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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Children’s Health Coverage in Florida Making Progress But Many Challenges Ahead, New FPN Brief Shows

KidsCoverageBriefCover600Last week Florida Philanthropic Network and our Florida Health Funders member affinity group released an educational brief on the state of children’s health coverage in Florida. Anyone who cares about the health of Florida’s kids needs to know the information covered in the publication.

Authored by Joan Alker, Executive Director of the Center for Children and Families at the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, the brief has some good news for Florida: over the past five years, the number and rate of uninsured children has declined in in the state, mirroring a nationwide trend. In 2008, about 668,000 Florida children ages 18 and under were uninsured; by 2013 that number had dropped to 445,000. 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

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

Helping Oklahoma Recover

Here in hurricane-prone Florida we are definitely hard-wired to want to reach out and help our fellow Americans in other parts of the country when disaster strikes. The communities in Oklahoma that were struck by this week’s tornadoes are in the first steps of what we know will be a long road ahead of them to deal with a myriad of immediate, intermediate and long-term relief and recovery needs. If you want to give a donation to help with relief and recovery efforts in Oklahoma, here are some options to consider: 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

Honoring Florida Philanthropy Leadership: Sherry Magill & David Odahowski

The theme of Florida Philanthropic Network’s 2013 Statewide Summit on Philanthropy was “What Is Philanthropy’s Leadership Opportunity?” So it was a particularly appropriate occasion for FPN to honor two people who have taken full advantage of their leadership opportunities in Florida’s philanthropic sector: Sherry Magill, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund in Jacksonville, and David Odahowski, President & CEO of the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation in Winter Park. Sherry and David are two of the co-founders of Florida Philanthropic Network. They have served on FPN’s Board of Directors since FPN’s first Board meeting in 2001, and they left the Board on January 30, 2013, after more than 12 years of service. Joining me in honoring them at the Summit was Steve Marcus, President & CEO of the Health Foundation of South Florida, who co-founded FPN along with David and Sherry.

David Odahowski and Sherry Magill react to a standing ovation while being honored at FPN's 2013 Statewide Summit on Philanthropy

David Odahowski and Sherry Magill react to a standing ovation while being honored at FPN’s 2013 Statewide Summit on Philanthropy.

Both David and Sherry have mentioned to me that many years ago they would stand alone in the corner during grantmaker conferences and wonder why Florida couldn’t have an organization that could hold its own conferences for Florida funders; they didn’t want to just see their Florida colleagues at national conferences every now and then. Well, thanks to their hard work, vision and perseverance, Florida now has such an organization. Their vision for FPN was to provide a collective voice for Florida philanthropy and to ensure that philanthropy has a seat at the table when important policy decisions are being made. Continue reading