June 4, 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

New Resources Highlight the Need for a Fair and Accurate Count in the 2020 Census

The Michigan Nonprofits Count Campaign has provided new tools and digital content on the importance of the 2020 census and ways that local organizations can help educate, engage and empower their communities around census issues.

The campaign is an effort to mobilize nonprofits and partner with state and local government to encourage participation in the census. It is spearheaded by the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) with seed funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and support from CMF.

The campaign's newly launched website "Be Counted Michigan 2020" features downloadable resources, details on how interested groups can get involved and information on the impact of an inaccurate census. 

As CMF has reported, our state stands to lose $1,800 in federal funding per year for every person who isn’t counted, funding that supports critical services, including education, employment, veteran services, rural development, health care and nearly every other major issue supported by Michigan philanthropy.

"An inaccurate 2020 census can lead to more than a decade of underrepresentation and underinvestment in communities that have been historically undercounted," said Donna Murray-Brown, president and CEO, MNA. "Without government funding, communities would turn to philanthropy and nonprofits to fill the void, but philanthropy does not have the resources to replace lost government support. And, ensuring hard-to-count communities’ participation in the census requires additional resources and expertise."

A critical component of the campaign is to ensure that MNA’s statewide expertise providing communications, research, capacity building training, campaign tracking/reporting and advocacy gets to the grassroots, community-based organizations throughout the state. That connection is being achieved through the creation of regional census hubs. The census hubs will be the link between MNA and organizations in each hub's region as specific plans are developed to reach hard-to-count populations. They will also provide mini grants to organizations closest to those at risk of under-count. As community foundations are trusted community leaders and partners, their insights have been essential in determining the census hub administrator in each region. In several regions, the community foundation or a consortium of community foundations emerged as the ideal census hub administrator, leveraging their deep work in community leadership and grantmaking capacity. In other regions, the community foundations and colleague CMF members counseled to select the local United Way or Nonprofit Capacity Building Center as the hub. 

A three-year campaign budget of $4.7 million has been established to implement the campaign statewide in hard-to-count areas of Michigan. A number of CMF members in addition to the W.K. Kellogg Foundation have confirmed grant support to MNA and several more are in process. It is anticipated that MNA will announce the leadership funders in the next month. Grant funding will support state and local research, communications and local capacity-building education for nonprofits.

The partnerships created in these efforts have been recognized nationally as a groundbreaking practice in civic engagement. CMF staff have joined with MNA in representing Michigan in panels, webinars and conversations across the country as others look to our state for guidance to create similar collaborations in their regions.

Want more?

Visit the new Michigan Nonprofits Complete Count Campaign website.

Sign up for the "Be Counted MI 2020" newsletter.

Visit CMF's Census 2020 webpage.





What’s in Store for Youth Summer Jobs and Their Future Career Choices?

The Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget recently released its summer teen employment forecast for 2018.

As in recent years, the department is predicting a competitive labor market for teens ages 16 to 19 seeking summer work. Teens face competition from peers who have prior work experience, college students and unemployed/underemployed older adults working jobs that may have been held by teens in the past.

According to the forecast, “Starting in May, the number of teens entering the labor force increases sharply and reaches a peak in July and August. It’s predicted that this year’s teen jobless rate will be around 19 percent.”

Here’s a look at two programs providing employment to Michigan teens this summer: 

  • Grow Detroit’s Young Talent (GDYT) is a program that offers training and employment to 8,000 youth from the City of Detroit for six weeks in the summer. This year GDYT has incorporated mandatory evaluations and robust data management to track its success. Several CMF members support the GDYP program, including: The Skillman Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Marjorie S. Fisher Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Vera and Joseph Dresner Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Bank of America.
  • Summer Youth Nonprofit Work Experience places youth in nonprofit organizations in West Michigan to work 32 hours a week for six weeks in the summer. This program is funded by the DTE Energy Foundation through the United Way of the Lakeshore in partnership with the Michigan Works! Association.

The benefits of summertime youth employment extend well beyond a paycheck. A summer job provides an opportunity for teens to gain valuable life skills and work experience toward building a resume. It allows teens to establish and grow a network with new connections who can serve as future references. Summer jobs also allow teens to explore industries and the opportunity to identify a potential career path. Apprenticeships offer another option for older teens and young adults ready for careers.

Recent research from a state-commissioned study shows that most Michigan students and parents are not familiar with the benefits of apprenticeships or the breadth of opportunities.

Study highlights:

  • Students ages 14-30 are significantly more knowledgeable about the options of community colleges and four-year universities than apprenticeships.
  • More than half of parents say they are not knowledgeable about apprenticeship benefits.
  • Only 21 percent of parents view an apprenticeship as a good option for their student following high school.
  • About 80 percent of high schoolers say their parents are the most influential people regarding career/job choices, with teachers and friends a distant second and third, respectively.
  • Students in Southeast Michigan and West Michigan are similar in their knowledge of the potential benefits of apprenticeships at 44 percent, while other regions of the state are highly variable, ranging from 56 percent in Greater Lansing/Jackson to 35 percent in the Great Lakes Bay Region that includes Bay, Saginaw and Midland counties as well as the Thumb Region that includes Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties.

Leaders are using this data to launch a campaign to raise awareness about the variety of options for apprenticeship and the benefits. Campaign organizers report that “Through 2024, Michigan will have more than 800,000 good-paying career openings accessible through apprenticeships in fields including information technology, health care and manufacturing.”

The Governor’s Office of Foundation Liaison and Jackson Community Foundation recently hosted a site visit at the Jackson Area Career Center for CMF members and state partners to learn about a successful skills-based education program, the Jackson Area College and Career Connection Early/Middle College Program. Funded through local public and private partnerships, JAC3=E/MC is designed to prepare students for future full-time employment with Jackson-area businesses. Read about members' site visit in a special CMF news story.

Want more?

Access Michigan’s Summer 2018 Job Market Forecast for Teens.

Learn more about Grow Detroit’s Young Talent and the Summer Youth Nonprofit Work Experience.

Check out the research findings related to apprenticeships in Michigan.

Visit Advance Michigan Center for Apprenticeship Innovation.




Tax Law Impact: New Report Highlights Nonprofits' Need for Foundation Support

The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) has released a new report measuring how nonprofit and foundation leaders view the new tax legislation passed by Congress at the end of 2017 and what they perceive as the role funders need to play in helping grantees respond to the changes.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect Jan. 1 doubles the standard deduction that taxpayers can claim in their tax returns (to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for couples), eliminating the tax incentive for all but the wealthiest Americans to donate to charity.

"A charitable deduction available only to the most affluent donors may not be politically sustainable," suggests C. Eugene Steuerle, Institute Fellow and Richard B. Fisher chair, Tax Policy Center. He predicts the number of households taking the charitable deduction will fall from 37 million to 16 million.

Among other tax bill provisions affecting nonprofits, the Act also doubled the estate tax exemption to $22 million for couples.

The CEP report, Bracing for a Downturn: Nonprofits, Charitable Deduction Worries, and How Foundations Can Help, shows nonprofits and foundations are equally concerned about a potential reduction in individual donations. 

Key findings:

  • More than half of the foundation and nonprofit leaders surveyed (53 percent for each group) are concerned about a decrease in charitable giving, though 30 percent of respondents from both groups say they don’t fully understand the legislation yet or are unsure how it will affect giving.
  • Foundation leaders suggest two primary roles for how they can best help nonprofits: supporting nonprofits’ capacity to respond (39 percent) and educating nonprofits and the public about the legislation and its effects (20 percent).
  • Nonprofit leaders agree that foundations can help them directly with more capacity building (33 percent) both generally and specifically through stronger fundraising and marketing and through education about the legislation (25 percent). They also identified a third role for foundations that none of the surveyed foundation leaders mentioned – broadly promoting the value of nonprofits, the importance of their work and the needs of their beneficiaries (36 percent).

The report, based on findings of a survey conducted with 170 nonprofit CEOs and 187 foundation staff, shows nonprofits value the trusted position foundations have in the nonprofit sector to advocate for increased support of nonprofits among a variety of audiences, including legislators.

“As highly visible and often well-resourced organizations, foundations could take advantage of their name recognition and trusted status to directly appeal to individuals and other sectors to recognize and continue all the good that giving does in our society,” said study co-authors Kevin Bolduc, vice president, assessment and advisory services, CEP and Ellie Buteau, vice president, research, CEP, in a recent blog post

“We hope that sharing these findings helps stimulate important conversations about joint approaches to preparing the charitable sector for whatever effects this legislation will ultimately have on giving.” 

One such conversation was held May 22 during the "Washington and Tax Impact" webinar led by Rob Collier, president and CEO, CMF and Donna Murray-Brown, president and CEO, MNA with Lori Boyce, managing director, Deloitte. They led a 90-minute program highlighting opportunities and challenges with the new tax act for nonprofit organizations, including private and public foundations. CMF members can access the webinar online at no cost.

Want more?

Download the CEP report.

Read the blog post by the report's co-authors. 

Access the free CMF and MNA webinar on tax impact.




Member Spotlight: Philanthropy Peers Honored with Governor's Service Awards

On June 5, Governor Rick Snyder will recognize 38 winners of the 2018 Governor's Service Awards at a ceremony hosted by the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC). The winners are individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations selected for their commitment to volunteerism, service or philanthropy.

“This year’s winners have inspiring stories," the Governor shared in a press release. "They have made a tremendous impact on the lives of others through their service. I am extremely grateful for the contributions they have made for Michigan and am honored to recognize their incredible accomplishments.”

Marsha Smith, who has served as director of Rotary Charities of Traverse City for the past 24 years, is one of two honorees receiving the Lifetime Humanitarian Award at Tuesday’s event. Smith is being recognized for her dedication and the positive impact she has had in issue areas including social justice, women's rights, environmental issues and economic development.

In the background shared about Smith, former Governor William G. Milliken is quoted in saying, “It’s not just what Marsha does; it’s also how she does it. She will deservedly have a chapter in the history of Michigan as a person who left an indelibly positive mark that is reflected in the well-being of families and kids, the quality of our water and land and the resiliency of our communities. What a wonderful legacy.” Read the complete GSA bio.

In partnership with MCSC, CMF and the Michigan Nonprofit Association will give 2018 Community Foundation Philanthropy Awards at the event to Charles "Charley" Janssen and the Honorable Carlene Walz Lefere.

"Charley Janssen has been engaged as a volunteer, trustee, board chair and donor to the Capital Region Community Foundation for more than 20 years. As an advocate for permanent endowed funds, he has devoted countless hours to encouraging individuals and groups to give. He has helped guide the foundation in taking a new leadership role in economic development. With years of commitment to collaboration, Charley’s leadership with many organizations has included the Lansing Public Schools Foundation, Lansing Riverfront Development Board and Ingham County’s Bar Association Probate and Trust Section." Read the complete GSA bio.

"Retired Judge Carlene Walz Lefere joined the Jackson Community Foundation in 2002 and has served as both board chair and interim CEO during a leadership transition. She was a pivotal advocate in the foundation’s decision to start the Jackson Legacy Program, making a promise to help students pay for college and creation of the College and Career Access Center for which she serves on the board. Carlene created The Walz Family Fund as a donor advised fund to engage her children and grandchildren in the years ahead. A community champion, Carlene’s leadership continues as an active member of the Jackson Women for Equity Committee, the Cascade Falls Champion Committee and the Board of Legal Services of South Central Michigan." Read the complete GSA bio.

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