NFWF Announces Release of Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program 2017 Request for Proposals


The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) announced the release of the 2017 Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program (KWRCP).

The program, which was launched in 2015 with significant support from SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., is dedicated to studying and protecting killer whales in the wild. This year, KWRCP welcomed a new corporate partner, as the program received $250,000 in support from Shell Oil Company.

KWRCP grant proposals are due July 14, 2017, and the full RFP can be found here​. Awards are anticipated by December, 2017.

KWRCP focuses on three strategies: increasing prey availability, improving habitat quality and strengthening management through crucial research. In the first two years, the program has awarded nine grants totaling more than $1 million. These grants leveraged more than $1.4 million in matching support from grantees, generating a total conservation impact of more than $2.5 million. The grants span all three of the priority strategies for the program and summaries are provided here.

Several of the projects funded by KWRCP were highlighted in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s recent release of the Species in the Spotlight Action Plan.

Competitive grants are reviewed by a public-private committee of government and academic experts, and funding decisions are based on the ability of the applicant to implement strategies that achieve the program priorities and result in measurable conservation outcomes.

Major funding for the Killer Whale Research and Conservation Program is provided by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., Shell Oil Company and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Additional information about the program can be found here.

Lebron James Donates $2.5 Million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Cleveland Cavaliers v Houston Rockets

When Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James has a passion for something, he will absolutely support it. He recently announced that he will donate $2.5 million to support “Muhammad Ali: A Force for Change,” an exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Muhammad Ali is such a cornerstone of me as an athlete because of what he represented not only in the ring as a champion but more outside the ring — what he stood for, what he spoke for, his demeanor,” James told USA Today Sports on Thursday.

James, along with his charitable foundation and his business partner Maverick Carter, are pledging the donation.

Continue reading on The Undefeated

Jeff Bezos Says Helping the Neediest Now May Be Where His Philanthropy Goes


Jeff Bezos, one of the world’s wealthiest business leaders, hasn’t given big sums to charities yet, but he signaled today that he is ready to do so — and made clear that he is more interested in giving money to charities that directly help people in desperation than in building institutions that will last for generations.

The announcement came in an unusual way: The Amazon founder posted a tweet soliciting advice on where to concentrate his philanthropy. Mr. Bezos’s open-source call for ideas did not provide clues to how much he will eventually donate or when, but he asked what people thought about the value of helping people who are currently in need.

Continue reading this article on The Chronicle of Philanthropy .

Perfecting Your Pitch for Social Impact Investing and Nonprofit Funding

A persuasive and compelling pitch—when entrepreneurs present their ideas to prospective investors—is necessary to propel most businesses. For social enterprises, in particular, it is the ticket to receiving impact investment and nonprofit grants. At most competitions, a typical pitch lasts only a few minutes, but perfecting it takes hours of crafting, editing, practicing, and fine-tuning. Like the social impact ecosystem itself, pitching requires feedback and support from all parties involved. Read on for steps on how to prepare and deliver a pitch, including advice from our own Fellowship program portfolio managers.

Read the rest of the article on Echoing Green’s website .

Photo credit: Echoing Green

Life Insurance- One of the Best Tools to Multiply Your Philanthropy


Charity is a virtue in most religions and philosophies. Giving money or other assets to worthy causes is something that tens of millions of people participate in every single year. Whether the donations are big or small, people willingly donate their hard-earned wealth to causes as diverse as education, health-care, clean drinking water, animal welfare, scientific discovery, and food security. They do it because they believe in those causes, and know that the achievement of noble ends takes money: now, what if there were an easy way to multiply that money, and leave a gift potentially many times greater than what an individual good give through conventional means?

One excellent option to achieve such multiplication, or, leverage, is through the purchase of whole life insurance. While life insurance is normally thought of, and holds the primary role of, providing security for one’s family in the event of a breadwinner’s death, whole life insurance can also be used as a tax efficient, leveraged, and tax-deductible means of charitable wealth transfer.

A brief disclaimer, first: check the local tax code and other relevant laws before acting on any of this information. With that out of the way, how does philanthropic life insurance work?

First, select the organization you wish to make a gift to. Decide how much money you want to give: you can think of this on a monthly, annual, or single lump sum basis.

Next purchase a whole life insurance policy, at a premium (price) equal to that monthly, annual, or lump sum donation. Whole life policies, a form of permanent coverage, are designed to guarantee coverage for the insured’s entire life span. (Technically, most policies phase out at age 100 or 121, at which point the death benefit is returned to the living insured.) Once you’re approved health-wise for the coverage, you’ll know exactly how much your donation, in the form of that premium, is leveraged, meaning: what death benefit, certain to be higher than whatever you’ve paid in premium, will your selected beneficiary or beneficiaries receive upon your death?

Life insurance essentially allows you to pay a little bit of your money, in order to receive, or donate, a much larger chunk of the insurance company’s money. You’re buying dollars for pennies. The effectiveness of the leverage will depend on factors such as your age, sex, health, and tobacco status, but here are a few hypothetical (though realistic examples):

  • For a lump sum premium of $68,000, a 35 year old man could leave a death benefit upwards of $250,000.
  • A 65 year old woman paying a $100,000 lump sum in premium could leave at least $163,000 to the charity of her choice.
  • For the annual premium of $1,600, a 40 year old man could leave $100,000+ to his chosen organization.

The money you actually pay gets multiplied. Make sense?

Another feature of whole life policies is that as you pay premiums, they not only guarantee a minimum death benefit (also known as face amount) for the beneficiary of your choice, but they also accumulate a cash value. This cash value grows based on either market returns (similar to mutual funds), or at a fixed interest rate, depending on the specific product. That growth enlarges the death benefit, and, a portion of it is accessible to the owner of the policy, while the insured still lives.

So, once you have your chosen organization set as a beneficiary, you know how much you’re paying in premium, you know how much that beneficiary will receive upon your death, you’ve qualified for the coverage, and you have at least a rough idea of how that pre-death accessible cash value will grow, what next?

Donate the policy itself to the charitable organization. They’ll have access to the accumulating cash value for their operations, meaning you can see at least some of the results of your philanthropy. You’ll receive a charitable tax deduction for all premiums paid. And, upon your death, the organization will receive a much larger, leveraged, and completely tax-free sum of money. (Again, check laws where you live, but there’s little to no restriction on this across the United States.)

To sum up: if you’re donating money to a worthy cause, whole life insurance is a wonderful option to help you multiply that money, while retaining all the same tax advantages of conventional forms of philanthropy. Life insurance is much more than just insurance: it’s also a highly effective wealth transfer tool.

By: Geoffrey Wilson

Grant Alert: Asian Women Giving Circle Grants


Founded in 2005, the Asian Women Giving Circle is a collaboration of Asian American women in New York City who are passionate about amplifying the transformative power of the arts and culture to bring about progressive change. The circle promotes grassroots philanthropy by pooling resources to fund projects led by Asian American women who use their creativity to move hearts, minds, and communities to reject fear, bias, and injustice.

To that end, AWGC will award grants of up to $15,000 to Asian American women-led organizations and individual artists in New York City who are using arts and culture to bring about progressive social change; raise awareness and catalyze action around critical issues that affect Asian American women, girls, and families; and highlight and promote the central role of women as leaders, creators, developers, and managers of these projects. All artistic disciplines, including cross-disciplinary work, will be considered. Projects must incorporate the arts in an integral way and highlight women’s leadership and/or central role. In addition, projects must demonstrate a deep commitment to a specific community in New York City.

The program is open to nonprofit organizations and individual artists. Artists and collectives that are not certified as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations must apply with a fiscal sponsor.

See the AWGC website for complete program guidelines, information about previously funded projects, and application instructions.

Deadline: March 17, 2017

Grant Alert: Ben & Jerry’s Grassroots Grants


Grant description from the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation website:

The Grassroots Organizing for Social Change Program offers general or project support to non-profit organizations throughout the United States and is our most competitive grant program.

We make one-year grants for up to $25,000, to organizations with budgets under $500,000. Only organizations with 501(c)3 status, or who have a fiscal agent with this status are eligible to apply.

While our broad goals are to further social and environmental justice and support sustainable and just food systems, we focus on the types of activities and strategies an organization uses for creating social change rather than on the specific issues the organization is addressing.

Deadline: April 14th, 2017

Visit the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation website for more information