Philanthropedia Blog

Philanthropedia Announces New Custom Research Project in Minnesota

February 5th, 2013 by admin 4 comments »

We, Philanthropedia a division of GuideStar, are excited to announce that we are launching a new round of custom research with Minnesota Philanthropy Partners. Through our custom research offerings we’ve partnered with MN Partners to highlight expert-identified high-impact nonprofits in the fields of the environment, workforce development, access to arts and culture, and access to healthy foods (soon to be released).  This research has uncovered an array of nonprofits working in a variety of ways to help Minnesotans live happier and healthier lives.

Our current research focuses on mental health and educational support for at-risk youth. Through our crowd sourcing methodology, we will harness the professional perspectives of Minnesota’s experts in each of these fields. The results of this research will be available on Philanthropedia and GuideStar’s websites as well as published in MN Partners’ flagship magazine, MNSights.

Research on Minnesota’s Mental Health Nonprofits

February 5th, 2013 by admin 5 comments »

Through a custom research partnership with Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Philanthropedia is currently conducting research to identify high-impact nonprofits working in Minnesota’s mental health arena in order to bring more awareness to the area.

The state of Minnesota has made many progressive steps forward in the area of mental health care including their establishment of the few mental health Urgent Care centers in the nation.  Support for the wide array of mental health issues from crisis to prevention is an important part of Minnesota’s nonprofit landscape.

Research Scope

In preparation for this research, we spoke with 13 issue experts to better understand the area of mental health in Minnesota. Their insights helped define the scope of this research. (Thank you to those of you who offered your time and expertise!)

Areas of Focus

Children’s mental health – Children’s mental health services encompass both in-school and out-of-school interventions. On the whole, Minnesota has moved toward a model of individualized care for youth to ensure that assessment and treatment strategies are designed to contribute to a holistic model of care. Children’s mental health relies on a trauma informed model of care, which deeply informs their assessment and services.

Crisis intervention – Crisis intervention strategies are often needed as an element of care for those with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI).  Major goals of crisis support are both to dissolve the current situation and to help the individual avoid future crises. Too often a mental health crisis will result in an emergency room visit for the individual. Emergency rooms are ill equipped to provide care for mental health crises. These visits are often costly and result in inadequate care. Crisis intervention strategies such as mobile crisis teams and mental health urgent care can help reduce the number of ER visits.

Culturally competent care – In order for mental health care to be effective, it must be truly accessible. There is a growing understanding in the field that mental health care often needs to be a trusted and integrated part of the community in order to truly be a resource. New immigrants may also be in need of support as they assimilate into a new community. Language barriers, isolation, and the process of moving to a new community are often anxiety producing and can lead to depression. Many effective practitioners strip away the language of mental health and work to help new immigrants become more integrated into their communities and respond to their emotional needs.

Dual diagnosis and issues exasperating mental illness – Alcoholism and drug abuse are often co-occurring in individuals with mental illness. The co-existing issues of addiction and mental health issues are often called a dual diagnosis. While there are some services that focus on dual diagnosis, there is far more support needed in this area. Like addiction, poverty and homelessness often accompany mental illness. Due to stress, instability, and decreased access to medication, these situations can exacerbate mental health concerns and speed up the cycle of a mental health crisis.

Integration of care – In many areas of Minnesota’s mental health care system, providers are identifying the need to approach individual needs from a holistic perspective. For example, there are significant physical health disparities for those with mental health concerns. In line with the national trend, in Minnesota, those with serious mental illness have an average life-span of 24 years fewer than their peers (Health Partners). There is a nationwide shortage of psychiatrists. This trend negatively impacts those in rural areas even more dramatically. Some of this burden can be alleviated through the of telemedicine and training general practice physicians to manage mental health cases.

Lack of residential options – As a result of the economic downturn, Minnesota is experiencing a lack of residential vacancies. There are very few options for residential support outside of the hospital setting. For many, options such a group homes or treatment facilities may be an appropriate fit, but are not a viable or timely option.

Preventative care – Currently prevention is undervalued in the mental health arena. To qualify for services, often an individual needs to have suffered a crisis. This is in many ways a dangerous trend, though there are a few notable exceptions. Minnesota has a strong suicide prevention focus, both for youth and adults. There is also an emerging trend in programming for individuals experiencing their first mental health crisis, which helps to set up systems to prevent recurring episodes.

Serious and persistent mental illness – Individuals suffering from serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI) have a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression or borderline personality disorder that significantly impairs the person’s functioning. Individuals with SPMI are more likely to undergo crisis, be hospitalized, and require ongoing case management and mental health care.

Stigma – There is a strong need for reducing stigma, or stigma busting, in the mental health community. The negative connotation of a mental health diagnosis and treatment keep many people from accessing care for years. It also builds a wall between mental health consumers and their communities. Stigma busting can take the form of community-based services, mobile care, training practitioners in stigma reduction, and emerging practices that make patients an active voice in their own care.

 Veteran mental health – The mental health needs of veterans are as diverse as veterans themselves. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in increased numbers of Veterans who have experienced traumatic brain injuries (TBI). TBIs vary in severity. Some instances can lead to long term cognitive and emotional issues. Older and more recently established veterans may suffer from combat related mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); an anxiety disorder can occur following the experience of a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death. It is also important to keep in mind that there are many veterans whose mental health concerns are not military related and many who have no mental health issues at all.

Types of organizations

For this research, we are asking experts to recommend up to four nonprofits doing high-impact work in Minnesota, and up to two start-up nonprofits that have the potential to do high-impact work. In particular, we are asking that experts recommend nonprofits doing work across the mental health spectrum. Focus areas may include:

  • Addiction support
  • Crisis support
  • Depression
  • Family services
  • Housing for the mentally ill
  • Integration with physical health
  • New immigrant adjustment

 

 

  • Patient centered care
  • Respite care
  • Rural treatment
  • Stigma reduction
  • Suicide prevention
  • Telephone support
  • Veteran care
  • Workforce shortage
  • Youth care

 

Funding and care for mental health issues is made up of a complex relationship between states, the county, insurance providers, mental health care providers, and consumers. This research will look specifically at the nonprofit entities involved in this relationship.

  • Nonprofit health care providers
  • Nonprofit insurance profilers
  • Funding organizations
  • School-based programs
  • Community-based programs
  • Peer care programming
  • Support lines
  • Mobile crisis teams
  • Case management

Participation in the Research

If you are a professional (foundation staff, researcher, nonprofit staff member, etc.) working in mental health in Minnesota 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 early March 2013. 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 with information about your current position and background, 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 Education Nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area

September 20th, 2012 by admin 2 comments »

“Education is a precondition to survival in America today.” – Marian Wright Edelman

In 2010, Philanthropedia took a close look at early childhood and middle/secondary education nonprofits working in the San Francisco Bay Area. The two overlapping causes were researched separately. Sixty experts participated in our early childhood research and collectively identified 6 high-impact  early childhood education nonprofits. In middle/secondary education, 96 experts participated, recommending 15 outstanding nonprofits

We refresh our research every three years, so we are turning again to Bay Area education to re-run our survey. In the course of our research, we discovered that many experts and nonprofits in the Bay Area focus on young people of all ages. So this year we’re combining our early childhood and middle/secondary causes into a single cause: Bay Area Education. We’re asking experts who work in the education field in the San Francisco Bay Area to contribute to our research and let us know which nonprofits they think are doing the best work in Bay Area Education today.

Scope of the Research

For this research we are asking experts to recommend up to four nonprofits with a track record of doing high-impact work in education (Pre-k through high school) in the Bay Area, and up to two start-up nonprofits that have the potential to scale and have an impact at that level in the future.

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

Education is a vast topic and improvements and support can take on many forms. When recommending nonprofits experts may want to consider nonprofits addressing the following issues:

  • After-school programming
  • Child development
  • College preparation
  • Curriculum development
  • Data collection
  • Human capital
  • Instructional improvement
  • Literacy
  • Low-performing schools, turnarounds
  • Parental involvement
  • School readiness
  • School reform
  • Standards and assessments
  • Summer programming
  • Teacher training/education
  • The achievement gap
  • Truancy

 

We’d like to encourage experts to consider a diverse array of organizations. Types of organizations working in education could include:

  • Advocacy
  • After-school program providers
  • Community based organizations
  • Policy/advocacy
  • Public schools/ public charter schools themselves
  • Research
  • Training

Participation in the Research

If you are a professional (foundation staff, researcher, nonprofit staff member, etc.) working in education in the San Francisco Bay Area 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 early November 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 with information about your current position and background, 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 LGBT Equality & Support Nonprofits

September 20th, 2012 by admin 6 comments »

Overview

At Philanthropedia we are pleased to announce the launch of our research on nonprofits supporting the LGBT community. This is Philanthropedia’s newest addition to our list of causes on which we can supply vital information for donors.

The LGBT Movement is a social justice movement in which lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their straight allies work to bring about equity and well-being to LGBT individuals in various capacities all over the world. For years, nonprofit organizations have been helping to achieve those goals in various ways. Philanthropedia’s research will take a closer look at these organizations and identify top nonprofits achieving their mission in powerful, tangible ways.

Research Scope

In preparation for this research, I spoke with several experts from key organizations working in the issue area of LGBT Equality and Support. Their collective insight has helped define the scope of this research. (Thank you to those of you who offered your time and expertise!)

While attaining LGBT rights and support is a global issue, for capacity reasons this research will focus specifically on identifying organizations within the US. We are asking experts to recommend up to four high-impact organizations working at a national level on LGBT Equality and Support and up to three organizations having a high impact at the local level. Below is an overview of the LGBT nonprofit landscape.

Area of focus within the cause

Over the course of the interviews, experts identified a set of prominent issues that are being worked on in various ways throughout the movement.

  • Aging – Right now, estimates show there are 1.5 million LGBT elders in the United States, and by 2030 that number will nearly double to 3 million LGBT people 65 and older (source: National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce). Issues of ageism and health care access can be easily compounded by homophobia, trans-phobia, and racial and economic injustice. Often LGBT older people don’t have access to adequate health care, affordable housing and other social services they need. This is due both to a lack of resources and a fear of discrimination. One study indicated that LGBT older adults may be as much as five times less likely to access needed health and social services because of their fear of discrimination from the people who are supposed to help them (source: SAGE). This type of social isolation has an enormous impact on the health and well-being of LGBT older adults.
  • Family and Relationship Recognition – –Under Federal and many state laws, same-sex and transgender couples do not receive the same legal protection and recognition as married opposite-sex couples. Not only does the lack of legal recognition invalidate same-sex couples’ commitment, the denial of benefits, tax status, medical decision-making and more is financially and emotionally harmful. Same-sex couples, even those legally recognized by their states, are denied the 1,138 federal benefits available to or required of married opposite-sex couples. LGBT headed families are particularly affected by these prohibitions . There are policies and laws that prevent qualified and caring LGBT people from foster parenting or adopting kids. Additionally, there are laws and practices that interfere in custody and visitation relationships between LGBT parents and their children. These discriminatory practices leave LGBT families vulnerable both economically and socially, which can cause harm for adults and their children.
  • Health & HIV/AIDS –LGBT people suffer disparate health outcomes in numerous health categories. The most visible health struggle in the LGBT community has been the HIV/AIDS epidemic which continues to disproportionally impact gay men, especially men of color. Additionally, negative physical and mental health outcomes ranging from obesity to substance abuse are more prominent in the LGBT community. Lack of heath care, societal pressure, stigmatizing and discriminatory practices by health care providers, and a host of other factors that can contribute to diminished income for LGBT individuals all play an important role in these outcomes.
  • Nondiscrimination – Many LGBT people suffer discrimination in employment, housing, education, medical care and more. For example, in 29 states, a person can be fired solely because that person is gay. If a person is transgender, there are 38 states in which that person can be fired (source: Gill Foundation). The lack of legal protection and attempts to weaken the existing nondiscrimination laws make LGBT individuals vulnerable to discrimination in all aspects of their lives. These conditions significantly hinder even the basic ability to support and care for one’s self and family.
  • Racial & Economic Justice – The LGBT population is vast and diverse in terms of culture, income, and other aspects of identity. Within the movement, there is a growing awareness of the personal and political concerns unique to LGBT individuals who are people of color and/or low income. LGBT immigrants, for example, have a unique set of policy concerns around deportation and relationship recognition. The intersection of these not only has the potential to translate to compounded institutional discrimination, but can also result in marginalization from within their own racial and ethnic communities because of their sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Transgender – People who are transgender and gender nonconforming face issues that are both interrelated with and independent from other populations within the LGBT community.  Often individuals are faced with heightened instances of violence and discrimination. Other issues that are of particular concern in the Transgender community include:
    • Health Care – Trans people are more likely to be uninsured, to be unable to afford to pay for health care out of pocket, and to delay seeking health care because of cost or fear of discrimination (source: IOM). Additionally, insurance plans still frequently exclude coverage of any services for a transition-related medical purpose, even when the same or comparable services are routinely covered for other medical indications.
    • Identity Documents – There are state and federal legal barriers to transgender people obtaining government identity documents appropriate for their gender identity. For example, governments often require proof of surgery and/or court orders to alter identity documents; a set of requirements that have made it impossible for many trans people to obtain an accurate and consistent ID. This requirement limits access to travel, opening bank accounts, starting new jobs, and sometimes voting.
    • Police and Jails – Trans people are at high risk of abuse in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention and there are few regulations to protect them.  The categorical denial of transition-related medical care is common, as is prolonged isolation, which has been shown to have devastating effects on mental health (source: NCTE).
    • Violence and discrimination – These are issues shared across the LGBT community. However, they tend to be experienced more acutely among Trans individuals. For example, LGBT individuals disproportionally experience homelessness. Trans individuals face increased risk of violence within a shelter as well as discrimination from the agencies where they seek help.
    • Violence/Hate Crimes - LGBT people frequently face violence motivated by their sexuality or gender identity. Violence can range in severity from bullying all the way up to murder. While some hate crime legislation is in place, the targeted violence toward the LGBT community represents a significant threat to safety.
  • Youth – Coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender can be challenging for young people. LGBT students encounter widespread bullying, harassment, and alienation in high schools and college campuses. Additionally, ex-gay ministries have decisively shifted their focus to young people. These things have likely contributed to the climbing suicide rates as well as the overwhelming rates of homelessness among LGBT youth.

 

Types of organizations doing this work

The nonprofit landscape of those working for the LGBT cause is broad and diverse. There is a good deal of overlap between the various organizational focuses and categories. In general, it may be helpful to look at the landscape of nonprofit organizations in two broad categories.

  1. Nonprofits working to achieve social justice and equitable treatment for LGBT individuals
  2. Nonprofits working to ensure the mental and physical well being for LGBT individuals

Nonprofits working to achieve social justice and equitable treatment for LGBT individuals

Organizations we’re placing in this category work to change policies and regulations at the national, local and organizational level to ensure safety and equal treatment. This would include:

  • Academic and research organizations
  • Advocacy organizations
  • Legal organizations
  • Public education organizations
  • Watchdog organizations

Nonprofits working to ensure the mental and physical well-being for LGBT individuals

Organizations in this category work in various ways to support individuals, focusing on their emotional, social, spiritual and physical wellness. Organizations in this category include:

  • Community Centers
  • Crisis support centers
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Homeless shelters
  • Medical treatment centers
  • Social clubs and organizations
  • Support groups

Participation in the Research

If you are a nonprofit expert in the field of LGBT Equality & Support, you should have received an email from us with a link to our survey. The survey will be open until early-November, 2012. We hope you will share your perspective and insights!

Experts I interviewed overwhelmingly mentioned that in addition to the rich landscape of nonprofits, there is a passionate network of individual activists and volunteers who fuel this movement. While this research does not highlight individuals (our research is limited to highlighting nonprofits), we hope these individual will contribute to our research so that we can highlight some of the most effective nonprofits working in this sector.

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 with information about your current position and background, and we will send the survey to you to include your insights.

Identifying High-Impact Arts and Culture Nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area

September 19th, 2012 by admin 1 comment »

In the 1960s, there was an explosion of nonprofit arts organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1961, before the birth of the National Endowment for the Arts, San Francisco passed a law to require part of the hotel tax to go to funding the arts. Over time, each Bay Area region evolved to have different kinds of arts and culture groups across disciplines, styles, and ethnicities: jazz, classical, folk, performing arts, choreography, visual arts, literary arts, poetry, film, video, and so on. In fact, at one point, the San Francisco Bay Area was second only to New York in terms of having the largest number of dance companies. Therefore, with decades of support and development, the vibrancy and variety among the arts in the Bay Area has led to a unique texture in the cultural fabric of this region. Today there are hundreds and hundreds of arts and culture nonprofits, of all sizes and varieties, all across the Bay Area. 

In 2010, we launched our research to identify high-impact arts and culture nonprofits working in the San Francisco Bay Area. In many ways access to artistic and cultural activities is essential for a vibrant and healthy community. For this local cause, 127 Bay Area arts and culture experts identified 21 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 arts and culture nonprofits working 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 arts and culture!

Scope of the Research

In this research we are asking experts to recommend up to four nonprofits doing high-impact work around arts and culture 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 arts and culture as far south as San Jose, along the Peninsula, into the East Bay, in San Francisco, and just north of San Francisco, as well.

Arts and culture is a diverse field and we encourage experts to consider all of the types of work that nonprofits may be doing to create an impact in this field. Nonprofits can serve any age or demographic and have any budget size.

Focus areas might include:

  • Developing or producing new work
  • Engaging and supporting artists directly
  • Exhibition and performance
  • Increasing arts and culture access for traditionally marginalized populations
  • Offering educational services
  • Preserving and promoting traditional culture
  • Providing arts grants

We are encouraging experts to consider the following types of organizations when making their recommendations:

  • Traditional arts and culture organizations: theatre, dance, music, visual arts, television, media, and film organizations
  • Funders: organizations that fund nonprofit organizations or artists themselves
  • Policy and advocacy organizations: groups that organize people to support arts in the public policy space
  • Educators: schools or organizations that teach arts

Additionally, experts are encouraged to consider the following kinds of arts disciplines:

  • Design and architecture
  • Literary arts (comics, literature, poetry)
  • Media arts (film/video, new media, interactive computer based virtual art)
  • Music (blues, classical, country, electronic, folk, hip hop, international, jazz, rock/pop)
  • Performing arts (dance, opera, theatre)
  • Visual arts (ceramics, design, fashion, multi-media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, 3D, 2D, fiber arts)

Participation in the Research

If you are an expert (foundation staff, researcher, nonprofit staff member, government official, etc.) working in Bay Area Arts and Culture 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 early November 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 with information about your current position and background, 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!

 

Press Release: 18 High Impact Climate Change Nonprofits Identified by 121 Experts

August 21st, 2012 by admin 5 comments »

Press Release: 18 Top Climate Change Nonprofits Identified by 121 Experts

“Global warming is too serious for the world any longer to ignore its danger or split into opposing factions on it.” — Tony Blair

 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).

Over the past two months, Philanthropedia surveyed 121 experts working in the field of climate change (with an average of 14 years of work experience in the field) to identify those organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in climate change on a national level.

Philanthropedia’s experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, consultants, etc.) identified 18 top nonprofits (out of 128 total reviewed nonprofits) making an impact at the national level. Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also see who our experts were by clicking here: .


 

 

Which nonprofits were among the top?

Experts were asked to recommend up to four nonprofits and up to two promising start-up nonprofits having a significant impact in the field of climate change at the national level. Recommended nonprofits could address the issue from various perspectives, including the environment, energy use, and sustainability. They could also utilize a variety of approaches including conservation, education, research, policy, and advocacy.

The following is the list of the expert-identified high-impact nonprofits working in climate change. Click the link to visit each organizations profile and read expert reviews. Experts have commented on each nonprofit’s impact, other organizational strengths, and how each organization could further improve.

18 Top National  Climate Change Nonprofits

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

350.org
Union Of Concerned Scientists
Sierra Club
World Resources Institute
Ceres
Environmental Defense Fund
National Wildlife Federation
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES)
Greenpeace
US Climate Action Network
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability
Climate Solutions
Earthjustice
The Climate Reality Project
Friends of the Earth
Center For Clean Air Policy (CCAP)
Nature Conservancy

 

 

We invite you to visit the profiles of each of these top organizations on our website to read the expert reviews here . Experts commented on the impact each nonprofit has had, what the nonprofit’s other organizational strengths are, and how each organization could further improve.

We will be highlighting the top 8 high-impact national nonprofits working in this field through our blog and Twitter, so stay tuned!

We also invite your feedback. Please tell us what you think and what experiences you’ve had with these great organizations! You can reach Jasmine Marrow, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at jasmine.marrow@guidestar.org.

Press Release: 11 Top Microfinance Nonprofits Identified by 72 Experts

August 21st, 2012 by admin 1 comment »

“I’ve seen the power of microfinance all over the world in the eyes of mothers and fathers. It’s unmistakable—the joy and deep satisfaction they feel from being able to work hard and provide for their children and their future.”—Rich Stearns,  President of World Vision U.S.

 Most of the world’s poor lack access to basic financial services that would help them manage their assets and generate income. This is especially true for the 900 million extremely poor people who live in rural areas of developing countries. Microfinance has become a powerful tool for fighting poverty through more than just lending and asset management. Iterations of microfinance include savings, insurance, and many more supportive services. (Source: International Fund for Agricultural Development)

Over the past two months, Philanthropedia surveyed 77 experts working in the field of international microfinance (with an average of 16 years of work experience in the field) to identify those organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in international microfinance.

Who participated in this research?

Philanthropedia’s experts (funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, consultants, etc.) identified  11 top nonprofits (out of 119 total reviewed nonprofits) making an impact at the international level. Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also see who our experts were by clicking here.

 

 

Which nonprofits were among the top?

Experts were asked to recommend up to four high-impact nonprofits and up to two promising start-up nonprofits doing excellent work in the field of international microfinance. They were asked to consider a range of nonprofits working in the sector. Recommendations could include direct service providers, research organizations, peer-to-peer platforms, monitoring and evaluation organizations, and other types of nonprofits. For-profit microfinance programs, such as member-owned organizations, formal financial institutions, and informal financial service providers were specifically excluded from this research.

The following is the list of the expert-identified high-impact nonprofits working in international microfinance. Click the link to visit each organizations profile and read expert reviews. Experts have commented on each nonprofit’s impact, other organizational strengths, and how each organization could further improve.

Top 11 International Microfinance Nonprofits
BRAC 
Grameen Foundation
ACCION
Pro Mujer
Freedom From Hunger
Kiva
Opportunity International
CRECER
Fonkoze
FINCA International
Women’s World Banking

We invite you to visit the profiles of each of these top organizations on our website to read the expert reviews here. Experts commented on the impact each nonprofit has had, what the nonprofit’s other organizational strengths are, and how each organization could further improve.

We will be highlighting the top 8 high-impact national nonprofits working in this field through our blog and Twitter, so stay tuned!

We also invite your feedback. Please tell us what you think and what experiences you’ve had with these

great organizations! You can reach Jasmine Marrow, Manager of Philanthropedia Research at jasmine.marrow@guidestar.org.

Identifying High-Impact Climate Change Nonprofits

May 21st, 2012 by admin 3 comments »

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 by admin 3 comments »

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 by admin No comments »

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.

 



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