It’s time for your weekly digest in philanthropy. This week we have news from America and the housing crisis, a widely known philanthropist passing away and the discussion of a charity law reform in the UK.
A Housing Lender Grants $20 million to the Housing Crisis
Wells Fargo, an equal housing lender in the USA, has announced that they will contribute a total of $20 million to the affordable housing efforts in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Kendall Alley, the regional bank president at Wells Fargo said
”“We have more than twenty-five thousand team members who work and live in the Charlotte region. We believe we should do everything in our power to make this community better for everyone. When Charlotte succeeds, we all succeed”
The money is going to be split into three sectors of the housing crisis;
- $6 million for down payment assistance grants that will help to expand the NeighborhoodLIFT program.
- $5 million grant to the Housing Opportunity Investment Fund
- $9 million spread over 3 years to local nonprofits that support affordable housing, workforce development, small business development, financial empowerment, and neighborhood revitalization.
The NeighborhoodLIFT program doesn’t just grant homebuyers with a down payment, they also offer “homebuyer education”, which will help first-time buyers (and everyone) learn about financing and finding a home.
The affordable housing crisis in America is hitting its people hard, with the cost of rent increasing more than triple the rate of wages over the last 50 years. And it’s not just Wells Fargo who are trying to help. The Ford Foundation and the Gates Foundation have joined together to grant an initial $4.9 million to four non-profits to ensure that over 11 million families across the country have access to affordable housing. Read more about this act of philanthropy in our last blog post The Ford Foundation: A Case Study.
Read more here.
Could Philanthropy Save Journalism in the UK
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour party, thinks that philanthropy both can and should be apart of journalism. In a speech at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Corbyn expressed a need for sustainable journalism through charity funding and philanthropy.
There is currently a flaw in the way journalism is funded, with advertisers preferring to spend their money online with tech giants such as Google and Facebook. Leaving printed journalism circulation to fall, with more and more newspapers to close every year.
The initiative of charitable funding as an alternative income source for journalism has been spoken about by politicians in the past and is well established in America, with many non-profit journalism benefiting from philanthropy.
The Liberal Democrats promised to allow “non-profit local media outlets to obtain charitable status where the public interest is being served” in their manifesto in 2015. However, the process for non-profits to sign up for this is overly restrictive and they are either stopped by the Charity Commission or by the long and expensive application process.
We look forward to seeing whether, with the new support of Jeremy Corbyn, the UK can see a real change and if philanthropy support in the journalism can save their newspapers. Read more about the state of philanthropy in journalism in the UK here.
Philanthropist, Henry Arnhold, Passes Away aged 96
Henry Arnhold, a German investment banker who ran companies overseeing more than $100 billion in assets, died at age 96 in his home in Manhattan after a heart attack.
The German Jewish banker escaped Nazi persecution and was able to re-establish his family business in the ‘New World’ and helped to rebuild Dresden, the Free State of Saxony Germany.
Arnhold was well known for his philanthropy, giving millions of dollars each year to his three favourite causes; the environment, the arts and helping refugees. He also funded scholarships at the New School, a university in New York City ranked number 1 in art and design in the US. And his lead funding for PBS allowed for millions of new viewers to watch the show ‘Nature’.
Henry Arnhold will be sincerely missed all across the globe and we express our sincerest condolences to all that knew him.