Our new Grantee Profile focuses on Hospice of Wake County, a top-notch “hospice home” and community services building: Similar to most western nations, the United States is expected to see a significant increase in its older adult population in the coming decades. With that fact of life comes a bevy of needed services. One of those is compassionate end-of-life care. In Hospice of Wake County, North Carolina’s capital city of Raleigh is blessed to have a top-notch “hospice home” and community services building. Nestled in the middle of an idyllic sheep farm in west Raleigh, Hospice offers comfort, peace, and hope to individuals and families facing life-ending illnesses. The need is significant. The older adult population in Wake County is expected to double by 2025, outpacing growth in the general population. In recent years, that growing need has led to major growth at Hospice of Wake County, and the John William Pope Foundation has been privileged to play an instrumental role. “Individuals often come to us after having exhausted all of their resources due to their illness or a medical crisis or a difficult family situation,” said John Thoma, Hospice of Wake County’s CEO. “We help to lift their burden, and we’re able to do so partly through gifts from generous foundations, including the Pope Foundation.” Read more Grantee Profiles here.
To what degree does your country respect the freedom to be generous? That's the question examined in a new pilot study from the Center for Global Prosperity at the Hudson Institute. The new research explores the climate of philanthropic freedom in 13 nations. The study (PDF download) uses a variety of metrics — including the ease of creating philanthropic organizations and tax policies that either encourage or discourage individual generosity — to determine the level of restrictions in each country. The Hudson Institute's index of philanthropic freedom puts the Netherlands, the United States, Sweden, Japan, Australia, and Mexico at the top. Turkey, Russia, Egypt, and China round out the bottom. The study concludes: Many of the high scoring nations are also high income countries, reflecting the long history of philanthropy and civil society in these countries. Additionally, some emerging economies scored high also, reflecting an improving environment that is conducive to philanthropy in those nations. For example, South Africa, India, and Mexico have implemented policies that promote a healthy civil society and provide tax deductions for donors. Because this study assesses the barriers to civil society organizations and cross-border flows, countries that have restrictive regulations in these two categories scored lower, despite having relatively large tax incentives for donors. For example, countries such as Egypt and Russia provide tax deductions for donors, but the limitations on registration and operations of [charitable organizations] are restrictive. Furthermore, the barriers to the flow of cross-border foreign funds in both countries are tightly regulated and highly restrictive. The Hudson Institute plans to survey all countries in the future to provide a more complete picture.
Our new Achiever Spotlight tells the story of Juan Nelson, who works as a case manager for StepUp Ministry's Life Skills program. Once employed and struggling with a drug addiction, today Juan helps others find jobs: It took five businessmen at a church in Charlotte, North Carolina, to set Juan Nelson on the path to new life. That was no easy task: Juan had just arrived in the Queen City seeking recovery from a nagging drug addiction. His criminal record scared away potential employers. But after he joined a ministry geared toward renewal through spiritual means, his life began to change. “The men in my church imparted a lot of principles,” Juan said. “Instead of telling me how to do it, they literally put their arms around me and showed me how to do it, how to change.” The process was slow and required a solid dose of humility up front, but soon Juan was hired in a supervisory role to help clean Harris Teeter stores. “It taught me how to work for someone else and humble myself,” he said. “It taught me how to be on time. It taught me how to pay my bills.” Juan soon wanted more, so he pursued an entrepreneurial endeavor: He founded his own moving company. Life was good. Juan had plenty of money flowing in. He could afford a nice place to live, and he provided plentifully for his wife and kids. But there was a downside, too ... Read more Achiever Spotlights here.
RALEIGH, N.C. FEB. 19, 2013 — The John William Pope Foundation, one of the top-giving philanthropies in North Carolina, is proud to announce the 2013 class of Pope Family Eagle Scout scholars. The scholarships, valued at $20,000 for each student, will help four young men pursue careers in the military, small business, and music industry. The mission of the Pope Family Eagle Scout Scholarship is to further the course of study for devoted Eagle Scouts who want to become leaders in the free-enterprise system. Since the first class of scholars in 2001, the Pope Foundation has invested over $1 million in these promising young men. “Helping these Eagle Scouts become the greatest leaders of tomorrow — that’s our goal,” said John Akerman, CEO of the Occoneechee Council, the scouting council that administers the scholarship. “We’re excited to see where life takes this newest class of young men.” The Pope Foundation funds two scholarships, valued at $40,000, and the Occoneechee Council funds the other two, also valued at $40,000. The Occoneechee Council is the largest scouting council in North Carolina, serving 20,000 youths and covering 12 counties. The 2013 class of scholars comprises: Michael Beley: Plans to pursue a career in mechanical engineering and own an engineering firm. Timothy Germann Jr.: Plans to pursue a career in the United States armed forces. Charles R. Smith: Plans to study business management with a minor in economics and own a financial or management company. Cameron Theobald: Plans to pursue a career in music and own a recording studio. For more information or interviews, contact Dave Riggs or David Bass at 919-861-6445 or firstname.lastname@example.org. ABOUT THE POPE FOUNDATION The John William Pope Foundation, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, works to improve the well-being of the citizens of North Carolina and the nation through the advancement of individual freedom and personal responsibility. From its first grant in 1986 to the present, the Foundation’s giving has totaled over $100 million, primarily to charities and organizations in North Carolina. The Foundation is a private family foundation supported by the late John William Pope Sr. and his wife, Joyce W. Pope, and their children: their late son, John William Pope Jr.; Amanda Pope; and Art Pope. The Pope Foundation receives additional support from the family’s business, Variety Wholesalers Inc., which owns and operates Roses, Maxway, Super 10, and other discount stores, and has its offices and distribution centers in Raleigh and Henderson, North Carolina. ###
Have conservatives, preoccupied with the worthy goal of limiting the size of government, lost sight of an equally important goal: strengthening civil society by directly helping low-income individuals? William Schambra explores that question in this piece re-printed in Philanthropy Daily: Conservatives ... argue for a smaller federal government. They do so because it would sustain not only a more vigorous marketplace but also a more robust civil society. Civil society, not government, is the best instrument to meet the needs of low-income people, in this view. For poverty all too often results from the breakdown of the critical civic institutions like family, neighborhood, and voluntary associations that shelter and nurture the most vulnerable among us. When big government begins to assume that function, conservatives argue, it only further erodes civil society, while doing a woefully inadequate job as a substitute. But if this argument is valid, then conservative philanthropy should accompany its opposition to big government with a massive commitment to big civil society. That is, it should devote itself first and foremost to supporting and strengthening the nonprofit organizations that serve low-income people. Yet conservatives frequently forget their responsibility for nurturing civil society. Another argument for smaller government -- that it will liberate the energies of entrepreneurial individuals within the marketplace, thereby producing greater wealth -- tends instead to dominate conservative discourse. That argument brings with it a formidable array of allies: wealthy individuals and corporations and their libertarian-leaning think tanks, journals, and activist nonprofits. Civil society tends to disappear from the libertarian perspective, because once government is reduced, the marketplace can take care of the rest. There is no intermediate layer between oppressive state and free individual. So philanthropy, in this view, needn’t be wasted on civil society. Rather, it should be devoted entirely to winning the intellectual and political battle for smaller government and freer markets by supporting activist nonprofits deeply engaged in electoral warfare. This was the brand of conservatism fully on display in the 2012 election. No wonder a majority of the voters felt that conservatism cared only about the wealthy and not the vulnerable. In the end, Schambra writes that conservative philanthropists have all-too-often lost site of the poor, instead focusing exclusively on the battle over public policy. But to achieve a robust civil society, private investments through humanitarian nonprofits should be given strong consideration. So what about liberal progressives? Schambra has plenty of criticism for them, too. He accuses them of supporting a bloated federal bureaucracy that doesn't meet the needs of the poor, instead spending most of its resources on "wealthy elderly Americans, powerful labor unions, well-paid government employees, and other distinctly non-poor constituencies that have powerful vested interests in federal and state spending." He writes: Government today is big and getting ever bigger not because we’re spending more to meet the needs of the poorest among us. Rather, our bulging domestic budgets are increasingly devoted to Social Security and Medicare for the swelling ranks of the elderly, many of whom are by no means poor; to interest on a rapidly growing public debt; and to massive retirement and health-care benefits for government employees.
Our new Grantee Profile focuses on the Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program, a nonprofit that provides equestrian therapy to special-needs children in Wake County and the surrounding area: For many developmentally challenged youngsters, a miracle is waiting on a 13-acre farm north of Raleigh: a horse. Time on horseback can be life changing for special-needs children. Some children speak their first words while riding. Directing a powerful animal like a horse boosts confidence, improves coordination, and teaches valuable skills — skills that can set kids on a path to new life. Such dreams come true every week at Helping Horse, a therapeutic riding program that helps children grow and develop through recreational activities with horses. Founded in 1989, Helping Horse serves an average of 30 riders each week. The program is run entirely by volunteers — up to 75 a week — and has no paid staff. In 1997, the program moved to its current location on the White Farm north of Raleigh, North Carolina. “I’ve had a lot of parents tell me that their kids are so much better today than they were in the past — in walking better and living better,” said Toni Hofsheier, who serves as Helping Horse’s instructor coordinator. “At the same time, I feel that I get a lot more out of it personally than the kids do. It’s very rewarding.” Read more Grantee Profiles here.
StepUp Ministry has some exciting news: The nonprofit placed 365 individuals in jobs in 2012, one for every day of the year. Other accomplishments from last year include: Individuals trained in job skills: 528 Homeless individuals employed: 99 Ex-offenders employed: 230 Veterans employed: 82 Average wage: $9.32 Employers who hired StepUp participants: 236 The News & Observer also recently featured StepUp in this article.