keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Masa: Hitting the ‘Sweet Spot’ with Resident-Led Advocacy and Organizing

posted on: April 28, 2016

Veronica_Build_The_Bridge_Language_Access_CampaignFor over two decades, community organizing has been a central tool in the New York Community Trust’s strategy to improve the accessibility and quality of public education in New York City. From 2012 to 2014, the Trust allocated $10.7 million in grants to make public schools effective for all students and to build a broad constituency in support of public education by funding efforts that strengthen the involvement of citizen groups, particularly parents. In doing so, the foundation found the sweet spot in implementing a program that combines a commitment to equity with resident-led systems change.

The Mexican American Student Association (Masa), a small grassroots organization that works closely with its South Bronx and Mott Haven communities on education and

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Philanthropy Must Recognize South’s Social Capital, History of Social Movements

posted on: April 26, 2016

2594687184_c7805b4ddc_zNCRP’s work in the philanthropic sector urges grantmakers to prioritize those with the least wealth and power in society. Often that means persuading foundations to intentionally target their investments to benefit people of color, poor people, recent immigrants and refugees and other marginalized groups. NCRP’s nationwide focus recognizes that systemic deprivation and oppression are not evenly distributed: some regions and states have pockets of concentrated poverty and disenfranchisement.

JustSouth Index 2016, a recent report from Loyola University in New Orleans, illustrates this point well. The university’s Jesuit Social Research Institute found that on measures of poverty, racial disparity and immigrant exclusion, the five Gulf Coast states fare particularly poorly. The report is unsparing in its portrayal of a part

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To Love and To Cherish … All of Us

posted on: April 21, 2016

19156675896_c69510e034_zBy National LGBTQ Task Force

In the historic Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in June 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court found bans on marriage equality unconstitutional and that marriage is a fundamental right for all. To put this monumental victory for LGBTQ people in context, let’s rewind to 12 years ago.

The LGBTQ movement suffered a startling setback in the wake of securing equal marriage in Massachusetts. Among the 2004 wreckage, voters in 13 states banned same-sex marriage, bringing the number of states with such amendments to 17. A Pew research poll found that 61 percent of the U.S. population opposed same-sex marriage. This was a debilitating defeat for our community and it appeared only a small fraction of the population

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What Does it Mean to Have Faith in Justice?

posted on: April 19, 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.I come from a pretty religious family. My dad, my aunt, my uncle and two cousins all followed a call into the clergy. I held the huppah at my sister’s interfaith wedding, and can still remember the shouts of “Mazel Tov!” right as the gospel choir burst into song.

As it was for me growing up, and as it is for many people of faith today, spring is a busy time of year. Easter and Holi just passed us by, and Passover and Lailat al Miraj are just a few days away. It’s a time when many religions celebrate spiritual rebirths and new beginnings.

Yet reading the news lately, I’d forgive you for wondering where the rejuvenation and spiritual nirvana

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Lasting Criminal Justice Reform Requires More Philanthropic Investment in Public Defenders

posted on: April 15, 2016

25261641662_3e35783476_zBy Jonathan Rapping

America leads the world in locking away its citizens. With only 5 percent of the global population, the United States accounts for a quarter of its incarcerated population, and the toll does not fall upon us equally.

Our prison population is almost exclusively poor and disproportionately of color. The disparate impact of our administration of justice is arguably the greatest civil and human rights issue confronting our nation. Thus, it is encouraging that there is growing bipartisan interest in addressing mass incarceration and that some philanthropies are lining up their support.

But mass incarceration is a symptom of a larger problem: Our collective acceptance of a narrative that portrays poor people, particularly those of color, as less than

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NCRP’s First Community Foundation Philamplify Report Examines New York Community Trust

posted on: April 13, 2016

Philamplify-New_York_Community_Trust-Cover-small-borderBecause of their unique position and vantage point on the ground in cities and states across America, community foundations can play an important role in uniting donors, nonprofits, residents, businesses and policymakers to address systemic inequities in our communities.

More than 20 years ago, NCRP looked at 10 large urban community foundations across the country. The study found that a majority of these community foundations “have been generally unresponsive to the least advantaged members of their home communities” and “most also shied away completely from funding of the most grassroots organizations, community organizing, issue advocacy or social advocacy projects, and public policy initiatives.”

Are community foundations more responsive today?

I am eager to share New York Community Trust: How Can

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Consumer Health Foundation Engages with Grantees Through Learning Journeys

posted on: April 7, 2016

CHF_Social_Image_1-FacebookBy Yanique Redwood and Kendra Allen

Consumer voice and engagement are core values of the Consumer Health Foundation. We believe that everyone, especially in low-income communities and communities of color, has to be heard and engaged to eliminate health inequities and build healthy communities. By virtue of our position as a funder, we do not often get the chance to directly talk with community members and instead rely on our grantees to inform us. This compromise has not been enough for our organization.

About five years ago, our board expressed a desire to engage more deeply and directly with communities involved in complex social change initiatives. In response, we researched and learned of a strategy that allowed us to do

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