Celebrating 38 Years…

posted on: September 27, 2013

By Kourtney Ginn

Pablo Eisenberg (center), Jane Fox-Johnson(left) and Andy Mott (right) pictured at NCRP’s reception. See more photos from the event here.

In philanthropy, it’s hard to find individuals who can be counted on for straightforward, honest opinions about the sector. On Wednesday, NCRP honored one of these rare candid individuals: Pablo Eisenberg.

The room at Busboys and Poets was filled with friends and colleagues. Many have known Pablo for decades and there were others, like me, who are new to philanthropy but were eager to meet Pablo for the first time. 

A sense of deep respect and gratitude filled the air as a number of NCRP’s board members, including Diane Feeney (NCRP’s former board chair), Sherece West-Scantlebury (NCRP’s newly elected board chair), and Dave Beckwith (former board member) took to the microphone to thank Pablo and also joke about how feared he is in the field, even by his friends.

Several individuals from around the country sent messages to honor Pablo’s legacy. “We need you. We need your sharp eye and we need your encouragement to do better,” said Luz Vega–Marquis, president & CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation in a video message.

Cathleen Kiritz, president of The Grantmanship Center, said in her message, “The friend who never gives up; the fighter who never gives in. Fierce integrity, matched with equal kindness. How honored we are, how lucky, to know you, Pablo.”

Christine Ahn, former NCRP board member and a student of Pablo, captures Pablo’s spirit quite well in her note:

“You are tough, brutally honest and willing to be the lone voice on important matters. Your courage, tenacity and commitment to truth and justice are unparalleled and contagious. You are a visionary with the ability to move people, agendas and institutions. Look at the long list of organizations you helped found and lead, including our very own NCRP.”

NCRP’s Aaron Dorfman summed it up best at the end of the night by stating that while a reception and trophy for Pablo are nice and very much deserved, it is not the best way to honor Pablo’s great legacy. Instead, NCRP and the entire sector should continue to ask ourselves the tough questions Pablo has posed throughout the years and push ourselves to make philanthropy truly serve those who need it the most.

Pablo, you inspire us all! Thank you!

Kourtney Ginn is field assistant at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). Follow Kourtney and NCRP on Twitter (@Kourtney Ginn and @ncrp).