keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Three things foundations can do to help curb payday lending

posted on: September 21, 2016

27039224093_244450a86e_zThis commentary was originally published on Nonprofit Quarterly.

There is legalized robbery going in our communities, and foundations and nonprofits have an important role to play in the next few weeks to help stop it.

Payday lending, an industry that makes up for the financial sector’s large-scale neglect of poor people by offering them credit on abusive, ruinous terms, has been the target of economic justice advocates for years. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finally proposed a new rule that will curb the payday lending industry’s ability to prey on low-income members of our communities. Comments on the proposed rule are due October 7, 2016, and they represent an opportunity for foundations who prioritize economic justice to weigh

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Dear white folks in philanthropy: My “Miley, what’s good?” moment

posted on: September 16, 2016

IMG_3493You may remember last year’s controversy between Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus. In response to being excluded from nominations for a Video Music Awards category, Minaj expressed public critique on Twitter about double-standards and racial bias in the industry.

As host of the 2015 VMAs, Cyrus took the opportunity to critique the artist in an interview: “What I read sounded very Nicki Minaj, which, if you know Nicki Minaj is not too kind. It’s not very polite. I think there’s a way you speak to people with openness and love.” The next day, while accepting an award on stage, Minaj turned to a surprised Cyrus and pointedly asked, “Miley, what’s good?”

Minaj later explained her response, stating, “If you want

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The email that changed everything

posted on: September 15, 2016

blog-ncrp-org-1By Alissa Hauser

In 2014, this email from a grant applicant hit our inboxes:

“Your organization is really not treating people with respect. This is the second time I was told that there would be a delay in your organization’s decision. There were so many excuses such as staff changes, your organization’s uncertainty about my project, and hence the requirement for an external audit.

“Yes, the deadline has been missed and even if there’s a grant now, it is too late. I am disappointed not about not getting the grant, but how you treat others.”

She was right. And worse, she was likely speaking for many applicants before her who did not have the guts to be honest with us

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Exciting changes at NCRP: Jeanné Isler promoted to VP, new offices and more!

posted on: September 13, 2016

Changes-at-NCRPFor some people in philanthropy, summer is a sleepier time of year when little of significance happens. Not so for NCRP. There are several exciting developments I want to share with you.

As some of you know, for the past year, the board and staff of NCRP have been working on crafting a new strategic framework to guide the organization for the next 10 years. We’re almost done with the planning, and I look forward to sharing the framework document with you all later this year, after we put the finishing touches on it.

As the plan has come into focus, however, I’ve made some important staffing changes to better support our work moving forward.

The most significant personnel move

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The Oregon Community Foundation responds to questions from Oregon’s social justice nonprofits

posted on: September 8, 2016

Oregon_Community_Foundation_Responds_to_social_justice_nonprofitsInterest from Oregon nonprofits prompted NCRP to host an information-sharing webinar on August 4 about our latest Philamplify report, Oregon Community Foundation: Can It Build a Statewide Legacy of Equity and Inclusion?

View the presentation slides and watch a recording of the webinar.

To create a safe space for Oregon community leaders to share candid questions and comments about OCF, we did not invite the foundation to participate in the webinar. However, Kathleen Cornett, vice president for grants & programs, graciously responded in writing to several questions asked by webinar attendees:

1. How are voluntary community grant evaluators solicited, vetted and chosen? If someone is interested in becoming an evaluator, how does s/he let the foundation know?

OCF uses

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Baltimore surveillance effort betrays a community fund’s mission

posted on: September 6, 2016

This commentary was originally published on The Chronicle of Philanthropy.


In tBaltimore_Surveillance_Effort_Betrays_BCF_missionhe last week, we learned unsettling information about money the Baltimore Community Foundation channeled to the police for mass surveillance of Baltimore residents.

Community foundations serve a valuable role nurturing local philanthropy and leading efforts to improve the neighborhoods, cities, and people they serve. But the funding in question, uncovered by Bloomberg Businessweek and the Baltimore Sun — from two private donors with vast wealth and influence who financed a clandestine police program — violated not just the tenets of philanthropy at its best but the vision, mission and values of the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Policing is a public good, governed by community priorities and overseen

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Why and how philanthropy can better support labor organizing

posted on: September 1, 2016

How_and_why_philanthropy_should_boost_support_for_labor_organizingAs labor union membership has declined dramatically over the last several decades, economic inequality has risen, and the American working class has been increasingly less protected from economic storms by the bulwark of organized labor. This Labor Day, in a year when social and economic ties seemed to have frayed up and down the income scale, foundations and high net worth donors interested in economic justice need to recommit to supporting a robust, responsive labor movement – especially by funding labor organizing and grantee collaboration with labor unions.

Labor union membership has historically been a ticket to the middle class for American workers. Since the 1960s, though, powerful corporate interests have capitalized on a conservative political resurgence to push

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