Meet the foundations we honored at our 2016 NCRP Impact Awards event in Minneapolis


Awardee for Community Foundation/Grantmaking Public Charity: Sandler Foundation

Herb Sandler, Co-Founder and President Sandler Foundation

Herb Sandler, Co-Founder and President
Sandler Foundation

We invest in strategic organizations and exceptional leaders. Those organizations and leaders are the experts and agents of change, and we view our role as providing them with meaningful levels of general support over the long-term so they can build their institutional capacity.

In some cases, that means providing significant seed funding to help launch organizations when gaps exist, such as the Center for American Progress, ProPublica, the Center for Responsible Lending and, most recently, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and the Learning Policy Institute. Startups only thrive if they have great leadership and substantial general support that allows them to hire great people, invest in their operations and adapt to changing circumstances.

In other cases, it means helping established institutions build out needed capacities to become even more effective. Long-term investments have enabled the ACLU to grow its affiliates and allowed PICO to build out a national office and invest in its infrastructure. Support for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities strengthened its communications and outreach capacities at the national and state network levels.

If we had one wish, it would be for philanthropic funders to set aside more resources to invest in the long-term institutional capacity of organizations and far fewer resources on short-term projects or programs. The issues we all care about will not be “solved” in two or three years and, even after short-term wins, these issues will reemerge in new and unexpected ways.

Are we, as foundation leaders, leaving nonprofits in a stronger position than before we started our funding, so that they have the capacity to adapt to changing circumstances for the long-term? Or are we merely extracting short-term gains that make our programs and foundations look good but leave nonprofits unstable and depleted?

Let us all strive to be more strategic and better long-term investors.


Learn about previous winners of the NCRP Impact Awards