National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Releases Findings from Unique New Assessment of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

NCRP develops a unique, comprehensive appraisal tool to increase foundation effectiveness

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP; www.ncrp.org) today released its assessment of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation (WRF) (http://www.ncrp.org/paib/foundation-assessments/#WRF), which found that the foundation is an "exemplar of strategic social justice philanthropy."

NCRP developed a new comprehensive appraisal tool based on its report "Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best" and recommendations from "Real Results: Why Strategic Philanthropy Is Social Justice Philanthropy" to examine Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation's impact on Arkansas' communities.

"We wanted to conduct an assessment that puts WRF's goals and strategies in the context of its values, and what 'effectiveness' means for the nonprofits and community members that will benefit most from the foundation's work," said Lisa Ranghelli, director of foundation assessment at NCRP. "It was also very important for us to amplify the voices of WRF's constituents, and their feedback is a critical component of the review."

NCRP looked at how the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation's strategies and practices aligned with its goals, the outcomes and impact from its "Moving the Needle" agenda, the quality of WRF's partnership with its grantees and other operational practices. It includes input from former and current grantees, applicants that did not receive funding, and other stakeholders such as government representatives, peer institutions and others.

Among its findings, NCRP noted that WRF grantees view the foundation as a highly effective partner, with an open, accessible foundation staff and a sense of shared purpose. Additionally, many of the foundation's grantees and other stakeholders perceive progress in WRF's achieving its goals, specifically on issues related to education and immigration.

To further improve WRF's effectiveness, NCRP suggested that WRF boost its capacity building, leadership development and poverty reduction efforts in rural Arkansas and provide the Foundation Center with timely and comprehensive grants data for better tracking and monitoring of WRF's progress around good grantmaking practices.

"There's a lot of talk in philanthropy these days about transparency and shared learning, but not very many foundations are walking the talk," said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. "We appreciate WRF's staff and leadership, especially Sherece West-Scantlebury, in their willingness to test out our methodology, receive critical feedback from NCRP and its stakeholders, and publicly share the results."

Sherece West-Scantlebury is WRF's president and CEO, and serves as the chair of NCRP's board of directors. Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation contracted with NCRP to conduct the assessment.

"I invite other foundations to use NCRP's 'Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best' and 'Real Results' to learn how we can use philanthropy to be more effective at deploying our resources to address the needs in our communities," said West-Scantlebury. "We at Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation have started using NCRP's recommendations in identifying ways to advance our mission, and we believe this will translate into even greater impact that will improve the lives and well-being of people in Arkansas."

The full NCRP assessment of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, which includes its complete findings and recommendations, is available for free online at www.ncrp.org and on WRF's website.

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. is a national watchdog, research and advocacy organization that promotes philanthropy that serves the public good, is responsive to people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity, and is held accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness. Visit www.ncrp.org.

SOURCE National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy



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