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Monday, January 22, 2018

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Philanthropic Watchdog Group Kicks Off Initiative With Foundations That Promise to Prioritize Underserved Communities
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP)

June, 2011

It is interesting that not one Texas foundation is participating in this initiative. But I thought it was important for you to see what some of the national ones are thinking. JRB

More than 60 leading foundations from across the country that together give close to $2.5 billion a year in grants to nonprofit organizations promised to dedicate the majority of their giving to benefit underserved communities and a substantial amount to strategies that address the root causes of social problems, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) announced today.

Foundations and other grantmaking organizations that have voluntarily signed on to NCRP’S  Philanthropy’s Promise initiative will allocate at least 50 percent of their grant dollars to address the unique needs of the poor, elderly, disabled and other marginalized groups, and at least 25 percent towards supporting advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement to promote equity, opportunity and justice.

Through this initiative, NCRP is recognizing grantmakers that practice effective and strategic grantmaking that leads to lasting social change. The organization hopes the campaign will inspire other grantmakers to serve the common good by prioritizing and empowering underserved communities, and expects more grantmakers will sign on in the coming months.

“Philanthropy’s Promise offers strategies that will help foundations and other institutional grantmakers – regardless of their size, focus and approach – to maximize the impact of their grant dollars,” said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. “Studies and stories have shown that these high impact strategies leverage philanthropy’s limited resources effectively.”

More than 60 grantmakers have submitted their public statements explaining their commitment to the Promise. These grantmakers include big and small foundations, private foundations, family foundations, corporate foundations, community foundations and other grantmaking public charities.

Grantmakers that have submitted statements include:

Akonadi Foundation - CA

Arcus Foundation - NY

California Community Foundation - CA

California Endowment, The - CA

Common Counsel Foundation - CA

Compton Foundation, Inc. - CA

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation - CA

Daphne Foundation, The - NY

Discount Foundation, The - DC

Edward W. Hazen Foundation, Inc., The - NY

Ford Foundation - NY

Foundation for Louisiana (formerly the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Inc.) - LA

Foundation for the Mid-South - MS

French American Charitable Trust - CA

General Mills Foundation - MN

Groundswell Fund - CA

Headwaters Foundation for Justice - MN

Hill-Snowdon Foundation - DC

Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Inc. - NY

Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust - NC

Kirkpatrick Family Foundation, The - WA

Levi Strauss Foundation - CA

Liberty Hill Foundation - CA

Maine Initiatives, Inc. - ME

Marguerite Casey Foundation - WA

Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Inc. - NC

McKenzie River Gathering Foundation - OR

McKnight Foundation, The - MN

Meyer Memorial Trust - OR

Minneapolis Foundation, The - MN

Mitchell Kapor Foundation, The - CA

Needmor Fund, The - OH


New World Foundation, The - NY

New York Foundation - NY

North Star Fund, Inc. - NY

Northwest Area Foundation - MN

Northwest Health Foundation - OR

Overbrook Foundation, The - NY

Penney Family Fund - CA

Peppercorn Foundation - WA

Proteus Fund, Inc. - MA

Public Welfare Foundation, Inc. - DC

Retirement Research Foundation - IL

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The - NJ

Rosenberg Foundation - CA

Saint Paul Foundation, The - MN

Silicon Valley Community Foundation - CA

Social Justice Fund Northwest - WA

Solidago Foundation - MA

Southern Partners Fund - GA

Third Wave Foundation - NY

Tides Foundation - CA

Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, The, and its Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program - NY

United Way of Greater Los Angeles - CA

W.K. Kellogg Foundation - MI

Wallace Foundation, The - NY

Warner Foundation  - NC

Western States Center - OR

Wieboldt Foundation  - IL

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, The  - AR

Women's Foundation of Minnesota - MN

Woods Fund of Chicago - IL

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc.  - NC 

“We believe that meeting the challenges of these times requires that we take risks. It also requires that we advance programs and initiatives that have the potential to be transformative, even when the approaches are new,” said Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation. “After all, risk and challenge are more than just the privilege of philanthropy – they are its responsibility.” 

"With limited resources, McKnight’s programs seek to provide support where we believe we can have the greatest impact. In many cases, this requires that we attend to underserved communities,” wrote Kate Wolford, president of the McKnight Foundation in the foundation’s public statement. “Additionally, McKnight’s board has long recognized the power of pursuing lasting, systemic change through advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement."

“We encourage every grantmaker to actively consider how their individual mission statements and grantmaking priorities may enable them to participate in this challenge or, at the least, fully understand and reflect on the constraints that prevent them from doing so,” wrote Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, in his foundation’s public statement.

For more information, visit  

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in Washington, D.C. is a national watchdog, research and advocacy organization that promotes philanthropy that serves the public good, is responsive to people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity, and is held accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness. Visit


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