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Explore these personal accounts to learn how philanthropy makes a difference every day in the lives of individuals and communities, and how we can improve foundation’s grantmaking strategies to have an even greater impact.


Improving Health Outcomes in California

As the California Endowment continues its efforts to bring quality, affordable healthcare to Californians, I am confident it will consider all recommendations to improve its community impact. I thank the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy for its important work on this matter.

Shared by Rep. Barbara Lee on 10/17/2014

Building Capacity by Transforming Grantor/Grantee Relationships

The Bayview Hunters Point Community Fund offers one example of what it looks like when traditional grantor/grantee relationships are changed to prioritize mutual trust and a more personal relationship. This week, we released a final report to share what we learned over 13 years of funding small youth development organizations. Starting out, our original goal was to help build the organizational and programmatic capacity of our grantees within the Bayview Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco. Originally, we thought we were going to rely on traditional models of capacity building. But we quickly realized that to be effective, our capacity-building activities needed to be much more personalized and responsive, grounded in mutual respect and trust. For instance, we wanted our grantees to tell us what they most needed help with. So we emphasized that honest dialogue would not jeopardize funding, and we backed up our words by being forthright and open to feedback ourselves. One story that sticks with me is of Hunters Point Family, a key organization in this low-income neighborhood. After the violent death of a staff member, Hunters Point Family staff were willing to let us know that they felt discouraged and overwhelmed. We suggested a sabbatical policy to allow senior staff the time for rest and renewal. Several years later, Hunters Point Family staff credits this “responsive philanthropy” with enabling them to heal old wounds and move forward to create a stronger organization. You can learn more about our work at

Shared by Sai Seigel on 10/17/2014

Tangible Signs of Impact

Rich Huddleston, executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Renee Carr, executive director of Rural Community Alliance and Bill Kopsky, executive director of Arkansas Public Policy Panel discuss how Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation's support helped their organizations engage Arkansas residents in the democratic process. Learn more about NCRP's assessment of WRF at

Shared by Yna Moore on 07/16/2014


Shared by NCRP on 07/03/2014

Increasing impact.

Having worked the philanthropic field for over ten years, I am very happy to see a move towards incorporating equity and strategy lenses, as well as candid grantee and diverse community voices, into foundation thought, planning and action. I am so pleased to be working with the Maine Women's Fund, where the organization has to raise the money it gives away. This gives the Fund an opportunity to very actively participate in its own mission: to transform the lives of Maine women and girls through strategic grantmaking, community engagement and support to nonprofit organizations dedicated to social change. It must raise funds by engaging the public around issues of gender equity framed in such a way that individuals WANT to invest in the services and social change needed to transform the lives of women and girls. There is much work to be done. It will go better if we have the courage to decide we are in this together, that we have much to learn from each other, and that what is most important are our shared goals.

Shared by Kimberly Crichton on 06/02/2014

Chicago Books to Women in Prison

the CBWP library

Small grants can make a huge difference

When I lived in Chicago, I loved spending Sunday afternoons with Chicago Books to Women in Prison, a tiny, all-volunteer group that sends books to female prisoners all over the U.S. CBWP relies entirely on donations for both books and postage. Lots of generous people give books, but money can be harder to come by. These circumstances often prevented us from sending books out as often as we’d like, causing a disheartening backlog of unanswered letters. In January 2014, CBWP won a grant from Lakeview’s Resurrection Lutheran Church. To some it might seem small – just $1,500 – but for CBWP that means providing almost 400 prisoners with the books they want and need. Similar gifts from funders such as the Chicago Foundation for Women’s Lesbian Leadership and the National Book Foundation have made all the difference for CBWP. These dollars go a long way in helping the women CBWP serves. Just like with books, grants don’t have to be big to make an impact!

Shared by Alison Howard on 05/15/2014

Tangible Impact on Individuals and Families

In this video, Rich Huddleston, executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Renee Carr, executive director of Rural Community Alliance and Bill Kopsky, executive director of Arkansas Public Policy Panel discuss how WRF's support helped their organizations engage Arkansas residents in the democratic process, pass policy for affordable healthcare opportunities and create regional networks of support around the state. Read more:

Shared by Lisa Ranghelli on 05/09/2014

Bringing the 'love' back to philanthropy

When I think of the term "philanthropy" I think of "love," and of acts that are rooted in good intentions on behalf of others. But while there is so much good in philanthropy, for too many of us in the nonprofit world, philanthropy has become narrowly associated with money, judgment, hostility, scarcity, competition, secrecy, privilege, ego, and other negative feelings and actions. With this initiative, I hope that NCRP can help us re-imagine philanthropy so that care, respect, expansiveness, equity and, yes, even love, is always central to philanthropy's systems and practice.

Shared by Judy Hatcher on 05/09/2014

On the job training

My story is simple and share in the immediate need for High School Students to feel motivated about their careers and the futures of their families and communities. Personally I've been involved in education and parental engagement before it became popular. I have worked on both sides of the the educational field to teach the message and organize the input for learning. My service span for more than three decades. But this story is about the children and students who should have a clearer path to their multi-careers, through "what was call a while age on the job training. Now it is called careers exposure. With these incentive (internships, shadowing, mentorships, co-op, and apprenticeships) the plan model ensures a simple marketable plan that connects parents 7 counselors to Higher Education mandates and prerequisites formed from the careers needs and demands of Multi-industries workforces. the attached planned model has met with great praised. the simple concept is to get those multi- industries and businesses to commit to careers job placement for the proposed program to really work independently ...but can exist along side of the current jobs search system. In a nut shell, we "PACE =(Pathways And Careers Education, a non-Profit) need seed funding to bring this proposal t life. so that every students going on to further their education get hope restored in their journey to careers of choice to job & careers placements.

in reading the the Pilot you too will get the feeling to know that this can work on-behalf of all students. and our team of professional parents are standing by for funding and financial support. We hope that our proposal becomes the model for all students and families struggling to decide what is ahead for their futures. the answer is the PACE Programs of "Pathways to Careers for Students Choice."

Please enjoy the program and its' reach back for those students who has fallen through the cracks or those who had to drop out of school due to social and personal family reasons. Thanking you in advance for your support.

Shared by Lonnie Tucker, CHE, CSW on 05/07/2014

Don't be afraid to include religion in the conversation

My story is more of an exhortation: don't be afraid to include religion in the conversation. And foundations, "Don't be afraid to fund faith-based organizations." I wrote the subject above as "Diversity," because religion -- the sphere I work in and have spent most of my nearly 20-year philanthropy career in -- is not even listed as an option and, therefore, I don't feel included. Although this sector's being the largest giving sector perennially is certainly due to the large aggregate of gifts to houses of worship, religion drives much of our philanthropy, and it is conspicuous in its absence. So, don't be afraid.

Shared by Howard Freeman on 05/07/2014