Category Archives: COMMUNITY


Oxford University will use a record donation to abolish the tuition fee increase for its poorest students – keeping fees at £3,500 per year.

In a bid to remove financial barriers, eligible students will also receive funding for all their living costs. With matched funding, a £75m donation from Michael Moritz and his wife Harriet Heyman is set to rise to £300m. This is being claimed as the biggest such financial support package in European university history.

At the launch of the scholarships, Oxford’s vice-chancellor, Andrew Hamilton, spoke of the importance of “ensuring that all barriers – real or perceived – are removed from students’ choices”.

University self-supporting

Mr Moritz, chairman of the US-based venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital, spoke of his own family’s debt to benefactors, when they had been refugees from Nazi Germany.

“I would not be here today were it not for the generosity of strangers,” said Mr Moritz.

From his business experience in the US, he said many of the great innovators were from “the most unlikely and impossible circumstances”. But their progress had been made possible by university scholarships- and he wanted to support such opportunities.

The financial package will be worth about £11,000 per student per year – and will be available for students from families with an income below £16,000 per year.

This will continue in perpetuity – using the investment income from the donation – in a way similar to the endowments that underpin the finances of major US universities. It also marks a UK university taking a greater step towards self-funding some students – and loosening its students’ reliance on the state-funded student finance system.

Under the scholarship scheme, students will only have to borrow the £3,500 per year, rather than the £9,000 which will be charged from this autumn.

Professor Hamilton spoke of his concern about the deterrent effect of the debts facing students, when fees are £9,000 per year. Charlotte Anderson, currently studying German at the university, said she was the first person in her family to go to university – and that debt had been a major cultural obstacle for her family.

“All they saw was a huge debt – and the stress attached to that… they couldn’t see beyond it.”

She said that attending a summer school made her change her mind about seeing Oxford as a credible option.

Reaching out

Jo Dibb, head teacher of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School in north London, said that poorer parents were often “desperate to support their children” – but couldn’t support their children as easily as better-off families and were afraid of getting into debt. She said the scholarships could help “the brightest young people who slip away now”. Mr Moritz, who went to school in Cardiff and attended Oxford in the 1970s, said that for families with £16,000 per year, the level of student debt represented a “terrifying figure”.

About one in 10 of Oxford’s students are from families with an income below this threshold – and the first wave of scholarships will be awarded this autumn. The intention is that within three years half of all eligible students will receive this support package – with the later aim of rolling it out to all students from such low-income families.

Earlier this week, the university admissions service, Ucas, published figures showing that applications had fallen by 8.9%, raising concerns that potential students were being deterred by the increase in fees.

Last week, the Office for Fair Access published a report showing that universities were switching more of their funding into outreach projects, such as summer schools. The fair access watchdog also produced figures comparing the proportion of students eligible for full state support – with Oxford having among the lowest levels of such poorer students.

The university has been investing heavily to attract students from a wider range of social backgrounds, putting £2.5m into outreach and £6.6m on bursaries. Oxford’s latest announcement of such a large-scale scholarship programme will raise comparisons with leading US universities. The income from endowments allows them to offer places to the most talented, regardless of income or nationality, with means-testing then determining any level of fee.

The biggest source of Harvard’s operating income is its endowments, worth £24bn at present. Fees provide only about a fifth of its operating costs.

Oxford’s biggest source of income is external research, accounting for two-fifths of income. Professor Hamilton said the challenge for UK universities facing budget pressures was to diversify their incomes – including encouraging such philanthropy as the donation from Mr Moritz and Ms Heyman.

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Today, in advance of the Fourth of July holiday, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, launched the first of its kind Veteran Support Fund, a groundbreaking new initiative that challenges Americans to raise $30 million in support for critical nonprofit programs and resources benefitting Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families. TheVeteran Support Fund, pioneered by entrepreneurs and philanthropists Philip D. Green and his wife Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, Glenn and Laurie Garland, and Jim and Patty Stimmel, establishes a centralized platform where Americans can support and donate to a consortium of effective and trusted best-in-class veterans’ organizations including IAVA, Operation Mend, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), Operation Homefront and the National Military Family Association.

“Ten years ago, someone else’s sons and daughters went to war. I was able to sleep at night dreaming of my kid’s medical school graduation while another parent was up all night worrying about whether their child would survive on patrol in Iraq or Afghanistan. As parents, my wife and I want to ensure that the sacrifices of these veterans and their families do not go unnoticed. Our family and children have enjoyed tremendous freedoms and success because these men and women put on the uniform—and they deserve more than a handshake when they get home,” said Philip D. Green, Co-Founder of The Veteran Support Fund and President of PDG Consulting. “Yet, our society does not do nearly enough to support them in return. Starting this innovative Veteran Support Fund is our attempt to level the playing field for new veterans and their families. All Americans, especially civilians, owe it to our veterans to make a financial sacrifice commensurate with the sacrifices that they have carried for our nation. My wife and I want to do everything in our capacity to turn the tide on giving to veterans and start a nationwide movement of Americans who can and will give back to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans because we owe them nothing less.”

“Supporting veterans isn’t charity, it’s an absolute necessity and an investment in our country’s future. After ten years of war, our nation’s military families are strained, nonprofit services are maxed out and our veterans’ community is severely under-resourced. We are at a watershed moment in the history of these wars and theVeteran Support Fund is the game-changer we need to transform support and resources at home,” said IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff. “As the war winds down in Afghanistan, we need a strong foundation of trusted, best-in-class nonprofit organizations working together to deliver diverse and critical resources across our community. Through their generous commitments, the Green, Garland and Stimmel families are stepping up to meet this challenge. They have challenged other Americans to follow their lead. IAVA and our partners are indebted to these Founders of the Veteran Support Fund for their inspiration, drive and support. Together, we will transform hundreds of thousands of veterans’ lives forever.”

The Founders

The Veteran Support Fund is the groundbreaking initiative of three generous and visionary families led by entrepreneurs and philanthropists Philip D. Green and his wife Dr. Elizabeth Cobbs, Glenn and Laurie Garland, and Jim and Patty Stimmel. As parents, whose children never served in uniform, they are determined to rally American families, foundations and corporations nationwide to impact and transform the lives of the 2.4 million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Their initial founding gifts totaling $1.1 million to launch the Veteran Support Fund are made possible in part by Geisinger Health System, the Mission Health System in Asheville North Carolina and Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. To learn more about the Founders of the Veteran Support Fund and their mission, visit

The Partners

The Veteran Support Fund currently consists of five partner organizations that touch the lives of veterans and their families in a tailored, critical way, ranging from offering free cutting-edge reconstructive surgery for wounded veterans to supporting the children and families of our fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan. All partners have 501(c)(3) status with critical missions, strong financial health, seasoned leaders, broad national impact and scalable models, and a high percentage of expenses strictly devoted to programming. The five partner organizations include:

  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) provides core health, education, employment and community programs to build an empowered generation of veteran leaders for our country and their local communities.
  • Operation Mend provides lifelong medical support to a limited number of critically injured Iraq and Afghanistan active and retiring service members and veterans.
  • Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) provides ongoing emotional help, hope, and healing to all who are grieving the death of a loved one in military service to America.
  • Operation Homefront provides emergency financial aid and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.
  • National Military Family Association (NMFA) fights for benefits and programs that strengthen and protect uniformed services families and reflect the Nation’s respect for their service.

The Veteran Support Fund encourages all Americans, especially civilians, to repay the special debt of gratitude we owe to veterans and their families. The Fund accepts all gifts regardless of amount from individuals, corporations, and foundations both public and private. To learn more about the Veteran Support Fund, visit

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On June 27, the Case Foundation was pleased to join our fellow leadership committee members at the White House along with other corporate, government, and nonprofit leaders who are creating social change through skills-based volunteerism. We were part of a celebration and a challenge issued by A Billion + Change, a national campaign to mobilize billions of dollars of pro bono and skills-based volunteer services from the business community to nonprofits.

More than half of the 200 companies that have pledged to create or expand skills-based volunteering programs joined us to talk about how far corporations have come in the past 10 years or so in enabling their employees to donate their skills, and not just their time, to nonprofits. We talked about not only the benefits to companies’ nonprofit partners, but also to their employees and to their bottom line.

Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama and the Chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls, opened the forum and said that companies participating in A Billion + Change were a model for others driving positive social change around the world. Her comments were echoed later in the day by Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and by Billion + Change Honorary Chairman Senator Mark Warner, who said that at a time when nonprofits are facing decreased revenues and more work, pro bono from corporations is increasingly vital.

The sentiments from leaders in the public sector were matched by those in the private sector. Our CEO Jean Case led a panel with leaders from Deloitte, the Ritz-Carlton, Capital One, COTTON7, and Golin Harris to talk about the business benefits of supporting employee pro bono. Across the board, each of the panelists said that his employees and his company received at least as much value from nonprofit partners as was provided. Pro bono was characterized as a win-win-win proposition for companies, employees, and nonprofits.

We have come a long way since Jean Case helped to start A Billion + Change in 2008 when she was a member of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. So far, we are proud to announce that more than 200 companies have pledged over $1.8 billion and nearly 12 million hours worth of time and talent to nonprofits.

But, we still have a way to go to reach our goal. We are seeking a total of 500 companies willing to pledge their best business skills and talents to build the capacity of nonprofits at home and around the world. Together, we will inspire the largest commitment of corporate pro bono service in history so that one day, skills-based volunteering will be the ‘new normal’ in every workplace.

To join us in the pro bono movement, visit and make a pledge.

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Two Hartford Healthcare units – the Institute of Living and the Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center — have received major grants.

The Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital received a $4.4 million donation from an anonymous donor to help fund the Olmsted landscape rehabilitation project.

The donor was a patient at the Institute of Living during the 1940’s. She was treated at the Institute of Living with insulin shock treatment after suffering from a severe breakdown. Her family recalls her saying that the Institute of Living, “Gave her back her life.”

Some of the donation will be used to fund the Olmsted landscape rehabilitation project. Numerous trees on the grounds of The Institute of Living represent rare or unusually large species. Many of the trees on the grounds are thought to date back to the 1860’s. The funding will be used to replace damaged or deceased trees along the tree walk.

Frederick Law Olmsted, one of America’s famous landscape architects, designed the grounds of The Institute in 1861. The design was executed by Olmsted and his protégé, Jacob Weidenmann. Frederick Law Olmsted was a 19th century visionary and pioneer conservationist who founded the profession of landscape and architect in America. Some of his other designs include Central Park in New York City, the Boston Park System, and the U.S. Capitol Grounds in Washington, D.C.

At a recent tree planting ceremony, the last of the 17 new specimen trees was planted in an effort to restore the grounds of the Institute of Living to their historic magnificence. The Institute of Living was founded in 1822 and was one of the first mental health centers in the United States.

Meanwhile, Hartford Hospital’s Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center was again selected as part of network of community cancer centers under the umbrella of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Helen & Harry Gray Cancer Center, a member of the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program since it began in 2007, has been awarded approximately $500,000 annually to fund participation in the network for the next two years. The Hartford center is the only facility in New England to be part of the national network.

The NCCCP is a collaborative network of community hospitals working to expand cancer research, enhance access to cancer care and improve the quality of care for cancer patients served by community hospitals with an emphasis on underserved populations.

Leadership Greater Hartford endowment

To mark its 35th anniversary, Leadership Greater Hartford has established an endowment fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

Grants from the fund will be used by Leadership Greater Hartford to support its mission to develop, connect and inspire diverse leaders to build strong and vibrant communities throughout Greater Hartford. This is accomplished through programs that provide experiential learning through workshops, tours and hands-on team projects. Leadership Greater Hartford brings together and trains a diverse array of community-minded individuals, representing all ages, socioeconomic levels, home towns, and occupations.

“The endowment fund will ensure that Leadership Greater Hartford is able to sustain our 35-year history of building leaders while building community” said Ted Carroll, president of Leadership Greater Hartford.

Nancy Bernstein of West Hartford is serving as the establishing donor of this new endowment. Bernstein has served on Leadership Greater Hartford’s Board of Directors, currently serves on its Legacy Advisors committee and is the president and CEO of Women’s Health Connecticut in Avon.

She said, “In 2002, when I was first introduced to Leadership Greater Hartford’s Quest program, I realized the positive impact it had on me as well as my company’s role in the community. To help secure its future is an honor for me and critically important for the Greater Hartford region.”

Founded in 1977 with support from the Hartford Foundation, Leadership Greater Hartford was originally developed by the Greater Hartford Chamber of Commerce as a year-long program to provide leaders and emerging leaders with skills and knowledge needed to be effective in a changing world.

HEDCO gets $10,000

The People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, has awarded a $10,000 grant to HEDCO Inc. in Hartford.

HEDCO helps to stimulate economic development by collaborating with public and private organizations to help start, finance, retain and recruit small businesses in all of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns. The funding from People’s United Community Foundation will support the statewide expansion of HEDCO’s small business development services.

“The funding from People’s United Community Foundation will help us implement our new technology plan,” stated Samuel Hamilton, chief executive officer of HEDCO. “Our new, interactive web site will make HEDCO’s financial and technical assistance more accessible and convenient to small businesses across Connecticut.”

In brief

Mike D’Antoni, coach of the men’s Olympic basketball team and the New York Knicks, has donated over $20,000 worth of business suits and professional attire to the Save a Suit Foundation in Shelton. The nonprofit organization provides business suits and clothing to military veterans and soon-to-be college graduates… Cumberland Farms’ six-month-long Pediatric Care Campaign is nearing the finish line in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Participating Cumberland Farms stores will donate five cents per cup from its Chill Zone sales throughout July to benefit Connecticut Children’s Medical Center… The TD Charitable Foundation is accepting nominations from homeless shelter and transitional housing programs. The foundation will select 25 programs across the bank’s East Coast footprint to receive $100,000 grants. The award of $2.5 million represents the foundation’s seventh annual “Housing for Everyone” grant competition.

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Goodrich Foundation has awarded Workshop for Warriors (WfW) in San Diego, Calif. $100,000 to support its program that provides job training and skill certification to U.S. veterans at no cost to students. WfW provides training in welding, milling and machining for wounded, homeless veterans and service men and women about to transition out of active duty into civilian life. Thousands of veterans are expected to end their military careers over the next several months as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down.

“One area of our giving focus at Goodrich is to honor the men and women who serve their country in the armed forces,” said Marc Duvall, president of Goodrich’s Aerostructures business. “Enabling Workshops for Warriors to provide much-needed job training to veterans one of the best ways that we as a company can tell our veterans, ‘Thank you for your service.'”

Many returning veterans will come through San Diego on their way back to their hometowns, making Workshops for Warriors ideally located to assist them with their career transitions. In addition to helping veterans establish careers in an extremely tight job market, the program also benefits the country.

“America is hungry for manufacturing employees; there are more than two million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. right now,” Hernan Luis y Prado, president Workshops for Warriors said. “Hiring our graduates is a win-win for this country and the people who served it. We want to be a major driver for retraining the world’s greatest fighting force into the world’s most modern manufacturing force.”

Last month, Luis y Prado was recognized as a “Champion of Change” for establishing Workshops for Warriors and his dedication to helping members of the armed forces.

The Goodrich Foundation grant will be used to hire additional instructors in order to increase the number of graduates from Workshops for Warriors. The organization currently has a 100 percent job placement rate for its students.

This is the second Goodrich Foundation grant for the organization. In late 2011, WfW received a $25,000 grant to help it establish its curriculum. In addition, Goodrich Aerostructures business in Chula Vista, Calif., has donated nearly $1 million in equipment and materials to help WfW build out its class offerings. Additional information on the Workshops for Warriors can be found at


Goodrich Foundation is the charitable arm of Goodrich Corporation. The Foundation provides support to selected charitable institutions in Goodrich’s United States headquarters and plant communities.

Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace and defense industry. With one of the most strategically diversified portfolios of products in the industry, Goodrich serves a global customer base with significant worldwide manufacturing and service facilities. For more information visit .

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*NOTE: This is a post by Dr. Peter Long, the president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation from the RE:Philanthropy blog.

A lot can happen in a year. Twelve months ago, Osama bin Laden was the most wanted man in the world and “occupy” was just a word, not a movement.  During the next year, one million men and women will leave the active duty military service and return to civilian life with their family and friends across America.  They will become part of the two million men and women who have served the nation over the past decade of war.

Earlier this month, the Council on Foundations convened a small group of our foundation colleagues, federal officials, and nonprofit leaders to discuss how philanthropy can help those individuals rejoin their communities.

The good news is that a number of key elements for success are already in place. Most Americans have good will for military families and a strong desire to provide support. Through Joining Forces, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden have attempted to bridge the gap between an all-volunteer military and the civilian population. The Veteran’s Administration, Department of Defense, and Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are aware of the looming challenges and committed to adapting to meet the unique needs of this generation of warriors. An impressive array of national and local nonprofits has also developed blueprints and toolkits at the community, family, and individual levels. To date, a handful of foundations have invested in military families, but it is not enough given the tremendous sacrifices they’ve made and the significant levels of unmet need and untapped potential that remain.

Despite the growing interest in offering help, there is a sense that we are not meeting veterans’ needs or unlocking their full potential.  Promising efforts are limited because they are siloed, and responses are colored by different perspectives on the problem and target population.  Who should serve military families: the federal government or the communities where they live? Where should services focus: on service member’s physical and mental health, or on tapping the exquisite training and civic engagement of these families as community leaders?

Foundations can play an important role in supporting this emerging and vital national conversation. To do that, we need national leadership in the philanthropic sector to reconcile these different perspectives into a coherent framework, convene key stakeholders, and share promising practices and useful tools within the field.  Once that framework is in place, nearly every foundation can identify concrete ways to support military families while maintaining their organizational mission and priorities. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with our foundation colleagues, federal officials, the private sector, and civil society about how to support service members and their families who have served our nation over the past decade so that they—and we—achieve our full potential.

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Hilton Worldwide announced a $3 million, three-year partnership today with the International Youth Foundation (IYF), a global organization that realizes the power and promise of young people and since its founding in 1990 has prepared nearly 16 million young people to learn, work and lead. Additionally, Hilton Worldwide’s President and CEO, Christopher J. Nassetta, is joining the IYF board.

Designed to connect Hilton Worldwide’s aggressive expansion with its commitment to growing its global workforce, the partnership with IYF expands Hilton Worldwide’s promise to Travel with Purpose – the company’s corporate responsibility strategy which creates opportunities for global youth by providing them with first-hand access to education, training and career paths within the hospitality industry.

“The hospitality industry is a great place for young people to learn new skills and build a lasting career,” said Mr. Nassetta. “There are countless stories of hospitality leaders like myself who first got a taste of the industry at a young age. During college, I worked in the engineering department of a hotel where I received on-the-job training in property operations. My experience, and the wonderful people I met along the way, inspired me to pursue a career in hospitality, and through our partnership with IYF we hope to pass this inspiration to future generations who will support the long-term success of our company and the industry.”

As an IYF board member, and through Hilton Worldwide brand and regional initiatives, Nassetta will contribute to efforts that address the economic challenges associated with the staggering growth in the youth population – referred to by experts as the “youth bulge.” In many countries, youth unemployment is two-to-three times that of the rate for adults, resulting in an estimated 100 million young people in need of work worldwide.

“The International Youth Foundation is thrilled to partner with Hilton Worldwide to help expand life and work opportunities for youth across the globe – transforming the ‘youth bulge’ into a ‘youth bonus,’” said William S. Reese, the IYF President and CEO. “We are particularly pleased that a global leader in the travel and tourism industry, the world’s largest provider of jobs, is tapping the expertise and dedication of its vast workforce to reach out to local youth and help them realize their fullest potential as engaged and productive citizens.”

Hilton Worldwide will leverage its expansive network of properties – more than 3,800 hotels across 91 countries – to further strengthen IYF’s reach. Working with IYF, Hilton Worldwide will develop numerous programs that tap youth into the “ladder of success” model that has already transformed the future for countless Hilton Worldwide team members and industry leaders alike. Together, the partners will draw on their deep involvement in communities around the world to provide opportunities for future employment and life skills training to youth in developing regions. Hilton Worldwide will join IYF’s global network of more than 200 partners in 68 countries. Through its partner organizations, IYF has directly invested more than US$178 million in youth initiatives.

In 2011, Hilton Worldwide launched Travel with Purpose, its commitment to providing shared value to its business and communities around the world. Travel with Purpose is built on four areas of focus – creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening communities where we operate; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainably through the measurement, analysis and improvement of our use of natural resources.

For more information about Hilton Worldwide’s partnership with the International Youth Foundation, please visit

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