keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

“Banning the Box” in Georgia and Beyond

posted on: July 18, 2014

Georgia Justice Project - Lobby Day 2014This post discusses the May 2014 Philamplify Foundation Assessment, “Robert W. Woodruff Foundation – Will Atlanta’s Quiet Changemaker Adapt to 21st Century Opportunities?

On July 14, the D.C. City Council unanimously voted to “Ban the Box,” which prevents employers from asking an applicant to indicate whether s/he has been convicted of a felony in application forms.

This small but significant change could not happen in a vacuum, and in the District’s case, is largely due to the work of area nonprofit the Employment Justice Center. In turn, EJC is supported alike by legal assistance from prominent law firms and funding from grantmaking institutions such as the Washington Area Women’s Foundation and the Public Welfare Foundation.

Further, this

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Do Foundations Seeking Policy Change Need Community Roots? (Part 1)

posted on: July 16, 2014

Lumina FoundationThis is the first of a two-part series looking at the balance between policy leadership and support for grassroots voices. Part two will look at the grantmaking of The California Endowment.

In a recent op-ed in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, NCRP founder Pablo Eisenberg contends that major foundations are exacerbating inequality through their support of large and “elite” institutions such as universities and hospitals, with little funding going to more grassroots organizations seeking social change. He adds:

“Meanwhile, big foundations like Gates, Broad, Walton, and Lumina have become energetic players in trying to shape national and regional public policies. Using the power of their money and political contacts, these institutions are increasingly diminishing the voice of poor and vulnerable

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Celebrating Ben & Jerry’s Foundation

posted on: July 10, 2014

Danilo LopezThis is the second in a series of four blog posts celebrating the work of the 2014 NCRP Impact Awards winners. Stay tuned for the next installments, plus an upcoming video recap of the awards ceremony.

On June 9, Vermont’s Ben & Jerry’s Foundation received the 2014 NCRP Impact Award for Corporate Foundation. Ben & Jerry’s embodies the belief that lasting change occurs when the people most affected by a problem are put in positions of power to solve it. Organizer Danilo Lopez is one man who has become a partner to the foundation, effecting change in both his own life and his community.

In 2011, Danilo, a migrant worker, was a passenger in a car pulled over by Vermont

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Celebrating Liberty Hill Foundation

posted on: July 8, 2014

CHIRLAThis is the first in a series of four blog posts celebrating the work of the 2014 NCRP Impact Awards winners. Stay tuned for the next installments, plus an upcoming video recap of the awards ceremony.

On June 9, Los Angeles’ Liberty Hill Foundation received the 2014 NCRP Impact Award for Grantmaking Public Charity. Liberty Hill is known for the real impact it’s having on the lives of domestic workers in California, and gave crucial support to the nonprofit organizations behind the 2014 California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (also known as AB 241). Andrea Guadarrama is among the thousands of domestic workers whose lives have been touched by the foundation’s work.

When Andrea first came to Los Angeles, she

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On the 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act, Foundations Must Be ‘Freedom Funders’ Once Again

posted on: July 2, 2014

Lyndon_Johnson_signing_Civil_Rights_Act,_July_2,_1964By: Benjamin Todd Jealous and Aaron Dorfman

This post first appeared in The Root on June 23, 2014.

July 2nd marks the 50th anniversary of perhaps the most far-reaching emancipatory reform in American history—passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the coming months, many in our nation will rightly honor the heroes of the civil rights movement whose courage and leadership helped secure passage of this seminal piece of legislation.

And as we honor the movement’s activists and organizers, we must not forget to also recognize the handful of bold foundations that provided important financial support for the movement in the decade preceding this major victory.

Four in particular stood out as champions of civil rights at

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Where Should William Penn Spend Its Dollars? Philadelphians Weigh In on Facebook!

posted on: June 27, 2014

William Penn graphUpon the launch of Philamplify, we asked Facebook users from the Philadelphia region for their input on the grantmaking of the William Penn Foundation, one of the first foundations we assessed. Considering that the William Penn Foundation will award $90 million in grants in this year alone, we posed the question, “Where would you like to see that money go?” Some 110 individuals submitted comments and highlighted issues of importance to Philadelphians, including the three priorities of the foundation: education, the arts, and watershed amenities.

The feedback pointed to strong concerns in thematic areas such as education and public schools. Among the online remarks, 93 comments sounded calls for investment in Philadelphia schools, including support for technology, educational

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New Philamplify Reports Look at The California Endowment and Daniels Fund

posted on: June 25, 2014

Philamplify-Logos-Color-VerticalPhilamplify has struck a chord among so many of you. We appreciate the outpouring of support and encouragement.

I am pleased to share the newest Philamplify assessments, which examine Denver’s Daniels Fund and Los Angeles’ The California Endowment.

Both of these foundations are already doing important work on a broad range of issues. The California Endowment is pioneering a comprehensive approach to better health outcomes, and has already seen national results. The Daniels Fund is renowned for its scholarship program, which provides low-income students with educational opportunities.

As we highlight such effective approaches in grantmaking we also identify areas for improvement. Philamplify offers a holistic examination of operational practices and serves as inspiration for philanthropists who seek to successfully

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