keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Should community foundations connect donors/donor advisors to organizations led by people from underserved communities?

posted on: October 21, 2016

Philamplify-Logos-Color-VerticalNinety-two percent of respondents to our most recent poll on the Philamplify website said community foundations should connect donors/donor advisors to organizations led by people from underserved communities.

Out of three answer choices, 22 responded “yes,” one responded “no” and one responded “maybe.”

The poll was inspired by our recent Philamplify reports assessing the New York Community Trust and the Oregon Community Foundation.

To give some context, our previous poll, which focused on a foundation’s sense of neutrality in the work it does, prompted us to wonder if a biased commitment to total neutrality can dissuade from actual progress. We took that idea a step further by trying to understand what kind of investment these foundations can have. In this case,

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How philanthropy can help in fight against Dakota Access Pipeline

posted on: October 20, 2016

nap-photo-3The recent widespread rallying behind the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) along with actress Shailene Woodley’s arrest at the pipeline site has brought a lot new attention to an issue that Indigenous people have been struggling with for generations. The fight to preserve tribal sovereignty and sacred sites has long been at the forefront for Native issues.

The U.S. federal government has obligations to protect tribal lands and resources and to protect tribal rights to self-govern. The U.S. first attempted to terminate reservations in 1946 when congress set up the Indian Claims Commission to hear Indian claims for any lands stolen from them since the creation of the USA in 1776. The commission’s intention

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‘Invisible privilege,’ racism and Chicago’s struggle for reconciliation

posted on: October 14, 2016

handsmuralThis commentary was originally published on The Chicago Community Trust website.

When The Chicago Community Trust held its first On the Table, we heard loud and clear from the community that race and segregation is the biggest issue we face.

What if I lived in a neighborhood where 80 percent of the adults I knew didn’t have a job? Where getting through school was a matter of chance – a 50/50 proposition at best – and where getting to school could be life-threatening? Would I still be striving for my share of the American Dream?

Would I even think the American Dream was meant for someone like me?

Against all odds, against any standard of reasonableness, our fellow residents who

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How we strengthened “Meet the Funders” events to help under-resourced grant applicants

posted on: October 3, 2016

img_0351“Debra, one of your grantees submitted a proposal to me. It was 20 pages long. The grant guidelines stated a maximum of 12 pages!”  

Debra, many of the applications that I have received from API nonprofits are very poorly written, so it is difficult to fund these organizations based on the application.”

These are two examples of feedback I’ve heard from my peers as executive director of the Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF) in Los Angeles. Many of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) nonprofits in our county are small and need more assistance to access foundation funding.

To address this challenge, we partnered with Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy – Los Angeles (AAPIP-LA) to hold a “Meet

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Reflections on Towards a More Resilient Place: There is another way

posted on: September 28, 2016

20160919_182109“Relationships develop at the speed of trust” was an oft-repeated truism spoken at the place-based philanthropy conference Towards a More Resilient Place, co-hosted by The Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions and Neighborhood Funders Group. Yet very quickly conference speakers seemed to signal their trust of other participants by taking the conversation to a deep and personal level.

During the opening plenary on the topic of “community resilience” panelists reminded us that there’s personal hurt from injustice and that resilience is a double-edged sword. When communities suffering from decades of racism and disinvestment are described as “resilient,” it almost implies that they can keep enduring under that mantle of oppression for years more, perhaps allowing further complacency by those with

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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 that prioritize economic justice to weigh in

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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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