Summer 2011

Responsive Philanthropy Summer 2011


Written by: Aaron Dorfman

Date: August 26, 2011

A Message from the Executive Director

Dear Readers,

By now you’ve heard of NCRP’s exciting new initiative, Philanthropy’s Promise. Foundations and institutional grantmakers from across the country are signing on to maximize the impact of their grant dollars with two strategies: targeted universalism and policy and citizen engagement. Grantmakers that signed on have submitted public statements indicating their intent to use these two strategies. We hope you will enjoy reading highlights from several of these statements and be inspired by their commitment to supporting this initiative.

Also in this issue of Responsive Philanthropy, Jan Masaoka, editor of Blue Avocado, explores partnerships between nonprofits and foundations. She offers advice to grant seekers and grantmakers to build more effective and grounded relationships.

In “The Power of “We”: A Journey through Collaboration,” Frank Baiocchi of the Polk Bros. Foundation describes the foundation’s work to improve arts education in Chicago public schools, and how collaborating with other grantmakers and nonprofits moved the foundation toward its goals and deepened the impact of its work.

David Wood, interim director of the More for Mission Campaign Resource Center, discusses mission-related investing and examines common uncertainties that grantmakers have about the practice. He writes, “We have a window of opportunity to turn interest and excitement in mission investing into action that improves the social utility of foundation investments.”

Finally, our member spotlight highlights the work of Tides Foundation, a grantmaker that strives to facilitate progressive nonprofit work.

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

We look forward to hearing from you.


Aaron Dorfman

Executive Director