Spring 2010

Responsive Philanthropy Spring 2010


Written by: Aaron Dorfman

Date: May 12, 2010

A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Readers,

The spring conference season is well underway. It’s a wonderful opportunity to catch up with friends, allies, supporters and critics alike. This year’s Council on Foundations annual conference, held in April in Denver, featured a social justice track with sessions that explored a range of issues such as collaborative approaches, movement building and resource mobilization. One of the best parts of the track was how the voices of social justice grantee organizations were front and center on many of the panels – a refreshing change from the usually funder-dominated sessions at philanthropic conferences.

In this issue of Responsive Philanthropy, Ann Beeson of the Open Society Institute describes how poverty, homelessness, drug use and other social challenges are connected inextricably with the country’s mass incarceration epidemic. She writes, “It makes sense for foundations to invest in criminal justice reform as part of a unified strategy to improve communities and expand opportunity.”

Lisa Ranghelli, director of NCRP’s Grantmaking for Community Impact Project, writes about how several organizations from Los Angeles County were directly affected by or emerged in response to the 1992 civil unrest. These organizations view collaboration across race, ethnicity, class, religion, culture and gender identity as an important strategy to achieve remarkable benefits for their communities.

In “Soothing the Pain Points of Grantmaking,” Michelle Greanias of the Grants Managers Network provides practical tips on how funders can streamline reports for operating support grants, as well as budget and financial reporting requirements. She also shares how grantees can help funders in this process.

Finally, our Member Spotlight features the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, a New York-based private foundation that is one of philanthropy’s leaders in supporting community activism to tackle education reform and youth involvement.

We constantly are on the lookout for ways to improve Responsive Philanthropy. Our goal is to make this journal an important resource for you and your staff on critical and often overlooked issues facing philanthropy today. Please send comments and suggestions to

We look forward to hearing from you.


Aaron Dorfman

Executive Director