Los Angeles' The California Endowment Assessed by Philanthropy Watchdog in New Crowdsourcing Website

Expert review praises the foundation's commitment to community empowerment, suggests more support to boost nonprofit advocacy infrastructure

Jun 25, 2014, 11:30 ET from National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) unveiled its latest foundation assessment for Philamplify, a new project aimed at bursting the isolation bubble in philanthropy by delivering honest feedback to grantmakers. The new report, assessing Los Angeles' The California Endowment, is part of the second wave of Philamplify assessments since the project launched in May.

"In so many ways, The California Endowment practices the kind of philanthropy that is smart and strategic without losing focus on equity, justice and lasting positive change," said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. "Terrific as The Endowment is, our Philamplify assessment offers the foundation some recommendations for how they can boost their impact even more. It also offers lessons that I hope other philanthropists will find valuable as they seek to address critical community needs."

Written by expert researcher Gita Gulati-Partee, "The California Endowment: How Can This Leading Health Equity Funder Bolster Its Community Impact?" examines how the foundation exemplifies strategic, social justice philanthropy with its holistic approach to advancing health issues. In particular, the report highlights the Endowment's direct policy engagement, support for statewide nonprofit advocacy and targeted investments to build resident power in 14 communities across the state through its Building Healthy Communities initiative. Gulati-Partee recommends that to expand its impact, the Endowment needs to invest in boosting its grantees' effectiveness by providing more general operating funds, build nonprofit advocacy capacity and better align the large foundation's many efforts.

"In the coming months we intend to review the report and its recommendations with our board and with our staff," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment. "We see ourselves as part of a larger community working for health and justice and we know that our work is enhanced when we engage in learning and conversation with others. As members of this community we all benefit from transparency and constructive critique."

Conducted by top-notch researchers, Philamplify's foundation assessments provide a comprehensive examination of a foundation's grantmaking and operations. The reports incorporate feedback received from the foundation's key stakeholders and offer recommendations designed to maximize foundation effectiveness. Philamplify.org users can comment on and agree or disagree with these recommendations and share stories about how philanthropy has impacted their lives.

Since its launch, Philamplify has been met with approval from those active in the charitable sector, who see it as a potential turning point in the ongoing conversation about transparency and accountability in philanthropy. Buzz Schmidt, founder of GuideStar, a site that aggregates information about all registered nonprofits, is one such supporter.

"The absence of market tensions at both [the internal and external] levels keeps private foundations from performing at the highest level and being the effective resource allocators we need them to be," said Schmidt. "NCRP's new philamplify.org site seeks to help remedy this situation and impose an external market tension."

In addition to The California Endowment assessment, NCRP has released reports on the Lumina Foundation for Education in Indianapolis, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation in Atlanta, William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia and Daniels Fund in Denver. Additional assessments covering other top-100 U.S. foundations will roll out in the coming months.

To foster transparency, mutual accountability and knowledge sharing, the full report on The California Endowment, along with all other Philamplify assessments, is available on philamplify.org.

To learn more, view this Philamplify video on The California Endowment or visit philamplify.org.

About NCRP 

Since 1976, NCRP has served as the voice of nonprofits and the communities they serve in philanthropy. Through research and advocacy, NCRP works to ensure that philanthropy contributes in meaningful ways to the creation of a fair, just and equitable world. Visit www.ncrp.org for more information.

For interviews with Gita Gulati-Partee, Lisa Ranghelli, director of foundation assessment at NCRP, or Aaron Dorfman, please contact CJ Frogozo at (310) 570-2622 and CJ@fitzgibbonmedia.com or Yna Moore at (202) 557-1381 and ="file:///C:/Users/ymoore/AppData/Local/Microsoft/Windows/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/Content.Outlook/9Q44ZV5O/ymoore@ncrp.org" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ymoore@ncrp.org.

SOURCE National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy