Phoenix charities get middling scores on national ranking of nonprofits
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Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story failed to note that the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, while included in the Charity Navigator report on major metro areas, is located in Tucson. The story has been updated to reflect the correction.
Friday, June 21, 2013
By Xi Chen
WASHINGTON – Charities in the Phoenix area ranked 23rd among the nation’s 30 major metro areas for financial performance, accountability and transparency in 2013, according to a recent report.
Despite relatively strong revenues – the 60 Phoenix charities studied had average revenues of $7 million as of May 1, compared to a national average of $4.7 million – the area ranked last for financial health, as local expenses far outstripped the national average.
The report, Metro Market Study 2013, said the national average expense for the nonprofits it studied was $4.3 million, but Phoenix charities spent an average of $7.2 million from May 2012 to 2013.
The report put the Phoenix Symphony on its list of the 10 charities in deepest financial trouble in the nation, but symphony organizers said that ranking does not reflect a recent turn-around in their finances.
“The symphony is on track to break even, eliminating a nearly $3 million deficit in the past two years,” said Phoenix Symphony CEO Jim Ward, who said the organization is actually going through “a significant turnaround” this year.
There were bright spots in the report as well for Arizona charities: The Tucson-based Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona made it to the list of 10 “top-notch” charities for its overall performance on finances, accountability and transparency.
The annual report by Charity Navigator, a New Jersey-based nonprofit that evaluates U.S. charities, looks “to see if charities are growing their revenue and spending on program increase at about the same rate,” said Sandra Miniutti, chief financial officer for the organization.
Miniutti said it was clearly the financial picture that held Phoenix charities back in the rankings.
Area nonprofit executives conceded san diego food bank charity rating finances have been tough as the region struggled through the recession, but they believe things are looking up.
“People in Phoenix are certainly giving more because they are feeling more secure,” said Jacky Alling, chief philanthropic services officer at the Arizona Community Foundation. The organization said it has invested $423 million into more than san diego food bank charity rating charities in Arizona in its 35-year history.
Things are getting better, but “we are certainly not back at the level of giving that we were before the recession,” said Michael Nilsen, vice president of the national Association of Fundraising Professionals.
That’s true in Arizona as well.
“This year has been difficult because the economy is still struggling,” said Bill Carnegie, CEO at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona.
He said the reason the food bank is able to struggle through tough times is because of its decision “to really focus on programs to make sure that every dollar is used effectively.” The Charity Navigator study said as much, reporting that 96.9 percent of the food bank’s expenses were spent on san diego food bank charity rating over the last year.
Carnegie said the economic downturn has also increased competition between nonprofits as they fight for funding.
“It’s hard for donors to decide whom they want to support,” he said.
One possible solution is cooperation.
“Collaboration between nonprofit can help the donors’ dollars go further,” Carnegie said.
In some cases, the choice is being made for them, with “some funders … forcing nonprofits to collaborate more.”
The food bank partnered with more than 300 other nonprofits to make the most of every dollar to serve different programs. Carnegie said hunger is just one of the many problems people in poverty have and it is important san diego food bank charity rating charities to work together, “to make a better place for citizens to live and raise families.”
Ward said the Phoenix Symphony has already seen the advantages of cooperation. It teamed up last July with Ballet Arizona and Arizona Opera, when the three arts organizations introduced an annual fundraising gala – Trio – that features ballet, opera and the symphony on stage together.
“Trio represents our latest efforts with other arts organizations to find new efficiencies and new ways to add value for the benefit of our patrons in these challenging times,” Ward said.
Ward said there is no getting around the fact that it costs money to run a symphony, with a high cost of daily operations and musicians’ salaries. But he said the Charity Navigator report did not include the symphony’s latest tax form 990, which shows better financials for the year.
Charles Berginc, principal trumpet for the Phoenix Symphony, agreed. The situation at the symphony now is “kind of the opposite” of what’s in the report, he said.
Berginc said the orchestra has made a variety of changes in concerts, and “has been very encouraged by the audience.”
Ward said his team works hard on marketing and adjusting to the audience.
“A nonprofit needs to be run like a business,” he said.
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The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank Receives $250,000 Donation From The Los Angeles Chargers
LOS ANGELES, March 16, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank announces a generous $250,000 gift from The Los Angeles Chargers to ensure hunger relief services continue uninterrupted for Los Angeles County children, seniors, individuals and families amid the Coronavirus crisis. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is experiencing unexpected distribution and operational costs due to the increased demand in our community.
During this unprecedented time, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is committed to helping those who need food assistance. The recent actions taken at the federal, state and local levels are needed to combat the spread of the Coronavirus home remedies for migraine during periods will also put a significant additional strain on local families and individuals. The Food Bank is hiring temporary workers, utilizing the Mobile Food Pantries and is ensuring rigorous health protocols are maintained to continue safe service to vulnerable populations.
"In moments like this, it is incumbent upon us as a community to band together and provide help where it is needed most," said Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos. "We're honored to help the Food Bank provide some certainty and relief for those impacted by the Coronavirus crisis in what has become an increasingly uncertain time."
The Chargers distribute food annually at their facility and contribute financially to the work of the Food Bank. Team members and staff also volunteer regularly to help glean food and pack boxes.
"The Los Angeles Chargers have been an incredible supporter of the Food Bank over the years, and this is yet another example of their tremendous commitment to their community," said President and CEO, Michael Flood. "We are humbled by this amazing gift, which will go a long way to help those who are hurting right now."
With this gift, the Food Bank will be able to help children and their families as children stay home from school, as well as seniors who are self-isolating and hourly workers who are experiencing interruptions to their schedules and paychecks.
About Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank has been fighting hunger in Los Angeles County since 1973 and has distributed the equivalent of more than 1.2 billion meals across our community. The Food Bank provides food to more than 300,000 clients on a monthly basis and distributed 81.8 million pounds of food and grocery products in 2018 to children, seniors, working families, veterans and other neighbors in need. To support the vision that no one goes hungry in Los Angeles, food and products are distributed through a network of more than 600 partner agencies directly to children through our Children's Backpack and Summer Lunch programs, to approximately 28,000 seniors each month through our Senior Nutrition Program, and to working families and college students through our Mobile Food Pantry. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a 4-star rated charity by Charity Navigator. For more information, visit LAFoodBank.org.
About the Los Angeles Chargers
Now in their 61st season, the Chargers continue to stretch the imagination and put on the most exciting show in football. Behind the dramatic games, unforgettable highlights, beloved players, groundbreaking performances, idyllic Southern California setting and one of the best uniforms in the NFL lies an uncompromising drive for success – one rooted in toughness, resilience and old-fashioned hard work. A charter member of the American Football League, the franchise was established in Los Angeles in 1960 and called the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum home during its first year of existence. From 1961 to 2016, the team played in San Diego and advanced to five of the first six AFL Championship games ever played. The Chargers claimed the 1963 AFL title and later joined the National Football League when the two leagues merged in 1970. Since the merger, the Chargers have gone on to appear in Super Bowl XXIX and have captured an additional 10 division titles. The Chargers were purchased by construction leader, philanthropist and real estate developer Alex G. Spanos in san diego food bank charity rating and have been under the guidance of Spanos' eldest son Dean, the team's current Chairman of the Board, since 1994. Dean Spanos' sons – A.G. Spanos, President of Business Operations, and John Spanos, President of Football Operations – oversee the day-to-day operations of the franchise. The Chargers returned to Los Angeles in 2017 and, beginning with the 2020 season, will play their games in the franchise's new multi-billion-dollar SoFi Stadium home. For more information, call 1-877-CHARGERS or visit http://www.chargers.com.
David May, Director of Marketing and Communications
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
323-234-3030 x 134
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US nonprofit organization and food bank network
Feeding America is a United States–based nonprofit organization that is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and other community-based agencies. Forbes ranks it as the second largest U.S. charity by revenue. Feeding America was known as America's Second Harvest until August 31, 2008.
In the mid 1960s, during rehabilitation in Phoenix, Arizona after a paralyzing injury, John van Hengel began volunteering at a local soup kitchen. He solicited food donations and ended up with far more food than the kitchen could use. Around this time, one of the clients told him that she regularly fed her children with discarded items from a grocery store garbage dumpster. She told him that the food quality was fine, but that there should be a place where unwanted food could be deposited and later withdrawn by people who needed it, like a bank.
Van Hengel began to actively solicit unwanted food from grocery stores, local gardens, and nearby citrus groves. His effort led to the creation of St. Mary's Food Bank in San diego food bank charity rating, the nation's first food bank.
In 1975, St. Mary's was awarded a federal grant to assist in developing food banks across the nation. This effort was formally incorporated into a separate non-profit organization in 1976.
In 2001, America's Second Harvest merged with Foodchain, which was the nation's largest food-rescue organization at that time.
In 2005, Feeding America began using an internal market with a synthetic currency called "shares" to more rationally allocate food. Currency is allocated based on the need, and then individual banks bid on which foods they want the most, based on local knowledge and ability to transport and store the food offered. Negative prices are possible, so banks could earn shares by picking up undesirable food. The previous centrally planned system had penalized banks for refusing any food offered, even if it was the wrong type to meet their needs, and this resulted in misallocations ("sending potatoes to Idaho"), food rotted away in places that did not need it, and the wrong types of food being delivered (e.g. not matching hot dogs with hot dog buns).
In May 2007, it was featured on American Idol, named as a charity in the Idol Gives Back charity program.
In September 2008, the organization name was changed from America's Second Harvest to Feeding America.
In August 2009, Columbia Records announced that all U.S. royalties from Bob Dylan's album Christmas in the Heart would be donated to Feeding America, in perpetuity.
There has been a rise in the numbers suffering from hunger since the financial crisis of 2007–2008. In 2013, the USDA reported that about 49 million U.S. Americans faced poor nutrition, about one in six of the population. In September, they launched Hunger Action Month, with events planned all over the nation, to raise awareness and get more U.S. Americans involved in helping out.
In 2015, Feeding America saved more than 2 billion pounds (~907 thousand metric tons) of food that would have been thrown away otherwise, but could instead be distributed to hungry families.
In 2018, the USDA announced that food insecurity had been steadily declining since the 2009 recession ended.
In 2020, Feeding America said that there were about 11 million children suffering from hunger in the United States. Children, along with families and seniors having trouble making ends meet, were suffering the most.
The COVID-19 pandemic increased hunger levels and the number of people in need of food banks. According to Patti Habeck, the President of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, the number of people increased by 36% at the height of pandemic, and had not yet decreased but autumn of 2021.
Feeding America created the MealConnect platform in 2014, which helps food donors like grocery stores, restaurants and caterers to connect with local food banks and pantries. The platform helps to reduce food waste and increase the efficiency of food donations. In June 2020, Feeding America expanded MealConnect's operations nationwide.
Bob Aiken was its first CEO. Matt Knott was its interim-CEO in 2015. On October 1, 2015, Diana Aviv became its second CEO. On October 1, 2018, Claire Babineaux-Fontenot became its third CEO.
Feeding America works to educate the general public and keep them informed about hunger in America. The national office produces educational and research papers that spotlight aspects of hunger and provides information on hunger, poverty and the programs that serve vulnerable Americans. Feeding America's public policy staff works with legislators, conducting research, testifying at hearings and advocating for changes in public attitudes and laws that support Feeding America's network and those the organization serves.
In 2017, Feeding America announced a plan to increase the nutritional value of food from food banks. By 2023, the group plans to offer more fruits and vegetables, and provide training so they can distribute more produce, whole grains and lean proteins.
There are more than 200 Feeding America food banks, each of which works in its own area. A complete and current list is available at the Feeding America web site. Food banks in the network include:
- Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland, California
- Arkansas Foodbank Network in Little Rock, Arkansas
- Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C.
- Community Action Services and Food Bank in Provo, Utah
- Connecticut Food Bank in East Haven, Connecticut
- Feeding Southwest Virginia in Salem, Virginia
- Food Bank For New York City in New York City
- Food Bank of Delaware in Delaware
- Food Lifeline in Seattle, Washington
- Forgotten Harvest in Metro Detroit
- Freestore Foodbank in Cincinnati, Ohio
- Good Shepherd Food Bank in Maine
- Greater Americas next top model season 1 episode 3 Food Bank in Boston, Massachusetts
- Greater Chicago Food Depository in Chicago, Illinois
- Houston Food Bank in Houston, Texas
- North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, Texas
- Philabundance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Redwood Empire Food Bank in northern California
- Second Harvest North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida
- Second Harvest of Silicon Valley in San Jose, California
- St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona
- Vermont Foodbank in Barre, Vermont
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