Plus, local students make JaxThrive. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

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  May 2022
As I was preparing for May's edition of Giving Forward, I thought of all the things we normally associate with May: Mother's Day, college graduations and Memorial Day, for starters. Sadly, two years ago, we added George Floyd's murder to our list of memorable days in May. And last week, we added the fresh tragedy in Buffalo and the outrage that comes with it.

As 904WARD so aptly asked after the Buffalo massacre, 'What have (we) done to be a deliberate part of the solution?' I'd like to share some of The Community Foundation's efforts made since our last update a year ago.

Our Work
  • We directed $115,000 in discretionary grants to support racial equity.
  • We continued our key strategic initiative of supporting neighborhoods, with strong investments in Eastside, North Riverside and Northwest Jacksonville.
  • 904WARD has leveraged the 70-year retrospective of local data and research about race relations that we commissioned and donated to them into periodic releases to highlight areas of concern in Jacksonville.
  • We are deepening our investment in criminal justice reform to address practices that negatively affect people of color.
  • The A.L. Lewis Black Opportunity & Impact Fund has been created and is housed here; it's a collective giving effort created by Black philanthropists who have pledged to work together to advance equity and justice by making strategic investments in Jacksonville’s Black community.

    Continue reading...
This list is not exhaustive nor is it finished. Our promise has been to listen and to press for solutions that have the potential to usher in a new era of equity in our community. We continue to do both and to welcome you to join us in this work.
The Broad Impact of the Emerald Trail
As the long-awaited Emerald Trail begins to take shape, how will it impact our community? Members of the Donors Forum were treated to a wide-ranging conversation on the recreation, health, neighborhood enhancement and business attraction benefits this 30 mile long 'jewel' will bring upon completion. Afterwards, funders boarded open-air vehicles for a tour of the first leg of the Emerald Trail. Click here for a recap of the highlights, or listen to the entire presentation from Kay Ehas, CEO of Groundwork Jacksonville, and a panel of local champions of the Emerald Trail.
WGA Makes Record-Setting Grants Distribution
The Women's Giving Alliance, an initiative of The Community Foundation, voted to make $660,000 in grants to support women and girls at its Member Forum last week. The grants distribution was the largest in WGA's 20 year history. Read more here.
Support for Buffalo
Our colleagues in Buffalo, NY are leading the philanthropic response to the terrible shooting at the Tops market. The Buffalo Community Foundation has two funds to help their community: the Buffalo 5/14 Survivors Fund will provide direct financial assistance to the survivors of the deceased and those directly affected by the tragedy. And the Buffalo Together Community Response Fund will work to address immediate needs in the community, long-term community rebuilding and systemic issues that have marginalized communities of color. Learn more here.
Grantee Spotlight: JaxTHRIVE
Small, grassroots organizations can make a big difference. JaxTHRIVE is doing just that – it's a student-led nonprofit organization that tutors and mentors refugee students. JaxTHRIVE Clubs are active at Ponte Vedra High School, The Bolles School and Stanton College Preparatory with nearly 200 student volunteers working to enrich the experiences of refugee youth now in North Florida. A grant for $1,000 from our Small Organizations grants pool provided the student volunteers with tools to enhance the tutoring, life skills, mentoring and friendship they offer to than 30 refugee students at their weekly Saturday sessions. They are also hoping to spread the word to more JaxTHRIVE clubs in other schools and communities. Learn more about our small organization grants process, which will begin again early next year.
Nonprofits are Struggling with Inflation
Our Program team, led by Vice President Kathleen Shaw, hears daily from nonprofit organizations who are struggling with current economic conditions. The primary stressors they cite are wage increases leading to high turnover rates as their employees seek higher paying jobs. These workers are grappling with record inflation and are trying to keep their families afloat. Added to the nonprofit leaders' worries are the direct costs of inflation on their organizations—gas for vehicles, food, and insurance to name a few.

Vu Le, an active voice in the national nonprofit community, has some thoughts...

Here's an excerpt from an article in his newsletter, Nonprofit AF:

Overall, inflation is going to be a serious problem in our sector this year and probably for several years to come. Unfortunately, during times of increased economic challenges, many funders cut down on their giving in order to protect their endowments for the future, saving for a rainy day while ignoring the current monsoon. As wealth and investment advisors start encouraging foundations and donors to do just that, I am imploring foundations to not listen to these voices.

In fact, even maintaining the same level of giving is not enough. With inflation, the value of money decreases, so you're actually giving less than you committed. If your foundation committed to giving a grant of $100,000, for example, you're really only giving about $92,000 when inflation is factored in. To counter for this, you need to give an additional 8% or more to whatever you're currently giving. A grant of $100,000 should be $108,000. These additional funds will make a significant difference for many nonprofits, their staff, and the people they serve.
Investing for the Long Term
The first several months of 2022 have tested investors resolve as fierce headwinds arrived. We are navigating a confluence of risks that we are all keenly aware of - war, global supply chain disruptions, pandemic-related shutdowns, rising interest rates, and record high inflation. What keeps the Foundation grounded is our pursuit of meaningful diversification, plus reliance on in-depth, patient, fundamental analysis that considers price, quality and valuation of our investments. We are unwavering in this approach as it has led to long term performance that protects our grantmaking ability in perpetuity. With 10-year annualized returns of 9.2% as of 12/31/2021, available for grantmaking from endowments has grown on average 2.3% annually. This growth is our north star.

Looking ahead
This market reminds us of the need to be both vigilant and patient. While it is not always easy and can be stressful, market prices eventually return to fair market value, and we look to our consultants to bring us opportunities that strengthen our long term results. Additionally, as the Foundation grows, our toolbox grows. Our Social Impact Pool has grown to $85M, our Local Capital Pool is seeded with $7M and we are on the cusp of making our first below-market rate local investments, plus we have 23 custom managed pools with donor-suggested advisors. All of this work of course overseen by an experienced and dedicated Investment Committee. Know that we never lose sight of the fact we are stewarding our Donors' philanthropic funds and the Foundation as our 'community's asset'.

For additional detail, go to our website at

Grace Sacerdote, CPA
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, The Community Foundation
Congratulations to Trustees Richard L. Sisisky and Julia Taylor who were each recently honored. Richard received the Thompson S. Baker Award for community leadership from Junior Achievement of North Florida at its annual Hall of Fame event. And Julia Taylor was honored as an outstanding community leader by Leadership Jacksonville at its Celebration 2022 event. Congratulations to both for the well-deserved recognition!
The Honorable Brian J. Davis, 2022 chair of the Board of Trustees, addresses current and past trustees during the recent gathering.
Foundation Trustees Gather to Celebrate
More than 50 current and former Trustees gathered recently to thank Martha Frye Baker, 2020-2021 Chair of the Board, and retiring trustees Ryan A. Schwartz and Dori Walton. Because this event was not held in 2021, new Board members for the last two years were introduced: Carol Alexander & Velma Monteiro-Tribble (2021) and Lauren Rueger & Halsey Wise (2022.) Attendees also got an update on Foundation activities as Martha and Nina Waters presented 'Looking Back, Looking Forward.' A few photos from the event can be viewed here.
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