NCRP celebrates 45 years of being philanthropy’s watchdog and critical friend

For Immediate Release 

NCRP celebrates 45 years of being philanthropy’s watchdog and critical friend 

New issue of Responsive Philanthropy explores NCRP’s greatest accomplishments and how philanthropy should change in the next 45 years 

Washington, D.C. — For the past 45 years, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) has been pushing philanthropy to be more accountable, transparent and responsive to the needs of communities with the least wealth, opportunity and power. 

The June issue of NCRP’s Responsive Philanthropy looks back at the most important accomplishments of NCRP’s first 45 years and looks forward to how philanthropy can be better both in the near-future and another 45 years from now.  It is one of several ways that the organization is looking to commemorate nearly five decades of service, culminating in this year’s virtual NCRP Impact Awards in October.   

“In 1976, a group of courageous nonprofit leaders decided they would attempt to hold philanthropy accountable to the needs of communities who had been marginalized in society,” writes NCRP President and CEO Aaron Dorfman. “They made the important decision to transition from an ad hoc coalition, the Donee Group, to a permanent organization and thus birthed the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.” 

From examining the amount of community foundation funding to Black communities and immigrant and refugee groups to analyzing the strategies used by conservative philanthropy to its Philamplify assessments of foundations and Power Moves foundation assessment toolkit, NCRP has always looked to produce actionable research that funds and fuels system change.

The latest issue of Responsive Philanthropy is no different, featuring article contributions from leaders across the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, including all seven of NCRP’s past board chairs. 

NCRP at 45: What it means to be philanthropy’s criticalfriend 

Dorfman reflects on NCRP’s first 45 years, from Bob Bothwell’s amazing leadership in the 20th century, to the incredible work done under Rick Cohen, to his own tenure that began in 2007.  

While NCRP has done research and advocacy on many different philanthropic issues during that time, Dorfman says that what the organization’s greatest accomplishments have in common is that they fall into two important and related areas: accountability and social justice. 

Working with grassroots leaders has changed our foundation (and business) for the better 

Daniel Lee, NCRP’s board vice-chair who recently stepped down after 13 outstanding years leading Levi Strauss Foundation, discusses the lessons the foundation – and its parent company – learned from working directly with grassroots leaders. 

Lee writes, “We believe this work reflects the new reality that business and politics are intertwined – and that companies and their foundations have a critical role to play in defending our democracy and in shaping the future.”  

What should philanthropy look like 45 years from now? 

Lee is not the only philanthropy leader using NCRP’s anniversary to look into the future. NCRP asked seven visionary leaders from across the sector “What should philanthropy look like 45 years from now?” They provided a variety of answers, with some seeing a future where philanthropy has more power to do good, and others seeing a future where philanthropy plays a much smaller role.  

’Disruption is my jam’:7 Former board chairs discuss NCRP’s greatest accomplishments. 

In its 45 years, NCRP has benefitted from incredible leadership on its board. We asked each of our seven previous board chairs to tell us which accomplishments they think are NCRP’s most important. 

Responsive Philanthropy articlesare available at no cost on NCRP’s website, 

About NCRP 

For more than 45 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 



Elbert Garcia, egarcia[at] or (202) 847-2913