Friends Focus is a special feature of Family Giving News highlighting brief updates and announcements on the cutting edge work of family foundations and advised funds that are members of our Friends of the Family network. Are you a current Friend of the National Center and have an update you’d like to share with Family Giving News readers? Email us. Interested in learning more about Friends of the Family? Go here.


A Dream Fulfilled: Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund supports new policy change on immigrant rights.

The Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund highlights “A Dream Fulfilled”: Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants were brought to this country by their parents and have since completed high school and college or served our country in the Armed Forces. In June, President Obama made history when he announced an immigration policy change that will protect these young people from being deported and allow them to work legally in the United States. This “historic humanitarian moment,” as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) described it, means that these patriotic, hard-working immigrants can finally give back to the communities they live in without fear of reprisal. Read more…


Taxpayers save $100,000 for every Detroit child
given tools to succeed in school

The Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation is the lead supporter of a first-of-its-kind study to help policymakers, nonprofits, and business leaders measure a per child return on investment in early childhood programs. Initial findings suggest that Taxpayers save $100,000 for every Detroit child given tools to succeed in school. Read more...

The McKnight Foundation has announced over $3 million in three new grants to increase literacy by the third grade. “This is a pivotal moment for education in Minnesota,” said Ted Staryk, McKnight board chair. “This year, our state has received over $100 million in federal grants through Race to the Top, Northside Achievement Zone, and i3/Investing in Innovation. McKnight helped convene local leaders around federal funding, and now we see great potential to leverage those grants with private funding to create comprehensive literacy systems.” McKnight’s focus on the PreK-3rd continuum is grounded in research findings that a student’s reading skill by the end of third grade is an important factor in later academic success. 

 

Sunrise on Bayou Bienvenue: Surdna Foundation continues learning in New Orleans

Surdna Foundation board and staff recently traveled to New Orleans as part of ongoing learning about the foundation’s work there. The trip coincided with the end of the Foundation’s fourth year of a 5-year commitment to the New Orleans Fund. Established in 2008, the Fund seeks to advance long-term rebuilding and resiliency efforts in New Orleans by supporting civic engagement in multiple issue areas, including economic development, education, arts and culture, coastal restoration, and worker’s rights. Read more…

Karen Keating Ansara, Co-Founder of the Ansara Family Fund at the Boston Foundation, continues to provide ongoing coverage of the emerging recovery in Haiti, through “Karen’s Blog.” Focusing on positive models of international philanthropy, reconstruction and human rights efforts in Haiti, and the role of the Haitian Diaspora, Karen solicits blog posts from a wide range of activists, development practioners, academics, and funders. 

The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation solicited recommendations for potential candidates to fill a vacant board position, selecting a candidate from a pool of more than 60 nominations from its network of 3000+ grantees and colleagues. Read more…

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded grants totaling $500,000 to support the work of two humanitarian organizations providing assistance to people affected by a rapidly escalating food crisis in the western Sahel, a large swath of Africa south of the Sahara Desert that has been hard hit by recurrent droughts. “The Sahel food crisis is rapidly becoming a full blown catastrophe affecting millions of people, especially children. More than one million children under five are threatened with severe malnutrition this year,” said Steven M. Hilton, Chairman, President and CEO of the Foundation. “We felt compelled to step forward and join those in the international community who are working to alleviate this crisis.” Read more, including the new guide “Philanthropic Grantmaking for Disasters”…