keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Farewell to Niki Jagpal

posted on: May 26, 2016

Niki_Jagpal_WebreadyI’m sad to report that Niki Jagpal, NCRP’s senior director of research and policy, has decided to move on and seek new opportunities. Yet I’m excited to see what she’ll do next and what new contributions she will make to help build the progressive movement this nation so desperately needs.

Niki was my first key programmatic hire as I began rebuilding NCRP. She joined the team late in 2007, shortly after the board adopted a new strategic plan.

Niki is the primary author of Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best: Benchmarks to Assess and Enhance Grantmaker Impact, which remains one of NCRP’s signature publications. Criteria caused a real stir in philanthropy when we released it in 2009. The 18

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Selma: From Civil War to Civil Rights

posted on: May 24, 2016

By Ainka Jackson

4703184338_1d960615ae_zEditor’s note: NCRP Senior Research and Policy Associate Ryan Schlegel and Field Associate Ben Barge recently visited the Alabama Black Belt as part of a listening tour hosted by Grantmakers for Southern Progress and the Black Belt Community Foundation. This is the first in a series of blog posts from activists, organizers and community leaders they met during their trip. NCRP strives to elevate the voices of grantees and potential grantees in conversations about philanthropy. This blog series will address topics relevant to the work underway for social, economic, racial and environmental justice in the Black Belt from the perspective of the people doing that work.

Many in Alabama recently participated in the Reenactment of the Battle

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Foundations: Don’t overlook transgender community, SDGs and state-level civic engagement

posted on: May 19, 2016

RP_Spring16_coverEarly this month, progressive changemakers gathered together at the 2016 NCRP Impact Awards reception to celebrate the inspiring work of this year’s awardees: Consumer Health Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Patagonia and Sandler Foundation. The stories of these grantmakers encourage all of us to continue fighting for improving the lives of the underserved and underrepresented, and to be bold and fearless in this struggle.

The featured articles in this edition of Responsive Philanthropy highlight the continuing efforts of others in philanthropy who are taking up the challenge head on.

In “Join us on the leading edge of social change,” Roz Lee of Arcus Foundation, shares the story behind the Global Trans Initiative, a newly launched partnership

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Philanthropy: Let’s Talk About Race, Baby

posted on: May 18, 2016

2945344747_084d01ea76_zWith more and more evidence of the effectiveness and impact of social justice philanthropy – which works toward solving society’s problems at their source – new language is emerging to describe systems change strategies. The phrase “social justice” can hold clear ideological connotations, and with growing political divides, funders with broad audiences may seek more “neutral” language.

Yet given the complexity of systems and power, coupled with the polarized environment of race relations in the United States, I think it is necessary for us to address white privilege and the history of oppression of people of color. Recent events and social movements, political candidates and longstanding injustices show that philanthropy and the organizations that serve the sector can no longer

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Reversing the Current of Underinvestment in Rural Communities

posted on: May 16, 2016

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from NCRP Executive Director Aaron Dorfman’s keynote speech to the 2016 Central Minnesota Nonprofit Summit, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits on May 5, 2016. Read the entire speech here.

In the short time we have together this morning, I promise you two things. My first promise is that you’re going to get mad, maybe even really mad, about how, in spite of the noble efforts of many, there is still a chronic under-investment in rural communities by the vast majority of our nation’s grantmaking foundations. My second promise is that I’ll suggest a handful of ideas about how we can all help turn around this terrible situation.

It’s no secret that outside America’s

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New Philamplify Poll: Should community foundations take the lead on policy change or serve as neutral conveners?

posted on: May 10, 2016

Philamplify-poll-NYCTOur new poll on the Philamplify website asks visitors: “Should community foundations take the lead on policy change or serve as neutral conveners?” Many foundations maintain a sense of neutrality to remain unbiased and allow for multiple perspectives or to avoid alienating a donor base. On the other hand, maintaining a neutral stance may be a missed opportunity for foundations to use their influence to advance their goals and achieve greater impact.

Between the two options, eight respondents so far have chosen “Take the lead,” and four respondents have chosen the option that foundations should serve as “Neutral conveners.”

The poll was launched with our latest Philamplify report on the New York Community Trust. The Trust purposefully uses an

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2016 NCRP Impact Awards Reception Recap

posted on: May 4, 2016

Update 5/6/2016: We’ve uploaded new photos on Facebook!

You know the feeling that washes over you when you hear something that moves you so much it gives you goosebumps?2016 NCRP Impact Awards Reception Collage

I had that feeling last night during the 2016 NCRP Impact Awards reception held in honor of Consumer Health Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Patagonia and Sandler Foundation.

“Bold commitment to fighting inequality and injustice” was the common theme at last night’s gathering of foundation and nonprofit leaders from the Twin Cities and across the country.

“To the 2016 NCRP Impact Awardees, I am grateful for the work you are doing,” said Congressman Keith Ellison, who serves Minneapolis’ 5th district, during his keynote. “Not since the Great

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