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.
Planetree, the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, three organizations with similar missions focused on compassionate, patient-centric humanistic healthcare, came together to explore creating a tool for the sector to evaluate the level of compassionate care being provided – the Compassionate Quotient (CQ) project. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund supported the cost of a consultant to facilitate the exploration.
The Global Leadership Foundation exists to make available, discreetly and in confidence, the experience of former leaders to today’s national leaders. It does so through its network of members - former Presidents, Prime Ministers, senior government ministers and other distinguished leaders, drawn together by a desire to give something back to the world. Working in small teams, in their personal capacity, Members offer private and confidential advice to heads of government on any issues of concern to them. Jerry Hirsch serves on the International Board of the foundation and Lodestar has supported its activities.
Walden Theater operated a performing arts conservatory for middle and high school students, a small in-school performing arts program for elementary school students and a summer camp program in Louisville, Kentucky. Blue Apple Players, also based in Louisville, ran one of the largest in-school arts and education programs serving 25,000 pre-K and elementary school students each year. The two organizations had collaborated on programs for over a decade and shared many of their contracted artist staff. After having engaged in loose merger conversations for three years, the organizations merged, providing succession planning, a continuum of programs and substantial cost savings. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund supported the merger.
The United Way of Greater Toronto is one of the largest United Way locations in the world and the dominant funder in the city. The United Way of York Region is the northern part of Toronto; an area which, while historically separate, is now fully connected to Toronto given the population growth in the metro area. Not only do the two agencies fund some of the same community organizations, the people they serve, as well as their donors and volunteers, live and work on both sides of the boundary that separates Toronto and York Region. A grant from The Lodestar Foundation to explore a merger of these two United Way offices was a natural next step.
Fair Trade USA is the certifier of "Fair Trade" products in the United States which indicates to consumers that the supply chain for a given product gives farmers fair prices and workers safe conditions. Social Accountability International (SAI) was founded to advance the human rights of workers around the world. As the two leading organizations in the business of certifying and training in the "goodness" of factories, supply chains, etc., they began discussion of a merger to resolve succession issues and to increase the impact achieved by both organizations. A grant was made by The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration to partially fund consulting fees associated with the merger.
Two Jewish disaster relief nonprofits, Jewish Disaster Response Corps (JDRC) and NECHAMA (which is the Hebrew word for comfort), helped Americans affected by natural disasters, especially those who are un- or underinsured. With complementary programs, they merged into a single, Jewish-affiliated organization for domestic disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, with capacity to mobilize communities to volunteer during all stages of disaster. The combined organization realized gains in operational efficiency, continuum of services and program quality, and market positioning. The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration provided partial funding for a consultant to assist with the merger.
Uniting Against Lung Cancer and Lung Cancer Research Foundation had a common mission: both organizations were dedicated to funding innovative lung cancer research toward finding a cure. Given their similarities in fundraising, and programs, they realized that a merger would enable both organizations to leverage their collective resources to have greater impact. A portion of the costs related to the merger was provided by The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration.
Career Transition for Dancers (CTFD) was a national counseling and scholarship organization helping newly retired dancers move into second careers. The Actor’s Fund (AF) provides assistance to performing arts and entertainment industry professionals including social services, healthcare, employment, housing, and emergency financial assistance. Despite its success, CTFD recognized that it needed to be part of a larger organization to sustain its programs. A merger with AF provided the answer for both organizations to have sustained growth and serve a larger population. The The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration funded some of the one-time costs of the merger.