In 2016, Lodestar initiated the Lodestar Single Parent Scholarship to facilitate the ability of single parents with limited financial resources to attend an Arizona public institution of higher learning on a full-time basis (taking at least 27 credits per calendar year) for the purpose of completing an education that will provide them with a readily employable profession. The fund was established exclusively for the purpose of supporting single-parent living expenses (such as rent and child care) while attending school, and may not be used to support any academic expenses. In its inaugural year, three recipients are beneficiaries of Lodestar scholarships after completing a competitive application process managed by the Arizona Community Foundation.
Chris4Life was founded by Michael Sapienza following his mother’s death from colon cancer to serve as a national advocate to raise awareness and promote early screening of colorectal cancer. The Colon Cancer Foundation CCA was working to increase the rates of screening and survivorship from colorectal cancer. CCA and Chris4Life Sharing a belief that early detection and increased awareness are the key to fighting the disease, the two organizations decided to merge. A grant from the SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration partially funded the one-time costs associated with the merger.
Mile High Community Loan Fund (MHCLF) and Funding Partners for Housing Solutions (FP) were Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Colorado. MHCLF and FP worked in close-collaboration over the years to maximize availability of capital for the benefit of low and moderate-income households across Colorado. SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided a grant for the two entities to consolidate governance and management activities, while retaining their individual brands. In removing operational redundancies, the resulting organization has been able to recognize efficiencies to better leverage resources, while retaining the goodwill that led to their individual success.
A generation ago, Boston Harbor was miserably polluted, its 34 neglected harbor islands home to garbage and abandoned military bases. Thanks to decades of hard work led by the Boston Harbor Islands Alliance (BHIA) and The Boston Harbor Association (TBHA), the harbor and waterfront are now thriving, including a new Boston Harbor Island National Park. To build on their collective successes and meet new challenges brought on by sea level rise, BHIA and TBHA merged into a new organization. A SeaChange-Lodestar Fund grant supported the merger.
Combined, the Arkansas Foodbank and Arkansas Rice Depot had more than 60 years of experience fighting hunger in Arkansas, one of the most food-insecure states in the nation. Realizing that they had compatible missions, complementary programs and unique strengths, a merger of the two organizations was a natural next step. The combined nonprofit has realized efficiencies in operations and allowed assets to be redeployed to better serve food insecure individuals, children and families in Arkansas. The Lodestar Foundation provided partial funding for a consultant to help with the design and delivery of a comprehensive and strategic integration plan.
People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) is one of the largest homeless services organizations in the State of California, with 22 locations from as far south as San Diego to as far north as San Luis Obispo, along with a new location soon to be established in San Jose. PATH approached Casa Esperanza, a full-service residential wellness center for people experiencing homelessness in the City of Santa Barbara, to merge into one organization. The combined organization will allow for significant leveraging of resources so that the two agencies can have a more significant impact on homelessness in Santa Barbara than either agency could have alone. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided an essential grant to offset a portion of the expenses associated with the merger.
The Wellness Community (TWC) and Gilda’s Clubs Worldwide were both leaders in the field of psychological, emotional and social support for cancer patients and their loved ones in different regions of the country. By consolidating the two networks of approximately 25 affiliates each, Gilda’s Club and TWC aimed to increase operating efficiency, reduce costs, and deliver program services at a staffing level and budget not significantly higher than either one of the two independent organizations. In addition, the boards hoped that the merged organization would have greater resources and influence to strengthen affiliate training, research, policy, and advocacy functions, and to spearhead advances in the field of cancer care. Merging in 2010, the two organizations took the name Cancer Support Community (CSC) and became the largest independent network of cancer support providers in the U.S. Since the merger, CSC has achieved significant programmatic and operational efficiencies, saving millions of dollars. Cost savings have made it possible for CSC to enhance both programming and infrastructure, especially with respect to integrating and expanding its online presence. The merger has catapulted CSC into the top ten cancer service providers in the country by both size of budget and number of patients served, enabling CSC not only to expand its policy and advocacy activities but, most important, to increase exponentially its impact in the cancer care field. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund provided a grant to facilitate the merger.
Two watershed groups focusing on stream health and water quality in the Rivanna River basin of central Virginia committed to consolidating into a single organization after having shared a significant history of partnership with complementary missions and work efforts. The Rivanna Conservation Alliance was established as the result of the merger of the two organizations. A grant from The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the one-time costs for the collaboration.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, former communist countries lacked a culture of philanthropy because, under communism, the government, rather than an independent social sector, had been providing for the social needs of citizens. The Lodestar Foundation, in conjunction with the Eurasia Foundation, the Synergos Institute and the Mott Foundation, coordinated a series of philanthropy workshops in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia for local corporate leaders and potential philanthropists. The workshops included speakers on community foundations, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship/business partnerships and other methods of philanthropic involvement.
The Philanthropy Workshop (TPW) is a leader in ongoing strategic philanthropy education and networking by inspiring individuals and families to give more strategically. Beyond administering a one-year program in strategic philanthropy, TPW manages the global network of its graduates (currently more than 400), hailing from many countries around the world. Lodestar has provided a number of grants to TPW to increase its philanthropic impact. TPW was created by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1995 and operated by Rockefeller for its first ten years, after which it became two separate entities: TPW West, based in Palo Alto, CA; and TPW, operated by the Institute of Philanthropy in London. While Lodestar then provided a number of grants to both entities, we encouraged the two organizations to discuss ways to unify. In March 2014, the organizations merged under the TPW name. Lodestar provided overall support for the merger.
The recent increase in wealth of young professionals and baby boomers has provided a fertile environment for encouraging philanthropy in new ways. . Social Venture Partners (“SVP”), a philanthropic giving circle with the dual mission of encouraging and teaching strategic philanthropy and supporting emerging non-profits, was initiated in Seattle in 1997. The Lodestar Foundation founded the second SVP group, Social Venture Partners Arizona (“SVPAZ”) in 1999 and was instrumental in creating the network that now includes 39 SVP affiliates in 12 countries. SVPAZ partners pool their money to invest in innovative nonprofits and then actively nurture their investments by providing hands-on technical assistance, business expertise and strategic guidance. Since inception, SVPAZ has (1) invested $4 million in community nonprofits serving children and education, (2) contributed thousands of hours of professional services to its investees, (3) initiated a venture philanthropy program for teenagers, and (4) recruited and trained more than 300 financially successful individuals (SVPAZ partners) to become strategic philanthropists.
Exponent Philanthropy (formerly the Association of Small Foundations), is the largest membership philanthropy umbrella organization in the United States, providing programs and services to individual philanthropists and small or no-staff foundations. Lodestar has made a number of grants over the years to strengthen Exponent's impact, including grants to support Exponent's evaluation efforts and to rebrand to more clearly define its constituency.
American Jewish World Service, an international development organization serving the developing world regardless of race, religion or culture, wanted to expand its Volunteer Corps program, which places Jewish professionals on volunteer assignments with local NGOs in developing countries. Lodestar matched an AJWS challenge grant which enabled the promotion of the Volunteer Corps program in Arizona and the placement of several Arizona-based volunteers around the world.
The Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP) is a coalition of more than 90 organizations that promote people-to-people coexistence between Arabs and Jews, Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East. ALLMEP works to raise awareness about the work of the member organizations as well as to cultivate new and expanded resources to support the overall “grassroots” peace movement; importantly, it also advocates for the interests of ALLMEP members before US agencies, Congress, foreign governments and foundations. The Lodestar Foundation has provided a series of grants, first to formalize the umbrella organization and then to help develop a sustainable infrastructure to secure its future.
As the managers of two of the largest nonprofit information databases in the country, the Foundation Center and Guidestar USA Inc. share many similar assets. The organizations offer distinctive but complementary content and, while their audiences are also fairly distinct, some overlap occurs. The Lodestar Foundation funded a consultant to help the two organizations explore the ways in which they could work together on an ongoing basis seeking new opportunities to combine some of their data publishing activities in order to enable them to develop new services, generate additional revenue and reduce expenses. As a result of the consultant's report, the two organizations have engaged in a number of joint projects and initiatives and they collaborate and share information on an ongoing basis.
Homeless individuals in the Phoenix metro area were required to travel in different directions using public transportation to receive the various services necessary to help them re-enter mainstream society. As a result, many either never sought the services or only received partial and insufficient care. The Lodestar Foundation provided the lead private sector grant for the new Human Services Campus, which led to a $26,000,000 public/private collaboration to co-locate the area’s major homeless-serving agencies onto one campus. The heart of the campus is a jointly-administered assessment facility, the Lodestar Day Resource Center, where clients can coordinate access to a dozen agencies providing critical services such as health and dental care, employment, substance abuse treatment, food, shelter, clothes, and even court proceedings. The campus has exceeded all expectations, in terms of usage by the homeless, effectiveness in the delivery of services and cost-savings. The Campus has become a national model for other communities throughout the nation.
Six area synagogues, representing a range of movements from Orthodox to Reform, have joined forces along with various Jewish nonprofits to support Valley Beit Midrash, an innovative organization offering diverse educational programming in a pluralistic setting for adults, teens and young leaders. By bringing together a diverse cross-section of the community, the collaborative encourages greater cooperation and collaboration between different Jewish organizations and cultivates the next generation of Jewish leaders while teaching, modeling and inspiring the value of pluralism. The Lodestar Foundation provided two grants to support Valley Beit Midrash programming.
The Synergos Institute, through its Global Philanthropists Circle, wanted to convene like-minded philanthropists within their countries to discuss common issues. Grants from Lodestar supported convenings in Mexico and Turkey. In Mexico, Synergos encouraged dialogue among foundations, civil society organizations, businesses, government and academia in Mexico in order to deal with youth education and employment issues. In Turkey, a select group of Turkish philanthropists came together for a peer learning exchange.
New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) and AfterSchool Works! New York (ASW) are state-wide organizations working to increase afterschool access and quality in New York State. Several board members overlap both organizations and they very work closely together. In 2014, NYSAN and AWS began exploring how they might structure a collaboration and benefit from their complementary expertise. The SeaChange-Lodestar fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded a portion of the consulting fees.
Despite its tiny size, Rhode Island has a long and fascinating history and, as a result, several hundred cultural heritage groups of all sorts exist in the state, most of which are small, underfunded and understaffed. The Rhode Island Historical Society commissioned a study to explore ways for the various entities to work together to maximize impact. The study, which Lodestar supported, recommended cooperative programming, training programs and digital collaboration as proposed action items.