keeping a close eye on philanthropy … NCRP’s blog

Summer Issue of “Responsive Philanthropy” Looks at Katrina@10 and More

posted on: August 25, 2015

Summer2015_RPcoverTen years ago, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, causing unprecedented devastation made all the worse by an infamously inadequate response from the federal government. I was living in Miami at the time, and the eye of Katrina actually passed right over my house when it was still a relatively weak Category 1 storm. After it crossed Florida and entered the Gulf of Mexico, Katrina strengthened and began its march north. I’m sure we all remember being glued to the television as we watched the ordeal unfold. In the midst of this crisis, many in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors came together to provide immediate relief and begin the process of rebuilding.

In the cover story of the new

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Double Edge Theatre: Connecting Arts, Culture and Community with Hess Foundation Support

posted on: August 18, 2015

DoubleEdgeTheatre_BlueMoonBy: Elizabeth Myrick

Located in rural Ashfield, MA, Double Edge Theatre describes its work as “creating a ‘living culture’ by developing the highest quality of original theatre performance – based on artists’ interaction with the communities in which the work takes place.”

While maintaining a permanent center of performance, training, research and cultural exchange in western Massachusetts, Double Edge travels throughout the United States, South America and Europe, residing in communities for several weeks. The company works with residents, including local artists and tradespeople, to integrate the community and its history into each performance.

Double Edge’s goal is to elevate both artistic expression and the relationship between artists and their communities. This approach starts with their work in Ashfield. Each

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Repost: How White Foundation Leaders Can Promote Racial Justice

posted on: August 14, 2015

DismantleHateEditor’s Note: Last month, the Movement for Black Lives National Convening in Cleveland brought together over 1,000 grassroots leaders fighting to end racial injustice in our nation. We called for foundation support of this convening, and support for the movement remains critical. To this end, we’re reposting NCRP Executive Director Aaron Dorfman’s five steps that white foundation leaders can take to promote racial justice.

This piece first appeared in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on March 13, 2015.

Since last summer, a movement has been brewing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and many others. People across the country have taken to the streets, demanding changes in policies that contribute to government-sanctioned violence against

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ABFE’s World Café Shows That Collaboration Is Key

posted on: August 7, 2015

DCheartsOur friends at the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) hosted a World Café event in June through their Black Male Funders Learning and Action Network (LAN). LAN serves as a convener, connecting foundations actively working to improve Black male outcomes. This network, along with similar groups, shares knowledge, strategies and lessons learned while documenting shifts in grantmakers’ strategies and investments in Black males. Although it’s common to become siloed in our sector, we have to remember that it’s far easier to pull a boat to shore if we’re all strategically pulling in the same direction. ABFE and their co-hosts for this event, the DC Trust and the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, realize that this type of

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New Video Revisits the 2015 NCRP Impact Awards

posted on: August 4, 2015

NCRP-logo-color-with-tagline-2015NCRP celebrated its third annual NCRP Impact Awards on May 19, recognizing five exemplary grantmakers helping to effect real change in the communities they serve: Blue Shield of California Foundation, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Needmor Fund, New York Foundation and Open Society Foundations. The awards ceremony was held in San Francisco, in conjunction with The Center for Effective Philanthropy 2015 National Conference.

Relive the night with this video recap of the event:

Daniel Lee, executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation and NCRP board member, served as master of ceremonies, introducing acceptance speeches from Needmor Fund Executive Director Frank Sanchez, Blue Shield of California Foundation President and CEO Peter Long, Ph.D., Brooklyn Community Foundation President

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What Can Philanthropy Learn from the Movement for Marriage Equality?

posted on: July 30, 2015

Last month, the Supreme Court effectively ended what had been for two decades a pitched battle in the nation’s so-called culture wars. When their ruling in the Obergefell vs. Hodges case found a constitutional right to marriage, they crowned victorious a movement that had been gathering steam, state by state, since the early 1990s. Amid the jubilation among LGBTQ people; their friends, families, and allies; and champions for progress ranging from President Obama to Gandalf, a narrative began to emerge from political and historical commentators. Mostly, the internet filled with breathless praise for the cunning and perseverance of the leaders of the movement for marriage equality. Many also returned to a refrain about the movement: that it happened so

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Investigating Charitable Lead Trusts with David Cay Johnston

posted on: July 28, 2015

taxesIn researching our Philamplify assessments of the Hess Foundation and Walton Family Foundations, I interviewed David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and expert on economics and tax issues. Johnston is a well-known critic of charitable lead trusts, an investment strategy that provides the Hess Foundation with much of its wealth. Read on to learn what he thinks of this controversial, but little-understood, philanthropic tool.

NCRP) What is the purpose of a charitable lead trust (CLT)?

JOHNSTON) To avoid paying taxes on the increased but untaxed increase in value from a family business’s corporate stock, a family can put these assets into a charitable lead trust, which throws off income that is donated to charities. The trustees decide

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