WASHINGTON, Aug. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many groups and activists from across the country have ramped up their fight against injustice, inequities and hate in our communities. Four outstanding grantmakers are being honored for their leadership in supporting these efforts.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) today named Foundation for Louisiana, Groundswell Fund, Meyer Memorial Trust and Solutions Project as recipients of the 2017 NCRP Impact Awards.
"These grantmakers are an inspiration in their commitment to securing a just, equitable and sustainable future for our communities, especially those who have been marginalized," said Aaron Dorfman, president and CEO of NCRP. "I encourage other funders to look at the impact the awardees are having on the communities and issues they care about, and imagine what they, too, can accomplish through their own bold giving."
In its 5th year, the NCRP Impact Awards honors the "best of the best" grantmakers that practice high-impact philanthropy by seeking to solve our country's toughest problems, committing to diversity and inclusion, and empowering and strengthening marginalized communities.
Meet the 2017 NCRP Impact Awardees
Based in Baton Rouge, this community foundation is being honored for using its influence and expertise to address critical issues in the state.
It played a key leadership role in the removal of Confederate monuments in Louisiana between May and June of this year. It was also the only grantmaker in the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment Task Force, which was able to pass historic state legislation to slash the prison population and reinvest $154 million into programs to reduce crime and recidivism.
"Foundation for Louisiana is humbled and excited to receive the first-of-its-kind "Mover and Shaker" Award for Bold Peer Organizing," said Flozell Daniels Jr., chief executive of Foundation for Louisiana. "This work is powered by our incredible grantee partners, talented staff and board, our public sector partners and, most important, the wisdom of community in the pursuit of greater equity outcomes. Considering the task at hand, this is just the beginning."
This Oakland, California-based public grantmaking charity is the largest funder of the reproductive justice movement in the U.S. It is being honored for its intersectional approach to race and gender in its reproductive justice grantmaking.
This is exemplified by the launch of its Liberation Fund in May to support grassroots organizing efforts to protect reproductive and gender rights led by women and transgender people of color across social justice sectors.
Groundswell Fund believes that a multi-issue and multi-identity approach to supporting grassroots organizing is critically needed in our current social and political environment.
"We center women of color, low-income women and transgender people who are organizing on the frontlines of every major issue we face right now. They bring the lived experience, the knowledge, the strategy and the vision our movements need to transform the systems and policies we need to change," said Vanessa Daniel, executive director of Groundswell. "We've done this even when it wasn't a popular strategy in philanthropy. Receiving the Smashing Silos award means the tides are turning and we couldn't be prouder to stand with our grantees at the forefront of that groundswell."
In 2012, this large private foundation in Portland, Oregon, began a self-examination of the ways it was and wasn't making an impact. Then it took a year to listen to constituents on how to better align its programming with an explicit focus on equity.
Meyer reflected this explicit focus by identifying the four issue areas where it might have the greatest impact using an equity lens given the state's pressing needs: housing, education, environment and Oregon's diverse communities. The evolution prompted Meyer to seek out grantees that it hadn't worked with before on policy and other systems change efforts. Meyer gave out $17.3 million last year during its inaugural spring funding call and $36 million throughout the year.
"Meyer's journey would not have been possible without the patience, advice and partnership of many Oregon-based nonprofits. We take input and feedback from our stakeholders seriously; those working directly on behalf of Oregonians most affected by inequity and injustice serve as models and teachers for our philanthropy," said Doug Stamm, Meyer's chief executive officer. "NCRP's "Changing Course" award for incorporating feedback is a milestone in Meyer's ongoing equity journey – and reminder to keep our focus on the long road ahead."
This grantmaking public charity co-founded by celebrity activist Mark Ruffalo is being honored for providing some of the first rapid-response funding to indigenous efforts against the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock. It also helped other donors to provide funding in ways that respected indigenous leadership.
"We each have a unique role to play in creating a world that lives up to our boldest and brightest vision for sustainability and justice," said Sarah Shanley Hope, executive director of Solutions Project.
Ruffalo expressed hope that Solutions Project's award will encourage other grantmakers to step up and support those on the frontlines.
"Now more than ever, we must stand with the fighters who put their bodies on the line to protect our children, our communities and our future," said Ruffalo. "The water protectors at Standing Rock are a spectacular example of bold leadership that I couldn't be more proud to play a role in supporting."
Awardees will be recognized at a reception on September 18, 2017 in New Orleans during the CHANGE Unity Summit.
Profiles on the 2017 NCRP Impact Awardees, including their full statements are available on NCRP's website.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy amplifies the voice of nonprofits and the communities they serve in the philanthropic sector. Through research and advocacy, it works to ensure that grantmakers and donors contribute to the creation of a fair, just and equitable world.
Since 2013, NCRP has awarded 19 Impact Awards to grantmakers in recognition of support, leadership and partnership with grassroots organizations and community leaders around LTGBTQ rights, minimum wage, environmental justice, health equity and other critical issues. A full list of past NCRP Impact Awardees are available on www.ncrp.org.
SOURCE National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy