Spring 2012

Responsive Philanthropy Spring 2012


Written by: Aaron Dorfman

Date: May 10, 2012

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Readers,

Earlier this spring, the Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, and a ruling may be issued soon. I’m pleased, therefore, that this issue of Responsive Philanthropy looks at philanthropy and health care reform. Health philanthropy expert Terry Langston and Jennifer Ng’andu of the National Council of La Raza look at the continuing role of philanthropy in the implementation of the ACA.

Also in this issue, Sean Dobson reviews Robert Kirsch’s recent book, “Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States,” and offers some lessons for grantmakers looking to maximize the effectiveness of their philanthropic dollars on issues they care about.

The fight for health reform was strengthened with serious community organizing, much of it funded by foundations. Spence Limbocker writes about what it takes for foundations to influence each other’s grantmaking practices. He answers the questions: What makes a foundation decide to fund community organizing? What prevents grantmakers from supporting these kinds of activities?

Finally, we feature the National Council of La Raza in this issue’s Member Spotlight. NCLR is the largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the country.

Tell us what you think of this and previous editions of Responsive Philanthropy. We look forward to hearing your comments, suggestions and story ideas that make RP the go-to resource on important but underreported issues in philanthropy. Contact us at


Aaron Dorfman