For immediate release
32 U.S. Foundations Join Campaign to Prioritize Underserved Communities
Nearly 100 grantmakers that give close to $3 billion annually have committed to Philanthropy’s Promise
Washington, D.C. (09/19/2011) – Thirty-two more foundations from across the country have committed to dedicate a majority of their grants to benefit underserved communities and to provide substantial support for strategies that seek solutions to social problems. They expressed their commitment by joining Philanthropy’s Promise, an initiative by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) launched in June 2011, which seeks to encourage effective and strategic giving that leads to positive and lasting social change.
To date, 96 foundations have signed on to the Promise, representing more than $2.94 billion in annual giving, according to the latest available data.
The 32 grantmakers that joined Philanthropy’s Promise recently are:
District of Columbia:
“We hope that the foundations of Philanthropy’s Promise inspire others to think about how their philanthropic dollars can truly make a difference in people’s lives and our communities,” said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. “At this time of great need, it’s not enough to give. We have to give smartly. We are delighted and grateful to have these 32 organizations on board.”
Foundations that have signed on to Philanthropy’s Promise submitted public statements explaining their commitment. These grantmakers include big and small foundations, private foundations, family foundations, corporate foundations, community foundations and other grantmaking public charities.
In The San Francisco Foundation’s public statement, CEO Sandra R. Hernandez and board chair David Friedman wrote, “With our endowment, we have the charge and responsibility to direct resources to address the pressing contemporary needs in our community. … The foundation’s strategy is to make sure that the voice of the marginalized is heard and included in solving social issues. We take this approach because we believe it is the only way to create equitable outcomes and find lasting solutions to the challenges facing our communities.”
“The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund’s core values align with NCRP’s belief that philanthropy has an important role to play in advancing the cause of equality for all people,” said Ira S. Hirschfield, president of the Haas, Jr. Fund. “For more than 50 years, the Haas, Jr. Fund has made substantial investments in organizations that are working every day to level the playing field and advance the cause of equal rights and opportunities for underserved people and communities. Inspired by our founders’ vision of a just and caring society, we plan to continue this support in the years ahead.”
Funding Exchange, a network of regionally based social justice foundations and a national grantmaker, also has signed on to Philanthropy’s Promise. “We understand what it means to fund in communities of color, immigrant communities and working class communities,” said Barbara Heisler, executive director of Funding Exchange. “We, and a majority of our members, signed on to Philanthropy’s Promise as a pledge to our constituents that we will continue to work hard towards social and racial justice around the country.”
About Philanthropy’s Promise
Philanthropy’s Promise is an initiative that recognizes the country’s grantmaking institutions that are committed to maximizing the effectiveness and positive impact of their limited philanthropic dollars in their communities. These organizations promise to have more than half of their grants benefit at least one marginalized community, and at least a quarter of their total giving to support policy and community engagement.
NCRP believes that many philanthropic institutions are trying to solve complex and enormous problems that dwarf the amount of their limited resources. By intentionally prioritizing the underserved such as the economically disadvantaged, ethnic and racial minorities, people with disabilities, senior citizens and other groups, and by empowering them through funding advocacy and organizing, grantmakers increase the impact of their giving to benefit everyone in the community.
A full list of grantmakers that have signed on to Philanthropy’s Promise and their public statements explaining their commitments are available at www.philanthropyspromise.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. Visit www.ncrp.org.