Children’s Services Councils: Valuable Partners for Philanthropy in Florida

Many Floridians may not know that Florida is the only state in the country that is home to some unique funding entities, known as Children’s Services Councils (CSCs), dedicated solely to investing in the well-being of children and families. Today voters in five Florida counties – Broward, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie and Palm Beach – will be asked to reauthorize their county’s CSC. Continue reading

Florida Grantmakers Explore New Ways to Engage Communities in Grant Decisions

“Place-based grantmaking” has become a popular term in philanthropic circles over the last several years. As described by the Neighborhood Funders Group, place-based grantmaking illustrates a shift in strategy from a traditional issue- or problem-based philanthropic approach to one focused on improving specific neighborhoods or communities. Instead of a more traditional grantmaking model where funders seek requests for funding proposals from the community related to the funders’ focus areas, place-based grantmaking starts with a focus on a community and then lets the funding priorities surface from the community. Place-based grantmaking strategies have taken many forms and the term itself is used quite liberally to refer to everything from grantmaking based purely on geography to multi-faceted collaborative partnerships among philanthropy, nonprofits and governments aimed at large-scale systems change that leads to healthier communities.

In a recent FPN program, three Florida grantmakers shared different strategies they are using to implement new place-based grantmaking programs in their organizations. Each funder is at a different stage in its program, and they are using different strategies and approaches, but the common thread running through all of their experiences is that they are trying to find new and innovative ways to better engage communities in grantmaking decisions that impact those communities. Continue reading

New Partnership Will Strengthen Support for Grants Managers in Florida

Florida Philanthropic Network is pleased to announce that FPN and the Grants Managers Network (GMN) have established a new relationship that will support our respective missions and maximize the value of membership in both organizations. Building on our shared values of collaboration and leadership, we have forged a mutually beneficial partnership that will help us achieve our independent and combined goals. Continue reading

How the Affordable Care Act Could Impact Florida & the Role for Philanthropy

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law. The ACA law is likely to touch the lives of virtually every Floridian, but key elements of the law are unknown to many and poorly understood by others – due in large part to the law’s complexity.

That’s one reason why Florida Philanthropic Network has just released a report that provides a clear, concise and independent overview of how the ACA is likely to impact the lives of Floridians, and suggests key roles for philanthropy to play as the ACA is implemented in the state. We hope the report will help raise the level of awareness and understanding of the ACA and its potential impacts, so that we can help ensure the most positive health outcomes for our communities and our state. Continue reading

Florida Foundations Blanket Capitol Hill to Raise Awareness of Philanthropy; Urge Congress to Preserve Charitable Deduction

Florida foundations made their voices heard in Washington this week. Florida Philanthropic Network led a team of 12 Florida grantmakers for visits with Florida’s representatives and senators as part of the annual Foundations on the Hill event on March 19-20, 2013. The event was co-sponsored by the Council on Foundations, the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers and the Alliance for Charitable Reform. We blanketed the Hill, making contact with all 29 members of Florida’s congressional delegation and their staffs, to stress to our legislative leaders the important role that philanthropy plays in our state. Continue reading

Florida Grantmakers Walk the Talk on Collaboration

“Collaboration” is a word that has been bandied about a lot in the philanthropy and nonprofit sectors in recent years, with calls for nonprofit collaboration escalating after the recession hit in 2008. With the recent announcement of the merger of Florida’s two largest philanthropy associations, Florida Philanthropic Network (FPN) and Donors Forum of South Florida (DFSF), Florida grantmakers offer a real-life example of the benefits that can be gained by collaborative restructuring in our sector. I know I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to walk the talk on collaboration.

I was part of a four-member team assigned by FPN’s board of directors to lead the merger effort for our organization, working closely with a similar team assigned by the DFSF board of directors. Right from the start I was struck by the constructive tone of the discussions. Everyone approached the process in the spirit of doing what was best for Florida’s philanthropy sector – not what was best for any of us personally or for our individual organizations. I think that was a critical factor in reaching a successful outcome. Continue reading