keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Making a Difference with a Career in Philanthropy

posted on: May 22, 2015

AaronDorfman_LillyFamilySchoolEditor’s Note: Aaron Dorfman, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy and a graduate of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, gave the commencement address there on May 10, 2015. What follows is the text of his address, as prepared for delivery.

Good afternoon. It is a great honor to be with you all today as you begin exciting new chapters in your lives. I had so much fun reading the descriptions of this year’s graduates. You are an impressive and accomplished group, and I know you’re going to do amazing things.

I’m going to share today a little about my story, my journey into philanthropy. Then I’ll offer up one overarching theme and

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Foundation and Nonprofit Leaders Celebrate the 2015 NCRP Impact Awards

posted on: May 20, 2015

2015NCRPImpactAwardswinnersIt was a rousing evening at last night’s 2015 NCRP Impact Awards reception in San Francisco, which honored five inspiring foundations in the U.S.: Blue Shield of California Foundation, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Needmor Fund, New York Foundation and Open Society Foundations.

The room was buzzing with nonprofit and foundation leaders committed to working for the greater good through social justice. “The winners of the 2015 NCRP Impact Awards are some of the smartest, most strategic grantmakers in the nation,” said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP, in his opening remarks. He went on to describe their commitment to high-impact strategies like community organizing that empower marginalized communities to determine the solutions to the tough problems they

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Spring Issue of Responsive Philanthropy Looks at Implicit Bias

posted on: May 15, 2015

RP_implicitbiasLike most white people in the United States, I grew up completely oblivious to the many privileges I enjoy because of the color of my skin. It wasn’t until I took courses in college like “Race, Power and Inequality in America” from Paul Wellstone or “Race, Reform and Rebellion” from Manning Marable that I began to develop an understanding of how our nation, its institutions and the experiences of its people are overwhelmingly shaped by race and racism. Serving as a community organizer for 15 years, primarily working with communities of color, deepened that understanding.

That’s why I’m so pleased that this edition of Responsive Philanthropy is a special issue devoted to what philanthropy can do to combat implicit bias,

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Six Reasons Why Foundations Should Invest in Worker Cooperatives

posted on: May 12, 2015

workercooperativeIf you’re a coffee lover, you’ve likely enjoyed beans cultivated by farmers from a fair trade worker cooperative. If you haven’t yet, sip a delicious brew of fair trade coffee in the spirit of this past Saturday’s World Fair Trade Day, which celebrates fair trade as a “tangible contribution to the fight against poverty and exploitation, climate change and the economic crisis that has the greatest impact on the world’s most vulnerable populations.”

When fair trade comes to my mind, instead of coffee and other ethically-sourced products, the first thing I associate it with is worker cooperatives – defined by the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives as “business entities that are owned and controlled by their members.” Whether rural

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Who Is Helping Walton Family Foundation Replicate NOLA Ed Reform in Other Cities?

posted on: May 8, 2015

040416_NCRP_NOLA 00_01_49_22 Still006Last week, the Times-Picayune reported that former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has assumed a new role since leaving office in December: paid strategic adviser to the Walton Family Foundation (WFF). Landrieu explained her role at the foundation in an interview,

“I’ll be working directly as a strategic adviser for the Walton Education Foundation promoting reforms in public schools, promoting choice and expansion of high quality charter schools. Most people are recognizing that New Orleans is one of the most exciting models for variety and choice that are producing new options and opportunities for educational success.”

The article also mentioned that Landrieu recently joined the board of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, a WFF grantee that happens to

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Standing for Justice: Why Courage Is Needed for Impact

posted on:

NCRP Impact Awards-104By Nat Chioke Williams

I want to congratulate all of the amazing foundations that have been chosen to receive 2015 NCRP Impact Awards. I am particularly delighted that the New York Foundation was chosen this year. I began my career in philanthropy as a program officer there and I know first-hand that they are one of the most exemplary foundations in the country.

During my acceptance speech last April for our 2014 NCRP Impact Award, I noted that the Hill-Snowdon Foundation accepted the award on behalf of the organizations and people who have the courage to be leaders, to not look away from injustice, but rather run toward it to confront it. Since last April, we have witnessed

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Transformative Leadership Development at the Grassroots

posted on: May 7, 2015

AIWA2By: Christen Lee

Editor’s Note: For previous posts about the value of NCRP’s new report Cultivating Nonprofit Leadership: A (Missed?) Philanthropic Opportunity, click here.

In Cultivating Nonprofit Leadership: A (Missed?) Philanthropic Opportunity, NCRP discusses how social movements benefit when grassroots leaders have transformative leadership development opportunities, complementing its earlier Grantmaking for Community Impact Project series that spotlights community leadership as a strategy for social change. Taken together, these reports make a strong case for investing in leadership at all levels of the social movement ecosystem, from staff to constituents.

The Oakland-based Asian Immigrant Women Advocates (AIWA) is a 30-year-old grassroots organization that invests in, and more specifically, prioritizes, the long-term leadership development of its constituents. AIWA’s Community

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