Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Rick Cohen, respected journalist, champion of rural philanthropy, dies at 64

Rick Cohen
Rick Cohen, an advocate for rural philanthropy and a journalist for Nonprofit Quarterly and the Daily Yonder, died at the age of 64 on Tuesday, reports Nonprofit Quarterly. "His loss will be inestimable to many of you, as it is to us. Rick will be remembered for his integrity, his powerful and nimble intellect, his unyielding courage in pursuit of truth, his commitment to social justice and his humor. Of all the things and people that he loved, the most important was his cherished daughter Ellie—and to her we say, thank you for sharing him with us. The world is immeasurably poorer for our loss of him."

The Yonder states, "Cohen’s groundbreaking research on private philanthropy found that major foundations gave up to 99 percent of their grant dollars to projects in metropolitan areas, leaving rural groups struggling to serve community needs . . . Cohen called out the nation’s largest foundations for what he said was their failure to invest equitably in rural community development. Simultaneously, he challenged the nation’s nonprofits—both rural and urban—to do better in their efforts to serve marginalized and underrepresented populations."

Cohen "conducted his first study of rural philanthropy more than a decade ago and found that national foundations gave a lot less to rural community development than they did to urban community development on a per capita basis," reports the Yonder. "His research showed that only about $1 to $1.50 of every $100 foundations give away finds its way to rural communities. He repeated the study over the years and made presentations on it to the National Rural Assembly and the annual Rural LISC Seminar, a national gathering of rural development organizations."  (Read more)

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