Summer 2010

Responsive Philanthropy Summer 2010


Written by: Aaron Dorfman

Date: July 29, 2010

A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Readers,

This summer, I had the pleasure of attending the U.S. Social Forum in Detroit with 15,000 grassroots community leaders. There was fantastic energy and great conversation at the gathering.

But a new report from the National Organizers Alliance, released at the event, made my blood boil. Sustaining Organizing highlights the effects of the economic downturn on community organizing and how organizations are being forced to do more work with fewer resources. Now is a moment of opportunity when grassroots organizing really can make a difference.  Yet, many groups are seeing their budgets shrink. I hope that trend changes, and soon. Visit NCRP’s blog[1] for a great piece by Lisa Ranghelli and Julia Craig sounding the alarm on this.

In this issue of Responsive Philanthropy, Kavita Ramdas of the Global Fund for Women explores the great benefits behind investing in the well-being and full empowerment of women around the world. She writes, “Our founding mothers had no doubt that when women had access to resources, were healthy, and had the opportunity to contribute to their families’ well-being, they would flourish – and so would everyone around them.”

Sherry Magill, president of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, describes the fund’s pursuit of a larger, more diverse board of directors by overturning the governance structure mandated in the will of Mrs. duPont. Six years into the new configuration, Magill discusses how the changes are going and how the board’s conversations now are stronger and more creative.

In “Healing America: A Funder’s Commitment to Racial Equity,” Gail Christopher of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation discusses the nation’s racialized social and opportunity structures, and how they have strengthened the foundation’s commitment to community-based racial healing.

Finally, our Member Spotlight features the Human Services Coalition, a nonprofit organization in Miami that connects impoverished residents with economic and health care services that can help them.

We always are striving to make Responsive Philanthropy a better resource on important issues in philanthropy. Please feel free to send comments, suggestions or story ideas to

We look forward to hearing from you.


Aaron Dorfman

Executive Director

[1] Lisa Ranghelli and Julia Craig, “The Cost of Disinvestment in Advocacy Now Will Be Paid By the Most Vulnerable in Years to Come,” Keeping A Close Eye …, 8 July 2010.