To Enhance Oversight of Charities, Let’s Build on the Good Work Already Being Done

In an op-ed he wrote last week for The New York Times (Who Will Watch the Charities?), David Callahan claimed that the charitable sector is like the “Wild West” when it comes to oversight. After reading Callahan’s piece, you could not be faulted for walking away thinking that little is being done to regulate the sector and punish wrongdoing. The reality, however, is something quite different.

Here in Florida, our state’s charity regulators have been taking serious action to crack down on fraud and other misdeeds in the charitable sector, working in partnership with philanthropic and nonprofit leaders.   Continue reading

The Power of a Network to Amplify Philanthropy’s Voice

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Originally posted on the The Center for Effective Philanthropy blog

I recently wrote a post for the CEP blog about the power of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers — the Forum Network — to advance philanthropy across the field. That power of the Forum Network, the largest network serving philanthropy in America, was on display again in March when nearly 200 representatives of foundations and other philanthropic organizations converged on Washington, D.C. for Foundations on the Hill. The event is the one time each year when the philanthropic sector gathers together in the nation’s capitol to provide a collective voice for philanthropy with federal legislators and other policymakers. People from 31 states held more than 260 meetings with House and Senate members to tell their personal stories about the value of philanthropy in their states and districts, and to highlight important federal policies that can strengthen and grow philanthropy.  Continue reading

FPN Leads Team to Advocate for Philanthropy on Capitol Hill

Florida Philanthropic Network provided a strong voice for Florida philanthropy in Washington, DC a few weeks ago when we led our state’s delegation for the 2015 Foundations on the Hill event. The Florida team held 23 meetings with members of our state’s congressional delegation and their staffs, where we stressed to them the value and impact of philanthropy in our state.

FPN President & CEO David Biemesderfer (l) was one of the speakers for the kick-off of the 2015 Foundations on the Hill Event, along with (l-r) Sherry Magill, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and a founder of FPN; Adam Meyerson, President of the Philanthropy Roundtable; and Sue Santa, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Council on Foundations

FPN President & CEO David Biemesderfer (l) was one of the speakers for the kick-off of the 2015 Foundations on the Hill and Philanthropy Week in Washington, along with (l-r) Sherry Magill, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and a founder of FPN; Adam Meyerson, President of Philanthropy Roundtable; and Sue Santa, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Council on Foundations.

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Telling Florida Philanthropy’s Story With Bigger, Better Data

FC_AllianceFlorida Philanthropic Network is excited to be part of a new national strategic partnership that aims to achieve a dramatic improvement in the collection and sharing of data on philanthropy.

Last week the Foundation Center and the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers announced this new alliance. The partnership will result in the collection of more comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date data on grantmaking in our country. These data will be used in new regional research reports and new regional data visualization tools that will help us do a better job of telling the story of philanthropy in our region and help inform funding decisions and track giving trends. Continue reading

Why Hill Visits Matter: Florida Grantmakers Make Their Voices Heard in DC

It’s easy to be skeptical about Washington these days, what with the apparent rise in partisanship, the seemingly oversized influence of money in politics, and the perception that not much seems to be getting done. So why bother meeting with your congressperson, one may ask, particularly traveling all the way to DC to do it. Is it really worth it? It’s a fair question, and one to which I’d respond with an unequivocal “Yes.”

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of being part of a team of Florida grantmakers who gathered on Capitol Hill to meet with Florida’s congressional delegation, led by Florida Philanthropic Network. We were there to talk about the importance to Florida’s future of ensuring a strong and growing philanthropic sector in our state, and to discuss key legislative and policy issues that can help make that happen. The meetings were part of the annual Foundations on the Hill event put on by the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, in partnership with the Council on Foundations and the Alliance for Charitable Reform. Continue reading

Helping to Guide America’s Largest Philanthropy Network

Last week I was honored and humbled to be elected Chair of the Board of Directors of the Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers in Arlington, Va. The Forum is the largest network serving the philanthropic sector in America. Our network of 34 regional associations of grantmakers, including Florida Philanthropic Network, collectively represent more than 5,000 private and community foundations, corporate givers and other philanthropic organizations (you can read more about the appointment here). Continue reading