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Chambers Family Fund;
The process of creating a new women's fund requires thoughtful planning and strong commitment. In this edition of Creating a Women's Fund, we expanded the guide to incorporate the creation of stand-alone women's foundations. It is designed to share the experiences and perspectives of nine women's funds – small and large, new and established – from across the country.In this guide, we provide two distinct courses of action – to set up a women's fund within a community foundation or to set up a stand-alone women's foundation. The guide takes the reader through the succession of phases for each: PLANNING, ESTABLISHING and BUILDING. However, since the decision to create a women's fund within a community foundation or a stand-alone women's foundation must be thorougly researched in the PLANNING phase, we recommend all readers begin with PLANNING.At the end of the PLANNING section, readers may choose to either read the ESTABLISHING and BUILDING sections for funds within a community foundation (designated in blue for easy reference) OR for stand-alone foundations (designated in magenta). We have done this for brevity and ease; however, we strongly encourage readers to read through the entire guide to fully determine the advantages and challenges of both formats. Since there are many common steps involved in building a fund within a community foundation and a stand-alone foundation, those who read both sections may encounter some repetition.
The Laura and John Arnold Foundation;
In the brief, LJAF Vice President Josh McGee and LJAF Sustainable Public Finance Analyst Paulina S. Diaz Aguirre explain that unless local leaders take immediate steps to pay down the pension debt and address the plans' underlying systemic flaws, the challenges will continue to escalate."Dallas is at a tipping point," McGee said. "Without immediate reforms, the city's pension problems will become too big to fix. Workers deserve a fair and secure retirement. Local leaders must work with public servants and taxpayers to develop a sustainable solution. This is true not only in Dallas, where the problems are particularly acute, but in cities across the state. Officials must take action now to ensure that their communities remain vibrant and financially stable."The most immediate pension problem facing the city of Dallas involves its Police and Fire Pension System. The fund's Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP), a savings account provided to members when they reach retirement eligibility, is nearly bankrupt. In the past six months alone, retirees have withdrawn at least $300 million in savings. If this "run on the bank" continues, the police and fire fund may run out of cash to pay retirees' benefits.The issues with the Dallas pension system stem from a decade of insufficient funding for both the police and fire fund as well as the plan for other municipal employees. With the police and fire fund, the problems have been compounded by two key factors. First, a broken governance structure allowed members to increase their own benefits without establishing a plan to pay for those increases. Second, a series of reckless investment decisions made by the plan's prior leadership went unnoticed. Former plan administrators invested more than half of the fund's assets in private equity and real estate, including high-risk properties such as luxury homes in Hawaii and a resort and vineyard in Napa, California. The city made less than expected on these investments, which led to a nearly $1 billion investment shortfall, hundreds of millions of dollars in asset devaluations, and a reported Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) review.In addition, the police and fire fund is controlled by the state legislature, which means that local leaders do not have the authority they need to make the changes that are urgently required.In the brief, McGee and Diaz Aguirre explain that plan administrators, city officials, and state legislators must immediately come together to enact comprehensive reforms. The co-authors present a number of recommendations that would help protect workers' retirement security and improve the stability of the pension system.These include:Obtaining local control of the police and fire fundStabilizing DROPDeveloping a fair and sustainable plan to pay down the pension debt
The Wallace Foundation;
In July 2010, working with a nonprofit organization called Big Thought, officials at the Dallas IndependentSchool District embarked on an approach to summer school they hoped would change the image from one of punishment and failure and engage kids. The idea was to support teachers, artists, and others to replace worksheet-style instruction with teaching animated by music, visual arts, dance, and theater.The new arts-rich summer school program that resulted is just another sign of Dallas' initiative, spearheaded by BigThought (www.bigthought.org), to bring together schools, cultural organizations, and others to restore high-quality arts instruction to the many classrooms from which it has long been missing. "What's the goal of education: to assess kids or prepare them for life?" asks Craig Welle, executive director of enrichment curriculum and instruction for the Dallas Independent School District. "If you've taken the arts out of the education system, you are no longer preparing kids for life."This report talks about the history of arts education funding and the success of the Dallas initiative.
Cultural Policy Center at The University of Chicago;
This case was prepared for a class discussion rather than to demonstrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation, and is based on interviews with 14 present and former volunteer board members, senior staff, and community leaders, as well as press coverage, annual reports, and internal documents. The authors are deeply grateful to their interviewees for their hospitality and collaboration.
The Wallace Foundation;
Describes the trend toward coordinated approaches to arts education, with a focus on a Wallace-funded program linking artists, local government, cultural organizations, schools, and parents to bring quality arts education to Dallas' poorest children.
Summarizes survey data on the state of public trust in the police and satisfaction with police encounters; police officers' job satisfaction, their views on their superiors, and climate of integrity; and retail business owners' satisfaction with police.
Center for a New American Security;
The King Foundation and a collaborative of funders commissioned the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) to assess the needs of veterans in the region to assist in planning future philanthropic investment by the Foundation and its partners. This report summarizes research conducted by CNAS researchers between August 2015 and February 2016, using a mixed-methods approach that included qualitative research on regional trends; quantitative research using data made public by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense (DOD), and other agencies; a targeted survey of veterans in the region; and discussion groups with participants representing more than 50 organizations that serve those veterans.The following assessment attempts to answer the following research questions: What is the state of veterans in the DFW region? Where do needs exist among the DFW veteran population? How are the needs of veterans being met in the DFW region? What are the main efforts at meeting the needs of veterans? How does the coordination of existing services take place, and is there a collaborative structure in the region that guides investments, services, and the overall care?
Galveston Bay Foundation;
Galveston Bay is resilient, but faces an uncertain future. The Bay's watershed is home to the fourth- and ninth-largest cities in the U.S., Houston and Dallas. It's also home to three ports, and remains a hub for the manufacturing and refining of chemicals and petroleum products. But people, industry, and commerce often come with environmental challenges. Galveston Bay's most significant problems are tied to pollution, declines in habitat acreage, and to the impacts of climate change, like sea level rise.That Galveston Bay could receive C for overall health despite facing these monumental issues shows how resilient it is. This offers hope that we can change our negative impact on water quality, wetlands, seagrasses, and wildlife. But a healthier Galveston Bay is in everyone's interest.
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest);
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Tarrant Area Food Bank. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed inperson interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network. Key Findings: The FA system served by The Tarrant Area Food Bank provides emergency food for an estimated 279,800 different people annually.43% of the members of households served by The Tarrant Area Food Bank are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).43% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).Among households with children, 79% are food insecure and 38% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 18.104.22.168).52% of clients served by The Tarrant Area Food Bank report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).39% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).26% of households served by The Tarrant Area Food Bank report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1).The Tarrant Area Food Bank included approximately 277 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 270 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 207 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.67% of pantries, 47% of kitchens, and 33% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).Among programs that existed in 2006, 80% of pantries, 67% of kitchens, and 56% of shelters of The Tarrant Area Food Bank reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 79% of the food distributed by pantries, 64% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 52% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).As many as 95% of pantries, 78% of kitchens, and 88% of shelters in The Tarrant Area Food Bank use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).
National Council on Crime and Delinquency;
Testimony by Dr. Barry Krisberg, President of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, to the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.
Partnership for Working Families;
This study explores labor conditions in the construction industry across six key Southern cities in the U.S. and finds that far too often construction workers across the South face working conditions that should not exist in the twentyfirst century in the richest country in the world. The study documents the alarming prevalence of jobs with wages too low to feed a family. It captures the impact of disabling work injuries on workers and their families that are made even more devastating when the employer does not carry workers' compensation insurance, or misclassifies a wage worker as an independent contractor ineligible for compensation payments.