Washington Snapshot

Washington Snapshot: Public-Philanthropic Partnerships Boost Support for Students

Friday, May 6, 2022 - 1:18 pm
Stephanie Powers

What's Happening This Week...

Happening at the Council

Conversation with AmeriCorps CEO and Philanthropy

On May 16 at noon ET, join the Council for a webinar featuring Michael D. Smith, the newly appointed CEO of AmeriCorps, in his first national appearance! Mr. Smith will be joined by Tonya Allen, President of the McKnight Foundation and Chair of the Council's Board of Directors, as well as Kathleen Enright, President and CEO of the Council. They will discuss Mr. Smith's vision for AmeriCorps and opportunities for the agency to partner with philanthropy among local communities. This webinar is co-hosted by Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement and is free for both Council members and non-members.

Happening on the Hill

Senate Holds Hearing on Tax-Exempt Organizations' Political Activity

On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight held a hearing on “Laws and Enforcement Governing the Political Activities of Tax-Exempt Entities.” The hearing’s primary focus was specifically the political activity of 501(c)(4) organizations, with Chair Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) suggesting that Congress should encourage the IRS to provide better oversight on tax-exempt so-called “dark money” organizations engaging in excessive or disallowed political activity.

Happening in the Executive Branch

White House Proclaims National Mental Health Awareness Month

President Biden issued a Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month citing concerns about the state of the nation’s mental health that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate of depression across the country has more than tripled compared to rates in 2019. Of particular concern are the acute mental health challenges impacting many of the nation’s youth due to disruptions in routines, increased social isolation, and learning loss. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created resources and tools for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Federal Reserve Banks Analyze Community Philanthropy's Economic Development Grantmaking

In a new report, the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia and Atlanta and Indiana University, Purdue University, and Ohio State University analyzed grant-level data from a sample of 1,650 community foundations and United Ways, representing over $20 billion in grants made between 2012 and 2016.

The report examines a large sample of these institutions to quantify the important role they play as a source of philanthropic capital in local communities. In addition to other insights, the report found that 71 percent of grant funding from community foundations was directed to organizations in local communities. The grantmaking patterns documented in this report can inform conversations about place-based philanthropy and provide solid ground for future research. Find data on each of the 1,650 community foundations and United Ways in the online data appendix.

Public-Philanthropic Partnerships Increase Support for Students

On April 27, the Department of Education announced major actions and investments from government, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations to support student academic and mental health recovery as schools and communities recover from the pandemic. The announcements highlight how the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is providing funding to help students recover academically and how philanthropic partners are investing additional resources to help the ARP dollars stretch even further. Council on Foundations member Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will invest over the next four years to foster learning acceleration through high-impact tutoring, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation is providing support for after-school programs across the country, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation will invest to help school districts plan how to use ARP funds and will stand up an Improvement Network focused on recovery and evaluating the impact of various recovery strategies. The Department is leveraging over $160 million of its own grant funding to propel academic and mental health recovery for K-12 students across the country.

Global Agreement on the Future of the Internet

The Biden Administration joined 60 global partners in launching The Declaration for the Future of the Internet, recommitting to the vision of the global Internet as a platform for openness and innovation, while promoting and protecting human rights. President Biden announced an ambitious goal to connect every single American to high-speed internet last year during the infrastructure bill deliberations. The recent declaration reaffirms the Administration’s vision for the internet and digital technologies and the priority that all people are able to reap these benefits.

Commerce Will Integrate Climate Crisis Considerations into Programs and Policymaking

On April 22, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced a Department Administrative Order (DAO) directing the Department to integrate climate considerations into its policies, strategic planning, and programs. The historic DAO also establishes the Department of Commerce Climate Council to coordinate and oversee the implementation of this DAO, as well as provide specific recommendations to the Secretary on addressing the climate crisis.

Happening in the States

National Council of Nonprofits

Exclusive from our colleagues at the National Council of Nonprofits.

Tracking ARPA Fund Investments: Boston Evaluating ARPA Options

Last month, Boston’s Mayor unveiled her proposed budget and spending plan for the City’s $350 million allocation of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. Among other things, the Mayor proposes spending from the federal funds $206 million for affordable housing, $34 million toward economic opportunity and inclusion, $32 million for climate resiliency, $20 million to support arts and culture, and $15 million for early education and child care. In the public notice for an upcoming hearing, the Boston City Council has indicated its intention to use the ARPA money to make “once-in-a-generation, transformative investments that address the systemic health and economic challenges in the areas of affordable housing, economic opportunity and inclusion, behavioral health, climate and mobility, arts and culture and early childhood.” Panelists focused on the nonprofit workforce crisis and the need for ARPA investments to overcome hiring challenges. Proposals ranged from increased reimbursement rates and grants/contracting reform, to funding capacity building training and mental health supports for nonprofit staff.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on all
Public Policy