May 2018

Responsive Philanthropy May 2018


Written by: Aaron Dorfman

Date: May 22, 2018


Aaron DorfmanSomething exciting is happening in our nation. Over the past few years, increasing numbers of us are taking action with our dollars and our voices. From #BlackLivesMatter to #MeToo and #NeverAgain, we’re seeing a spike in civic engagement that makes me hopeful for the future of our country.

We must capitalize on this moment and turn increased activism into lasting change. The articles in this edition of Responsive Philanthropy offer actionable insights for funders to take advantage of a more politically engaged public to support efforts that lead a positive enduring impact on issues and communities we care about.

In “From whispers to roars: The conversation movement,” Mike Perry, co-founder, and Kathleen Perry, senior analyst, of public opinion research firm PerryUndem, write about the top issues that a majority of the public cares about and wants addressed. They offer four key takeaways for funders to leverage what they call the “conversation movement.”

Austin Belali, director of the Youth Engagement Fund, reminds us of the urgent need to build the capacity of youth civic participation especially among youth of color, those from rural areas and other underserved communities. In “Funders can help secure the next generation of activists, voters and grassroots movement leaders,” he offers important considerations for donors to ensure that they are helping long-term engagement of young people that leads to lasting positive change.

Funders for Civic Participation and Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement are seeing firsthand a growing interest in supporting civic participation. In “Helping grantmakers navigate civic engagement funding,” Eric Marshall and Kristen Campbell, executive directors of FCCP and PACE respectively, share the common concerns they’re hearing from members and the ways their organizations are providing space for learning, collaboration and action.

In “Strength in numbers: Rethinking the power of funder collaboration,” TCC Group’s Melinda Fine, Molly Schultz Hafid and Steven Lawrence identify the six most common questions that funders are asking themselves in response to today’s social and political moment. They share findings from a recent report that illustrates the important role that affinity groups, regional associations and other “philanthropy serving organizations” are playing to address these concerns.

And in our Member Spotlight, The Colorado Health Foundation shares how it has embraced community engagement in their efforts to advance good health and health equity for all Coloradans.

Thank you to all contributors to this and past issues of the journal as you share the many ways that grantmakers can help address inequity and injustice.

For funders who are struggling to find their path forward, I hope these stories offer inspiring possibilities for your organizations. I also invite you to a bold examination of how you are fully leveraging your power and privilege through the new Power Moves self-assessment guide as your essential next step towards true and lasting positive impact.

Thank you for being a part of NCRP’s community.


Aaron Dorfman
President and CEO

Funders can help secure the next generation of activists, voters and grassroots movement leaders

by Austin Belali


From whispers to roars: The conversation movement

by Michael Perry and Kathleen Perry


Strength in numbers: Rethinking the power of funder collaboration

by Melinda Fine, Steven Lawrence and Molly Schultz Hafid


Helping grantmakers on the path of civic engagement funding

A Q&A with Eric Marshall and Kristen Campbell



The Colorado Health Foundation


Responsive Philanthropy May 2018

by Aaron Dorfman