Spring 2016

Responsive Philanthropy Spring 2016


Written by: Aaron Dorfman

Date: May 26, 2016

A message from the executive director


Early this month, progressive changemakers gathered together at the 2016 NCRP Impact Awards reception to celebrate the inspiring work of this year’s awardees: Consumer Health Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Patagonia and Sandler Foundation. The stories of these grantmakers encourage all of us to continue fighting for improving the lives of the underserved and underrepresented, and to be bold and fearless in this struggle.

The featured articles in this edition of Responsive Philanthropy highlight the continuing efforts of others in philanthropy who are taking up the challenge head on.

In “Join us on the leading edge of social change,” Roz Lee of Arcus Foundation, shares the story behind the Global Trans Initiative, a newly launched partnership with NoVo Foundation to promote acceptance and understanding of transgender people and improve their quality of life. She invites other foundations to look through a “prism” to see how a variety of issues such as health care, poverty and employment intersect with the challenges faced by transgender communities nationwide.

Ed Cain of Conrad N. Hilton Foundation writes about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals and how these intersect with the work of numerous foundations across the country. In “Why U.S. foundations should take the global Sustainable Development Goals seriously,” Cain highlights how the SDGs apply to the U.S. and the chance to move the needle on the critical issues that grantmakers are tackling.

Next, NCRP’s Yna Moore had the opportunity to interview Geri Mannion of Carnegie Corporation of New York. In “How national foundations can support state-level policy and civic engagement,” Mannion shares her thoughts about the biggest challenge facing the country this election year and the role of capacity building in supporting civic engagement. She also offers practical tips for funding state-level efforts to change policy and engage communities.

And in “Learning what worked to support women and the community organizations that serve them,” The New York Women’s Foundation’s Erin McDonald and Elizabeth James share lessons from the RISE-NYC! initiative. They identify key “dimensions of impact” and offer three specific recommendations for other foundations that seek to effectively partner with underresourced grassroots organizations and the communities they serve.

Finally, we highlight the work of the National Housing Resource Center in “Member Spotlight.” This Philadelphia-based nonprofit mobilizes the housing counseling community to advocate on affordable housing and credit issues.

We hope that you find this and other editions of Responsive Philanthropy useful resources for your work. I encourage you to share this journal with your colleagues and invite them to do the same.


Aaron Dorfman
Executive Director

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