WASHINGTON, Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over the past 10 years, U.S. foundations have moved painfully slowly toward adopting practices that address the urgent problems our communities face today despite seeing tremendous growth in assets.
As the country prepares to move forward in light of the recent presidential elections, foundations across the country can do more to marshal their resources in the fight for lasting social, economic and environmental equity and justice.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), the country's only independent watchdog of grantmakers, today announced a new strategic framework that reflects the organization's priority for the next 10 years: to provide social justice movements and their current and potential funders with useful resources that will help increase impact and win important campaigns.
"There are pressing problems facing our society … We believe NCRP's new strategic framework will enable us to significantly contribute to shaping a country that truly embodies our core values of equity, democracy and justice for all," said Aaron Dorfman, president and CEO of NCRP, and Sherece West-Scantlebury, board chair of NCRP, in a letter posted on NCRP's new website. "We believe that we could still see significant progress to advance women's equality, reform our criminal justice system, combat climate change, expand economic opportunity, secure fair treatment for immigrants and combat structural racism."
Other social movements that NCRP will begin working with are arts and justice, democracy, education equity, financial reform, health equity and LGBTQI rights.
For the first time in its 40-year history, NCRP will expand its work to also include programming that encourages high-net-worth individuals to give in ways that benefit and empower underserved communities.
"We're already seeing the tremendous influence that wealthy donors have on issues that affect all of us," said Dorfman and West-Scantlebury, who also serves as president and CEO of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. "It's important that they, and the various organizations that serve them, have the tools and information they need to give in ways that advance justice and equity."
As part of its new high-net-worth donor program, NCRP has acquired Bolder Giving, subject to the approval of Massachusetts authorities. Philanthropist activists Anne and Christopher Ellinger founded Bolder Giving to support peers to explore their full giving potential. Bolder Giving has offered personal stories, peer conversations and practical tools to help people give more, take more risks to effect change and inspire others to do the same.
"It is with thoughtful stewardship that we have decided to entrust the legacy of Bolder Giving to NCRP," wrote Levani Lipton on behalf of Bolder Giving board members in a message announcing the acquisition last week.
The Ellingers echoed their enthusiasm. "We are thrilled that the work we started through Bolder Giving will continue to grow. With its expanded focus on individual donor engagement, NCRP will be a perfect new home for this vital work."
Social Justice didn't benefit from record growth in foundation assets
A new study titled "Pennies for Progress: A decade of boom for philanthropy, a bust for social justice" by NCRP shows that foundation assets saw a $321 billion increase between 2003 and 2013, from $476 billion to more than $798 billion.
Yet, support that explicitly benefits people of color, women and girls, the elderly and other underserved communities from the country's largest foundations saw an increase of just 15 percent. Foundation giving in support of efforts that engage these communities in finding long-term solutions to injustice and inequities remained stagnant during that same period at 10 percent.
"Will we take advantage of the historical moment and help our nation make lasting progress on important issues?" ask Dorfman and West-Scantlebury in their letter. "The recent election results make the next few years incredibly important."
A summary and a full copy of NCRP's strategic framework and "Pennies for Progress" are available at www.ncrp.org.
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.
This year, NCRP marks its 40th anniversary with a look at its accomplishments such as increasing transparency and accountability of foundations, helping progressive foundations deploy their resources effectively and defining exemplary philanthropy. For more information, visit www.ncrp.org.
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SOURCE National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy