Report Shows Foundation Funding of Advocacy Produces a Return on Investment of $115 to $1
National watchdog group calls for foundations to leverage their grant dollars for significant benefit to underserved communities
Washington, D.C. (01/18/12) – Advocacy by 110 nonprofit organizations over a five-year period has brought more than $26.6 billion in benefits to low-wage workers, communities of color, rural residents and other marginalized groups, according to a new study from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), released today.
The report titled "Leveraging Limited Dollars: How Grantmakers Achieve Tangible Benefits by Funding Policy and Community Engagement," found that every dollar grantmakers and other donors invested in policy and civic engagement provided a return of $115 in benefit.
"Leveraging Limited Dollars," which distills findings from the seven reports produced as part of the organization's Grantmaking for Community Impact Project (GCIP), provides solid evidence of the impacts of foundation-funded policy advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement. The report explains why these strategies are successful and how they create stronger communities.
"This report demonstrates without a doubt that foundation funding for advocacy and civic engagement results in substantial benefits for families and communities across the nation," said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. "These strategies enable nonprofits and grantmakers to address complex social and economic challenges effectively and improve the lives of the under-served."
To further showcase the effectiveness of such work, NCRP compiled a directory containing every advocacy and community organizing impact that was achieved by 110 organizations in 13 states over a five-year period. The directory is a compilation of data reported in each of seven "Strengthening Democracy, Increasing Opportunities" reports, and includes monetized and non-monetized impacts.
The report also offers suggestions about how to begin funding advocacy to funders who want to start leveraging their grant dollars for maximum results.
The seven GCIP studies brought to philanthropy a highly rigorous and comprehensive methodology to help grantmakers understand the impact of funding for advocacy and social change. The research was conducted over a three-year period and cost more than $1 million.
"Leveraging Limited Dollars: How Grantmakers Achieve Tangible Benefits by Funding Policy and Community Engagement" is available on NCRP's website at http://www.ncrp.org/campaigns-research-policy/communities/gcip.
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.