Washington, D.C. — Today philanthropist MacKenzie Scott announced a new round of grants to organizations working for a more just and equitable society, including a $3 million gift to the non-profit National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP).
Often referred to as philanthropy’s “watchdog” and “critical friend,” NCRP has played a key role over the last 45 years in exposing racial inequities in grantmaking and promoting accountability and transparency standards, including its groundbreaking criteria for Philanthropy at its Best. Originally founded by a coalition of public interest groups housed at Community Change, NCRP is committed to building a sector grounded in partnership with impacted communities and grassroots groups fighting for systemic change.
NCRP works with more than 100 member non-profits rooted in social justice movements including other past and present Scott grantees such as Advancement Project, Faith in Action, First Nations Development Institute, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Southern Coalition for Social Justice. Other allies from the philanthropy sector receiving grants in this round include members of the CHANGE coalition.
“We are grateful for Ms. Scott’s investment in a progressive vision for philanthropy rooted in racial justice and funder accountability,” said NCRP’s C.E.O and President Aaron Dorfman. “Ms. Scott puts her money where her mouth is, not only by consistently directing funds immediately to grassroots groups led by and focused on BIPoC communities, but also supporting our efforts to push more funders to do the same.”
In the past several years, NCRP has drawn attention to the mismatch between sector rhetoric and grantmaking reality through its Movement Investment Project research on the significant underfunding of immigrant justice and reproductive access movements as well as special reports such as Black Funding Denied that compared local funding designated for Black communities with demographic data in cities nationwide.
The lack of parity in foundations’ funding explicitly to communities of color has come into sharp focus as the country looks to recover from the Trump Administration’s corrosive xenophobia and address the national racial reckoning sparked by protests of George Floyd’s murder by police. There is an increased public scrutiny on philanthropy and the billionaire donor class as leaders grapple with how big money impacts our democratic institutions.
Past research by NCRP and others have illuminated the role conservative foundations play in supporting a right-wing agenda that increasingly enables white supremacy, erodes civic institutions and limits voting rights, reproductive access, economic opportunities of all Americans.
“Philanthropy needs to choose what side of history it will be on. The Philanthropy Roundtable, a right-wing group advancing an entirely different – and debilitating – vision for what the sector could and should be, had a $9 million budget in 2019. That’s more than triple that of NCRP,” said Dorfman. “Investment in NCRP, our CHANGE coalition partners and BiPOC-led movement groups working to transform philanthropy is crucial to creating a sector capable of contributing to a more just society rather than one that continues to entrench white supremacy and massive economic inequality.”
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. We work to push for a sector that serves the public good, is responsive to people with the least wealth and opportunity, and accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness. 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 www.ncrp.org.
Elbert Garcia, egarcia[at]ncrp.org or (202) 847-2913