Our History

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished over the past 40-plus years as the independent watchdog of philanthropy

Forty Years of Impact

With the help of our funders, partners and allies, NCRP is pushing philanthropy to be more accountable,
transparent and responsive to the needs of communities with the least wealth, opportunity and power.
  • 1976

    The Donee Group founded NCRP

    Pablo Eisenberg, Thomas R. Asher and Jim Abernathy founded NCRP with initial funding provided by John D. Rockefeller III, John View more ...
  • 1979-2005

    Pushed United Way to be responsive to communities of color and fund nonprofit advocacy.

    Historically, United Way’s track record in addressing social justice and the needs of marginalized communities was dismal. And since it View more ...
  • 1979-1991

    Opened up the Combined Federal Campaign to advocacy organizations and nontraditional charities

    Under the leadership of then executive director Robert Bothwell, NCRP pushed the CFC to allow the participation of nonprofit advocacy View more ...
  • 1980

    Increased foundation transparency

    Through a landmark report, NCRP called out the country’s largest private, corporate and community foundations for their lack of transparency View more ...
  • 1980 - present

    Improved foundation accountability

    Our campaigns and reports have pushed independent, corporate and community foundations to adapt practices that lead to increased accountability. As View more ...
  • 1989 - 1995

    Pushed nearly a dozen community foundations across the country to diversify their boards and staff, and to increase grants that benefit underserved communities

    A series of reports found that the community foundations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Diego View more ...
  • 1995 – 2004

    Shaped the way progressive foundations deployed resources to strategically effect public policy

    NCRP’s seminal series of reports on the role of foundations in politics was a critical point in the history of View more ...
  • 2009

    Refocused our work on defining and promoting philanthropy at its best

    Under a new leadership and guided by a new strategic plan, NCRP refocused its mission on the core tenets of View more ...
  • 2009 - present

    Reframed “strategic philanthropy” around equity and social justice

    How funders give and who benefits from philanthropy are just as important as how much they give to truly make View more ...
  • 2011 - present

    Top U.S. foundations pledged to dedicate to underserved communities

    Top U.S. foundations pledged to dedicate at least 50 percent of grants for underserved communities and at least 25 percent View more ...
  • 2012

    Documented the return on investment for foundation funding of advocacy

    Finally, there’s no doubt that foundation investments in advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement have substantial, tangible benefits for families View more ...
  • 2013 – present

    Outstanding foundations inspire other philanthropists with high-impact grantmaking

    NCRP’s Impact awards lifts up foundations that have shown bold leadership, commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and exemplary grantmaking. View more ...
  • 2014 – present

    Assessment tool brings grantees’ and stakeholders’ voices to evaluating major foundations

    Most of the assessed foundations have incorporated some of our recommendations to improve operations and grantmaking strategies. Read more on View more ...
  • 2016

    New Strategic Framework

    Engagement with social movements and wealthy donors are important strategies to ensure that philanthropy is contributing to a fairer, and View more ...

About NCRP

For more than 40 years, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy has pushed foundations to do more for those who are marginalized, underserved and disenfranchised.

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