Here is an article, featuring many of our partners in the Pioneer Valley Local Food Investing Community, authored by Logan Yonavjak
The Solidago Foundation, in partnership with the Frances Fund and the Lydia B. Stokes Foundation is happy to make a new publication, authored by world renowned expert in the field of local investing, Michael Shuman, available to all.
The three foundations have collaborated to help Pioneer Valley residents advance their own Local Food Economy (see www.pvgrows.net) and are pleased to share the latest effort of this collaboration.
This is an exciting project, a work in progress, designed to help other community practitioners streamline their own process for launching community investment funds in their own communities.
Download the report here:
And a brief Appendix, to assist practitioners in building out their decsision tree:
On October 14th, 2012, Joseph Rosenmiller, our founder and principle donor passed away. He created the foundation in 1996, served on the board for many years, and was a supporter throughout the remainder of his life. His philanthropic giving made a big difference in many people’s lives. We honor his memory.
Joseph Rosenmiller, Nontraditional Philanthropist, Dies at 87
Published: October 17, 2012
Joseph Rosenmiller, who earned a fortune building a chain of radio stations and then donated tens of millions to promote causes that he felt traditional philanthropies largely ignored, like voting rights and the empowerment of domestic workers, died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan. He was 87.
Unable to get a job as a social worker, Mr. Rosenmiller and his college classmate Peter Bordes bought a small AM radio station in Southbridge, Mass., in 1956 with an inheritance Mr. Rosenmiller had received from his mother, plus borrowed funds.
From there, he and his partner bought small radio stations across the South and then in big markets like Boston, Los Angeles, Detroit and Philadelphia. They developed a widely copied format they called magic radio, a rotation of light pop that was more Loggins & Messina and less Led Zeppelin. Advertisers liked it. The company, Greater Media, also invested early and profitably in cable television.
But while business was booming, Mr. Rosenmiller’s wife of 11 years, the former Frances Agate, died of breast cancer at 41 in 1967. He never remarried.
Feeling that he needed to do something more significant with his life, his son said, he worked for the New York City mayor’s office of volunteers under Mayor John V. Lindsay at night and then founded a nonprofit, Volunteer Opportunities, to match volunteers with needy organizations.
“That simple little action gave me a great sense of gratification,” he said in a video about his family made by his son John in 2010, “that was very much greater than how I was spending 90 percent of my time at the station.”
In 1994 he sold his share of Greater Media, and in 1996 gave a grant to endow the Solidago Foundation, making gifts that eventually totaled about $40 million. He ran the foundation for several years before turning it over to his son David.
Shelley Zimbalist, the foundation’s managing director, said community groups it had financed agitated successfully to stop Chevron from expanding an oil processing plant in Northern California, to get a domestic workers’ bill of rights enacted in New York State in 2010, and to establish ranked-choice voting in Alameda County, Calif., which includes Berkeley and Oakland. Ranked-choice voting allows voters to cast ballots for their top three choices and rank them by preference. Advocates say it increases voter participation and empowers minorities.
Joseph Lewis Rosenmiller Jr. was born on Feb. 17, 1925, in York, Pa., to Joseph Rosenmiller and the former Dorothy Shipley.
Mr. Rosenmiller told his sons that being a reconnaissance officer behind enemy lines in France and Austria in World War II had opened his eyes to social inequalities, as did his years after the war at Yale and then at Columbia University, where he did graduate study in social work.
Besides his two sons, he is survived by a half-brother, Fred.
In his later years Mr. Rosenmiller received a lot of help from home health aides and others who cared for him, and the foundation became active in efforts to improve working conditions of such workers everywhere.
“It was like him to see in the personal the greater picture,” David Rosenmiller said.
If you would like to read a slightly different take on Joseph Rosenmiller’s life, you can read an article in the non-profit quarterly by following the link below:
The Criminal Justice Initiative (CJI) is a cross-class funding circle made up of community organizers and activist donors.
See How Grassroots Organizations Are Changing the Face of Climate Activism
This 9-minute film documents one of the fastest-growing and most effective forces combating climate change: organized grassroots movements. Centering around efforts to overturn California’s historic global warming legislation, the film highlights how community organizations and networks throughout the state played a crucial role in mobilizing the vote in immigrant and low income communities to defeat Proposition 23, making the case that equity-based and community-driven solutions are essential in bringing about the deeper restructuring of societies to confront the climate crisis.
Check it out here: http://wherewelivefilm.org/
Please make note of our new address.
Solidago has moved it’s offices just a few blocks uptown to 150 Main Street, Northampton (click here for a map). Located in the third floor of the Thornes Marketplace building, our office is accessible from the Main Street entrance, from the rear parking lot (off of Hampton Avenue), and from the bridge that connects to the parking garage.
We are excited about our new office renovations, designed by Coldham & Hartman Architects, which include a rooftop photovoltaic installation by PV Squared.
A study finds that the most effective grantmaking is funding community organizing that builds coalitions.
Grassroots organizations that worked in alliance with other organizations were able to accomplish significantly more for their communities than those that worked in isolation.
Click here for the full report.