keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Saying Goodbye to Three Outstanding NCRP Board Members

posted on: October 1, 2015

Ana Garcia AshleyThe National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy’s (NCRP) Board of Directors is a diverse, engaged group of nonprofit and foundation leaders. While we’re always excited to welcome new members each year, saying farewell to outgoing ones can be difficult. This year, we honor three outgoing board members by sharing their reflections about their time with NCRP.

Marjorie Fine, Ana Garcia-Ashley and Judy Hatcher have all served during an exciting time in NCRP’s history, where much growth and impact has taken place. Last week, at their final board meeting with NCRP, they each shared their thoughts in response to the following questions:

1. How has NCRP changed during your time on the board?

Margie, who served on the board

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Four Nonprofit Leaders Join NCRP’s Board of Directors

posted on: September 25, 2015

NCRP BoardI am extremely pleased to announce that NCRP elected four exceptional new nonprofit leaders to its board of directors yesterday. The new directors include:

Bill Dempsey has 25 years of experience managing innovative social change organizations that empower low-income families and working class communities to advance economic and racial justice. He co-founded CtW Investment Group, which advises public and private sector pension funds sponsored by unions affiliated with the Change to Win Federation. He also previously worked for the Unitarian Universalist

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Keeping Faith in the Transformative Power of Leadership

posted on: September 24, 2015

Pope_FrancisChanges in leadership can be difficult for organizations to weather, especially social change organizations where vision and passion are so critical to success. Our relationships to social change nonprofits – be they as constituents, supporters or funders – are often rooted in comfort with and trust in their leaders. When these leaders change, our confidence in the organization can be tested.

No doubt many funders have a story about a grantee whose leadership turned over, suddenly or not, causing strain on the grantor-grantee relationship and perhaps even a break in funding.

Today the leader of the world’s largest social change organization is here in Washington, D.C., and he brings with him the sky-high expectations, and for some, scathing skepticism of

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Keeping an Open Mind about the Education Reform Debate

posted on: September 23, 2015

Open MindMy colleagues have been working hard to put together NCRP’s very first Philamplify debate, Reform Strategies for Education, inspired by our recent assessment of the Walton Family Foundation. As someone who’s worked with youth in the past, I couldn’t be more excited for this event, to be held on September 29 from 3-4:30pm ET at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. I’m hoping it will bring forth an honest conversation about education in America that will help forge a new path towards equity for our students. While my hopes may be a bit ambitious for an hour and a half-long discussion, I’d like to maintain that real change can happen if all participants, including the live and

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What Does Philanthropy Have to Do with Our Nation’s Education Debate?

posted on: September 21, 2015

DonHarderYou’ve probably noticed that education has been in the news a lot lately.

  • Ten years after Hurricane Katrina and the switch to charters and new teacher pipelines, education advocates are weighing test score improvements against persisting inequities in New Orleans
  • Parents in Chicago have gone on hunger strike for nearly a month to protest the closing of Dyett High, a predominantly Black traditional public school on the South Side.
  • The District of Columbia is launching an all-boys college preparatory school to improve educational outcomes for Black and Latino boys, inspired by a Chicago charter school network.
  • Meanwhile, Washington State’s Supreme Court has ruled that charter schools are unconstitutional.

Clearly we haven’t yet reached a national consensus on the best

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You’re Invited: A Debate on Market-Oriented Education Reform Strategies

posted on: September 16, 2015

Philamplify DebateNCRP is thrilled to announce our first-ever live Philamplify Debate: Reform Strategies for Education. On September 29, before a live audience in Washington, D.C., and live-streamed to the world, our presenters will tackle the question: “Can Market-Oriented Reform Strategies Advance Equity and Empowerment in Education?

Register for free now!

Debaters Brandon Johnson from the Chicago Teachers Union and Robert Pondiscio from The Thomas B. Fordham Institute will respond to this question and discuss related issues. NCRP Board Chair Sherece West-Scantlebury will moderate the discussion, and a panel of leaders from the philanthropic sector will then offer reactions and responses to their remarks.The panelists include: Lori Bezahler from the Edward W. Hazen Foundation; Deborah McGriff from the New Schools Venture Fund; and

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Minefields or Movements? Nonprofits and the Election Process

posted on: September 15, 2015

Full_Flagged_Minesweeper“Tell me what I can do, not what I can’t do.”

Luz Vega Marquis, President and CEO, Marguerite Casey Foundation

This week, a notice for a webinar on “Election Season Considerations for Nonprofits” stopped us dead in our tracks. We get a lot of emails like this one, and although collectively NCRP is well versed in the laws and regulations, the teaser language gave us pause: “Know the Legal Minefields for Nonprofits in Election Season and Remain Aware as a Nonprofit Entity.”

The idea that nonprofits’ engagement in election season activities somehow constitutes a potentially lethal threat to their existence is an insidious notion – and yet, far too many foundations, consultants, attorneys, etc. continue to convey

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