President’s Report – Summer 2018

Welcome Our Newest Board Member

In April 2018 the Board welcomed Chae (pronounced “Shay”) Swan as anew director. We have enjoyed working with Chae for years when he was the Executive Director of the South End Community Center. We were consistently impressed with his intelligence, grace, insight, and strategic abilities. Chae is a lifelong Springfield resident. He graduated from Cathedral High School, Springfield College, and will soon finish the MBA program at Bay Path University. Chae’s passion for youth and community development was inspired by his close-knit family. At the age of 30 Chae was the youngest executive director of a community-based organization in the City of Springfield, when selected for the position in 2007. For the past 11 years Chae has successfully navigated the South End Community Center through the recession of 2009, and the tornado of 2011 which destroyed the SECC facility. Chae and his staff ushered over eighty children to safety during the tornado. Moreover, Chae has operated the SECC without the benefit of a facility through satellite sites and strategic partnerships. With help from Mayor Sarno, Foundations, and the community, the new South End Community Center opened its doors on October 26, 2017. Having completed the construction of a new Center, Chae now works for the City of Springfield. Welcome aboard!

Recent Grants

At the April 2018 meeting, we authorized $568,250 in grants to a variety of organizations in Western Mass. Following is a clickable list of the grantees with links to their websites so you can learn more about our wide variety of interests and the outstanding work done by these dedicated organizations.

Thank You Dr. Leary

We have been honored to have Dr. Carol Leary on the Board of Directors since October 2003. Her years of service have provided us with meaningful guidance, wisdom, and friendship. As she retires from our Board, we offer our most heartfelt thanks. Carol is the President of Bay Path University. Her leadership has transformed the school into a leading educational institution, providing transformative opportunities for countless women in our community. Thank you, Carol.

New Website

Our foundation was one of the first to have a presence on the world wide web and also one of the first to accept applications on its site. The look and feel of the site have been updated. We extend our thanks to MRW Connected in Easthampton for their excellent design and implementation and to Tim Turner, the magician behind the curtain who keeps it all running and author of the application and directors’ sites. Check out a short video explaining the changes on our site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pq3Ax3Z3edY

General Operating Support

One important element of the new website is the required review of funding guidelines before starting a grant application. The most common issue needing further explanation is our policy against providing general operating support. Check out this short video explaining why we don’t fund general operating support: https://youtu.be/nBUwTel3yWM

Alternative Revenue Survey results

In February 2018 the Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc. (“the Foundation”) conducted a survey of prior grant applicants regarding alternative funding streams. Out of 400 valid email addresses, 190 responses were received. A brief review of the results follows.

https://www.beveridge.org/alternative-funding-survey/

Alternative Funding Initiative

Over the last few years we have been honing a strategy around impact investing the needs for general operating support. The fruition of our efforts have resulted in workshops to be held in the Fall of 2018. Each will be designed to form cohorts of similarly-sized nonprofits at the same stage of implementation of individual alternative funding strategies. We are hoping for 90 participants in nine separate cohorts across three strategies. Each strategy will be led by a nationally recognized consultant to help drive participants from one stage to the next in education, planning, implementation, and completion.

On June 6 Ward unveiled the details of our strategy to enhance funding for nonprofits in Pioneer Valley. The event was hosted by our partner, the Human Service Forum. Before a sold-out crowd, we described the history and reasoning of the initiative, our vision, and how it will work. Following the presentation,  a panel of experts discussed their experiences and capabilities in alternative funding concepts. We want to thank the Human Service Forum, the forum panel, and all who attended.

June 6, 2018 Human Service Forum breakfast

The problem statement driving this initiative can be broken down into two perspectives.

Beveridge Family Foundation Problems:

  • Investments – The investment markets have been inadequate to provide the Foundation with growth
  • Impact – The Foundation seeks to increase its impact

Nonprofit Problems:

  • Income – Nonprofits struggle to generate sufficient revenue
  • Low pay – Staff at nonprofits are rarely paid to their value
  • Instability – Income streams are unpredictable
  • Likely Government funding cuts
  • Tax changes = Decreasing traditional Development

Over many years, we have engaged in discussions with nonprofits, funders and experts about the challenges of reliable and adequate funding. We have participated in panels, attended conferences and read extensively. The survey referenced above was generated from a compression of the ideas we learned about from others. The results helped us in designing a vision in our attempt to make progress in providing an expanded base of more reliable funding for the nonprofit community. Our vision may be summarized as follows.

The Pioneer Valley funding community seeks to assist area nonprofits in finding sustainable funding sources beyond traditional development. External expertise is needed to accelerate the progress on learning, planning and implementing new strategies. Educational workshops will be conducted, using these experts to present the material. From the workshops, surveys, and conversations, interest levels will be gauged to form cohorts of similar scaled nonprofits that are also at the same stages of progress on individual funding strategies. These cohorts will work over an extended period with consultants to move forward. Funding for the cohorts will be needed for the cost of the consultants, meetings, and management time.

The methods identified in our research include:

  1. parallel for-profit activities
  2. social impact bonds
  3. program revenue
  4. extensive cost recovery strategies
  5. enhanced volunteer development
  6. government funding
  7. endowed projects

We will start the workshops with Endowed Projects,  an area that is approachable to many of those nonprofits as it is closer to what they already do. And yet, they admit they have struggled with success. Chuck Gordon of the Kensington Group has had tremendous success in this area and is already working with others in the eastern part of the state on this specific model. Chuck will lead the first workshop on September 27th, 2018.

Alyssa Wright will lead the second workshop on October 24th, 2018 focusing on enhanced cost savings. This is an area of tremendous opportunity. Alyssa has valuable experience implementing and teaching effective techniques for cost savings.

Sign-ups for the workshops will be handled by the Human Service Forum.  http://www.humanserviceforum.org

To learn more about this initiative, you can listen to a radio presentation of June 21st on Thom Fox’s “The Engine” here:

http://www.thomfox.com/the-engine-radio-blog/2018/6/21/ward-caswell-and-the-beveridge-family-foundation-are-focused-on-the-future-of-nonprofit-funding

Impact Investing

As of May 31, 2018, the investment value of the Foundation was at $57,877,825 up 1% since October 2017. The assets remain prudently invested among common sectors under the guidance of UBS. We would like to use investment dollars to advance our mission in the community. To that end, we invested in the Wellspring Harvest Greenhouse a few years ago and are pleased that their hydroponic coop is now in production.

Wellspring Hydroponic Greenhouse

We would like to make other investments and have partnered with Chris Sikes of Common Capital to create the Pioneer Valley Social Impact Fund. For more information, contact Chris at csikes@common-capital.org.

BALLE

This spring the Foundation joined a  BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.) I attended the first meeting of a new cohort of foundations in May to discuss place-based impact investing. BALLE’s members are committed to work together to advance the concepts of local investing. Much of what the Foundation is doing with the Pioneer Valley Social Impact Fund, Wellspring, and other initiatives should be improved with what we learn from our work with BALLE.

“G is for Gun”

We are horrified by the continuing reality of gun violence in our schools. There is a need for well implemented safety measures to secure firearms. Some have suggested putting more guns into schools by arming teachers. We were pleased to fund the production of a documentary film that took a balanced approach to the issue. It was recently released in Ohio and other areas of the country. The film is called “G is for Gun: The Arming of Teachers in America.” Find out more here: https://gisforgunthefilm.com

Site Visit Schedule

The Beveridge Family Foundation accepts grant applications twice per year. As part of the process, we complete site visits for nonprofits we have not visited in several years, or where there have been significant changes. We are shifting the dates of the site visits to avoid August and February dates which are difficult for many due to vacations and winter weather.

Pioneer Valley Data Collaboration

We are pleased to join with our peers in an effort to better utilize data in our decision-making, and to make data more available to the community for the improved detection and analysis of issues. We are thankful to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission for taking on much of the work in assembling and presenting the data, and to working with the constituents to determine data priorities.

Center for Effective Philanthropy – Grantee 360

We see the effects of good management in the nonprofits we fund. The use of data in questioning one’s own beliefs is an important aspect of continued improvement. In that spirit, we are working with the Center for Effective Philanthropy to survey our recent grantees to better understand our impact, processes, and performance. The survey will take place this fall.

Director Training

As a family foundation, our Directors consist of a mix of family members and local leaders. We have offered training opportunities this year to our Board members to help in their duties. We are thankful to Pam Maksy of GMA Foundations for her web-based seminar on the required distribution calculation and details of the IRS 990. In addition, we turned once again to Bob Hull for his day-long trustee training, based upon his book “The Trustee Notebook.” Both were well-received and helped us gain confidence in our abilities as stewards of the Foundation.

Bev Bucks

At our recent board meeting in Northampton, the Board was pleased to review Bev Bucks applications from Fred Palmer, Henry DuPont, Coco Palmer, Lily Palmer, Cameron Hickerson, Jaxson Hickerson and Jordon Hickerson. We are thrilled to see this initiative grow.

If you are a descendent of Frank Stanley Beveridge, get involved with a non-profit organization you think is deserving and interesting. You can volunteer to help in their work, raise money, or increase awareness. Benefits include work experience, friendships with like-minded people, and a better understanding of how to work with others on a common goal. You will find that the time spent provides fulfillment well beyond most other endeavors.

Descendants of Frank Stanley Beveridge can make a pitch for “Bev Bucks” to kick in and help your chosen charity. All you need to do is to write a short appeal for the organization.

Include the following:

  • Your name
  • You email address
  • The name of the organization you want to see given a grant
  • The address
  • A contact person including name, phone number, and email address
  • The organization’s mission
  • Why the organization is important
  • What it means to you. Be sure to mention if you are involved with them, and how.

Be sure to describe any personal connection between you and the nonprofit. Email it to me at caswell@beveridge.org and I’ll get right back with you.

The deadline for submissions for consideration this fall will be October 1, 2018. There is a limited pool of funding available, so do your best to make a case for your favorite non-profit.

As always, we hope to hear from you. Be sure to check out www.beveridge.org for more information about the history and mission of the Beveridge Family Foundation.

Regards,

Ward S. Caswell
President
The Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc.
caswell@beveridge.org