Philanthropists need to stand with the most vulnerable and marginalized

For Immediate release

Philanthropists need to stand with the most vulnerable and marginalized

NCRP journal highlights ways that foundations and wealthy donors can help defend equity, justice and democracy during the Trump administration

Washington, D.C. (2/28/2017) – Barely into the new administration’s first 100 days in office, activists and concerned citizens have stepped up against policies that threaten civil rights, equity and democracy. Many of the protests and demonstrations were organized by nonprofits. How can grantmakers and wealthy donors help this resistance movement?

The winter edition of the journal “Responsive Philanthropy” released today by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) features articles that discuss what’s at stake and why philanthropists need to get involved.

“These are incredibly challenging and scary times. Philanthropy has a hugely important role to play in protecting the most vulnerable in our society,” writes Aaron Dorfman, president and CEO of NCRP, in his letter to readers. “Nonprofit organizations of all shapes and sizes are driving the largest mobilizations and the judicial defense of civil rights. … But they can’t do it alone. They need philanthropy – grantmakers and wealthy donors – to step up, too, as leaders, partners and supporters to ensure that they have the resources to win.”

Philanthropy: It’s time to choose sides

NCRP’s Dan Petegorsky believes that foundations and donors can choose to use philanthropy for personal gain or for the common good. “General statements aren’t enough,” Petegorsky writes. “The times demand more specific actions targeting specific policies.”

Serving Greater Seattle with a commitment to equity and opportunity

Tony Mestres, president and CEO of Seattle Foundation, answered questions about the foundation’s journey toward greater civic leadership and its commitment to equity and social justice. In the interview, Mestres says, “We offer effective philanthropic advising, deep community knowledge and powerful civic leadership, all to advance equity and opportunity. … That clarity is attracting more philanthropists, nonprofit leaders, corporate leaders and elected officials to partner with us.”

The ACA battle in the headlines only hints at opportunities for concerned foundations and donors

Kate Villers, president and founder of Community Catalyst, writes about what’s at stake in the fight to protect the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid. She sees exciting opportunities for different social movements to work together for a common cause. Villers offers five lessons from the passage and implementation of the ACA to ensure that these groups have resources to be successful.

From outrage to action: How philanthropy can support the Resistance

NCRP members share in their own words what nonprofits need most from grantmakers and donors as many organize and mobilize against the administration’s regressive and dangerous policies. Many identified multi-year, unrestricted grants as one of the post important ways for philanthropists to show their support.

8 lessons from our Southern grantees in the fight for equity and justice

The LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund (RJF), a funder collaboration , asked its grantees from the South how the fund and its member foundations can help defend vulnerable communities such as immigrants, refugees and youth of color against oppression and injustice. Miabi Chatterji, program officer at RJF, shares what she heard.

Member Spotlight: The San Francisco Foundation

San Francisco Foundation is a Bay Area community foundation that “mobilizes resources and acts as a catalyst for change to build strong communities, foster civic leadership and promote philanthropy.” Last November, they launched the Rapid Response Fund for Movement Building.

Responsive Philanthropy articles are available at no cost on NCRP’s website. NCRP members receive hard copies for free.

About NCRP

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy amplifies 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.

NCRP recently marked its 40th anniversary with a look at its accomplishments such as increasing transparency and accountability of foundations, helping progressive foundations deploy their resources effectively and defining exemplary philanthropy. For more information, visit


Photo courtesy of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.