The NCRP Impact Awards celebrate foundations that have shown leadership, innovation and commitment to solving the country’s toughest problems


Philanthropy plays a critical role in society

Grantmakers were an important source of funding for the civil rights movement, women’s rights movement and the campaign to secure minimum wage across the country. Most recently, progress around health care reform and LGBTQ equality was helped enormously by the considerable grants given by numerous foundations to key nonprofits and coalitions working on the ground.

Our world continues to face tough challenges and philanthropy needs to step up to be part of solutions.

But philanthropy can only be effective if done smartly. The NCRP Impact Awards celebrate those funders that have shown leadership, innovation and commitment to being a part of efforts to solve the country’s toughest problems.

Smart Philanthropy

Philanthropy can’t just throw money into the pot and hope that something works. The enormity and complexity of pressing social issues require that foundations spend their resources wisely by adopting high impact strategies that give the biggest bang for the buck.

Targeted grantmaking that addresses the conditions of vulnerable groups such as the poor, women and girls, and the elderly, which will have positive ripple effects throughout the broader society. Trickle-down, universal grantmaking, hoping that vulnerable populations benefit somewhere along the way. Sadly, this approach rarely reaches those that need help the most.
Supports advocacy, community organizing and civic participation around important policy and social issues to come up with long-term solutions. Relies primarily on providing short-term direct services without supporting efforts that attempt to address the cause of the problem.
Invests in the health, growth and effectiveness of nonprofits by providing the kinds of resources that these organizations need the most to succeed. Hampers nonprofit success by failing to provide the kinds of grants that build the organization’s capacity and leadership.

Empowered Communities

Smart philanthropy recognizes that difficult social problems can only be successfully tackled when those directly affected are valued partners in defining the problem and devising solutions.

Low-income students and their parents now are able to actively participate in efforts to bring quality education to poor neighborhoods. Homeless and formerly homeless individuals are engaged in various initiatives to address unemployment and homelessness in their cities. Victims of sexual abuse lend their voice to efforts seeking to protect and prevent future victims.

Real Results

Smart philanthropy produces tangible results that benefit everyone in our society, instead of just a few. Here are just a number of examples:

  • In California: Passage of a reform motion limiting the amount of sugar, salt and trans fat in cafeteria food served at 700+ LAUSD schools, improving food inspection and creating a parent-led Cafeteria Reform Committee to oversee the implementation of the motion. This benefits more than 690,000 students.
  • In Minnesota: Secured state support for a learning curriculum to prevent teen pregnancy and stopped the government from supporting abstinence-only sex education. This success benefits more than 600,000 youth throughout the state.
  • In Mississippi: Prevented a major state funding cut of $110 million to Medicaid that would have eliminated important health services to 48,000 senior participants and people with disabilities.
  • In Louisiana: Established the Children and Families Action Network and Human Services Response Initiative after Hurricane Rita. This ensured that $1.8 million of public, private and philanthropic resources were used to provide equitable recovery for hundreds of residents.

2019 Impact Awards Reception

2019 Impact Awards Reception

Learn about the 2019 NCRP Impact Awards in Seattle.

Past Winners

Past Winners

Meet the foundations that took home NCRP Impact Awards.

Effective philanthropy helps change the world

Effective philanthropy helps change the world

You, too, can practice smart philanthropy that empowers communities and produce tangible results.

Receive our monthly e-news today

Receive our monthly e-news today

Don’t miss important news and the latest resources from NCRP and others in the sector.


Transform your philanthropy!

Check out these resources for smart grantmaking that produces real results and stronger communities.