Institute of Coaching at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate
When theHF began its pioneering work in the field of coaching, the profession was so new that most people thought only athletes and actors had coaches. Ruth Ann Harnisch became intrigued by the possibilities that coaching offered for personal and institutional transformation when the nonprofit MoreThanMoney used some of her $1million gift to create a coaching program for members who wanted support setting and achieving financial goals. The results were undeniable. Soon, the Harnisch Foundation became the leading philanthropic investor in the coaching sector, supporting global gatherings, creating an online community, developing professional accreditation standards, and championing pro bono coaching and nonprofits within the coaching profession. Most importantly, theHF sought to elevate the profession through rigorous, peer-reviewed academic research. These efforts culminated with theHF’s founding of The Institute of Coaching at Harvard Medical School’s teaching facility McLean Hospital with a $2M investment in 2009. In addition to presenting the annual Harvard Coaching Conference, the Institute awards $100,000 in Harnisch Research Grants every year. Under current leadership, The Institute of Coaching has become a sustainable enterprise with a membership program in the pipeline for 2016. The Institute of Coaching is the end product of years of effort, teamwork, vision, and the philanthropy of many key leaders who pioneered the projects that eventually found a home at the Institute, including David Goldsmith, Dr. Mary Wayne Bush, Dr. Vikki Brock, Dr. John Bennett, Andrea J. Lee, and others. We are incredibly proud of the current team leading the Institute to new heights including Dr. Carol Kauffman, Margaret Moore, Dr. Susan David, Dr. Jeffery Hull, and Laurel Smith Doggett.
Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University
As traditional media revenue sources evaporated and legacy media scrambled for survival, KSU professor Leonard Witt made a modest proposal. What if people chipped in to underwrite a journalist to cover their chosen beat? Ruth Ann contacted Len to find out more, and together they tested his theories in the real world. Who will pay for high-quality, reliably sourced, relevant journalism on significant topics?
Len had bigger ideas. He proposed the creation of the Center for Sustainable Journalism to continue exploring new ways of creating and paying for information. The Harnisch Foundation became the Center’s founding funder and met quarterly with the CSJ team to gauge progress.
The CSJ now makes national impact with its current capstone project, the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange and the online and print publication Youth Today. Original, in-depth reporting, commentary, research and resources for the youth justice and “out of school time” sectors attract thousands of subscribers and viewers, representing a variety of stakeholders in youth services including police, parents, courts, lawmakers, educators, volunteers, parents, and businesses.
The JJIE and YT are proving Len’s concepts every day: people and institutions with an interest in news about a specific beat are willing to pay for that news.
More Than Money
It seemed like the most strategic investment possible: help the wealthiest people learn to put their money where their values are, and their philanthropy will transform society. (The Giving Pledge made famous by billionaires had its roots here.) That’s why our first $1M investment went to More than Money, an educational network for people who wanted to use their resources to create “a more joyful, just, and sustainable world.”
This intense donor education informed and influenced Ruth Ann’s grantmaking from the early days of the Foundation. Helping individuals of means to invest to achieve social goals is still one of our specialties, inspired by and partnering with many connections made through the organization and its members. As board chair, Ruth Ann brought her journalistic sensibilities to the organization’s publication, MoreThanMoney Journal. It’s where she was introduced to the concept and impact of professional coaching, which had a powerful effect on the direction of her own philanthropy and life.
Baruch Harnisch Scholar and Journalism Program
If it weren’t for Baruch College, you wouldn’t be reading this. The Harnisch Foundation’s co-founder Bill Harnisch, whose generosity underwrites the family philanthropy, attributes his business success to his tuition-free, books included, college education at “The Poor Man’s Harvard,” as it was known. Baruch still serves the striving student, although tuition’s not free any more. That is, unless you are a Harnisch Scholar. Our scholars not only attend college free of charge but receive a paid internships to boot.
The Harnisch Foundation’s commitment to Baruch moved beyond our scholars when the college created its new Department of Journalism and the Writing Professions. It was then that we sponsored its state-of-the-art media lab, Studio H. The department’s first chair, Prof. Geanne Perlman Rosenberg, leads the Harnisch Journalism Projects and it’s in this capacity that she develops resources for students and journalists on ethics, press law, media literacy, and new media. In addition, she has led a number of collaborative initiatives with partners like the The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, the Student Press Law Center, and the Poynter Institute.
Baruch’s been recognized as the most ethnically diverse campus by both U.S. News & World Report and the Princeton Review more times than any other college in the United States; one more reason Baruch is the perfect ally with whom to build a world where everyone is valued and heard.