Funder celebrated for modeling how to shift strategies and operations in response to feedback
from stakeholders, particularly those most affected by inequity and injustice
WASHINGTON, DC – For many Americans young and old, the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in 2020 opened their eyes wide to the ways white supremacy permeates mainstream society and traditional institutional structures. Rather than shy away from the uncomfortable conversations that have emerged since then, the Raikes Foundation has sought to unlearn the philanthropy of yesterday and aggressively champion grantmaking that centers racial equity and justice.
That is why the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) is honoring the foundation with its 2023 “Changing Course” Award for Incorporating Feedback. Their model of humility and curiosity, especially on racial issues, invites funders into a practice of reckoning with their own uplifting of the status quo and taking a chance on shifting course, even when it is uncomfortable.
“The Committee chose the Raikes Foundation for the extraordinary work that they have done in going beyond just deeply learning about the harms of systemic racism,” said NCRP Executive Director Aaron Dorfman. “Building on years of good intentions, they encouraged others to join their journey of action, ultimately utilizing their grantmaking to support the work of racial equity and justice, centering it in their work, and advocating that their peers do the same.”
Since its creation in 2002, the Raikes Foundation has been committed to the belief that investing in the well-being of young people is the best investment that society can make in our collective future. Those investments include funding mechanisms that catalyze change, transform inequitable systems, and build capacity for all communities to have an equal voice in our democratic life and institutions.
“Our foundation embarked on a journey to reimagine and redesign our organization to center racial equity because we recognized it not only as a moral imperative, but also a social and economic one,” said Raikes Executive Director Dennis Quirin. “When we invest in equity, we invest in a stronger, more prosperous future for all.”
Co-Founder Tricia Raikes agreed.
“Our 20-year journey is a testament to the power of collaboration and the unyielding commitment of our partners and staff who have propelled us forward on this transformative path,” said Raikes. “We are honored to work alongside them and honored to receive this recognition.”
The Raikes’s Foundation is one of five honorees that will be honored October 18 in Los Angeles, CA at the 2023 IMPACT Awards. The biennial celebration of philanthropy’s best actors will take place at the 2023 CHANGE Philanthropy Unity Summit, a three-day conference that looks to create a diverse and safe space to gather and deepen individual and institutional practices that advance equity with an intersectional lens and community at the center.
Resourcing Change — & Changemakers
NCRP’s “Changing Course” Award for Incorporating Feedback is given every two years to the funder that has shifted their strategies and operations in response to feedback from their stakeholders, particularly those most affected by inequity and injustice.
For Raikes Foundation leadership, responding to the events of the summer of 2020 built on the kind of learning that had transformed the grantmaker’s initial curiosity around youth and housing issues to focusing on transforming systems to dismantle the root causes of the inequity. As staff have learned, catalyzing change requires not only money, but the willingness to trust local leadership, no matter the age of the expert.
The ultimate goal of programs like the Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative (IDPI) is to move more dollars to systems change work, including work led by BIPoC leaders and movements, supporting those who face structural barriers to exercise their power.
As IDPI Director Stephanie Fuerstner Gillis notes, “Wealth has been accumulating at the top and we hope to get more of those dollars reinvested in the people and organizations that are best positioned to shift the systems.”
Click here to read more about the Raikes Foundation’s work and why they were chosen to be NCRP’s 2023 “Changing Course” Award winner for Incorporating Feedback.
The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) has served as philanthropy’s critical friend and independent watchdog since 1976. We work with foundations, non-profits, social justice movements and other leaders to ensure that the sector is transparent with, and accountable to, those with the least wealth, power and opportunity in American society.
Our storytelling, advocacy, and research efforts, in partnership with grantees, help funders fulfill their moral and practical duty to build, share, and wield economic resources and power to serve public purposes in pursuit of justice.
ABOUT THE 2023 IMPACT AWARDS
Since 2013, NCRP has awarded 29 Impact Awards to grantmakers in recognition of support, leadership and partnership with grassroots organizations and community leaders around LGBTQ rights, minimum wage, environmental justice, health equity and other critical issues. This year, we will add a fifth, the Pablo Eisenberg Memorial Prize” for Philanthropy Criticism, in honor of NCRP’s founding board chair.
The biennial event has been traditionally held on the last night of Change Philanthropy’s Unity Summit. This year’s edition is slated to be held in Los Angeles, CA, the first in four years to be held in person. (The previous event was held virtually in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns)
ABOUT THE CHANGE PHILANTHROPY’S UNITY SUMMIT
This year’s Impact Awards — and the 2023 Unity Summit in general — are expected to be the biggest yet, with over 1200 people expected to attend the conference from Oct. 16-19th. The three-day conference will explore strategies for utilizing power to advance philanthropic equity, with emphasis on how philanthropic institutions and individuals working in philanthropy can shift their practice. Across various session types and formats, summit participants will explore shifts in internal organizational practice that consider organizational climate and culture as well as realizing intersectional racial equity within philanthropic organizations; and external practice that examine use of capital, ways of engaging with accountability to community, and methods for leveraging collective power.
For more information on the 2023 Unity Summit, or to explore past Unity Summits, visit https://www.changeunitysummit.info/
CONTACT(S): Russel Roybal, rroybal[at]ncrp.org
Elbert Garcia, egarcia[at]ncrp.org