NCRP Honors Vu Le with its Inaugural “Pablo Eisenberg Memorial Prize’ for Philanthropy Criticism

Yes, strategic posting of cute baby animals is genius marketing. But it’s Vu Le’s ability to hold
philanthropy accountable with humor, insight and love that makes him a weekly treasure.

WASHINGTON, DC – For all it’s potential and good intentions, the wealth that powers many parts of philanthropy can also be quite sensitive to feedback, especially when it comes to those who have not traditionally sat at the decision-making table. In fact, it’s the dependency on that wealth and the fear of even the perception of offending donors that can leave many leaders on the border of silence and frustration.

That is why the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) is honoring NonProfit AF’s Vu Le with its inaugural “Pablo Eisenberg Memorial Prize” for Philanthropy Criticism. The accomplished writer, speaker and changemaker does a masterful job on a weekly basis of balancing the practical perspectives, irreverent humor and thought-provoking analysis in addressing systemic inequalities and debilitating narratives that impact the equitable distribution of resources to nonprofits and communities.

Headshot of NonProfit AF's Vu_Le, winner of the NCRP's inaugural “Pablo Eisenberg Memorial Prize” for Philanthropy Criticism

NonProfit AF’s Vu Le, winner of the NCRP’s inaugural “Pablo Eisenberg Memorial Prize” for Philanthropy Criticism.

He also will be the first non-foundation individual to be honored in the 10 year history of NCRP’s Impact Awards.

“I can’t think of a more fitting writer in our sector today to give out our first Pablo Eisenberg Memorial Prize,” said NCRP Executive Director Aaron Dorfman. “We established the Award to spotlight the kind of bold truth telling that Pablo modeled all throughout his public career. Vu certainly fits the bill, as his engaging, insightful and often humorous work gives us all the right words and stories to call funders in and hold philanthropy accountable.”

Eisenberg, along with Thomas R. Asher and Jim Abernathy, helped create NCRP in 1976 as an outgrowth of the Donee Group, which looked to represent the interests of grantees and small funders before the Congress’ 1973 Flier Commission on Private and Public Needs. The organization’s founding chair, he served continuously on the board of directors for 37 years and served as Executive Director of the Center for Community Change for 23 years. A prolific writer well past his 80s, he was a senior fellow at Georgetown Center for Public and Nonprofit Leadership at the time of his death.

“I feel deeply honored to be receiving this award. I had the pleasure of talking with Professor Eisenberg once, and his passion and clarity were inspiring and fueled my work. To get this recognition named after him means a lot to me,” said Vu Le.

Vu Le is one of five awardees 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.

Click here to see unicorns and read more about how Vu Le’s work supporting the perspectives of grassroots leaders and challenging a philanthropic status quo that is still learning to be transparent and accountable to the communities that we all serve.


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.


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)


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


CONTACT(S): Russel Roybal, rroybal[at]
Elbert Garcia, egarcia[at]