Philanthropedia Blog

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

September 19th, 2012 by admin 4 comments »

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 7 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 14 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 4 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.

 

Minnesota Workforce Development Partnership: #1 Goodwill Easter Seals

May 2nd, 2012 by admin 4 comments »

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 by admin No comments »

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 by admin 4 comments »

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 by admin No comments »

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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