Winter 2009-10

Responsive Philanthropy Winter 2009-10


Written by: Aaron Dorfman

Date: January 20, 2010

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Readers,

It’s a new year, and many of us have identified goals that will guide what we do in the coming months. I hope that the articles in this issue of Responsive Philanthropy encourage you to think about where philanthropy has been, what we can do better, and real opportunities for real impact.

Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, writes about the importance of the 2010 U.S. census. He invites the philanthropic sector to be actively engaged in efforts to reach our diverse communities. Read his article on page 1.

Kathleen Enright, president and CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, looks at preliminary data on the use of general support grants in response to the recession. She makes the case for “normalizing” general operating grants as a concrete step toward strengthening our country’s nonprofits. Read her article on page X.

Joy Persall, executive director of Native Americans in Philanthropy, examines the state of philanthropic giving for Native communities. What does a successful approach to investing in Indian Country look like? You’ll find her article on page X.

We interviewed James Canales, president and CEO of the James Irvine Foundation, regarding its comprehensive foundation-wide assessment. He talks about the reason for the assessment, its impact on the organization and its grantees, and more. Read the Q&A on page X.

Our member profile for this issue features the Southern Mutual Help Association, a nonprofit that seeks to build strong and thriving rural communities in Louisiana. It has played a critical role in the area’s recovery and rebuilding efforts after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

We appreciate hearing from our readers; I invite you to send your comments and suggestions for future stories to


Aaron Dorfman

Executive Director