Helping Low-Income Families Build Savings, Credit, and Financial Security
Asset building is not just for the rich and wealthy. Regardless of income, everyone needs to save, establish sound credit and build assets. But for low income individuals and families, financial security is especially essential. Low credit scores, or the lack of credit history, affect peoples’ lives not just in securing affordable credit, but also in renting an apartment, getting hired or buying a cell phone. Savings are similarly vital to weathering life’s ups and downs. A flat tire or a medical emergency can derail education or work. This panel will discuss the importance of both savings and credit building, especially among the underbanked or unbanked. Experts in the field will share innovative products, research findings, and new pilots and initiatives that help people move from fringe financial services to the mainstream as they build economic security and life stability.
Understanding Your Investment Manager's Advice
What indicators do your investment professionals use when creating market updates and making decisions about your foundation’s portfolio? This session explored market methodology—how to look at markets, what factors to review, and what are some general indicators of economic growth, inflation, and market stability. As fiduciaries, philanthropic investors need to be attuned to these factors in order to ask the right questions and make informed decisions about investments. Attendees also heard our speakers’ thoughts on market volatility and where the economy is headed.
Impact of the 2016 Elections on Philanthropy and Charitable Donors
During 2016 the Alliance for Charitable Reform (ACR) has been focused on charitable legislation and regulation proposed by presidential candidates, the major parties, Congressional leadership, and charity regulators in several key states. With a contentious campaign over and election results in hand, ACR executive director, Sandra Swirski, led our panelists in discussing how the election outcomes and possible legislative and regulatory activity at both the federal and state levels might impact individual donors, foundations, and their charitable grantees.
The Navy SEAL Approach to Training Teachers: Three New Ways to Develop Top Talent
Over the past decade, K-12 human capital organizations have taken on tremendous efforts to recruit and train cohorts of new, talented individuals to join the teaching profession. Additional initiatives exist to create a pipeline of teachers who could advance to serve as principals, school network leaders, advocates, and other important roles. While every level of talent development remains critical, one essential need that both these newer recruitment efforts and most professional development programs have been unable to fulfill is helping top teachers to stay in the classroom. Three forward thinking efforts are attempting to address this need in very different and innovative ways. Tony Klemmer of National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE) explained how investing heavily in the highest-performing teachers can transform an entire school. Professor Ted Magder of New York University’s Steinhardt School explained how a storied teachers college is launching a new training program that blends an offsite teacher residency with a traditional, content-rich academic program. Dan Scoggin of Great Hearts Academies discussed the school network’s custom-made degree program housed at partner universities where Great Hearts teachers receive in-depth formation to teach in a classical curriculum.
When to Include—and Not Include—Family Members on Your Foundation Board
The composition of family foundation boards is a critical factor in good governance and mission fulfillment. Yet judgments around board membership often hinge on other, more personal factors and can result in a board that is mired in family conflict or simply less effective than it might be. Although there is no one-size-fits-all formula for choosing the members of your foundation board, our speaker will focus on the critical factors that should inform your decision-making: donor intent and foundation mission, family structure and dynamics, and the qualification and commitment of potential family and non-family board members. This interactive presentation was designed to assist donors in giving their foundation the board it deserves.
The Platform Revolution and What it Means for Philanthropy
The Platform Economy is rapidly growing as companies like Uber and AirBNB are using platform models and technology to disrupt business. The new platform models succeed by unlocking under-utilized resources and making it easy for people to act as both consumers and producers, moving freely between creating and receiving value. How can philanthropy leverage platform models and supporting technology to transform the impact of investments? Jim Rahn, president of the Kern Family Foundation, hosted a conversation with Scott Beck, CEO of Gloo, Jeff Wright, president of Urban Ministries, and Tom Vander Ark, CEO of Getting Smart, to discuss the potential of platform models and technology to reshape the enterprise of helping people grow and develop.
Grit and Self-Control: Determinants of Success
“What we eventually accomplish may depend more on our passion and perseverance than on our innate talent.” Such is the core insight that has captured the imaginations of educators, coaches and business leaders since psychologist Angela Duckworth first introduced the concept of grit in an April 2013 TED Talk It’s compelling, especially in an age riven by distraction devices and infinite choice. But how does grit fit into a broader conception of what it means to live a morally inspired life, and how might philanthropy support the formation and flourishing of this life? This session highlighted the findings of Angela Duckworth’s research on grit as well as put her in conversation with Jim Rahn, president of the Kern Family Foundation and a philanthropic leader in strengthening 21st century character forming institutions.
Fixing Fishtown: Culture of Freedom Initiative
Our nation’s crisis does not originate in politics. Neither can the solution. If we are to rebuild the social and cultural pillars of this country, we must meet the problem where it is—in the communities that are struggling. Business leaders and dedicated philanthropists have joined forces to correct the collapse of family and civil society through private, philanthropic action. The Culture of Freedom initiative is addressing cultural decline with the backing of community leaders, micro-targeted outreach, and sophisticated paid and earned media strategies. Our speakers gave a high-level overview of efforts already underway in three test cities and the significant momentum coalition partners have experienced as a result of this initiative.
Protecting the Poor from Slavery, Child Prostitution, and Other Forms of Violence
Poverty alleviation cannot be attained without the rule of law. As Gary Haugen, CEO of International Justice Mission, puts it in The Locust Effect, “When we think of global poverty we readily think of hunger, disease, homelessness, illiteracy, dirty water, and a lack of education” but “the reality of common, criminal violence… afflicts far more of the global poor on a much larger scale—and consistently frustrates and blocks their climb out of poverty.” Efforts to invest in nations, communities, and people will be for naught if justice systems fail to protect men and women from slavery, children from the sex trade, or those who inflict violence upon or steal property from ordinary citizens. In the 19th century, reform movements transformed justice in New York, Chicago, Seattle, and other American cities, moving from corrupt policing systems that suppressed the poor and marginalized to ones that prevented crime and no longer tolerated lawlessness. IJM is seeking to achieve similar transformations of justice systems in many developing countries today. Philanthropy can be used as a catalyst for good, changing the trajectory of generations to come, but the work is long and difficult and setbacks occur. The story of IJM’s growth and influence offers an inspiring example of hope and perseverance—despite seemingly impossible obstacles.