Nonprofit Finance Fund | June 30, 2022
Nonprofit Finance Fund is thrilled to announce Aisha Benson as its next CEO and President.
Benson, a leader with a substantial track record advancing racial equity in community development finance, was selected after an extensive nationwide search and brings exceptional industry expertise, deep networks, and a passion for social justice to the position. She will be NFF's third permanent CEO and President in its 42-year history.
Aisha is the right leader at the right time to support NFF's efforts to help mission-driven organizations achieve communities' aspirations. Her vision, experience and relationships are an exciting match as NFF continues its tremendous growth."
Henry A. J. Ramos, NFF Board Chair
Benson will start on August 8, and will be based in New York. She joins NFF from TruFund Financial Services, where as Executive Vice President and COO she was instrumental in developing strategy, securing new business, fundraising, and overseeing lending and tax credit services.
Benson serves on several key industry boards, including the Opportunity Finance Network, NMTC Coalition (Board Chair) and New York CDFI Coalition (founding member and Vice President). She also serves on the advisory boards of the Community Development Entities of US Bank and Coastal Enterprises.
"NFF has earned a reputation for challenging status-quo finance and philanthropy and advocating for the nonprofits we rely on for so much," said Benson. "I look forward to leveraging my industry expertise and lived experience to further hone NFF's strategy and approach to integrating the flow of capital and advisory services in ways that maximize community collaboration and create transformational, sustainable outcomes for communities of color."
Benson takes the helm from NFF interim CEO and President Trella Walker, who along with Executive Transition Team colleagues Kristin Giantris and Andrea Briscoe has been leading NFF since June 2021 when longtime CEO Antony Bugg-Levine announced his planned departure.
Over the past ten years, NFF has increased its loan portfolio by 400 percent, built a diverse team with a broad range of expertise, and accrued $54 million in net assets without donor restrictions (as of Dec. 2021) to invest in its mission. Recent initiatives including the Strategic Innovation Fund, COVID-19 recovery zero-interest loan funds, the State of the Nonprofit Sector Survey, and Rising Together exemplify NFF's commitment to using its assets and resources in service of community-based nonprofits, particularly those led by and serving people of color.
As Walker moves on from NFF she will continue her longstanding consulting practice focused on strategy and impact, organizational change management, and DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) and belonging—all areas of deep expertise she drew on to help NFF navigate a season of transition.
"It has been a true honor to help move NFF forward by strengthening our ability to serve communities of color with staff and resources aligned with our strategy and now Aisha can advance our commitment with great fervor and fortitude," said Walker. "I am excited to see NFF's next chapter."
"We are deeply grateful to Trella and the Executive Transition Team for skillfully guiding NFF in bold pursuit of its strategy, and know that other mission-driven organizations will benefit from her sage counsel," said Ramos. "To be in such a strong position, especially amid more global changes in our field and in the world, is a testament to the skill and determination of this team in service of NFF's mission."
Benson was selected as part of a comprehensive, nationwide search led by NPAG in partnership with NFF's board.
About Nonprofit Finance Fund
Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is a nonprofit lender, consultant, and advocate. For more than 40 years, we've worked to strengthen nonprofit organizations and improve the way money flows to social good. We believe that alongside others we must build a more equitable and just social sector, and are committed to helping community-centered organizations led by and serving people of color access the money and resources they need to realize their communities' aspirations.
Habitat for Humanity International | June 14, 2022
Leveraging funds provided in part by MacKenzie Scott's transformational donation, Habitat for Humanity International is launching a new initiative to address the racial homeownership gap—which now stands at nearly 30 percent, the widest it has been in more than 40 years.
Habitat's Advancing Black Homeownership initiative deepens our commitment to increase homeownership opportunities for Black individuals and families—and address the racial and systemic bias that has stymied access to homeownership for generations—through programs that will help end the social and economic disparity many Black people and communities of color continue to face.
Habitat is initially investing more than $25 million over the next three to five years—with a goal of raising $100 million or more—to develop and launch a slate of new programs, including an equitable commercial lending strategy and property acquisition fund through Habitat Mortgage Solutions, our community development financial institution.
"These efforts are designed to help Black families build intergenerational wealth through homeownership and other strategic supports, such as developing more inclusive communities, increasing the availability of affordable homes near public transportation and jobs, and transforming concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity," said Adrienne Goolsby, senior vice president of the U.S. and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International. "Ultimately, we want to reduce the impact a century of discriminatory housing policies has had on the Black community."
Other initiative programs include financial coaching and counseling to help Habitat affiliates address the needs of applicants along their homeownership journey; a national Black homeowner advisory group to help Habitat for Humanity International develop strategies and implement programs to help increase Black homeownership; expanded advocacy outreach through the Cost of Home campaign; and collaborative efforts with affordable housing partners. Funding opportunities will also be made available to Habitat affiliates doing innovative work to help increase Black homeownership.
Our mission is driven by our theological imperative to seek justice and to have mercy. Doing so through this work, we put God's love into action and help further our mission to build homes, communities and hope."
Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International
About Habitat for Humanity International
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity found its earliest inspirations as a grassroots movement on an interracial community farm in south Georgia. Since its founding in 1976, the Christian housing organization has grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in more than 70 countries. Families and individuals in need of a hand up partner with Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.
Baby2Baby | May 31, 2022
Baby2Baby, the national organization that has been at the forefront of providing relief to vulnerable families dealing with the U.S.’ baby formula shortage, announced it will distribute 12,000 cans of formula to the greater Pittsburgh region by the end of this week. Distribution to hospitals, diaper banks, childcare centers and family resource centers across the area began yesterday, and was made possible through a donation from local Pittsburgh resident Thomas Tull and his wife Alba through their philanthropic organization, the Tull Family Foundation.
The formula shortage is still an absolute emergency for the families we serve. Our mission at Baby2Baby is to provide families with diapers, formula and other essentials that every child deserves, and that mission has become even more critical during this crisis. It has been horrible for every parent, but even more devastating for families living in poverty who don’t have the luxury of switching to a more expensive brand or access to multiple stores to find anything in stock. We are so grateful to Thomas and Alba Tull, and the Tull Family Foundation, for their extremely generous gift which is enabling us to provide hundreds of thousands of bottles of lifesaving formula to families in need across Pittsburgh."
Norah Weinstein and Kelly Sawyer Patricof,Baby2Baby Co-CEOs
“Like many other essential items, the baby formula shortage in this country has become a major crisis since the onset of COVID. It is unimaginable what parents, especially those living below the poverty line, are having to deal with,” said Cathy Battle, Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank. “We are seeing this heart wrenching crisis unfold every day and are incredibly grateful for Baby2Baby’s work and support. This distribution will help provide relief to many babies and families in need in the greater Pittsburgh areas.”
Baby2Baby distributes to foster care agencies, hospitals, clinics, homeless and domestic violence shelters and resource centers. Since the pandemic began, it has delivered more than 300,000 cans. At the start of 2022, even before the recalls, they had requests for over 8.8 million cans. The organization has been using all of the resources at its disposal to support families impacted by the current shortage – including working directly with their wholesale partners to have formula made for a fraction of the retail cost and distributing donations from formula companies that weren’t impacted by the recalls. They have already sent formula to Pennsylvania, California, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Alabama and South Dakota, and have more on the way to communities in need across the country.
Baby2Baby, a non-profit organization led by Co-CEOs Kelly Sawyer Patricof and Norah Weinstein that was named #1 nonprofit on Fast Company’s World’s Most Innovative Companies List for 2022, provides children living in poverty with diapers, clothing and all the basic necessities that every child deserves. In the last 11 years, Baby2Baby has distributed more than 240 million items – more than any organization of its kind – to children in homeless shelters, domestic violence programs, foster care, hospitals and underserved schools as well as to children who have lost everything in the wake of disaster. Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Baby2Baby has distributed more than 150 million items to families in need, serving over one million children across the country impacted by the pandemic.
Blackbaud Institute | June 01, 2022
The Blackbaud Institute, a research division of Blackbaud, the world's leading cloud software company powering social good, is celebrating 10 years of its quarterly charitable giving index. The Blackbaud Institute aims to keep nonprofit executives informed with sector trends, industry insights and timely, relevant research to help guide their organizations and their teams to success.
Tracking over $40 billion in US-based charitable giving from over 8,400 organizations, the Blackbaud Institute Index is updated each quarter and reports year-over-year percent changes and giving to-date for the last 12 months. The Index features overall giving trends and can be viewed by organization size and by subsector. In addition to providing quarterly insights, the Index offers the context that organizations need to leverage the data as a benchmark against their efforts.
Conversations for Social Good Professionals
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Index, the Blackbaud Institute will host a series of free, virtual "fireside chats" with the sector's foremost thought leaders and experts to give nonprofit leaders a clear picture of the trends that have shaped, and will continue to shape, the philanthropic landscape. Invited experts will cover trends and provide new insights around donor engagement, direct marketing, events and leadership.
In today's giving climate, social good organizations are continuing to support pandemic-related causes, while responding to heightened awareness of social issues, adopting digital-first strategies, and navigating a new environment with inflation on the rise. Leaders of nonprofit organizations need to be aware of the trends shaping the philanthropic space so they can best position themselves for the future. We're proud to provide charitable trends through the Blackbaud Institute Index, and tactical expertise through our upcoming series celebrating the Index's 10th anniversary."
Ashley Thompson, managing director, Blackbaud Institute
The Blackbaud Institute's mission is to convene the best minds in philanthropy to develop and share leading edge research and insight that accelerates the impact of the social good community. Operating as part of Blackbaud's commitment to the Ecosystem of Good®, all Blackbaud Institute resources are provided to the social good community free of cost.
About the Blackbaud Institute
The Blackbaud Institute drives research and insight to accelerate the impact of the social good community. It convenes expert partners from across the philanthropic sector to foster diverse perspectives, collective thinking, and collaborative solutions to the world's greatest challenges. Using the most comprehensive data set in the social good community, the Blackbaud Institute and its partners conduct research, uncover strategic insight and share results broadly to drive effective philanthropy at every stage, from fundraising to outcomes. Knowledge is powering the future of social good, and the Blackbaud Institute is an engine of that progress.
Blackbaud is the world's leading cloud software company powering social good. Serving the entire social good community—nonprofits, higher education institutions, K–12 schools, healthcare organizations, faith communities, arts and cultural organizations, foundations, companies and individual change agents—Blackbaud connects and empowers organizations to increase their impact through cloud software, services, expertise and data intelligence. The Blackbaud portfolio is tailored to the unique needs of vertical markets, with solutions for fundraising and CRM, marketing, advocacy, peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental, social and governance (ESG), school management, ticketing, grantmaking, financial management, payment processing and analytics. Serving the industry for more than four decades, Blackbaud is a remote-first company headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, with operations in the United States, Australia, Canada, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom.