Philanthropedia Blog

Archive for May, 2012

Identifying High-Impact Climate Change Nonprofits

May 21st, 2012

The average temperature of the Earth’s surface has increased by about 1.2 to 1.4ºF since 1900, and with that has come a host of changes in other aspects of climate such as precipitation and storminess (EPA). Climate change affects people, plants, and animals in a variety of ways, and scientists have observed that some changes are already occurring (EPA).

In 2009, Philanthropedia took a close look at nonprofits working to alleviate climate change at the national level. One hundred thirty nine experts participated in this research, and collectively recommended a list of 15 organizations doing great work in the climate change arena.

We refresh our research every three years, so we are turning again to climate change to re-run our survey. We’re asking experts who work in the field of climate change to contribute to our research to let us know which nonprofits they think are doing the best work in climate change today.

Scope of the Research

For this research we are asking experts to recommend up to four nonprofits doing high-impact work at the national level in climate change, and up to two start-up nonprofits that have the potential to scale and have an impact at that level in the future.

Climate change is a multi-faceted issue with a variety of contributing factors and even more ways to address its causes and current effects.  Nonprofits addressing climate change can take on many forms. They may address issues such as:

  • Conservation
  • Sustainability
  • Alternative energy
  • Pollution
  • Environmental justice
  • Energy efficiency

We’d like to encourage experts to consider a diverse array of organizations. Types of organizations addressing climate change could include:

  • Research organizations
  • Policy and advocacy organizations
  • Conservation groups
  • Public outreach/education organizations

Participation in the Research

If you are a professional (foundation staff, researcher, nonprofit staff member, etc.) working in climate change and have insight on nonprofit organizations working in this field, we’d love to hear from you. You may have received an email from us with a link to our survey. The survey will be open until late June 2012. We hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact Jasmine Marrow at jasmine.marrow@guidestar.org, and we would be happy to send the survey to you to include your recommendations.

Additionally, we invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might frame this type of work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, we hope you learned something new and will check in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!

Identifying High-Impact Nonprofits Addressing Homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area

May 21st, 2012

As of 2011,every night in America, about 750,000 people experience homelessness. Over the course of a year, 2.5 to 3.5 million people experience homelessness for a period of time (days to months). Each year, 600,000 families and 1.35 million children are homeless, making up half of the homeless population (National Alliance to End Homelessness). 

In 2009, we launched our research to identify high-impact nonprofits addressing homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area. Homelessness is a persistent problem nationwide and is an area about which many donors are passionate. Because of the large homeless population in the Bay Area, we decided to conduct research to find out which nonprofits were most effective in working with and helping this group of people. For this local cause, 83 Bay Area homelessness experts identified 13 top nonprofits working in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We are now refreshing these research results (we re-run our research every three years), and we’re inviting experts once again to help identify high-impact nonprofit addressing homelessness in the Bay Area. We hope that many of you will participate in this research to help inform individual donors about which nonprofits are making the biggest impact in Bay Area homelessness!

Scope of the Research

In this research we are asking experts to recommend up to four nonprofits doing high-impact work to help the homeless in the Bay Area, and up to two start-up nonprofits that have the potential to scale and have an impact in the future.

The nonprofits recommended might be working or supporting homeless populations as far south as San Jose, along the Peninsula, into the East Bay, in San Francisco, and just north of San Francisco, as well.

Organizations working in this arena can address the immediate and long term needs of the homeless population in a variety of ways.

These organizations include:

  • Homeless shelters
  • Housing providers
  • Policy and advocacy organizations
  • Mental health and drug treatment service providers
  • Organizations focusing on prisoner re-entry
  • Former-foster youth service providers
  • Family support service providers
  • Food providers

Participation in the Research

If you are an expert (foundation staff, researcher, nonprofit staff member, government official, etc.) working on Bay Area Homelessness we’d love to hear from you. You may have received an email from us with a link to our survey. The survey will be open until late June 2012. We hope you will share your perspective and insights! If for some reason we have missed you and you think you have a valuable perspective to offer, please contact Jasmine Marrow at jasmine.marrow@guidestar.org, and we would be happy to send the survey to you to include your recommendations.

Additionally, we invite your feedback and thoughts about how you might frame this type of work. For those readers less familiar with this topic, we hope you learned something new and will check in again when we have the results of this research. Thank you all for your participation!

 

Minnesota Workforce Development Expert-Identified Nonprofit Countdown: Highlighting Nonprofits #6-10

May 3rd, 2012

Of course, there are more than just 5 workforce development organizations making a major impact on the workforce development scene in Minnesota. Here is some more information about the great work and impact expert-identified nonprofits #6-10 are making.

#6 Charles K Blandin Foundation

The Blandin Foundation has strengthened rural communities across Minnesota through leadership development programs, broadband internet access, and other workforce development activities. Read more about them here.

#7 Twin Cities Rise

Twin Cities Rise invests heavily in the training and coaching of low-income individuals, ultimately placing its participants in career-track jobs that earn a living wage and benefits. The organization has both an immediate impact on the people it serves and a long-term, systemic impact on the community through changing attitudes.  Read more about them here.

#8 Workforce Development Inc

WDI has made a major impact in southeastern Minnesota by helping thousands of job seekers during the recession, building strong collaborative partnerships, applying for federal funding for regional workforce initiatives, and developing innovative workforce development programs that meet business needs. Read more about them here.

#9 Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council

The SW MN PIC successfully trains and places individuals into high-demand jobs that allow them to earn a living wage and become self-sufficient. They have developed innovative sector initiatives around energy and healthcare. Read more about them here.

#10 RESOURCE, Inc.

RESOURCE effectively serves individuals with a variety of barriers to employment, including disabled, low-income, and youth populations. Read more about them here.

And there’s so much more! View our entire list of expert-identified workforce development nonprofits in Minnesota here: http://www.myphilanthropedia.org/top-nonprofits/minnesota/workforce-development and dig deeper to review what experts had to say about each organization. These organizations are doing important work to provide and create jobs and employment in Minnesota, so please consider donating to them to show your support. You can feel confident that your donation is going to support an outstanding group of nonprofits making a real impact in workforce development in Minnesota.

 

Minnesota Workforce Development Partnership: #1 Goodwill Easter Seals

May 2nd, 2012

Today we honor the #1 expert-identified workforce development nonprofit in Minnesota: Goodwill Easter Seals. Read about how Goodwill Easter Seals helped numerous clients secure a job during the recession:

 Ron worked as a printer for 11 years but lost his job due to the recession.  For several months, he collected unemployment insurance and worked temporary labor jobs to support his wife and two daughters. On the recommendation of a friend, Ron applied to the Construction Skills Training Program at Goodwill/Easter Seals, where he thrived. Thanks to his positive attitude and enthusiasm for learning, upon graduating, Ron was quickly hired by Urban Homeworks. Gradually, Ron’s responsibilities have increased, and today his duties include leading a home renovation crew, managing all properties, maintaining all vehicles and preparing volunteer sites. Additionally, he is training to become a Lead Abatement Supervisor. Ron often returns to Goodwill/Easter Seals to share his experiences with other men and women who are hoping to make a better life for themselves and their families.

(Read more here: http://www.goodwilleasterseals.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=16275&news_iv_ctrl=1201)

 According to our experts, Goodwill offers industry-specific training, transitional jobs, counseling, and placement that enable individuals with significant barriers to employment to successfully enter the workforce.  This well-established organization also engages in advocacy, innovative partnerships with educational institutions, and low-cost retail.

To learn more about Goodwill and their impact, read more expert reviews here.

Project for Pride in Living (PPL): #2 Expert-Identified Workforce Development Nonprofit in Minnesota

May 2nd, 2012

Our #2 workforce development nonprofit, Project for Pride in Living has helped numerous people with acquiring new skills and increasing their chances to obtain a job. Learn Angela’s story here:

Angela was a regular at PPL’s Computer Access Lab, learning basic computer skills, improving her typing, creating a resume, and eventually searching and applying for jobs online. When she received a call for a job interview, Angela scheduled a mock interview with PPL staff to help her prepare. Now Angela has a great job, and she’s thankful for the training she got from PPL that got her ready for it.

 (Read more success stories here: http://www.ppl-inc.org/page/ppl-stories-success)

According to our experts, PPL has changed the lives of thousands of families in disadvantaged communities through its package of job training, education, housing, and financial services. The organization’s employment training programs are customized to reflect their participants’ cultural backgrounds, and the skills they teach apply directly to career fields such as healthcare and banking.  Read more reviews from workforce development experts here to learn more about the great work PPL is doing.

HIRED: #3 Expert-Identified Workforce Development Nonprofit in Minnesota

May 2nd, 2012

Have you ever been worried that your skill sets are too narrow and don’t know what to do when your type of job or industry is closing down? Learn how HIRED helped Lynette Carlson acquire more skills to improve her job opportunities.

Lynette Carlson had been employed at SUPERVALU for more than 19 years when she learned that her job as a customer service representative in the IT department was being eliminated. The instability and uncertainty associated with unemployment was frightening enough, but what she feared most was that her skills would be too job-specific and she wouldn’t find a position that challenged her.

Diane Henderson, a counselor in HIRED’s Brooklyn Park office, focused on Lynette’s customer service experience and her “very strong organizational skills and an unabashed willingness to try new things.” Diane recommended two computer skills courses to round out Lynette’s IT background, and a class on being a leader and supervisor, which Lynette is quick to point out, has helped her develop more confidence as a manager. A temporary job at Laneco, a small janitorial service company in Brooklyn Park, was enough to show the project supervisor what Lynette could do. She was eventually offered a full-time position as the company’s Operation’s Manager.

Since leaving HIRED’s dislocated worker program, Lynette has taken the initiative to enroll in Spanish language courses to improve her ability to communicate with some of the employees. In addition to continuing her language courses, Lynette is currently looking into taking small business courses. Lynette said, “When you lose your job in mid-career, you never dream this kind of opportunity will be available. HIRED has helped me challenge myself in new ways that are very rewarding. I have a lot of responsibility here at Laneco, and I really enjoy having the opportunity to work within many facets of the company.”

(Read more about the work that HIRED has done in Minnesota at: http://www.hired.org/jobseekers/dislocated/profiles.htm)

According to our experts, HIRED is a regional leader in workforce development. Their high-quality programming and partnerships enable thousands of people annually to enter the workforce, including low-income, youth, immigrant, and refugee populations. Read more reviews from Minnesota workforce development experts here to learn more about the work HIRED is doing in Minnesota.

Emerge: #4 Expert-Identified Workforce Development Nonprofit in Minnesota

May 2nd, 2012

Emerge came in at #4 on the list. Imagine having three young children, ranging in age from 3 to 9 years old and not having housing. Read about how the Emerge Community Development of Minneapolis helped a father who was in that situation.

As a single father to three young children, ranging in age from 3 to 9 years old, Lee Cody Wilson definitely has moments when the weight of his responsibility feels particularly heavy. “There are some days when I tell my kids that Dad needs a timeout,” he said with a laugh. “But every day, we all just get up and do what we need to do.” Wilson, a recovering addict for 13 years, said he has had peace of mind since his family was accepted into Fathers and Children Together (FACT), an initiative funded by the Housing and Urban Development agency. The 24-month transitional housing and family development program serves about 45 homeless families, mostly single fathers with legal custody of their children. It’s administered by Emerge Community Development of Minneapolis in partnership with several local agencies. Today Wilson and his family are happy to have a home, after having spent two months in a Minneapolis shelter before moving into one of the Emerge Villages partner sites. Families are connected to programs that help them with employment, child support, chemical and mental health issues, said DeVon Nolen, director of the Emerge Villages program. About 90 children between kindergarten and eighth grade are tutored in math and reading during the school year, connect with mentors and participate in activities such as a weeklong residential camp in August. (Source: The Star Tribune)

(Learn more about Emerge here: http://www.emerge-mn.org/FACT)

In addition, according to our experts, EMERGE helps individuals successfully transition from correctional facilities to employment through its innovative job training and placement programs. Their holistic service model promotes community development and builds human capital. Read more reviews from Minnesota workforce development experts here to learn more about the great work EMERGE is doing.


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