27 Apr April 2023 Newsletter
April 2023 Newsletter
Welcome to the April 2023 edition of the Daniels Foundation Newsletter. In this issue, we explore the following topics. Click on the links to read the articles!
Strategic Planning at the Foundation! Periodically the Foundation engages in a strategic planning process. Since 2011 we have used the services of The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI)… Click here to read more…
Program Spotlight: Abby’s House! Low-income, battered, and/ or homeless women with or without children can find a safe place to stay in Worcester. Founded in 1976, the Abbey Kelley Foster House, Inc… Click here to read more…
Generation 2: Bruce Goddard Daniels! Bruce Daniels stepped up to the Presidency of the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation on the passing of his father, Fred Harold Daniels, in 1967… Click here to read more…
Daniels Foundation Investment Strategy! If you have been a board member, committee person, or volunteer youth sports coach, you know that leaders change and the focus of the group can shift over time… Click here to read more…
Strategic Planning at the Foundation
Periodically the Foundation engages in a strategic planning process. Since 2011 we have used the services of The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), and they have been important contributors to our growth and generational transition. We first used them in 2011, and the primary focus was on the start of the transition to the fourth generation (G4) of family members coming onto the Board. We last used them in 2018 as we discussed our relationship with the broader family and a reorganization of our committee structure to better reflect a stronger focus on addressing the most challenging issues faced by Worcester.
This June the Board will gather again with a focus on the fact that members of the fourth generation comprise fully half of the Board, with two more joining the Board fully in December of 2023 and another two joining in December of 2024. Most members of the Board won’t live in Worcester and won’t have had a strong exposure to the community. How best to live up to our commitment to fund only within Worcester County? Our project with girls ages 10-14 has been evolving since 2005, and the impact of this effort is strong and dynamic. Should we go deeper? Our mission is to “support sustainable and creative solutions to Worcester’s most pressing social challenges”. How are we doing? What should we be doing? Could we do more? How?
Strategic planning is a challenging process, and we have deep confidence in our partners at TPI. Their report will reflect individual and confidential conversations with each Board member, and their facilitation of our primary session will guide us with answers to these questions (and others that may come up as a result of our discussion!). As is always the case with strategic planning, the making of the plan is the easiest part… implementing the plan and adapting to the recommendations is hard. But nobody ever said giving away $1M was easy. In the words of Fred Harris Daniels in March of 1912: “When you work, put your entire strength and energy into this work.”
Program Spotlight: Abby’s House
Low-income, battered, and/ or homeless women with or without children can find a safe place to stay in Worcester. Founded in 1976, the Abbey Kelley Foster House, Inc. (named after Worcester’s most famous abolitionist and women’s rights activist) was founded to provide affordable housing for desperate woman who need a safe place to reside. Abbey’s Thrift Store provides vouchers for clothing and necessities. In addition, support services and advocacy are available to allow these women to rebuild and reclaim their lives. The Annette Rafferty Women’s Empowerment Center provides a food pantry, as well as meals twice a week, access to health services, financial counseling, computers to use, SNAP benefits, a YMCA membership and passes to both the Worcester Art Museum and the Ecotarium.
In its 47 years of operation, Abbey’s House has helped more than 15,500 women. Abbey’s House has grown from the original 9 beds in one house to 3 houses and a total of 77 units, Today, even more units are needed.
Each woman is assigned an advocate to help them identify realistic goals and learn what training is necessary to reach their goals. Through empowerment women are able to lead self-directed lives that are filled with dignity and hope.
The Daniels Foundation has funded Abbey’s House for many years at an annual give of $10,000 for operations. This annual appeal was approved at the March quarterly meeting 2023. In December 2022, they applied for a capital grant towards 19 Crown Street house renovation project. $30,000. was awarded. Abbey’s House is worthy of our funds. They truly help those women that need guidance, safety and support.
G2 Profile: Bruce Goddard Daniels 1925-2002
Bruce Daniels stepped up to the Presidency of the Fred Harris Daniels Foundation on the passing of his father, Fred Harold Daniels, in 1967.
During his first years, the family lived at 2 Regent Street, across from his grandparents at 190 Salisbury Street. In 1935, when Bruce was ten, his grandmother, Georgia Grace Goddard died, and 190 Salisbury Street became home for Bruce, his parents, and his older sister Eleanor. He married Janet Beach in 1948, and ultimately settled in Lincoln Massachusetts where they raised five children.
Daniels graduated from Deerfield Academy and attended Yale University and Massachusetts Maritime Academy.
Daniels was a trustee of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester Art Museum, Old Sturbridge Village, Worcester Academy and Nichols College, which awarded him an honorary degree in 1990.
The grandson and son of Worcester industrialists, Daniels choose not to follow in that presumably expected career path, but instead choose to follow his passion. In 1948, he began a career as a dealer in rare stamps and coins, first in New York City and then in Boston, as principal of Bruce G. Daniels Coins and Stamps and a partner in Mayflower Coin Auctions.
He was considered the foremost dealer of rare stamps and coins in the Boston area. During his tenure he bought and sold collectable coins and stamps to a wide audience. He once admitted that he had had and sold a copy of the “upside down Jenny”, calling it a real “corker”. That is a holy grail of collectors, a two color 24 cent airmail with the center biplane printed obviously upside down. Research discovered that he actually owned and sold two copies. Only 100 were printed, and the current estimated value for one stamp is $1.5 million dollars.
His personal collecting interest was Civil War-era postage marks from the Worcester area.
He was an accomplished classical pianist, playing daily on his grand piano and on the organ at 190 Salisbury.
Thru the Foundation and personally, Daniels kept his Worcester roots while following his own passions in a much bigger world.
Daniels Foundation Investment Strategy
If you have been a board member, committee person, or volunteer youth sports coach, you know that leaders change and the focus of the group can shift over time. When new voices come in, they often want to know how things used to be done and why. With the evolution of our foundation in mind, we have created an updated road map for the successive board members to follow for our investment policy. An investment policy statement (IPS) did exist that was dated in the scope and parameters. We decided the IPS needed attention when we were looking for a new investment advisory firm in 2020. As the board sometimes does, we created an ad hoc committee to hammer out the new details of our IPS.
There is a fine line between outlining investment strategies to avoid and handcuffing oneself to a very narrow portfolio. For example, if we said we do not want the portfolio to have any investment in firearms, the next natural question is how far does that statement reach? It might seem simple: we don’t own Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc or Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. But most investment portfolios include mutual funds and electronically traded funds (ETF). One ETF security owns hundreds of shares of different companies. Do we also want to eliminate any mutual fund that holds Walmart shares because they sell firearms?
Our investment committee did not get into any ethical or philosophical debates about our investment strategy, but now you understand some of the complexity of this document. We had some healthy debates about the percentages of asset ownership, working to match our investment objective. We want our investment portfolio to participate in as much market gain as possible without risking giving it all back when there is a downturn: Moderate Growth with some asset Preservation.
Everyone wants Liquidity, Maximum Growth, and Preservation of Capital but there is not any one solution out there that can check all three boxes. Preserving capital and maintaining liquidity means little growth (bank savings accounts). Preserving capital with some growth means a lack of liquidity (CD or annuity). Growth and liquidity mean the capital is exposed to risk (Investments, MF, ETFs). So, we spread out the risk, hold moderate positions, and have multiple homes for the funds. We also have a solid investment advisor team that we trust to keep us informed and alert us to actions we might need to take.
After a number of meetings, we settled on four categories with ranges for holdings in our investment portfolio.
|Asset Class||Minimum %||Target %||Maximum %|
As the stock market cycles ebb and flow, we hear from The Wetzel Group who were chosen as our advisors in March of 2020. We revisit the IPS and hear the rationale for making trades in and out of different sectors. Since we are continually donating funds, there is always something that needs to be sold. We trust the Wetzel Group to manage and guide our portfolio, so our growth has the possibility to outpace our spending over the long run. As our investment time horizon had no end, we all understand being in this for the long haul. Over time, investments reward the patient.