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National Study on Donor Advised Funds

February 28, 2024

The Donor Advised Fund Research Collaborative (DAFRC) is a consortium of academic and nonprofit researchers. Working across institutions, the collaborative is leading a 30-month, comprehensive research initiative to provide empirical data and insights on the characteristics and activities of donor advised funds (DAFs) in the United States. One of the initiative's main goals is to gather and analyze account-level DAF information that is not available from publicly accessible data sources, such as the IRS Form 990. The account-level data allows for a more nuanced and accurate understanding of DAFs, as well as comparisons across different types and sizes of DAFs and DAF sponsors.The present report is the first of three major nationwide projects: (1) compiling a large, anonymized dataset from DAF providers, (2) fielding a management survey to gather policies and procedures from DAF sponsors, and (3) fielding a donor survey to gain insights into how individuals and families think about and use DAFs as part of their household giving.The 2024 National Study on Donor Advised Funds includes information about DAFs from 2014 to 2022, covering aspects such as account size, age, type, succession plan, donor demographics, contributions, grants, payout rates, and grantmaking speed. The report represents the most extensive independent study on DAFs to date. Thanks to the collective efforts of 111 DAF programs that voluntarily provided anonymized data to the research team, the dataset covers nine years of activity from more than 50,000 accounts, with over 600,000 inbound contributions to DAFS and more than 2.25 million outbound grants from DAFs.

Investing in Our Future: A Look at How We Support Our Children

February 16, 2024

It is our collective belief that access to accurate and comprehensive budget information is crucial for informed decision-making and progress in early childhood education. The Early Childhood Education Budget book should serve as a valuable tool for policymakers, educators and stakeholders in our state. By disseminating this information, we aim to foster transparency, facilitate evidence-based planning and ultimately strengthen the foundations of early childhood education in Mississippi. While we have strived for perfection, we acknowledge that this inaugural edition might require refinement. However, I assure you that we remain fully committed to continually improving our data set and potential future editions. Your feedback and suggestions are invaluable, and we encourage you to share insights that can help enhance the accuracy and usefulness of this resource.As we delve into the wealth of financial and programmatic data presented in the Mississippi Early Childhood Education Budget book, it is essential to approach the information with a balanced mindset and a commitment to meaningful discussion. While financial data can be a powerful tool for understanding and evaluating the allocation of resources, it is crucial not to weaponize it for personal or political gain. Let us remember that the purpose of this book is to foster transparency and informed decision-making, not to fuel divisiveness. By engaging in constructive dialogue and seeking a comprehensive understanding of the data, we can collectively work toward building a stronger foundation for early childhood education in Mississippi.

The Unusable Zoning Override Threat: Analyzing the State Urban Development Corporation’s Westchester Plans

February 15, 2024

This research report aims to explicate the tactics underpinning the State Urban Development Corporation's ill-fated efforts, between February 18, 1970 and 1973, to construct affordable housing in generally affluent, suburban Westchester County.  Designed to cut through federal and local municipal red tape that disincentivized private industry from entering the affordable housing field, Governor Nelson Rockefeller hoped that the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) could play a pivotal role in solving the state's housing crisis.  The UDC bore the unique power to override local zoning codes. It thus became immediately controversial, inducing the corporation's first president, the (in)famous Bostonian urban planner Edward Logue, to emphasize the UDC's ability to work with local municipal officials to construct much-needed housing, often through a locally-managed subsidiary corporation.  When the UDC entered Westchester County on February 18, 1970, hoping to expand its operations to the state's suburbs, these tactics proved ineffective in the face of the county's traditionally decentralized politics, municipal and county officials' long history of support for restrictive zoning and single-family residential construction, and the weakening political position of the county's once-powerful Republican Party.  Additionally, widespread protests against state-led public works projects in the late 1960s sapped local support for Governor Rockefeller's administration just before the UDC entered the county.  Combined, these factors conspired to enable affluent, white Westchester residents and officials to stall out the UDC until they could form a coalition of state legislators to pass a bill eliminating the UDC's zoning override powers, effectively ending state-level efforts to construct affordable housing.

Defending Democracy: The Charles F. Kettering Foundation 2023 Annual Report

February 12, 2024

Throughout its history, the Charles F. Kettering Foundation's focus has always been on innovation. Our founder, Charles F. Kettering, believed that "our imagination is the only limit to what we can hope to have in the future."In summer 2023, Kettering announced its new strategic plan, In Defense of Democracy, the result of the foundation's staff flexing their imagination to better meet the needs of democracy. It introduced our new vision, mission, guiding beliefs and values, and outlined five new strategic focus areas that are designed to utilize our resources effectively in the defense and advancement of democracy.Defending Democracy: The Charles F. Kettering Foundation 2023 Annual Report chronicles this journey of transformation, highlighting a year of reflection, dialogue, and action. It is our answer to the question, "What can the Charles F. Kettering Foundation uniquely offer the democracy field at this moment of crisis?" In 2023, we took the first step in our commitment to strengthening existing partnerships, forging new collaborations, broadening our reach and influence through innovative communication strategies, and exploring new lines of research.

Making Sense of Learning Math: Insights from the Student Experience

January 30, 2024

Mathematics is an integral part of students' daily lives, from marking the first 100 days of elementary school to the pivotal moment of crossing the threshold into Algebra 1. Math not only serves as the key that unlocks the doors to the sciences and technology but also empowers individuals personally. At the same time, math literacy stands as an undisputed public good, providing society with the indispensable tools needed to propel innovation and grapple with intricate societal challenges.For all these reasons math is a subject that sparks seemingly endless and contentious debates in universities and think tanks, among leaders of industry, and in government that are popularly referred to as the "math wars." But how do students themselves experience mathematics in today's classrooms? In this report we explore students' perceptions of their everyday experience in math. How do high school students perceive the math learning experience? How do they see themselves as math learners? And what insights do they have for creating a more engaging math education for all students?

The Push and Pull: Declining Interest in Nonprofit Leadership

January 26, 2024

This report presents findings from BMP's 2022 survey of more than 3,000 nonprofit staff on the factors related to their aspiration to top leadership roles, as well as the experiences of current nonprofit leaders. The 2022 survey included many of the same questions asked in both the 2019 and 2016 Race to Lead surveys, tracking patterns on aspiration, experiences, and challenges in the sector over time. BMP also looked at trends over the three iterations of the survey in two additional pieces on key race to lead findings and demographics.The report highlights a new trend since 2019: a decreased interest in top leadership roles and a simultaneous increase in respondents who said they were not interested in these roles. The report also shows that, contrary to our hypotheses, respondents who had received more supports were less interested in the executive director role while respondents who faced more challenges in their careers were more likely to pursue top leadership positions. BIPOC respondents more commonly faced these challenges overall, though the trend in aspiration was true for both BIPOC and white survey takers. These trends suggest a "push" into leadership roles to ameliorate the issues nonprofit staff have experienced, rather than a "pull" into these roles on their merit. Finally, to explain why BIPOC staff were particularly less interested in the executive director position, this report looks at the obstacles BIPOC leaders face in their roles.

Lessons From the Field: Implementing Mental Health Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) & Recommendations for Future Success

January 26, 2024

NAMI-NYC partnered with fourteen organizations to learn about the impactful work they are doing through their disability/mental health ERGs to create a culture promoting good mental health and emotional wellness in the workplace. The goal was to bridge the gap between theory and practice to identify real-world applications of how ERGs are developed, what they focus on, and how they make an impact. To do so, we developed a survey based on a literature review of ERG best practices and workplace mental health programs. The survey was 45 qualitative and quantitative questions about governance, collaboration, and programming.This report presents the data learned from the survey and recommendations to support employees, leadership, Human Resources (HR), Diversity Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), and Wellness teams starting or enhancing disability/mental health ERGs. It provides strategies to set up a successful governance structure, leverage cross-department collaboration, and create meaningful programs to reduce stigma and promote good mental health among employees.

Overdeck Family Foundation 2023 Grantmaking and Impact Report

January 24, 2024

Overdeck Family Foundation was founded in 2011 by John and Laura Overdeck with the goal of providing all children the opportunity to unlock their potential. We focus exclusively on enhancing education, funding efforts both inside and outside of school in the areas of early childhood, informal STEM education, and K-9 programs that include supporting educators and student-centered learning environments. Our grantmaking and strategic support focus on unlocking innovation, evidence, and growth opportunities for organizations and researchers that are committed to accelerating key academic and socioemotional outcomes for all children. We fund both direct impact organizations and ecosystem efforts that clear the path to scale for our grantees and the work that they do.

CTE and Career Readiness in Northwest Arkansas

January 24, 2024

High-quality career and technical education (CTE) programs lead to regional advancement and economic mobility when they align with regional economic needs and provide K-12 students the knowledge, skills and credentials they need for postsecondary success.As in many regions, Northwest Arkansas school districts offer students a range of CTE pathways to pursue based on their interests.To understand the quality and accessibility of those programs in NWA, Insightful Education Solutions convened a local advisory group, examined public enrollment and program quality data and conducted focus groups and surveys with educators and K-12 students. The research was supported with funding from the Walton Family Foundation.

2023 Indiana Civic Health Index

January 23, 2024

This sixth edition of the Indiana Bar Foundation's Indiana Civic Health Index (INCHI) begins a new chapter in the decade of past research undertaken to explore Indiana's overall civic health. This report examines some of Indiana's successes and shortcomings during the past few years and continues to use this data to examine future opportunities for improvement in our collective civic health. In this latest INCHI we look at new data from the 2022 election cycle as well as additional data demonstrating other areas of our state's civic health as we look forward to the national elections in 2024. The insights gained by examining Hoosiers' participation in civic life from 2010 to the present will inform and motivate citizens and leaders alike to build a culture of civic engagement that enhances our economic, social, and political wellbeing.Building on the recommendations outlined in past INCHIs, the report details progress in advancing the goals of enhancing civic education in schools and promoting citizen participation in the election process, goals that are profoundly intertwined. Studies show a consistent and robust relationship between school experiences with voting education and civic participation later in life. As cornerstones of representative democracy, civic education and participation are crucial to advancing our civic health.The report incorporates earlier analyses and current data, examining additional measures of Indiana's civic activity, identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. The 2023 INCHI is meant to further stimulate discussion and inspire a renewed commitment to advancing Indiana's civic health. Strengthening Hoosiers' civic health vitality will require a concerted effort of all stakeholders interested in supporting citizen participation in its many forms; the result will be a more vibrant, successful, and engaged Indiana and nation.

Field in Focus: The State of Pro-Democracy Institutional Philanthropy

January 22, 2024

Philanthropic support for promoting a healthy democracy has grown in recent years, marking a period of transformation for the field. Since 2016, an influx of funding, actors, and philanthropic infrastructure has amplified the impact of pro-democracy efforts while infusing the movement with needed dynamism.At the same time, from a funder perspective these developments mean that today's ecosystem is increasingly complex, confusing, and difficult to navigate. Sustaining the benefits of this transformation while avoiding the pitfalls of rapid growth requires a full understanding of funder capacities and needs.Drawing insights from interviews and surveys conducted with 70 institutional funders, this report sheds new light on the state and direction of the democracy funding landscape. It describes:1. Field Magnitude and Growth — estimates of the size, scope, and directionality of democracy-related philanthropic funding.2. Field Focal Areas — insights on major focal areas for funding today, how that has changed over time, and where additional funding may be needed in the future.3. New Actors and Infrastructure — lessons on the experiences of newer funders and the evolving field of funding intermediaries.4. Looking Ahead — outstanding questions for future research and opportunities to strengthen the funding field. 

Race for Results: Building a Pathway to Opportunity for All Children

January 10, 2024

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its latest Race for Results® report a decade after its inaugural publication, revealing progress in some areas but persistent disparities for children of color in the United States.The report utilizes Casey's Race for Results index based on 12 indicators of child and youth well-being, showing that improvements have been made in at least six out of 11 comparable indicators across racial and ethnic groups over the past decade. Despite this progress, the nation falls short in adequately preparing children to achieve crucial milestones, with no racial or ethnic group coming close to the maximum score of 1,000 on the index.The report emphasizes the need for targeted investments in children of color to eliminate long-standing barriers and address specific needs. While there has been an increase in attention to the circumstances and needs of young people, disparities persist. The national index scores range from 386 for Black children to 771 for Asian and Pacific Islander children. State-level variations indicate that experiences differ widely based on location, with Vermont, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine having some of the highest index scores and smallest gaps among racial and ethnic groups.Youth of color constitute a slight majority of young Americans, and 1 in 4 children in the U.S. grows up in an immigrant family. The report stresses the importance of equitable access to opportunity for children of color, emphasizing the role of their contributions in maintaining the country's health and economic security. The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency of ensuring all children can thrive, with policy solutions like the time-limited expansion of the federal child tax credit showcasing the improvements to families' financial stability.