Philanthropy 2012 report highlights nearly $10 million in funding for initiatives and programs designed to increase college access, readiness, and success among more than 50,000 traditionally underserved students.

The Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Norma Ayala, legal administrator at Gipson Hoffman & Pancione, on April 9 by the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators (GLA ALA). Ayala is recognized for her service as chairperson of the annual Justice Jog, the biggest annual community initiative for GLA ALA which raises awareness, funds, and visibility for designated nonprofits serving the community and legal sector, as well as her work in various Los Angeles charitable organizations.

Laura Callanan, an expert in the field of social innovation, has joined the Foundation Center in the role of senior fellow. During this one-year fellowship, Callanan will be in residence at the Center’s New York City office undertaking a variety of activities to elevate work within the philanthropic sector related to leadership development and social impact, as well as help build the Foundation Center’s own capacity for social innovation. In this role, she will share insights on topics ranging from learning culture and foundation strategy to social entrepreneurship and impact assessment through research, webinars, blogging, and conferences.

A new report released by the National Council of Nonprofits demonstrates the proven benefits to the public of establishing joint government-nonprofit contracting task forces. Partnering for Impact: Government-Nonprofit Contracting Reform Task Forces Produce Results for Taxpayers focuses on recent efforts in nine states (including North Carolina) where joint task forces developed recommendations to streamline government-nonprofit contracting processes. These task forces are making progress in fixing inefficient systems in their states and saving taxpayers money by eliminating redundant processes, promoting online document repositories, and initiating other solutions.

One of the highest honors in the financial services industry – as well as the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy’s top honor – goes to Sally Alspaugh, CAP, Director of Family Philanthropy for Xavier University. The Fithian Leadership Award acknowledges professionals with distinguished careers in service to the philanthropic community. Honorees are chosen for their efforts to uphold the standards of excellence in ethics, service and charitable planning encouraged by the Association.

More than a thousand volunteers from the Oklahoma City metro area provided free home remodels and safety modifications for their elderly neighbors on April 13 through Rebuilding Together OKC’s National Rebuilding Day program. The nonprofit is still accepting donations to support this and other year-round programs, which have the potential to be matched by an anonymous.

WaterStep, a Louisville-based nonprofit working to fight the world water crisis through training and technology, has created a partnership with Just Love Coffee Roasters, a Tennessee-based company that hand roasts organic, fairly traded coffees from around the world. Just Love Coffee Roasters is launching Beans for Streams, a program that provides clean water for one person, for life – every time a bag of coffee is purchased online through the “One Bag. One Life.” program.

About 600 Clinton Global Initiative University  students joined President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton for an April 7 community service project at Gateway STEM High School in St. Louis. Rams players Jake Long, Robert Quinn and Chris Givens also joined the effort and assist with a number of restorative projects and facility upgrades around the school. In an effort to create a greener and healthier learning environment for Gateway students, each project incorporated sustainable products and practices.

According to research released at the annual conference of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, a partner in the six-member Nonprofit Research Collaborative, nearly six in 10 charities surveyed (58 percent) raised more in 2012 than they did in 2011 from contributions, marking the first time since 2006 that significantly more than half showed such positive results. This is the third annual report by the NRC and includes responses from nearly 1,200 charitable organizations in the United States and Canada.

Grizzard Communications Group Inc. was named direct response fundraising agency of record for The Salvation Army Massachusetts Division.  Grizzard will collaborate with the development team to expand the nonprofit organization’s donor base, funding and community involvement through multi-channel communications. Grizzard brings their in-depth research, deep analytics, and almost 70 years of experience working with The Salvation Army in North America and worldwide.

News about opportunities, initiatives

The authors of npEXPERTS, a free e-book recently published by Blackbaud, will participate in a web seminar series focused on sharing best practices in online marketing and fundraising for nonprofits. Leveraging their expertise from years working with organizations both as employees and consultants, they will share how to connect with supporters, activate donors, and raise money online. For information or to register for the webinar series, click here.

GOOD Worldwide LLC – an integrated media, thought leadership and community action platform – is offering five entrepreneurs the opportunity to make a difference in the world with the launch of the Global Neighborhood Challenge. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the project will offer “pop-up fellowships” for five innovators who are passionate about issues in community development. Working with GOOD and its partners, fellows will receive a weeklong trip to Los Angeles to share ideas, and learn how to elevate and expand their ideas. For information, visit http://global.maker.good.is/.

If you are interested in having your organization’s news announced in the next News Bits, please send announcements or press releases to news@philanthropyjournal.org.

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