Announcing the inaugural NCRP Impact Awards Committee for 2019!

Committee will guide nomination and selection of 2019 Impact Award winners, which could include donor networks and funder collaboratives for the first time.

Written by: Caitlin Duffy

Date: December 12, 2018

Changemaking requires a diversity of tactics, and the movement to transform the culture of philanthropy is no different. With our sector’s heavy “knowledge sharing” culture and competitive bent, it’s important to recognize best practice and celebrate exemplary practitioners that can serve as inspiration for others in the sector.

That’s why NCRP created the annual Impact Awards 6 years ago. The program highlights U.S.-based grantmakers that practice smart, high impact philanthropy and boldly support social movements. With today’s urgent and evolving needs, it’s even more crucial to highlight those who are leading by example.

After some deep reflection on the past and future of the program this year, we’re excited to announce some important updates for 2019.

New process for choosing winners

NCRP has recruited a new Selections Committee to choose 4 bold winners. The distinguished members of the inaugural 2019 committee, including 2 co-chairs, are:

  • Michael Brown, Civic Architect, Civic Commons, Seattle Foundation (Co-Chair)
  • Lauren J. Spokane, Director of Development, Faith in Action (Co-Chair)
  • Jenifer Fernandez Ancona, Vice President, Strategy & Member Engagement, Women Donors Network
  • Storme Gray, Director of Programs, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
  • Peter Long, President and CEO, Blue Shield of California Foundation
  • Diana Lopez, Executive Director, Southwest Workers Union
  • Vivek (Vik) Malhotra, Strategy and Organizational Development Consultant (NCRP Board Member)
  • Maria Nakae, Engagement Director, Justice Funders
  • Rami Nashashibi, Executive Director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network
  • Donald (Don) M. Ragona, Director of Development and House Counsel, Native American Rights Fund (NCRP Board Member)

Jeanné Isler, NCRP’s vice president and chief engagement officer, and I will serve as staff representatives on the committee.

Learn more about the committee, including member bios, by visiting our website.

The committee is part of a new process for selecting winners. Historically, NCRP solicited public nominations for exemplary private/independent foundations, corporate foundations, and grantmaking public charities such as community foundations, public foundations and United Ways. Staff and board members selected the finalists, and we celebrated winners at an in-person reception hosted at a large sector-wide conference.

We looked at how to embed a more democratic decision-making process that could bring nonprofit members, grantmaking supporters and other close allies into deeper partnership with the program, which led to the creation of our new Selection Committee.

Recognizing exemplary work in support of social movements

Members of the committee will honor awardees in the following 4 award categories:

  • “Mover and Shaker” Award for Bold Peer Organizing
  • “Smashing Silos” Award for Intersectional Grantmaking
  • “Changing Course” Award for Incorporating Feedback
  • “Get Up, Stand Up” Award for Rapid Response

We first introduced these categories in 2017 at the CHANGE Philanthropy UNITY Summit in New Orleans, where we honored the work of the Foundation for Louisiana, Groundswell Fund, Meyer Memorial Trust and The Solutions Project.

The categories reflect positive changes in philanthropy, with more funders seriously considering how to fund social justice movements, leverage their own power for systemic change, and share decision making and governance with marginalized communities.

2018: A year of retrospection

Instead of hosting a ceremony in 2018, NCRP took time to consider if there are additional changes we could make to the Impact Awards program to better highlight the most forward-thinking and effective practices in the sector.

During this reflection period, we interviewed a number of past winners about how their work has evolved since they won an Impact Award. Read this retrospective series on PhilanTopic featuring Hill-Snowdon Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, NoVo Foundation and Woods Fund Chicago.

More grantmakers will be eligible for an award in 2019

In response to inquiries in 2017, and to better reflect the diversity of giving in the sector, donor networks and funder collaboratives will be eligible to receive an Impact Award for the first time.

See you at the CHANGE Philanthropy Unity Summit

The 2019 Impact Awards will take place at the CHANGE Philanthropy UNITY Summit in November 2019 in Seattle. Sign up for information and updates from the CHANGE network, of which NCRP is a partner.

A new opportunity to be a part of the 2019 Impact Awards

In preparation for the event, we’re inviting members of NCRP’s community to serve as Impact Ambassadors. Contributions could include blog posts, social media outreach, sign-in table support during the reception, event sponsorship tips and more.

How would you like to support our celebration of excellence in philanthropy? Fill out this brief form!

Caitlin Duffy is senior associate for learning and engagement at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). Follow @NCRP and @DuffyInDC on Twitter, and join the conversation using #NCRPImpactAwards.