Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Kentucky Commission on Philanthropy organizes

Rural areas don't get their share of philanthropy, but one of the more rural states is taking steps to align public and private interests and pursue public-private partnerships to focus on big issues. That's how Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear put it in his order creating the Kentucky Commission on Philanthropy. The woman he named chair, Judith Clabes, president emeritus of the Scripps Howard Foundation, says she knows of no other state with such a group. It has 29 members, all private philanthropists or representatives of private philanthropic organizations from around the state.

At its first meeting in January, Clabes and nine members were elected to an executive committee that will conduct business between meetings. The other members are Scott David, executive director of the Ray B. Preston Family Foundation in Henderson; Laura Douglas, E.on-US Foundation in Louisville; William Engle III, trustee of the E.O. Robinson Mountain Fund in Hazard and a trustee of the new Hazard-Perry County Community Foundation; Tim Maloney, president and CEO of the Haile/USBank Foundation; Mike Philipps, Clabes' successor as president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation; and Susan Zepeda, executive director of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

The commission's first work will be in the areas of early childhood education and child health. Beshear's executive order said the group should put its first focus on "our youngest citizens." Among other things, the order calls for the commission to "develop relationships and seek assistance from national foundations," and conduct studies and seminars, including a Summit on Philanthropy in June 2009. For Beshear's press release, which lists all the members, click here.

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