Tag Archives: Empowerment

The Amarillo Area Foundation Awards over $475,000 in Scholarships

7/18/17

Contact: Broc Carter | 806.376.4521 | broc@aaf-hf.org

AMARILLO – The Amarillo Area Foundation has awarded 312 scholarships totaling $479,400 to Panhandle area students for the 2017-2018 school year.

Of the 312 scholarship awarded, 180 are for new scholarship recipients and 132 are for recipients that are continuing to receive previously awarded scholarships.  The Foundation received 3,136 applications from high school students and 108 applications from college students.  The scholarship recipients represent 23 Panhandle counties and will attend 32 different universities.

The Foundation administers 101 scholarship funds in addition to the Achievement through Commitment to Education (ACE) Scholarship program.  The Foundation’s Scholarship Selection Committee recommends recipients for 58 of the 101 non-ACE funds and local selection committees outside the Foundation recommend recipients for the remaining funds.  The Foundation manages many unique scholarships that are not only for graduating high school seniors but are also for individuals who are already college students.

”Now that the application is online, more students from the Panhandle area are accessing and applying for scholarships that are managed by the Foundation. We are proud to be investing in the future of many young Panhandle residents, both local and rural,” said Amarillo Area Foundation Vice President of Community Investment, Katharyn Wiegand.

For more information on Amarillo Area Foundation Scholarships contact scholarships@aaf-hf.org or 806-376-4521. You can also visit amarilloareafoundation.org/scholarships.

To donate or to establish a scholarship fund contact Amy Lovell, Director of Development at amy@aaf-hf.org or 806-376-4521.

The Amarillo Area Foundation is a community foundation that serves the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents.  Since its inception in 1957, the Foundation has provided grants and a variety of other services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver.

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About the Amarillo Area Foundation

The Amarillo Area Foundation is a community foundation that serves the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents.  Since its inception in 1957, the Foundation has provided grants and a variety of other services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver

The Executive Director Leader Circle a Service of the Amarillo Area Foundation Nonprofit Service Center

Working in the world of nonprofit often means that Executive Directors are pulled in different directions and need to utilize many skills and talents. They are required to accomplish great things with limited funding and personnel.  Additionally, many nonprofit Executive Directors work in environments that are often isolated and stressful, straddling the space between staff, board members, donors, and the constituents they serve.  They need a support group that can provide honest assessments and ideas regarding challenges, opportunities, and frustrations.  They also need a group that can speak to unique topics of current interest that require special expertise that may be expensive and difficult to find.  In support of its goal to equip nonprofits for success through consulting, education, networking, and resources, the Amarillo Area Foundation Nonprofit Service Center provides this service to Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations.

In 2006, the Nonprofit Service Center launched a series of Leader Circles designed to benefit nonprofit professionals in the Panhandle. The Executive Director Leader Circle provides a confidential environment where nonprofit leaders can freely learn and interact with their peers.

Circle members meet mont

hly to discuss management and communications issues, board relations, fundraising, marketing, and other topics. Each meeting offers a roundtable discussion or a featured guest speaker. A vast variety of community leaders, professionals such as attorneys and accountants, business and nonprofit consultants, and business leaders and owners have shared their considerable knowledge with the circle. Annually, local attendees of the Association of Fundraising Professionals international conference are invited to address the group to share highlights from their favorite session, key takeaways, and identified trends. An experienced facilitator helps participants use the Leader Circle to identify and meet their specific needs. Participation is encouraged and each meeting is open to everything from sharing best practices to asking specific advice.

Networking time is provided before and after each meeting allowing the members to make contacts, form collaborations, and exc

hange ideas. Additionally, every month a different member is asked to provide a brief profile of their agency and the important work that they do.

The Amarillo Area Foundation Nonprofit Service Center’s goal is to provide an interactive topical experience for participants, address the hot-button issues they are facing, and collectively take advantage of and share their knowledge and experience. In a recent survey, 100% of Executive Director Leader Circle participants indicated that each month they learn something that helps them in their work at their organization.

Below are testimonials from ED Leader Circle members:

“The Executive Director Leaders Circle is a very useful tool for nonprofit executives. Boards should be aware of the value of the meetings and strongly persuade EDs to attend. The Amarillo Area Foundation does a great job in offering this resource to the community.”

“I am so happy to be involved in the group. Being the only staff person, it’s easy to feel isolated, but when I can come and network and learn with other directors I realize I have a larger support system.”

“I have been an executive director for 19 years and still learn so much during the Leader Circles from my peers. It is wonderful to find out that big or small, all of our organizations have some of the same problems.  It also brings me up to date on many of the issues facing nonprofit organizations today.”

“The Leader Circle is a meeting I look forward to attending each time. We are able to determine topics as a group that address current needs and issues. In addition to the excellent information presented, we are also able to share best practices, ideas, and peer-to-peer support.”

“It’s a lot like a unique club that meets once a month. I find it really supportive to meet other people who have similar problems and experiences and see how they handle these issues.  It also helps to understand how their boards deal with different situations.  Fundraising is always a topic and it’s great to hear how my colleagues are doing in raising funds to support their missions.”

If you feel joining the circle would positively enhance your role as a nonprofit leader or for more information please contact Roxann Ball at 806.376.4521 or roxann@aaf-hf.org,

Or you can register HERE

NLNE The Partners: Amarillo College

In this edition of “The Partners,” we sit down with Amarillo College’s Presidents, Russell Lowery-Hart.  

No Limits No Excuses: How did Amarillo College originally get involved with No Limits No Excuses?

Amarillo College: When Partners for Postsecondary Success (PPS) first came out with the Gates Grant, the Foundation pulled people together, and Amarillo College was in that room. I remember vividly seeing all the organizations in the room, talking about educational attainment, and I’m thinking, this is the opportunity for Amarillo College to integrate itself into the community more fully. I felt like people supported the College but didn’t understand it because I wasn’t sure the college had been truly responsive to all of our partners. To have a unifying goal as a community gave me great clarity where I could come back to Amarillo College and immediately start linking things that we wanted to do to the goal or redesign things to fulfill that goal.

 

It was a natural fit, immediately, and it gave a framework for our work internally, not just for the partnership. Our PPS coaches gave us a framework that we started evaluating all of our interventions against. It gave us the context of a living wage. And now, we won’t entertain starting a program that doesn’t start with a living wage or won’t lead to a living wage and a pathway.

 

NLNE: What has kept AC’s involvement through this five-year process?

AC: Because it’s made us better. It helped us understand our students more fully so that we could serve the students we have, not the students we wish we had or thought we had. It’s integrated us with other partners like AISD, Workforce Solutions, and the ACE program.

I feel like we’re all unified because we’re all working toward the same goal.  Before No Limits, No Excuses, we all had individual goals that weren’t aligned. So, we keep coming back because the partnerships generate new approaches and more effective outcomes for our students.

 

NLNE: How has the partnership increased your relationships with other institutions, and what do those look like now?

AC: Well, in some really tangible ways. Workforce Solutions now has an employee that they pay that is housed in our career center and we share their software.  We can take someone that Workforce Solutions is serving, find them a job and put them in an academic or certificate program simultaneously. So, it’s integrating effort, and that’s the best example of what’s happened through this partnership.

NLNE: I always say this when I’m talking about NLNE, it’s obvious that Amarillo College, Amarillo ISD, and WT had a relationship prior to NLNE.  However, It seems like the intentionality of the relationships brought on by NLNE, and sitting in the same room and having conversations, is really the genesis of success and culture change for No Limits, No Excuses.

AC: We have a shared goal and have developed more trust.  We’re sharing data to support that shared goal, and when you have that, you don’t see yourselves as competitors. We’ve worked together before NLNE, but I don’t think we worked together as effectively. We saw each other as competition, and I think that has completely subsided.  NLNE partner employees are working at the same table to design programs and in NLNE work groups to better serve our community. You build relationships that build trust that build integrated services.  I love the partnership that we have, and I love the relationship that the three most important educational entities in our community have as a result of NLNE.

 

NLNE: What changes in culture in regards to universal achievement have you seen?

AC: One is a complete focus on data. We used to worship the anecdotal, and take the anecdotal as the gospel for every student. So, if we had one student from Palo Duro High School that came to AC and transferred to WT, and then got a job on Wall Street, then it proved how amazing we were when we had a whole swath of students that didn’t have that same experience.

Universal achievement forced us to focus on the “universal” part of achievement and not cherry-pick the stories we liked. We needed to own the stories we didn’t like, and then to put data to it and do system analysis of it – this process has truly been transformative for us. But if you want to take credit for that person’s success, you also have to take the blame for a student’s failure. Before the No Excuses approach to our work as an institution and as a community, we didn’t want to take ownership of our students’ failures.

Our big marketing push right now is “Success IS …” , and we’re trying to highlight students that have gone through Amarillo College, maybe went on to WT and then worked in this community. If we’re going to change the future of the community,

we have got to stop talking about success as getting out. Success is not defined by getting out. Success is defined by getting a degree and a job and staying in.

 

NLNE: What role does Amarillo College play in or serve as a partner?

AC: I’m probably not the person to ask that question. I think in a lot of ways, we can help the partnership glue things together. We are the glue between the ISD high school graduate and the bachelor’s degree. We’re the glue between the ISD and the workforce, and I feel that pressure, and I need my colleagues in Amarillo College to feel that pressure. We say Amarillo is only as strong as its college because if we can serve this partnership with this community successfully, everybody is going to be successful.  But if we can’t, then the whole community loses and that keeps me up at night.

NLNE: What does the future look like for education, post-secondary education in the workforce?

AC: It has to look different than it does now. It has to be… more seamless. There will be more focused on giving students pathways to options. But for a community college, we need to be a gateway for opportunity, and so, we need to give students a foundational understanding of what their options are, but they don’t necessarily have to define those options here. They need to find them at WT or at Tech, or wherever they go.

 

NLNE: What impact has NLNE had on your organization, culturally and physically?

AC: Culturally, I think it’s given us more confidence in our place in the community. We understand our role more fully and have embraced it and are excited about it. Structurally and philosophically, it’s had an enormous impact on Amarillo College. It gave us a no excuses philosophy; it connected us to the No Excuses University.

 

NLNE:    Define “no excuses”.

AC: For me, that means that at Amarillo College, every student has the opportunity to succeed because we’ve built systems for them to be successful. But when they’re not successful, we don’t have any excuses for that failure. It means we didn’t have the right person, the right policy, the right support or the right process in place to ensure that success. We have to give students opportunity without limits. But we can’t have excuses for lack of achievement, and we used to swim in those excuses: demographics, first-generation status, income level, test scores. Those are influences that are essential to understanding, but they’re not excuses anymore.

So, for us, that’s changed our philosophy but it’s structurally changed us as well.  Without No Limits, No Excuses, we wouldn’t have a Career Center, food pantries, clothing closets and an entire systemic approach to social services.  We wouldn’t have a coach’s champions program, a Money Management Center, the Texas Workforce Commission, and a Workforce Solutions office on our campus, jointly serving students.

We would just be a typical community college without the partnerships, and now we’re a place that’s really special.

 

NLNE: What impact have you seen No Limits, No Excuses have on the community?

AC: Here’s what I love – I think that it’s had a real impact on understanding what our education attainment levels are, and why everyone should care about them.  Why it affects everyone on a personal level, and that, instead of memorializing the demographic shifts that are happening, and the growth of poverty, we can make a collective impact and redefine and redirect the future of this community, and we can do it together, and only together.

 

NLNE: How would you characterize success for No Limits, No Excuses?

AC: I think success for No Limits, No Excuses is when Amarillo Colleges gets to a 70 percent completion rate, because it’ll take the community to make that happen. Success is when there is a more diversified economy because we have an educated workforce to support it. Success is when poverty rates go down and more of our citizens are in a living wage. Success is when our property values go up because there is a broader part of this community that’s supporting the infrastructure that we need to grow.

 

NLNE: What other thoughts do you have about No Limits, No Excuses?

AC: The shift for me in NLNE from 2009 when we started talking about this collective impact to 2017 is that, when I think about the organizations that are a part of the partnership, before I just thought about them as organizations in our community that we either had to work through or work around, and now, I see friends that are trying to help me fulfil my mission

 

 

New Blog Series Announced!

We will be starting a new blog series beginning next week.  One of the programs of the Amarillo Area Foundation is No Limits No Excuses.  This initiative is made up of over 25 partners who are working to create pathways for post-secondary success.

We think you’ll find this blog series extremely interesting as you see the complete picture of why NLNE is so impactful.  You will also learn how the partnership is shaped and how it’s working to create a community with increased education across all socioeconomic levels.

We begin the series with a look at Workforce Solutions.  We will share these posts across our social media platform, but you can always subscribe to get our blog updates in your inbox, browser, or wherever you choose. Here the link to subscribe: http://bit.ly/aaf_RSS

 

Foundations Invest Over $8.7 Million in the Health of Panhandle Communities

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Honoring its mission to improve quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents, the Amarillo Area Foundation announces annual distributions totaling $8.7 million for 2016. With more than 450 grants, the Foundation is helping to continue the important work of nonprofit organizations in the 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle. The Harrington Regional Medical Campus had its first-ever grant cycle after joining the Amarillo Area Foundation in 2015.  Because of the collaborative and meaningful work of various community stakeholders, the Foundation and its public supporting organization – the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation – will invest:

$4.6 million into area communities through community fund, agency fund, and donor advised distributions;

$2 million in discretionary grants;

$1.2 million in scholarship distributions from the ACE and General Scholarship programs;

$676,000 in competitive grant programs including, CNS Pantex, Pattern Panhandle Wind, the Women’s Philanthropy Fund, the AAF Catalyst grant program, and the Kathy Ryan Memorial Fund;

$83,000 in grants from the Harrington Regional Medical Campus.

“The Amarillo Area Foundation and its supporting organizations are proud of what was accomplished by our staff and partners in 2016,” Clay Stribling, AAF CEO said. “We look forward to building on these accomplishments moving forward.”

In 2017, the Amarillo Area Foundation begins its 60th year and will continue supporting efforts that improve quality of life for Texas Panhandle residents. The strength and health of area communities continues to be the benchmark of success, and together with community support, this mission will be realized annually.

Toolbox for Fundraisers Class Recognized as an Asset by Local Nonprofits and Foundations

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For more than 20 years the Foundation has provided a platform for local fundraising professionals to share their expertise through a course originally titled “The Art of Fundraising”.  This year our 2016 “Toolbox for Fundraiser’s” cohort consists of 26 students from nonprofits across the Panhandle, six of which are sponsored to attend the 11-week course because of its dynamism and quality.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Texas Plains Chapter sponsored two students representing Habit for Humanity and Word at Work. Teresa Hillman, current AFP President believes sponsoring professionals to take the class “is a natural fit” for AFP’s mission.  “Most of us in the nonprofit world understand that a fee for a class of this caliber is not always in our budget, especially if it is a small organization.  To help alleviate that cost, AFP is glad to help with scholarships. The Toolbox for Fundraisers class provides top quality fundraising advice and an upholds standards we adhere to as a profession,” says Hillman.

The Mary E. Bivins Foundation also sponsored Toolbox training for staff members from the Wesley Community Center as a component of a capacity building grant. Susan Severn, the Grants and Scholarships Program Officer at the Bivins Foundation says, “There are several ways to help a nonprofit move forward and make long-term sustainability plans. Whether that be board and staff training, or identifying and diversifying new sources of fundraising.” She states the reason they specifically provided funding for the Wesley Community Center is so that they can think creatively about how to cover the costs for their senior citizens’ program expenses. “The Wesley actually has quite a solid revenue model,” says Severn, “the challenge is that the population the Wesley serves through their senior program is often limited in terms of financial resources which makes covering those program costs more difficult.”

Students in this year’s Toolbox class are the recipients of over 88 years of combined fundraising knowledge from veteran fundraisers Charlotte Rhodes, Patricia A. Ward, and Katharyn Wiegand. Topics covered include: essential tools to be an effective fundraiser; establishing a development office; creating a case for support; constructing a development plan; marketing your organization; making the ask; stewarding donors; and preparing for the CFRE certification.

Participants who successfully complete the 33 hour course will receive 3.30 continuing education credits (CEUs) through Amarillo College.  This course also meets the requirements for those seeking credit hours for the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation. Upon successful completion of the course, each participant will have developed a case for support and a development plan for the organization of his/her choice.

The course fee is $250 for members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and $295 for all others.

Fundraising can be a daunting task if you are not sure where to start or how to stay on track, especially as the number of nonprofit organizations competing for funding increases each year. Let us help put you on the track.

Contact Roxann Ball by phone at 806-376-4521 or by email at roxann@aaf-hf.org to ask about enrollment for next year’s course.

The AAF Community Health Foundation Awards $83,000 in Grants to Healthcare Projects throughout the Panhandle

 

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Tuesday, October 26, 2016

AMARILLO – The Board of Directors of the AAF Community Health Foundation, doing business as the Harrington Regional Medical Campus (HRMC), have awarded a total of $83,000 to seven nonprofit organizations and five institutions of higher learning in their first grant cycle.  HRMC is a supporting organization of the Amarillo Area Foundation and its mission is to promote quality of life in the Texas Panhandle through exceptional healthcare, education, and research.

The Amarillo Botanical Gardens, Don Harrington Discovery Center, and Ronald McDonald House are residents of the Harrington Medical Campus and received support for capital projects. Arrow Child & Family Ministries, Downtown Women’s Center, Hansford County Hospital District, and the West Texas A&M University Foundation received funds from the HRMC Community Health Grant Program for capital or program related expenses.

Full list of recipients is available here.

The Hansford County Hospital District received the largest grant. They were awarded $15,000 to certify Registered Nurses as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and train more EMTs in order to ensure that necessary staff are available and properly trained to transfer patients to a higher level of care when needed.  The project will reduce long Emergency Room transfer times and unnecessary transfers by flight.

Amarillo College, Clarendon Community College, Frank Phillips Community College, Texas Tech University, and West Texas A&M University received funds for scholarships to area students and professionals pursuing healthcare related education. Scholarship recipients must demonstrate a commitment to locate in the region and contribute to area communities.

Organizations may only submit one grant application per twelve month period to the HRMC Community Health Program; however, receiving an HRMC grant does not affect eligibility for Amarillo Area Foundation discretionary and other competitive grants. HRMC Grant Program applications are anticipated to reopen in the summer of 2017 and will be due at noon on September 1, 2017.

Please contact grants@aaf-hf.org or call 806-376-4521 with questions.

About the Amarillo Area Foundation

The Amarillo Area Foundation is a community foundation that serves the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the Texas Panhandle.  Since its inception in 1957, the Foundation has provided grants and a variety of other services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver

She Gives: Lindsey Murphy

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Hello to all the She Giver’s out there. (We are talking to you too, men).

“She Givers” are both male and female readers interested in supporting the driven women in their lives who are dedicated to making a difference. We know there are lots of you out there because the readership for this new column continues to flourish with every edition. We are so pleased you are finding the topics and stories covered meaningful and even more pleased to share our interview with Lindsey Murphy with you in this third edition of the column.

Murphy, the Vice President of Marketing for Education Credit Union, was a top 20 under 40 honoree for 2015. In other words, she will may make you feel inadequate about all things you are not doing that you could be doing. So, for those of you who need a fire lit under you to complete those yearend goals, make sure to click “continue reading” below. For those of you interested in reading about a woman committed to living a life of deep fulfillment, purpose, and service, click “continue reading,” too. Murphy is such a delight and absolute treat to have as a guest this quarter.

Olivia Trabysh: You serve on five boards? Could you list them and explain how or why you chose to get involved with each of them?

Lindsey Murphy: It’s actually six now (laughs). I am on the board of (1) Martha’s Home; (2) Coffee Memorial Blood Center; (3) American Advertising Federation – Amarillo; (4) Canyon Chamber of Commerce; (5) Panhandle PBS; and (6) Arden Road PTA.

Growing up, my Mom’s heart was for blood donation. I was always in the waiting room at Coffee Memorial while she donated. I grew up watching her give. The second I turned 18 that’s what I did. My Dad had a passion for United Way. When he was involved with campaigns or fundraisers for them he would explain to me why he was involved and why we had to help. When I got a “big girl job” I immediately started donating to the United Way because that’s simply what I thought adults did. But the older I got the more aware I became about the many ways to be involved and give back.

My junior year in college I met Melissa Chapman-Smith, the then Executive Director of Martha’s Home. She helped shift my philanthropic mindset to include giving more than just monetarily. She opened my eyes to what it means to donate your time and understanding what donating your time affords. Donating money is important and always appreciated, but donating time is invaluable. (Laughs)… so when my daughter was two weeks old (emphasis on the two weeks old), I joined the Martha’s Home Board of Directors, because I have such a passion for homeless women and children.

The strategic planning and steering of a nonprofit organization does so much good. When my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after learning what I did on the Board at Martha’s Home, I couldn’t only donate blood in my Mom’s name anymore. I applied to be on the Board of Coffee Memorial in her honor.

Murphy going over the edge for Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

Murphy going over the edge for Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

2015 was supposed to be the year of “no,” but it quickly became the year of “yes.” I joined each of the other boards I currently serve on, and they all deal with many different causes I am passionate about. I am constantly learning so much. But six is my limit.  Pro-tip: If you don’t know your limit, your family will tell you (laughs).

Trabysh: Serving on six nonprofit boards obviously takes up a significant amount of time. Why do you feel it is important to serve the community in addition to your job? And how does your employer assist you in being able to provide outreach to so many parts of the community?

Murphy: There’s just so much more out there to do other than your job. I grew up in the Sleepy Hollow area but applied to be a part of the magnet program at Sam Houston in middle school. I witnessed obvious class division and many differences from what I was accustomed to seeing on my side of town. I learned to love people as people. I just have a servant’s heart.

The Credit Union is incredibly supportive of the benevolent aspect of my personality. They are flexible and allow me to attend board meetings and events during the work day. They also monetarily support nonprofits organizations I am on the board of. The Credit Union supports all of the boards and causes our management team is involved with. They truly believe in the work each member of the management team does for our community and support our efforts.

In 2013-2014 I was given the opportunity to go through Leadership Amarillo and Canyon with my son. The Credit Union sponsored my training and sponsored my son’s, too. They normally sponsor training for a few employees and students in the community. It was really cool not only to receive the training, but to bond that way with my son doing something so profound and then be able to credit the experience to my employer.

Trabysh: That is such a cool thing for your employer to do and I think that is especially important for our younger working women or women contemplating a career change to hear. It is possible to work for an employer that is supportive of your passions and your family. So, time for some lightening round questions. Who are the people that support you the most?

Murphy: My husband! He is the kindest, most patient, loving man on the planet. He helps me find that even level of balance. I would not be able to do what I do if he wasn’t willing to help run our daughter to soccer practice and cheerleading. He also doesn’t mind throwing on a suit and tie to be “my arm candy” for the night to support causes and people I care about. He is always there to support me.

The precious Murphey family.

Murphy family

I really strive for volunteerism to be a way of life for our family. We make volunteer events a family affair. It’s also a way to get friends involved. I am able to spend quality time with people I love and also dedicate that time towards a great purpose. I guess I pass on that spirit of volunteerism to them like my parents did to me without even really meaning to.

Trabysh: Who are the people that inspire you the most?

Murphy: Melissa Chapman-Smith.  My parents – they are the foundation for all of this. Sallye Barnes. She will do anything. She’s the go-to-friend for hot glue parties and last minute dates.

The sheer amount of work that needs to be done inspires me.

Murphy with go-to pal, Sallye Barnes at Martha's Home Second Chance Prom.

Murphy with go-to pal, Sallye Barnes at Martha’s Home Second Chance Prom.

 

Murphy hosting Panhandle PBS Pledge Night.

Murphy hosting Panhandle PBS Pledge Night.

Trabysh: What matters the most to you?

Murphy: When I can go home and go to bed every night.  I can sleep soundly if I know I did a good job at work, I fulfilled the mission of whatever nonprofit organizations I served that day, and I spent quality time with my family. It’s a sense of accomplishment and love for my community and the people in it.

Trabysh: What are the causes that you think are in most-dire need of attention in our community?

Murphy: Homelessness is so urgent and so present; we can’t look the other way anymore. We must work together to fix it – it is not going away on its own.

I want to teach people to not to be so absorbed in their day to day lives.  A tiny little prick can save lives – so go donate blood! There are too many people who bury their heads in the sand and think our community’s struggles will magically take care of themselves. People must be willing to make things happen. If not me, than who?

Bryan Clontz on Creative Charitable Planning

2016_newsletter_q3_creativeImagine being able to increase the size of the gifts from your donors each year. Yet, the net cost of their donations were 40-60% less than what they were giving to you. Essentially, your programs and operations are secure from increased donations and your donors keep more money in their pockets. Sound too good to be true?

It’s actually not, and surprisingly the ability to maximize charitable gifts in such a monumental way is a tactic of the past. Non-cash assets have been incentivized by the government since 1969 but very few people understand what they are or how they work.

To better explain the concept for the benefit of Amarillo Area nonprofits and all the constituents they organizations serve, the Amarillo Area Foundation and the Amarillo Area Estate Planning Council teamed up to bring in charitable expert Bryan Clontz to help decode this mystery.

Clontz, President of Charitable Solutions, LLC spent the morning with nonprofit professionals. He taught them what non-cash assets were and how to ask for and incorporate non-cash assets (ideally appreciated stock) into their planned giving models. Clontz then opened the afternoon with a session for financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys. By informing the people who advise large donors in our area, we are increasing awareness related to the benefits associated with giving non-cash assets which maximize contributions to our area and the impact those contributions have.

Clontz closed the day with a special presentation to the AAF Board of Directors teaching members their role as key stakeholders and empowering them to act as extensions of the Foundation when asking for non-cash assets and even consider giving non-cash assets of their own.

Thanks to Clontz we all have plenty of information to take back to our organizations and communities. Now working together more informed and smarter, empowered to even further improve quality for Texas Panhandle residents.

Bryan Clontz speaking to nonprofit professionals on October 6, 2016.

Bryan Clontz speaking to nonprofit professionals at the Foundation on October 6, 2016.

If you missed the event and are interested in learning more about what Bryan had to say, check out this brief video posted by our friends at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation:

To further your knowledge on the realm of non-cash donations you can also check out Bryan’s website: http://charitablesolutionsllc.com/

The Amarillo Area Foundation Kicks Off the Second Half of 2016 by Awarding an Additional $900,000 to Area Nonprofits

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Tuesday, September 12, 2016

AMARILLO – The Board of Directors of the Amarillo Area Foundation, and its supporting organization The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation, have awarded $906,836 in grants with their general grantmaking funds.

Ten Amarillo area nonprofit organizations were approved for funding with discretionary grantmaking dollars. Over half of the projects supported in this discretionary grant cycle were health focused. The largest award was a $373,000 grant contributing to the construction of a residential alcohol and drug recovery center in Amarillo.

President and CEO, Clay Stribling said, “We are very pleased with the response to our grants programs for 2016. The quality of applications, particularly for healthcare projects, was extremely high.”

Amarillo Area Foundation’s newest grant making program, The Catalyst Grant program, awarded small grants between $5,000-$14,000 to five nonprofit organizations with projects focusing on education, health, and human services.

“The Catalyst Grant program provides an easier application process for smaller grant amounts while engaging young community members across the Panhandle through the review process. Receiving 18 applications during the first grant cycle indicates we are on the right track for enhancing our grant offerings,” said Katharyn Wiegand, Vice President of Community Engagement.

The final Amarillo Area Foundation and The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation discretionary grant cycle for 2016 is now open. Nonprofits with moderate grant requests (not to exceed $50,000) are encouraged to apply.  Due to the shortened grant cycle, please contact Kathie Grant, Grants Administrator (376.4521 or kathie@aaf-hf.org) if your organization plans to apply.

In addition, the newly formed Catalyst Grant program, which provides grant awards from $2,500 to $20,000 for programs and projects that fall within the Foundation focus areas, is also accepting applications. There is a special focus in the Catalyst Grant program on capacity building and general operating requests. Please visit our blog to view the full RFP. You can do so here: http://blog.amarilloareafoundation.org/2016/09/07/aafhf-request-for-proposals/

About the Amarillo Area Foundation

The Amarillo Area Foundation is a community foundation that serves the northernmost 26 counties of the Texas Panhandle.  The mission of the Foundation is to improve the quality of life in the Texas Panhandle.  Since its inception in 1957, the Foundation has provided grants and a variety of other services to strengthen nonprofit organizations and the services they deliver.

The full list of recipients is available here.