keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Standard (Mal)Practice

posted on: July 27, 2016


Updated: July 28, 2016, 2:25 p.m.

A few years back I was speaking with the manager of corporate giving for a firm high on the Fortune 500 list. While we didn’t agree much on a range of issues, we were in surprising agreement on what constituted good grantmaking practice. Much to his chagrin, his giving program was situated solidly within the firm’s public relations department and this constrained him from carrying out those practices in his own funding.

For example, we agreed that multi-year grants are superior to annual grants. But from the public relations perspective, multi-year grants don’t cut the mustard: Awarding a three-year grant to a community group gives the company just one press opportunity to promote itself

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Three steps foundations should take to address racial equity

posted on: July 22, 2016


Updated 7/22/16, 12:52 PM EDT

In the wake of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling’s deaths, foundations across the country released a new wave of public statements brimming with shock and horror. Many talked about solidarity with black communities. Some were honest enough to say they didn’t quite know what to do.

These words are important. They show philanthropy is made up of real people who pay attention when horrible things happen. But words aren’t enough. These tragedies aren’t about a single event, or a single person. They’re about a system of unjust laws and practices that consistently place black communities in greater danger. A statement by itself is a comment, but it’s not an action.

The next Tamir Rice and

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NCRP: Coming soon to your favorite podcast

posted on: July 14, 2016

Untitled design (12)Working in NCRP’s communications department, I know how difficult it is to get mainstream news outlets to cover philanthropy. It’s not a sexy topic, and many in the general public probably think of foundations as “those organizations that fund NPR and PBS.” Unless the story is a scandal involving a major party presidential candidate, news organizations outside of the philanthropic press usually pass on it.

But podcasting is that rare medium that lacks such gatekeepers. Anyone with a microphone and a recording device can create a podcast about any subject, even topics as niche as philanthropy and nonprofits.

As podcasting continues to ride its nearly two-year-long renaissance, NCRP Executive Director Aaron Dorfman recently appeared on two podcasts tackling such

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More faith, more money, more justice

posted on: July 12, 2016

April 20 at 1 p.m. EDTNCRP will host a discussion on how faith-based movements can create opportunities for social justice at a time when the U.S. is seeing bold displays of fear and prejudice.Over a decade ago, I was a faith-based community organizer in central Florida. My job was to visit churches, build relationships with pastors and church members, agitate them around concerns they had for their community, and organize them to make demands for systemic change. The key to motivating most churches was to draw from their faith traditions, so my days were spent talking about values that lead to a just world, reading about leaders from scripture who drew on their faith to build communities of fairness and equity and listening for testimonies from community members about what their faiths tell them the right solutions are to the problems they face.

Community leaders often asked me about my own faith tradition

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How can community foundations rally their donor advisors to promote equity?

posted on: July 7, 2016

NYCT_Twitter“When [donors] come here … they get an invitation to be part of a group of donors that can solve important problems or be more aware of what’s going on in specific communities or around the state.” – Max Williams, President and CEO, The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF)

“There are very few foundations that are willing to get beyond the comfort level of social service to fund social change. … If they can only understand that what politics is about is building communities better, maybe they could open themselves more.” – A DAF holder at OCF

All community foundations face the challenge of serving the different and often divergent charitable interests of each individual donor while also generating investment that will systemically

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Our top 10 blog posts from the first six months of 2016

posted on: July 1, 2016

Gold top 10 winner

In the first half of 2016, we added 49 new posts to NCRP’s blog. Below are the 10 most popular posts during the past six months. Thank you to all of our excellent contributors and our readers for helping us keep a close eye on philanthropy! Stay tuned for more exciting posts from staff and guest contributors during the rest of 2016!

10. Bridging the Rural and Urban Divide to End Mass Incarceration

Nick Szuberla, executive director and co-founder of Working Narratives, discussed how mass incarceration and other criminal justice issues present an opportunity to unite rural and urban communities to drive for change. 

9. Why Funders Shouldn’t Overlook Place-Based Grantmaking

Tahirih Ziegler, executive director of Detroit

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Young Black Men & Masculinity: Why We Still Can’t Wait

posted on: June 29, 2016

ABFE(Saturday).4.9.2016.Khalid.Naji-Allah-102By Riki Wilchins

As is becoming increasingly widely recognized, it’s not safe to be any kind of Black man today in America. Just years ago, “respectability politics” still held sway: the argument that persistent lower life outcomes among young Black men were the result of their failure to internalize middleclass, dominant culture White ideals of manliness, from having a regular job and “acting right” to saying “thank you” and “yes, sir” on cue.

But in the wake of Trayvon Martin, Henry Louis Gates, Thabo Sefolosha and many, many others, it’s become clear that  “doing” middleclass manhood does not and will not inoculate young Black men from the ingrained attitudes and harms of structural racism. What is needed now

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