June 10, 2019

Monday, June 10, 2019

Investing in Equity in the Nonprofit Workforce

Fund the People, a national campaign to maximize investment in the nonprofit workforce, recently launched Talent Justice, a new initiative focused on helping funders and nonprofits invest in advancing equity in our workforce. The Talent Justice Toolkit features resources outlining specific strategies to support this work.  

The initiative is supported in part by The Kresge Foundation; both the foundation and Ford Foundation are represented on the campaign’s advisory council.

We’re taking a closer look at the Talent Justice Report: Investing in Equity in the Nonprofit Workforce and the key takeaways for funders.

Highlights from the report:

  • Overall, low paying entry level jobs in the sector was cited as a barrier by 57 percent of younger workers ages 22 to 37.

  • 84 percent of nonprofits and foundations that responded to the survey said competitive salaries and benefits are needed for entry-level nonprofit jobs. About 41 percent of foundations that participated in the survey said they provide funding to grantees for these purposes.

  • People of color have reported more barriers and unique challenges to advancement in the sector. The study found that 59 percent of people of color said entry level jobs not paying well was a barrier to entering the nonprofit workforce. About 40 percent of people of color surveyed said lacking connections was a barrier.

  • About 81 percent of foundation staff cited paid internships or fellowships as a best practice for supporting equitable and inclusive access to the field.

  • Informal mentorships, leadership training and development and access to networking opportunities were the top three supports for career advancement in the sector as cited by people of color.

The report provides a deeper dive into the barriers facing people of color, women, young people and immigrants in the nonprofit sector. The report calls for greater investment by foundations and nonprofits in racial justice and equity in their organizational culture and workforce.

Recommendations at a glance:

  • Improve compensation for early-career professionals and across the nonprofit career lifecycle.

  • Design fair apprenticeship experiences through targeted recruitment and fair compensation.

  • Challenge white dominant cultural norms by developing organizational cultures that value diverse backgrounds and experiences.

  • Invest in diverse talent through wide and inclusive search processes. The report shares that “foundations can partner with grantees to create a pipeline of diverse leaders by forming relationships with rising talent at grantee organizations.”

Talent Justice provides a road map for funders on these recommendations and more in their toolkit.

Want more?

Read the full report.

CMF is currently accepting applications for our mentoring program. Learn more in this issue of the Weekly Download.





The Role of Health Technology in Michigan

In a new report, The Role of Health Technology in Michigan, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is providing insights and lessons learned from their work funding 46 technology projects from 2015 to 2019.

The report shares that while technology provides new opportunities for exchanging health information and delivering care more effectively and efficiently, there are barriers. Researchers say there’s a 17-year gap from discovery of innovative practices to implementation.

The report calls for policymakers, health entities and funders to understand the challenges at play and support the integration of technology-based approaches to health.

The Health Fund says it has found that mobile technology and approaches to health information and storage are two spaces that are well-positioned for further integration.

The Health Fund provides examples of this work in health technology, a few examples include:

  • Double Up Food Bucks: A Health Fund grant helped the Fair Food Network expand Double Up Food Bucks electronic payment technology in grocery stores and farmers markets in five regions across the state. The program provides dollar for dollar matches on SNAP dollars to give recipients better access to healthy, fresh produce at farmers markets and grocery stores in Michigan and around the U.S. The newer technology allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) users to earn Double Up Food Bucks at one location and redeem them at another, increasing their purchasing power. Following the launch of the technology the program is now reaching 40 percent of SNAP households in Flint, up from 9 percent prior to the launch.

  • Better Behavioral Health Care for Students: A program has implemented telemedicine in 10 schools throughout rural Southeast Michigan, connecting students with behavioral health staff through remote consultations. During the grant period 308 students received services for undiagnosed attention deficit disorders, depressive disorders and anxiety.

  • Virtual Care for Veterans: A home-based transitional telecare project is helping recently discharged older veterans address medication issues, avoid in-home risks and more through telehealth-enabled tablets and wearable sensors.

The Health Fund's analysis of the 46 projects led to four lessons learned from technology-based programs.

Key findings:

  • Technology-based interventions aren’t a cure-all. The most successful interventions were not as intricate or cutting-edge as they were adaptable, enabling them to address complex problems.

  • Technology can be a game-changer when applied strategically. Simple models for incorporating new technology can be the most effective for addressing complex challenges, especially in the short term.

  • Understanding dynamics between involved stakeholders is crucial. The Health Fund found that small clinics and organizations tended to be quicker adopters of new tools, stating: “Awareness of a given intervention’s timeline relative to the dynamics between involved stakeholders is arguably as important as the tools being implemented.”

  • Technology-based approaches address a wide variety of barriers to access. “Whether streamlining patient data exchange between disparate caregiving entities, allowing patients to consult with a provider face-to-face using their computer, or connecting individuals with existing resources in their communities, almost every application of technology narrows access gaps in some way.”

The Health Fund shares that its diverse investments in health technology across the state have provided these lessons and more, especially what’s needed in the future to move this work forward.

“Whether through national policies streamlining how patient data is exchanged, or in achieving buy-in from community members for a new mobile application, there are many steps between developing a technology-based intervention and realizing health improvements. To speed up the process, funders and health entities alike must take calculated risks and be willing to try innovative ideas,” the report states.

Want more?

Read the full report.

Connect with the CMF Health Funders Affinity Group.





Place-Based Impact Investing Ecosystems

CMF’s place-based impact investing collaboration work with members has put Michigan in the national spotlight in a series of a new briefs produced by the Urban Institute and Mission Investors Exchange (MIE).

Place-based impact investing is defined in the briefs as “the local deployment of impact capital, or investments made with the intent to yield a financial return as well as a social or environmental return.”

The series highlights work underway in Michigan, Baltimore, Chicago and New York to provide emerging lessons about the roles of foundations and other collaborators in this space. The brief featuring CMF, Place-Based Impact Investing Ecosystems: Building a Collaboration to Boost Your Effectiveness “illustrates the value of building an ecosystem and collaborating to leverage a variety of types of capital from key stakeholders in that ecosystem.”

The journey leading to the creation of the Michigan Collaborative is highlighted as an example of a collaboration in an ecosystem.

“CMF’s work was inspired and enriched by ecosystem actors working together under the leadership of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to create the Michigan Good Food Fund, a $30 million public-private partnership loan fund begun in 2015 that provides financing to ‘good food’ enterprises that benefit underserved communities across Michigan,” the brief states.

As the brief shares, this work began in 2013 for CMF as we sought to discover opportunities for field-building and learning. CMF assessed the current system by conducting a formal statewide ecosystem landscape scan and needs assessment of CMF members.  

The brief shares the Michigan ecosystem journey to date:

  • In 2015 CMF created a working group to explore and support impact investing on-ramps.

  • CMF began work to create an impact investing fund.

  • CMF learned many lessons through this work which helped CMF champion the development of additional benefits to CMF members not available to other investors through a publicly traded fund managed by Community Capital Management, the Michigan Collaborative, which launched in 2017. These benefits include significantly lower minimum investments ($100,000 vs. $500,000), the ability to target funds by impact area or to a county-level and a social impact reporting work group.

  • In 2016, CMF announced the appointment of Jennifer Oertel as our impact investing expert in residence and she has since devoted hundreds of hours to supporting members in their unique impact investing journeys.

Through the Michigan Collaborative an additional $55 million has been targeted for investment in Michigan, adding to the $145 million already invested through the fund in Michigan. The investments support home mortgages for low- and moderate-income borrowers, enterprise development and job creation, statewide home ownership and down payment assistance, economic development, environmental sustainability, neighborhood revitalization and healthy communities. The collaborative continues to attract more dollars for investment. 

The brief also provides strategies to accelerate successful collaborations in place-based impact investing.

Recommendations at a glance:

  • Foster equity and inclusion: Consider proactive outreach to more diverse networks, explore implicit bias training and focus on open, honest equity conversations to ensure diversity across the ecosystem.

  • Amplify the community’s voice: Engage community members with different perspectives in building and participating in the ecosystem.

  • Find champions: Engage with other impact investing ecosystems to learn about work underway. Seek out champions within each organization in your ecosystem with decision-making power who can be advocates for the work.

Later this year we will take a closer look at collaborative, place-based impact investing happening on the ground in rural and urban communities across Michigan as CMF debuts a new impact investing video series featuring CMF members at work. There are foundations of all sizes that are making place-based impact investments in the areas of economic development, affordable housing and beyond.

Want more?

MIE and the Urban Institute are hosting a webinar on the briefs on June 27.

Connect with CMF’s impact investing resources and work.

Check out the new blog launched by Jennifer Oertel, CMF’s impact investing expert in residence: The A to Z of Impact Investing.






Professional development opportunity for emerging leaders and seasoned practitioners in philanthropy

CMF’s Mentoring Program is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 cohort of mentors and mentees.

The CMF Mentoring Program is an opportunity for those who have recently entered the field to grow in their work in partnership with an established professional, though mentors often say they find the experience equally rewarding.

“As both a mentee and a mentor in the CMF Mentoring Program, I have found true value in my experiences,” Katelyn Videto, philanthropic services manager, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation said. “Not only did I learn from my colleagues in the field, but the program created a space for me to think about my own professional development and leadership skills. The program combines many opportunities -- mentorship, 360 feedback, coaching, workshops -- that aren't typically available to early-career professionals and allows them to use those opportunities to accelerate their own growth.”

The program provides:

  • Monthly engagements including mixers, meetings and more that are designed to foster learning and broaden your professional network.

  • Webinars and customized sessions with an executive coach to develop your leadership style and learn from those with deep expertise in philanthropy.

  • Consultants and trainers who lead professional and personal development learning on topics ranging from emotional intelligence and balancing home-work life to developing a personal brand and identifying leadership skills. 

“Being a mentee in the CMF program far exceeded my expectations,” Chelsea Landry, program partner, Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation said. “The one-on-one time with my mentor was absolutely invaluable. My confidence as a professional has increased greatly as a result of my interactions with my mentor.”

There is no cost for CMF members to participate in the mentoring program. Nonprofit professionals, in addition to philanthropic professionals who are eligible for CMF membership, can participate for a fee.

The deadline for applications is August 2; space is limited.

Want more?

Learn more about the Mentoring Program.

Apply to be a mentor.

Apply to be a mentee.

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