keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Summer reads you won’t want to miss from the summer 2016 edition of “Responsive Philanthropy”

posted on: August 25, 2016

RP_Summer16-081716-web-page-001Is philanthropy finally getting serious about racial equity and racial justice? I don’t know. But I’m pleased with some of the sustained conversation that has been happening, and we are delighted to keep fanning the flames with the summer issue of Responsive Philanthropy.

In “Tackling racial justice: Why, how and so what?”, Tamara Copeland, president and CEO of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, writes about association’s journey in confronting the issue of race and racial justice among its members. Others in the sector who want to address structural racism in their own institutions can learn much from WRAG’s “Putting Racism on the Table.”

Next, check out “For Surdna Foundation, communities define their futures,”

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The Oregon Community Foundation: Leveraging assets for economic, environmental and equity aims

posted on: August 3, 2016

CoOqJV3UMAAdwtdAdapted from The Oregon Community Foundation – Can it Build a Statewide Legacy of Equity and Inclusion?

Earlier this year, The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) approved a $300,000, seven-year loan to support Albina Opportunities Corporation (AOC). AOC offers financing to small businesses owned by women, people of color, immigrants and persons with disabilities in Portland. Among the endeavors funded by AOC is Escuela Viva Community School, founded by Portland mother Angie Garcia for her own daughter. “I was looking for a program that would nurture her spirit and provide a bilingual environment. The truth is that I just couldn’t find it. So I started this.”

The demand for the school’s dual language programming became so great that by 2010, Escuela

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Standard (Mal)Practice

posted on: July 27, 2016


Updated 7/28/16 2:25 PM EDT

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 in

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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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