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 Highlights, Updates & Information

December 2008


In This Issue

Leadership News and Updates

People Moving Up and Moving On

New Foster Care Legislation Passes


2008 Annual Meeting Highlights

Sign of the Times

Thoughts from Great Thinkers


Quick Links 


See our list of New members


See our Connecting Leaders Fellows Class of 2008-2009

Become an ABFE Member
(PayPal is now available)





A Note From ABFE Staff

Farewell to a successful and productive 2008!  


We thank all of our members and supporters for making this year a success, and for helping us to achieve ABFE's mission of promoting effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities. 



Resources, Announcements and Information


Resources for Challenging Times

Council on Foundations, Economic Xchange and Non-Profit 911, Nonprofit 911

Coming Soon - A call for nominations for the 2009 James A. Joseph Lecturer, the Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award and the Institutional Award for Philanthropic Leadership. 

Beginning in January 2009 ABFE will accept editorial submissions for publishing on our website. Stay tuned for editorial guidelines.

We've updated the design of and created user-friendly features to help you connect and communicate with your colleagues and friends.  Members who are current are able to access the "Members" section with an assigned username and password.  To retrieve your user name and password, please send an email to Summar Lyons at


Save the Date - ABFE's Annual Meeting at Council on Foundations, May 4 - 6, Atlanta, Georgia.



Leadership News and Updates


Susan Taylor Batten, ABFE's new President, is the recipient of the 2008 Change Agent Award presented by The Schott Foundation for Public Education.  The Schott Awards are bestowed on activists and community and philanthropic organizations who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and achieved extraordinary results in advocating for equity in public education.  Susan officially comes on board January 5, 2009.  (read the press release announcing Susan's appointment)

Benjamin Todd Jealous, ABFE Board Member, was named the 17th president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization, founded in 1909.   


On November 25, 2008, the Obama Transition team announced the selection of Dr. John H. Jackson, ABFE donor, member, volunteer and ardent supporter as well as President and CEO of The Schott Foundation for Public Education, to serve on President-Elect Obama's 13-member Education Policy Transition Work Group.


People Moving Up and Moving On


Dwayne C. Proctor, ABFE Board Chair, has been promoted to Team Director for the Childhood Obesity team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  He is currently Senior Program Officer of Childhood Obesity.  He will officially begin in that position on January 1, 2009.   


KC Burton, ABFE Board Vice Chair, has accepted the position of Deputy Director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), a non-profit made up primarily of faith-based organizations that invests member funds in corporations to encourage socially responsible practices and policies.  KC was previously with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and will begin with ICCR on January 5, 2009.


Trista Harris, ABFE Connecting Leaders Fellow (2006-2007), has been named Executive Director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice in Minneapolis.   


ABFE member Nicole Jones has been named Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.  


Greg Roberts, formerly with DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation has been named President of The Muhammed Ali Center.

Please send promotion and career announcements to



New Legislation to Help Children in America's Foster Care System 

Casey Family Programs applauded passage of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, federal legislation that will address some of the long-standing issues affecting the more than 508,000 children in America's foster care system.

"By passing this act, lawmakers have taken a significant step toward improving the lives of the most vulnerable youth in our nation," said William C. Bell, President and CEO of Casey Family Programs and an ABFE Board Member.  "This legislation will encourage more relatives to care for children in familiar surroundings while connecting young people to critical services that everyone needs to have a bright future."


Casey, a national foundation that has long backed the reforms, has advocated for such changes as part of the foundation's 2020 Strategy, which aims to safely reduce the number of children in foster care by 50 percent over the next 12 years and to reinvest savings from that effort to strengthen the child welfare system and improve education, employment and mental health support for children in foster care.




 Radical Idea: The New Philanthropy

Nicole Taylor, President and CEO of the East Bay Community Foundation, shares her idea for reforming philanthropy with KALW's, a local radio station in Northern California.
Hear the interview...


Council of New Jersey Grantmakers (NJG) Members Establish

Newark Philanthropic Liaison


Philanthropy has played a vital role in Newark for decades. To harness grantmakers' interests and foster greater effectiveness and impact, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Schumann Fund for New Jersey, Turrell Fund, and Sagner Family Foundation came together in 2007, through CNJG, to create a philanthropic Liaison for the City.  
Read more...  


ABFE's Media Initiative 

As part of ABFE's Media Initiative launched at our annual meeting at the Council on Foundations 2008 conference, we continue the discussion of media and its impact on the Black community; and more precisely, how philanthropy is in a unique position to respond. 


In December we hosted Media and Philanthropy, an event which was co-sponsored by Grantmakers in Film + Media and New England Blacks in Philanthropy.  


In an earlier interview with ABFE, Dori Maynard who is President of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, responded to member questions.  Read Dori's interview with ABFE.

Stay tuned for more of ABFE's Media Initiative in 2009.  


2008 Annual Meeting Highlights


Carrolle Perry Devonish is ABFE's 17th James A. Joseph Lecturer. Ms. Devonish is the Executive Director of the Anguilla Community Foundation in the British West Indies and was the first to organize ABFE's annual James A. Joseph Lecture. Her lecture, A Philanthropic Safari, is available at
Wendy Lewis Jackson is ABFE's  2008 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy. Ms. Jackson is a Program Officer at the Kresge Foundation.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is the recipient of ABFE's 2008 Institutional Award for Philanthropic Leadership.
We thank ABFE's 2008 Lecturer and Award recipients for their service, leadership and commitment to philanthropy and ABFE's mission.

Reminder: In January we will send a call for nominations for the 2009 James A. Joseph Lecturer, the Emerging Leader in Philanthropy Award and the Institutional Award for Philanthropic Leadership.  Please think about who in your network you would like to nominate., and visit our website to learn more about the Lecture and Awards. 


Sign of the Times

"A Casualty of the Bernard L. Madoff Investor Scandal."  A Foundation is forced to immediately close its doors.  Read More at ABFE News.

Source: The JEHT Foundation


In Challenging Times...

"Weak organizations cut 15% across the board - strong organizations take the time to conduct a line-by-line budget and program assessment and use a scapel to strategcially cut based on which areas are most in-line with the organization's mission, and which reflect necessary, key core services.  This is more difficult and requires more thought and effort but is the smarter, more strategic way to address unavoidable budget cuts and would place the organization in a better position to maintain its value and survive these economic times than a cut across the board.  Protecting 100% of something is always preferable and more strategic than maintaining 85% of everything."
Source: Johsua Mintz - Cavanaugh, Hagan, Pierson & Mintz


A Final Thought from Great Thinkers and Doers

In the spirit of giving, thinking and doing on behalf of those in the Black community who need our most urgent attention, ABFE leaves you - the foot soldiers of philanthropy - with these thoughts as we exit 2008 and enter 2009.


I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.  Maya Angelou

The highest test of the civilization of any race is in its willingness to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate.  Booker T. Washington

None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps.  We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.  Thurgood Marshall


Happy Holidays and Happy New Year


Susan Taylor Batten, President

Marcus F. Walton, Director of Programs 
Sharon D. Toomer, Director of Communications and Membership  
Mary LuLu Lamping, Director of Development 
Joshua Powers, Director of Administration  
Floria Abney, Administrative Associate  
Lynne Algrant, Professional Development Coordinator   
Summar Lyons, Coordinator of Membership Services 

ABFE's New Logo 2008  

ABFE's mission is to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities.   As the first official affinity group of the Council on Foundations, ABFE is the champion of diverse leadership in philanthropy. Progress is defined by a substantial increase in the number of Blacks as leaders and emerging leaders within the philanthropic field. Today, ABFE counts among its members some of the most influential staff, trustees, and donors of grantmaking organizations who are intimately involved in shaping the focus, decision-making, and response of foundations toward Black communities. Please visit our website at