keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Happy Thanksgiving from NCRP

posted on: November 25, 2015

ThanksgivingSo far, 2015 has been a tough year that has tried our courage and patience in many ways. It’s clear that our work to encourage and protect equity and social justice is more important than ever. This Thanksgiving, we’re sending our thoughts to all those who are working tirelessly for social justice and all the foundations that support them – thank you for all the work you do!

Let us know: What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) has served as the voice of nonprofits and the communities they serve in philanthropy since 1976.  Follow @NCRP on Twitter.

CC image by Faith Goble.

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The Kresge Foundation Links Community Development and the Arts

posted on: November 24, 2015

DetroitInstituteofArtsThe Kresge Foundation works to integrate arts and culture into its community development efforts, providing a model for promoting equity across program areas, according to NCRP’s latest Philamplify report, The Kresge Foundation: Will This Bold Grantmaker Become the Next Great Social Justice Foundation?

“Many arts funders prioritize support for the arts for its own sake – and that’s a valuable contribution, but Kresge sees the arts as integral to a thriving culture and to thriving communities and cities,” said principal researcher Elizabeth Myrick. “Kresge marries arts and community development to strengthen low-income communities – and it encourages peers to follow suit.”

Kresge arts funding by the numbers:

The Kresge Foundation’s approach to its arts program is an example of how

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Remembering Rick Cohen, NCRP’s Leader from 1999-2006

posted on: November 20, 2015

Updated November 20, 2015.

This week, the philanthropic and nonprofit community lost a powerful voice with the passing of Rick Cohen. Rick served as executive director of NCRP from 1999 – 2006, during which time he shaped our understanding of social justice philanthropy, and played an important part in refining the practices and policies we fight for to this day.

We asked NCRP’s board members from this period to share their stories and memories of Rick, an extraordinary father, writer and champion for equity.


ChristineAhnI first met Rick in Pablo [Eisenberg’s] class when I was a graduate student at Georgetown. Rick had this way where he could articulate the gross injustices within philanthropy in fine detail, while being

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Going Off-List: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Philanthropic Impact

posted on: November 19, 2015

Chris BlakeleyIt’s that time of year again. No, I’m not talking about fiery fall leaves or pumpkin pies, though I love those. I’m talking about The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “Philanthropy 400.” For the uninitiated, this list represents the 400 U.S. nonprofits that raised the most (non-governmental) money in fiscal year 2014.

There’s a lot of good work included here. The Task Force for Global Health is in the top ten. Youth programs, cancer research and a score of universities populate the top 50. Dig into the latter hundreds and you’ll find organizations like the Environmental Defense Fund and the ACLU.

Yet here’s a truth givers of all stripes should know: Some of the most important work you can support today

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Top 10 accomplishments from when Rick Cohen led NCRP

posted on: November 18, 2015

cohenspeaks 3-14-03 NCRC panel (bill merritt left & Rick)Rick Cohen was executive director of NCRP from 1999 to 2006. Like many of you, we’re shocked and saddened by his sudden death on Tuesday. Here are some of his many accomplishments from his years leading NCRP.

1. Improving Understanding of Social Justice Philanthropy

In 2003, under Rick’s leadership, NCRP published “Understanding Social Justice Philanthropy,” which explained to the sector the concept of social justice philanthropy, its elements and its theoretical framework. The definition of social justice philanthropy put forward in that publication has been widely adopted by the sector, and is the definition used by Foundation Center to measure social justice giving by U.S. foundations. During Rick’s tenure, NCRP also published reports on funding for advocacy and

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Fall Issue of Responsive Philanthropy Looks at Criminal Justice Reform

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FallRPcoverHave you ever spent time with men or women who are incarcerated? When I was growing up, my mother served as the chaplain at the women’s prison in Shakopee, Minnesota. Getting to know the women and their stories helped me realize at an early age how horribly misguided and unfair our nation’s criminal justice system is. More than 2.3 million Americans are incarcerated, and our system is particularly unjust for people of color. Recently, I’ve been encouraged by the growing intersectional criminal justice reform movement, with campaigns to reform policing, prosecution policies, reentry opportunities and more. While it cannot cover the entire breadth of the subject, this edition of Responsive Philanthropy is a special issue devoted to what philanthropy can

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Mourning the loss of Rick Cohen, former NCRP Executive Director

posted on: November 17, 2015


NCRP staff members are tremendously saddened by the news from Nonprofit Quarterly announcing Rick Cohen’s passing. As many of you know, Rick led NCRP as executive director from 1999 – 2006. We will share information about his memorial as soon as details become available. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts about Rick in comments below.

Image courtesy of Nonprofit Quarterly.

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