Tag: Community Foundation of Louisville

Louisville’s Community Foundation left a piece of its heart in San Francisco

Just because the Community Foundation of Louisville bears the city’s name doesn’t mean all its biggest grants go to local charities.

The foundation’s newest IRS tax return shows it gave $6.3 million to the Schwab Charitable Fund in San Francisco during the year ended June 3o, 2015 — its single-biggest gift during the period, and one far larger than its top gifts in the previous two years.

schwab-charitable-fund-logoThe Schwab Fund — which is affiliated with the discount brokerage of the same name — is an enormous donor-advised charity that gives money to other non-profits across the country at the direction of its individual donors. Indeed, some of those nonprofits are back here in Louisville.

The Schwab grant accounted for more than 22% of the total $28 million in grants made by the Community Foundation during the year. Here were the top 10:

community-foundation-2014

In its 2013 and 2012 years, the Community Foundation also made large contributions to San Francisco charities — in both cases, the San Francisco Foundation — but nowhere near as large as the one to Schwab.

In both those years, the Community Foundation’s single-biggest grants went to 21st Century Parks, the non-profit that developed and maintains the sprawling Parklands of Floyds Fork, a group of four parks on 3,700 acres in eastern Jefferson County. Here were the top 10 those years:

community-foundation-2013

community-foundation-2012

Although the Louisville Community Foundation supports many local charities, it doesn’t limit its grants to the city. In fiscal 2014, only about $600,000 of the $28 million in grants came from the foundation’s unrestricted funds. The rest was made according to the terms of about 230 individual donor-advised funds it manages.

In its tax returns, the foundation doesn’t identify how much each of those donor-advised funds contribute, so there’s no way to know why so much money went to the Schwab Charitable Fund.

The Schwab Fund’s own tax return doesn’t offer a definitive answer, either. In its 2014 year, the fund made $1.1 billion in grants to more than 17,000 different non-profits — including nearly 30 back here in Louisville; indeed, one of those was 21st Century Parks, which got $105,000.

Photo, top: The Golden Gate Bridge, with the San Francisco skyline in the distance.

David Jones Sr., his alma mater UofL, and the politics of money and power in Louisville

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

David Jones Sr
Jones

If there’s anything surprising about David A. Jones Sr. formally entering the high-stakes fray over the University of Louisville yesterday, it’s the fact it took this long to become public.

Nearly three months ago, when Gov. Matt Bevin shocked the community by seizing control of the school and dismissing the 20-member governing board he declared “dysfunctional,” the first person I thought of was Jones, the Louisville native, co-founder of Humana, and one of the state’s leading philanthropists.

That June 17, Bevin said his decision was the “culmination of all the conversations I’ve had with everybody on all fronts.” He didn’t reveal the names of those he’d spoken with, but it certainly would have included alumni whose opinion mattered. And few among that select group matters more than Jones.

“One of the university’s most influential and wealthiest graduates,” I wrote the day Bevin moved against the 22,000-student school, “is Humana co-founder David A. Jones Sr., who received a bachelor’s degree in business there in 1954.”

Jones and his wife, Betty Ashbury Jones, have long and extensive ties to UofL. She received a bachelor’s degree from the school in 1955, and the two went on to graduate school: David to Yale Law; and Betty, much later, to the French School at Vermont’s Middlebury College. (More on those two schools in a moment). Back in Louisville, Jones and a law partner, Wendell Cherry, launched the health-care company in 1961 that would become the Humana empire, starting with a single nursing home; they became millionaires after it went public in 1968.

david-and-betty-jones
Betty and David Jones.
A Depression-poor childhood

David served on the board of trustees for a time, and Betty taught French Conversation in the Continuing Education Department from 1993 to 2003. For their service to the school, the couple were among the first to be made members of the Arts and Sciences Hall of Honors, in 2007.

David didn’t come from money, and UofL — which he attended on a ROTC scholarship Continue reading “David Jones Sr., his alma mater UofL, and the politics of money and power in Louisville”

In a sharp rebuke, JG Brown foundation asks whether UofL foundation funds were improperly diverted, threatens to cut off future gifts

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

The white-shoe world of philanthropy is usually collegial and rarely combative, which makes the $355 million James Graham Brown Foundation‘s public accusations yesterday against the University of Louisville Foundation so extraordinary.

The Brown foundation, which has given $72 million to the school over the past six decades, sent the broadside in a letter from Chairman and CEO R. Alex Rankin and President Mason Rummel, according to The Courier-Journal.

They expressed concern that “expenditures may have been made that were not exclusively for the charitable and educational purposes of the university,” or were not consistent with UofL rules barring donors, members or trustees from personally profiting from the UofL foundation, according to the CJ’s Andrew Wolfson.

Alex Rankin
Rankin

Established in 1943, the Brown is second only to UofL’s among the city’s biggest philanthropic foundations based on asset size; UofL’s has about $820 million. That gives the Brown and Rankin extra clout, and could spur other big donors to also threaten funding cutoffs. Rankin is well-connected in the city’s power structure, sitting on the boards of Churchill Downs and Glenview Trust Co., where fellow directors have very strong UofL connections.

In their letter, Rankin and Rummel also said the Brown foundation is troubled the university hasn’t honored open- records requests from the chairman of the university’s board of trustees, Larry Benz, concerning UofL foundation accounting records, the CJ says.

Underscoring the gravity of their concerns, Rankin and Rummel threatened to cut off funding unless UofL hires a nationally recognized forensic accounting firm to review its finances. The specific request for a forensic accounting is striking because Continue reading “In a sharp rebuke, JG Brown foundation asks whether UofL foundation funds were improperly diverted, threatens to cut off future gifts”

In FoodPort’s sudden failure, a rare defeat for Louisville’s blue-chip philanthropists: the Brown family

FoodPort rendering 600
An aerial rendering of 24-acre site at 30th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard.

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

For the past two years, developers of the West Louisville FoodPort worked mightily to bring urban farming and as many as 250 good jobs to the heart of a neighborhood yearning for a better future. Mayor Greg Fischer said the project would “change the look and feel of Russell forever.” Their ambitious, $35 million plan was going so well, one of the world’s foremost advocates of organic food paid a headline-grabbing visit last year: Prince Charles, heir to the British throne.

Stephen Reily
Reily

But yesterday, the entire enterprise collapsed when the non-profit developers, Seed Capital Kentucky, abruptly announced they’d lost a linchpin partner, and without enough time to find a replacement. “We don’t have a way to put it together,” Seed Capital co-founder Stephen Reily said. “We are deeply disappointed.”

Many, many other people were disappointed as well: the mayor, who’d pushed the project as a centerpiece for revitalizing the Russell neighborhood, only to see it steadily scaled back amid community infighting; some 150 residents who helped shepherd the project past months of political hurdles, and the Russell councilwoman, Cheri Bryant Hamilton, “heartbroken” last night over its failure, The Courier-Journal said.

But less publicized was the distress almost certainly felt by a high-profile Louisville family who had invested heavily in its development: the Browns, founders of the spirits giant Brown-Forman. It was an unusual defeat for a family that’s often in the vanguard of high-profile causes ending in resounding success.

Christy Brown
Brown

The Browns were there at critical junctures for the FoodPort, including last year’s goodwill tour by Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall. In a speech at the Cathedral of the Assumption on that overcast Friday in March, the CJ reported at the time, “the prince credited his visit to the persuasive powers of Louisville philanthropist Christina Lee Brown, matriarch of the family that controls Brown-Forman.”

Indeed, in 0ne photo with the newspaper’s online story, the unidentified woman in an orange coat and strands of pearls, beaming in the royal couple’s wake during one of their walkabouts, is Christina, known to many in Louisville as Christy.

Augusta Brown Holland
Holland

As one of the city’s best-known philanthropists, she and her immediate family have formed the core of the extended Brown family’s support of Seed Capital. Her daughter, Augusta Brown Holland, an urban planner and investor, is one of the non-profit’s six board members. Another daughter, Brooke Brown Barzun, has a more direct line to Buckingham Palace: Her husband, Matthew Barzun, is U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

A tale of IRS tax returns

The Browns donate multimillions of dollars annually to charities from coast to coast, although especially in Louisville. But they don’t often seek attention for their contributions.

Prince and Christina 300
On the CJ: Camilla, Christy and Charles.

In fact, Seed Capital only hints at the family’s hefty financial support,
on a difficult-to-find page of its website with a barebones alphabetical roster of “funders.” Of the 16 names listed, six are Brown family members or their personal charitable foundations. A seventh is the source of their $6 billion fortune: Brown-Forman, the nearly 150-year-old producer of Jack Daniel’s and other well-known brands. And an eighth, the Community Foundation of Louisville, is home to at least 10 individual Brown donor-advised funds.

Brown family foundation public IRS tax returns fill in details. In 2012-2015, six of the foundations donated a combined Continue reading “In FoodPort’s sudden failure, a rare defeat for Louisville’s blue-chip philanthropists: the Brown family”

Bidding hits fever pitch for $20M Lawrence’s ‘Bad Blood’ biopic about disgraced startup techie Holmes

Boulevard reviews the latest media coverage of the Oscar-winning Louisville native in our exclusive Jennifer Lawrence Diary™. Today’s news, rated on a scale of 1-5 stars:

Five starsBidding on one of Lawrence’s newest projects — about disgraced Silicon Valley medical lab entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes — went nuts last night as nine companies offered $3 million to $4 million for director Adam McKay‘s screenplay, according to Deadline. The film, so far called “Bad Blood,” has a budget of $40 million to $50 million.

The trade site says the movie has “all the requisites for the big packages studios are responding to right now: hot-button subject matter, McKay coming off his Oscar for “Big Short” and Oscar winner Lawrence, 25, who usually finds herself in the Academy Awards mix on prestige projects, most recently ‘Joy.'”

Lawrence and Holmes
Lawrence (left) and Holmes.

Holmes, 32, launched Theranos in 2003, with claims it could test blood with only a pinprick vs. the traditional method of drawing blood by injection. That pumped up the company’s valuation to $9 billion as recently as two years ago, according to Deadline. The company has since come under investigation over claims of inaccurate testing. And Holmes’ own worth — at one point valued at $4.5 billion for her 50% stake — has fallen to a fraction of that.

Lawrence’s $52 million, and counting

She’s one of Hollywood’s box-office queens, Continue reading “Bidding hits fever pitch for $20M Lawrence’s ‘Bad Blood’ biopic about disgraced startup techie Holmes”

Community Foundation logoThe Community Foundation of Louisville is coordinating the third annual Give Local campaign, which helps local non-profits generate extra fundraising oomph. During last year’s campaign, some $3 million was raised for the 362 nonprofits that participated, representing contributions of 5,200 donors and 8,785 gifts, The Courier-Journal says today. This year’s drive launches with online registration on May 15 at www.givelocallousiville.org.