|July 11, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Elderly, Health, Policy, Research|
The number of senior citizens considered food insecure increased by 49 percent between 2007 and 2012 according to a study from The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). Using the Three Core Food Security Module to measure risk, study authors Dr. James P. Ziliak of the University of Kentucky and Dr. Craig G. Gundersen of the University of Illinois found that over 9 million American senior citizens were food insecure, and threat of hunger rates for all senior groups (ages 60 to 69, 70 to 79, and 80+) were higher in 2012 than 2007, even though the recession had ended. The majority of seniors facing threat of hunger due to food insecurity were white with incomes above the poverty line, but both African American and Hispanic seniors were at a higher risk of hunger than whites. Over one-third (35%) had at least one grandchild living with them.
The State of Senior Hunger in America 2012: An Annual Report also ranks states by senior hunger threat, with Arkansas (25.44), Louisiana (23.56), and Mississippi (22.67) having the highest rates in the nation. In 2012, Pennsylvania had a rate of 12.93, down approximately 15 percent from 2011. The NFESH has numerous reports on the threat and consequences of senior hunger at their website.
Food insecurity among seniors may be related to income, neighborhood safety and walkability, and individual physical and mental health, but regardless of the reasons why, the consequences are poor health and a deficit of needed nutrients. As the Baby Boomers age, it’s likely that we will hear more about senior hunger as a top public health issue.
Photo Credit: M. Puzzanchera (Own Work) (CC By-NC-ND 3.0)
|June 27, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Management, News, Philanthropy|
Recent high-profile hirings and movements to tweak what philanthropy “looks like” aside, new data indicate that an emerging trend in grantmaking is the decline of Black professionals within the field. The Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) and members of the Black Philanthropic Network teamed up to take a deeper look at why Black professionals were leaving the philanthropic arena, where they ended up and what organizations could do to address this recent pattern.
Main findings from the report, The Exit Interview: Perceptions on Why Black Professionals leave Grant making Institutions:
- 72 percent of respondents (the majority of whom had been or currently were in a leadership position at a grantmaking organization) believed that leadership roles for Black professionals were not substantial within philanthropy
- 22 percent stated they were “pushed out” of their recent position in philanthropy
- 48 percent agreed or strongly agreed that employment outside of a philanthropic institution allowed for more on-the-ground work and contact with the community, another 32% agreed somewhat
- Over 60 percent of respondents left philanthropy for employment with a nonprofit organization
Additional study findings, perspectives from former foundation professionals, a look a regional differences in urban philanthropy (including Pittsburgh) and recommendations regarding organizational leadership, accountability and professional growth in the complete report at the ABFE website.
|June 17, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Management, News, Philanthropy|
The Great Recession did a number on charitable contributions, with the rate of total giving dropping over 13 percent (combined) during 2008 and 2009. Although charitable giving has yet to return to pre-recession levels, new data indicate that it may not take long to reach that mark.
Estimates recently released by the Giving USA Foundation and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy suggest that individual giving played a significant role in the 4.4 percent increase in overall giving in 2013. Corporate giving declined by 2 percent last year, while foundation giving increased by over 5.5 percent. Individual giving increased almost 4.5 percent and made up the largest portion of contributions. The report, Giving USA 2014: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2013, is available on the Giving USA website.
The Foundation Center has posted a preview of their Key Facts of U.S. Foundations 2014 report that gives an optimistic view of giving trends, even while noting that 11,000 more foundations were included in the upcoming report than in 2008, including some created by pharmaceutical companies specifically to distribute product. Also, though foundation giving appears to have increased in 2013, it must keep ahead of inflation rates to be meaningful. Still, based on the strong stock market, replenished endowments, and positive trends in individual giving, the forecast for foundation giving looks to be one of steady growth.
|May 31, 2014||Posted by M. P. under Education, Youth Development|
Motivational sound bites like “Dream it, do it” and “No excuses” are more appropriate on the wall of a fitness club then as explanations of the character traits lacking in those who appear to just give up. It is understandable that there isn’t much sympathy for youth who leave school, after all it is by their own choice, and one may wonder, how much more difficult is high school compared to the real world? Dropout rates have been trending downward for decades, (7 percent in 2011, down from 12 percent in 1990), but the negative outcomes associated with not finishing high school are severe, including a higher risk for health problems, the inability to compete for jobs, a higher likelihood of criminal activity, and life-long poverty. That list is not exactly an enticement to quit school.
To get a better understanding of why students leave high school, a national study was conducted by The Center for Promise at Tufts University. Based on interviews and surveys, the findings provide us with the personal stories behind absenteeism and/or class failure – considered the main predictors of dropping out along with behavioral problems. Some of the conclusions from the report, Don’t Call them Dropouts:
- There is not one factor that causes a student to stop attending school. It is almost always a “cluster” of situations and events, including homelessness, an incarcerated or ill parent, and a high rate of change regarding the child or family’s residence. These concerns often make school a lower priority.
- Make it easier to stay in school (or return) than to leave. School district policies and procedures may make dropping out the most logical, and certainly the easiest, choice.
- Support for students facing problems at home, and in some cases in negative or dangerous school environments is helpful, but the need for family, church and community members to step up to guide these youth through personal crises is critical. These young people display outstanding coping skills on a daily basis, but need assistance to persevere with longer-term goals such as returning to school.
Multimedia resources and the complete report – including findings and recommendations – are available at GradNation.org.
Photo Credit: M. Puzzanchera (Own Work) (CC By-NC-ND 3.0)