Foundations and donors: Stop funding the gentrification of movements

For Immediate Release

Foundations and donors: Stop funding the gentrification of movements

NCRP journal also offers reflections on CEO oversight in the wake of the SVCF scandal, immigration reform and more

Washington, D.C.  (9/25/2018) – Many foundations and donors are still trying to wrestle with ways to respond to the challenges the country is facing and to move equity and justice forward. Actions are necessary. But if funders are not careful, they may end up hurting the issues and communities they care about.

“Our strength as Americans comes from our ability to work together,” wrote Aaron Dorfman, chief executive of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). “With so many nonprofits and foundations knitting together a landscape of people from different places and of different races into a whole, I am hopeful for our future.”

The newly released September edition of “Responsive Philanthropy” invites grantmakers and philanthropists to pause, reflect and be inspired to take action that is grounded in the wellbeing of marginalized communities and a future where all people thrive.

The gentrification of movements: 4 Ways funders can stop putting raisins in the potato salad

Vanessa Daniel, executive director of Groundswell Fund, observes how well-funded, white-led nonprofit organizations have adopted strategies that have been used for decades by people of color-led groups.

She calls this the gentrification of movements, and issues a wakeup call to funders: “Aside from being ineffective in moving the needle on social change generally, this funding approach only reinforces white supremacy,” writes Daniel.

In pursuit of equity: A family foundation’s story

Cynthia Addams, chief executive and Colin Jones, grants manager of The Collins Foundation, writes about the family foundation’s journey in diversity, equity and inclusion.

For the Portland, Oregon-based foundation, opening the board to non-family members has been an integral part of their efforts.

Reflections in the wake of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

The scandal that rocked the Silicon Valley Community Foundation is a stark reminder that boards need to have effective oversight of CEOs.

BoardSource’s chief executive Anne Wallestad and NCRP’s Dorfman identify four important questions that boards need to ask themselves to protect their organizations.

Change culture and attitude to get it right on immigration reform

Rev. Ryan Eller, executive director of Define American, notes the need for funders to support efforts to shift people’s perceptions of immigrants to move immigration reform in the right direction.

“While our movement is investing in ballot measures and bills, the anti-immigrant movement is investing in a cultural narrative that has successfully convinced the public that immigrants are our enemy and ought to be feared,” Eller writes.

The journal also features NCRP member LA Voice, a multi-racial, multi-faith community organization that believes all people have a voice and the power to transform their communities and the country.

Responsive Philanthropy articles are available at no cost on NCRP’s website.

About NCRP

For more than 40 years, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy has been amplifying the voice of nonprofits and the communities they serve in the philanthropic sector. Through research and advocacy, it works to ensure that grantmakers and donors contribute to the creation of a fair, just and equitable world. For more information, visit



Yna C. Moore, ymoore[at] or (202) 557-1381