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Our "Adventures in Philanthropy" blog posts are written by our staff and diverse membership and offer a glimpse into the world of philanthropy, presenting current issues and information relevant to funders, policymakers, members of the media, and those interested in current issues and giving trends.


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Recent Reports from the Field

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Monday, June 16, 2014
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Meet Laurie Latuda Kinkel, Newly Elected ABAG Board Chair

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Monday, June 16, 2014
Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Laurie Latuda Kinkel, Program Officer at the Goldseker Foundation, is the newly elected Chair of the Board of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG).

During our organization's recent 2014 Annual Meeting, Laurie mentioned that "our region benefits greatly from a long tradition of thoughtful, innovative, and committed philanthropy and it's an exciting time to be involved with ABAG, where we continue to challenge ourselves to maximize the impact of philanthropic giving in our region, including especially to promote equity, and I look forward to working together to move our membership organization forward over the next two years."

Given Laurie's new position, we wanted to hear more about her and her vision for the next few years:

1. What might your ABAG member colleagues not know about you?

I've traveled to 21 countries in Latin America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and one Caribbean Island.

2. You have been a long-time leader at ABAG. What excites you about taking on the role of Board Chair?

Now is a really exciting time to step into the role of Board Chair. I feel as though the last 18 months we have really been completing the process of ABAG's first executive transition.

With Celeste's first year under her belt and the talented and committed staff that we have, our association is poised to address some really timely and interesting questions. For example, what does the emerging democratization of philanthropy mean for our association and our membership? How do we take up the challenge that Angela Glover Blackwell posed at our annual meeting, that of advancing fair and just inclusion in our philanthropy?

3. What do you see as your most important priorities during your tenure the next two years?

We are embarking on a process to update our strategic plan. A big priority for me is considering the strategic questions we face from the perspectives of our diverse membership, our board, and our staff, and helping us to articulate our shared goals for philanthropy in the region.

The updated strategic plan will then require thoughtful communication among our membership and the wider community.

Thanks Laurie!

As a membership organization of 145+ foundations, donor advised funds, and corporate giving programs, the mission of the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers is to maximize the impact of philanthropic giving on community life through a growing network of diverse, informed and effective grantmakers.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  June 2014 Members' Memo  Laurie Latuda Kinkel 

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3 Questions With ... Janet Currie - Baltimore Market Manager, Bank of America

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Monday, June 16, 2014
Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

Bank of America recently announced that Janet Currie has been named market manager for Baltimore and the surrounding areas. In this role, among other things, Janet will coordinate sponsorships and key corporate social responsibility initiatives including philanthropic contributions and employee volunteerism.

We recently asked her a few questions about her new position: 

1. What is your professional background?

I have been with Bank of America for more than 20 years. My roles at the bank have included leading teams within the Consumer Bank, the Premier Wealth Management Bank and Retail Operations. Additionally, I have held positions within Home Loans, Business Banking and Global Wealth and Investment Management. Throughout the years, my responsibility has been developing relationships, both internally and externally, to grow our business by delivering exceptional service and value added products to our customers and clients. I have also worked as a process design consultant, focused on improving internal processes. Through this work became a certified Six Sigma Greenbelt. I hold a Master of Science degree from New York University, Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, I am a graduate of Leadership Howard County.

2. What will be the main focus of your work with Bank of America?

The main focus of my work will be connecting communities to better economic futures by taking a comprehensive approach to having a meaningful impact on the needs related to housing, hunger and jobs. I will partner with many great organizations that make a difference locally. I will coordinate key corporate social responsibility initiatives including philanthropic contributions and employee volunteerism.

3. What are you most excited about in taking on this position, and as newly engaged member of ABAG?

I am most excited about having the opportunity to represent Bank of America in our continued commitment to positively impacting our community and its citizens. I look forward to partnering with other philanthropic givers and community stakeholders. This will enable me to better understand the most critical challenges in our community today. Being a member of ABAG affords me access to the wisdom of area grantmakers who are extremely knowledgeable and incredibly passionate about their mission.

Janet succeeds Brooke Hodges, who recently retired on June 1 after more than 32 years with Bank of America. Welcome Janet and we'll miss you Brooke!

You can reach her at:

Janet Currie

Senior Vice President

Baltimore Market Manager

Bank of America

100 S. Charles St., 3rd Floor

Baltimore, MD 21201

410.547.4291 F 443.231.0213

Tags:  3 Questions With  Adventures in Philanthropy  Bank of America  June 2014 Members' Memo 

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Philanthropy’s Equity Imperative

Posted By Elisabeth Hyleck, Thursday, June 12, 2014
Updated: Monday, June 23, 2014
Updated, June 23, 2014
By Elisabeth Hyleck, Programs and Initiatives Director

At ABAG’s Annual Meeting last month, members and partners heard Angela Blackwell Glover, Founder and CEO of PolicyLink discuss "A Maryland That Works for All: Philanthropy’s Equity Imperative” and about realizing the opportunity of our country's increasing diversity. You can find highlights of the event/keynote here or you can view in full on YouTube.

ABAG’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which strives to support the learning of members about issues related to equity and inclusion, solicited reactions to the keynote address and input about ABAG’s work toward increasing diversity and inclusion by asking attendees to provide us with input on a key take-away, an action that they might take following the meeting, topics of interest to explore further and/or suggestions for ABAG’s continued efforts in this area.

We were so pleased at the responses!

Here’s a few of the thoughts and comments from our funding community:

• "Equity ≠ Equal. Different groups have different needs”
• "We’re becoming a nation that is defined by what’s happening with people of color”
• "Hearing the statistics based on race/people of color are becoming the majority is astounding!”
• "More advocacy - Innovation in mental health-social, emotional development in schools.”
• How can philanthropy influence public and private policy to build the middle class?
• Some say it’s not about race - it’s about poverty. How should we think through that?
• What does this mean for programs, policies & strategies in philanthropy?
• Changing the narrative. How to tell the equity story? How to talk in the economic terms?
• Congratulations to ABAG for leading the conversation on Equity.

And, here’s some of the follow-up thoughts from our members:

1. Sign up for the Policy Link mailing list.
2. Use the "equity lens” to inform group work, by raising it in each conversation.

As a result of these suggestions, our first next step is to plan a discussion about race and poverty in Maryland.

ABAG remains committed to fulfill our mission by embracing diversity and inclusion in our membership, governance and programs and will continue infuse ABAG's values of diversity, inclusiveness and respect in our work.
For more information on our efforts, click here.

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Diversity  Equity  Inclusion  June 2014 Members' Memo 

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Tax Matters in Congress

Posted By Adam Donaldson, Thursday, June 12, 2014
June 12, 2014

On May 29, 2014, the House Ways and Means Committee approved five bills of interest to the nonprofit and foundation communities:
  1. Permanently extend the IRA charitable rollover (HR 4619).
  2. Allow individuals to claim a charitable deduction for contributions made up to the date their income tax return is due (usually April 15) (HR 3134).
  3. Eliminate the upper tier excise tax and reduce the excise tax on investment income of private foundations from two to one percent (HR 4691).  
  4. Make permanent the enhanced deduction for property donated for conservation easements (HR 2807).
  5. Make permanent the enhanced charitable deductions for food inventory (HR 2945).

Each of the bills received bi-partisan support in the debate, but all were approved by party-line votes due to a dispute over whether to pay for the tax provisions. Republicans voted yes to permanently extend the measures but without providing for offsetting revenue raisers to pay for the changes; Democrats voiced support for the policies but voted no on the bills because they did not include "pay fors" (Source: National Council of Nonprofits' Nonprofit Advocacy Matters: June 2, 2014.)

This is one step in the legislative process leading to a full vote in the House and Senate.  It is unclear if the legislation would be brought forward before November elections.

On June 5, 2014, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, issued a press release reinforcing their "commitment to overhauling the nation’s broken tax code through comprehensive reform.”  Wyden and Hatch announced the first in a series of committee hearings this summer.


  • Education tax incentives


  • ID theft and taxpayer privacy protection
  • Modernizing corporate taxation


Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Charitable Tax Deduction  June 2014 Members' Memo  Taxes 

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Appreciation for Common Grant Revision Task Force

Posted By Adam Donaldson, Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 3, 2014

The Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers (ABAG) believes effective grantmaking begins with transparent and streamlined grant processes that allow the staff and volunteers of philanthropic and nonprofit organizations to focus their time and expertise on fulfilling their mission to improve communities across Maryland.

One tool to promote best practice has been the ABAG Common Grant Application.

The ABAG application serves as a proposal format accepted by 30 grantmaking organizations and as a model to new grantmakers and grant writers. Last revised in 2003, however, ABAG recently undertook to examine if our grant application met member needs and our aspirations in light oftechnology changes, researchabout the burden of grantseeking (Project Streamline), and local practice.

Currently a group of members and nonprofit representatives have quietly contributed more than 200 combined volunteer hours for the Common Grant Revision Task Force. The Task Force participants started by sharing their own grant formats and frustrations with received proposals. The Task Force grew when ABAG members sought to include nonprofit representatives from Maryland Nonprofits, Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the community. The Task Force then completed a discovery period to review educational resources on grant writing and grant applications published by other regional associations.

The primary result was a decision to include more guidance to grantseekers through instruction and tips, especially in the area of budgets. This summer the Task Force will complete a new application format and offer it for review by members. before wider distribution.

You are now on alert status for a feedback request. In anticipation, interested members can find out more by contacting Adam Donaldson or a member of the Task Force.

In my humble opinion no association is better supported in its work by the volunteer labor and strategic thinking of its members than ABAG.

We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to learn with these folks and continuously improve so that we can fulfill our mission of growing a network of effective grantmakers.

2013-2014 Common Grant Revision Task Force

  • Ann Billingsley, Hoffberger Family Philanthropies
  • Cathy Brill, Leonard & Helen R. Stulman Charitable
  • Greg Cantori, Maryland Nonprofits
  • Adam Donaldson, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
  • Lara Hall, Blaustein Philanthropic Group
  • Brooke Hisle, Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger Fund
  • Jan Hoffberger
  • Steve Kaiser, BD Diagnostics Diagnostic Systems
  • Mari Beth Moulton, Wright Family Foundation
  • Phillip Rowland-Seymour
  • Ann Sherrill, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
  • John Sinclair, Thomas B. & Elizabeth M. Sheridan Foundation
  • Kim Snipes, Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers
  • Isazetta Spikes, AFP-Maryland and Catholic Charities
  • Terry Staudenmaier, Abell Foundation
  • Jessica Suriano, Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust
  • Stacey Van Horn, T. Rowe Price Foundation

Tags:  Adventures in Philanthropy  Common Grant Application  June 2014 Members' Memo 

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3 Questions With ... Scott Nolen, Director, Drug Addiction and Treatment Program, OSI-Baltimore

Posted By Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz, Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 3, 2014

Scott Nolen as recently named Director of the Drug Addiction Treatment program at the Open Society Institute-Baltimore. We recently asked him a few questions about his new position. 

1. What is your professional background?

I am dually trained with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and a law degree. I have worked in a variety of arenas including academic research centers, a legislative office, and several advocacy positions in the public health and juvenile and criminal justice fields. Most recently, I worked as a health scientist in the National Institutes on Minority Health and Health Disparities Office of Strategic Planning, Legislation and Scientific Policy. In that capacity, I led a project focused on creating a resource portal to drive the national discussion on health disparities. Prior to that, I served as the Director of the Equal Justice Program at the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice, which allowed me to combine my expertise in health care and criminal justice and utilize my legal training and social science research background to advocate for the most disenfranchised residents of New Jersey. Additionally, I previously served as a Congressional Fellow for a United States Senator working on issues related to health care reform.

2. What will be the main focus of your work with OSI-Baltimore?

I will serve as the Director of the Drug Addiction Treatment program at the Open Society Institute-Baltimore. This program partners with providers and advocates to provide access to high-quality drug addiction treatment to all those who need it. OSI-Baltimore works specifically on increasing the availability of such treatment for uninsured and underinsured people, in Baltimore and across the state.

 3. What are you most excited about as a new staff person at OSI-Baltimore, and a new member of ABAG?

My anticipation for this position is multi-faceted but has two major components. First, I am extremely excited to join an audacious group of grantmakers, such as those at OSI, where grantmaking is synonymous with hand-in-hand collaboration with stakeholders across the state. I am also enthusiastic about the opportunity to work in a city with such a rich history of public health innovation that combines the experience and perspectives of community groups with the research capacity of several well-respected institutions of higher learning.

We welcome Scott to OSI-Baltimore, and the ABAG family!


Scott can be reached:

S. Nolen, J.D., Ph.D.

Director, Drug Addiction and Treatment Program

Open Society Institute-Baltimore


Tags:  3 Questions With  Adventures in Philanthropy  June 2014 Members' Memo  OSI-Baltimore 

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