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Open Society Foundations;
This is a special edition of Amplifying Voices that includes highlights of the Open Society Initiative for East Africa's work from 2005 to 2015. Amplifying Voices documents different journeys the foundation has traveled with its partners since its launch in 2005 and the collective efforts to realize human rights and freedoms for all.
Amplifying Voices pays particular attention to those on the margins of society, including stories of working on the forced sterilization of HIV-positive women or those with mental health illnesses, promoting the rights of sex workers, or addressing the question of human rights and counterterrorism.
The Open Society Initiative for East Africa started as a one-program initiative in 2005 in Kenya and today has grown to include eight programs in the region. Geographically, the foundation now works in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Sudan. It addresses issues including health and rights, disability rights, and food security.
Funders for LGBTQ Issues;
In 2018, Funders for LGBTQ Issues set out to survey the board and staff of foundations in order to identify how many LGBTQ people worked in philanthropy — which resulted in The Philanthropic Closet: LGBTQ People in Philanthropy.
In designing the survey, we realized that we had an opportunity to not only ask about sexual orientation and gender identity but also to inquire about a range of personal identifiers. With the inaugural Diversity Among Philanthropic Professionals (DAPP) Survey, we asked participants to identify their role within their foundation, their age, gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, and disability status. This report lays out the results of the DAPP survey in aggregate form.
Produced in partnership with CHANGE Philanthropy and Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP), the report and accompanying infographic explore diversity in the philanthropic workforce. Overall, the report finds a statistically significant difference between funders with a social justice focus and all other funders. Social justice funders were much more likely to have higher representation of LGBTQ people, people of color, and people with disabilities.
The report finds:
People of color accounted for 37.8 percent of people on the staff or board of participating foundations.
However, the percentage varied depending on a foundation's focus. People of color made up 45.6 percent of the staff and board at foundations with a social justice focus, while they accounted for 33.0 percent of staff and board at foundations with another focus.
While women accounted for nearly 70 percent of the staff and board at all participating foundations, only 44 percent of board members were women.
Nearly half of women at foundations with a social justice focus were women of color; only a third of women at foundations with another focus were women of color.
Among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in philanthropy, 43.1 percent of those at foundations with a social justice focus were people of color, compared to one-third of those at foundations with another focus.
Among transgender people, 57.1 percent of transgender people at foundations with a social justice focus were people of color, while 25 percent of transgender people at foundations with another focus were people of color.
At foundations with a social justice focus, people with disabilities made up 8.8 percent of staff and boards, compared to 4.8 percent at foundations with another focus.
Across all participating foundations, 10.3 percent of staff and board were born outside of the United States.
Illinois is home to over 5,200 active grantmaking foundations spanning all types—independent or family, corporate, community, and operating—sizes, and issue areas. The community includes many foundations that only give locally or within the state, as well as those that fund nationally and even internationally. Giving in Illinois provides an overview of the scale and composition of the Illinois foundation community and grantmaking priorities of foundations funding in Illinois.
European Foundation Centre (EFC);
30 years. 30 contributors. 30 takes on the future of philanthropy.
With so many complex and urgent challenges facing contemporary society, clearly treading water isn't enough. How can philanthropy adapt to tackle these challenges head on? How can the EFC be the catalyst in this process?The answers to these questions are going to be critical.This commemorative book, marking 30 years since the establishment of the European Foundation Centre, turns to some of the most influential thought leaders on philanthropy from around the world to have their say on the future of the EFC and the wider philanthropic sector.
Carnegie Corporation of New York;
There is a new urgency today for American philanthropies to protect the right to vote for all eligible citizens. The philanthropic community has worked alongside the government to protect these rights for decades, but since a 2013 Supreme Court ruling eliminated key parts of the Voting Rights Act, there has been a dramatic increase across the country in barriers to voting. These new barriers often disproportionately affect low-income voters, rural voters, communities of color, young people, and people with disabilities.
American philanthropies now have an opportunity to protect and strengthen U.S. democracy by providing badly needed investments in the country's voting infrastructure, paying attention to these issues beyond election time, and joining with others to support litigation against illegal voting barriers.
Open Society Foundations;
Despite deep concerns about the future of democracy, people in Central and Eastern Europe retain a strong attachment to civil society and faith in the freedoms achieved with the collapse of Communism, according to States of Change: Attitudes in Central and Eastern Europe 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, a report from the Open Society Foundations.
Based on polling by YouGov conducted in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, States of Change provides a snapshot of current opinion on democracy, freedom of speech, the market economy, and the media in the former Eastern Bloc and Germany.
Africa Granmakers' Affinity Group;
Funders targeting support to benefit communities in Africa represent a diverse set of grantmakers targeting a broad array of priorities, according to a new report from Africa Grantmakers' Affinity Group (AGAG). In fact, more than half of the survey respondents provide support for two or more issue areas, specified populations, and/or countries or regions.
The Africa Funding Landscape: A Profile of Funders Focused on Africa and Perspectives on the Field moves beyond grant dollars to capture the what, how, and why of current funding targeting Africa. The report is based on a survey of private and public funders headquartered in North America, Africa, and other regions.
Among the key findings:
Human rights and economic development are the top focus areas, followed closely by health and education.
Children and youth and women and girls are a focus of well over half of funders
East Africa was the top regional focus, but the top three countries of focus were South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda.
Few funders headquartered outside of Africa report facing significant obstacles in supporting organizations in Africa.
Funders are reasonably optimistic about the interest of other grantmakers in supporting similar priorities, suggesting potential for growth in funding targeting Africa.
Respondents also cited several challenges to achieving the desired impact of funding in their focus area. Chief among them was inadequate funding. Other challenges included their lack of knowledge about the local landscape and opportunities for engagement, as well as differing priorities of funders and their grantees and "closing space" restrictions on civil society and philanthropy.
Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy;
Social Justice Funders Spotlights present stories of innovative, effective social justice philanthropy in action. Each spotlight focuses upon a grantmaker and a grantee.
Disability Rights FundThis spotlight is part of Sillerman's Participatory Grantmaking project.
Native Americans in Philanthropy;
From 2002 to 2016, large U.S. foundations gave, on average, 0.4 percent of total annual funding to Native American communities and causes, although the Alaska Native and American Indian population represents 2 percent of the total U.S. population. This report provides the latest data on foundation funding for Native Americans, alongside important historical context that has contributed to the unique experiences and challenges Native Americans face today. The report also consolidates advice and feedback from philanthropic and Native leaders, who reflect on successful work and practices in partnering with Native organizations and communities.
Rutgers University Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy;
For more than a decade, states and cities across the country have served a leadership role in advancing science-informed climate policy through city, state and multi-state efforts. The rapid pace by which state climate policy is emerging is evidenced by the number of new laws, directives and policies adopted in 2018 and the first half of 2019 alone. Currently, there is an active ongoing dialogue across the U.S. regarding the intersection of climate and equity objectives with efforts targeted at addressing needs of disadvantaged communities and consumers. This climate/equity intersection is due to several factors, including recognition by many cities and states that climate change is and will continue to have a disproportionate impact on certain populations and will exacerbate existing stressors faced by disadvantaged communities and consumers. Research indicates that a greater proportion of environmental burden exists in geographic areas with majority populations of people of color, low-income residents, and/or indigenous people. It is well known that certain households (including some that are low-income, African American, Latino, multi-family and rural) spend a larger portion on their income on home energy costs. States and stakeholders are realizing that a transition to a low-carbon future by mid-century will require significantly increased participation of disadvantaged communities and households in the benefits of climate and clean energy programs.
Institute for Transportation and Development Policy;
While momentum in recent decades has elevated bus rapid transit (BRT) as more than an emerging mode in the U.S., this high-capacity, high-quality bus-based mass transit system remains largely unfamiliar to most Americans. In the U.S., lack of clarity and confusion around what constitutes BRT stems both from its relatively low profile (most Americans have never experienced BRT) and its vague and often conflicting sets of definitions across cities, sectors, and levels of government. As a result, many projects that would otherwise be labeled as bus improvements or bus priority under international standards have become branded in American cities as BRT. This leads to misperceptions among U.S. decisionmakers and the public about what to expect from BRT. Since its inception in Curitiba, Brazil, BRT has become a fixture of urban transport systems in more than 70 cities on six continents throughout the globe. Just twelve BRT corridors exist in the United States so far.
This guide offers proven strategies and insights for successfully implementing BRT within the political, regulatory, and social context that is unique to the United States. This guide seeks to illuminate the upward trends and innovations of BRT in U.S. cities. Through three in-depth case studies and other examples, the guide shares the critical lessons learned by several cities that have successfully implemented, or are in the midst of completing, their own BRT corridors. Distinct from previous BRT planning and implementation guides, this is a practical resource to help planners, and policy makers specifically working within the U.S. push beyond the parameters of bus priority and realize the comprehensive benefits of true BRT.
In 2015, familiar threats to human rights and human rights philanthropy continued. As conflicts persisted in countries like Syria, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic, the number of refugees fleeing violence and hunger soared. Extremist groups perpetrated mass violence from Nigeria and Egypt, to Kenya and France, including the targeted killing of staff from the French magazine Charlie Hedbo. Threats to closing civic space intensified as more countries adopted laws targeting and restricting organizations that work to hold governments accountable, including the funders that back them, often under the pretext of counterterrorism.
Despite these many concerns, we saw inspiring advances for human rights around the world across a range of issues. Women in Saudi Arabia voted and stood for election for the very first time, and the governments of the Gambia and Nigeria outlawed female genital mutilation. The Supreme Court in the United States legalized same sex marriage, while the Irish people did so through a historic popular vote. Cuba and the U.S. restored diplomatic ties after more than five decades, and Iran signed a deal to curb its nuclear program. At the end of the year, nearly 200 countries reached the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change to mitigate global warming.
Against this backdrop, in 2015 foundations allocated a total of $2.4 billion in support of human rights.