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7 posts from December 2018

Weekend Link Roundup (December 8-9, 2018)

December 09, 2018

F2abfbb4-60b6-4641-ae9f-37fc3299453b-Dole_BushA weekly roundup of noteworthy items from and about the social sector. For more links to great content, follow us on Twitter at @pndblog....

Children and Youth

Here on PhilanTopic, the Heising-Simons Foundation's Barbara Chow, and Shannon Rudisill, executive director of the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, discuss  the results of a joint effort to map the last ten years of philanthropic giving in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education

Climate Change

On the Surdna Foundation site, Helen Chin, director of the foundation's Sustainable Environments program, explains how a recent rethinking of the program was an "opportunity to build community resilience...in partnership with grantees working at the frontlines in communities of color — communities hardest hit by climate change, disinvestment, and racist planning practices."

A caravan of Central American migrants "seeking relief from a protracted drought that has consumed food crops and contributed to widespread poverty," hundreds of millions of people in India at increased risk of not having enough water, prolonged drought in the Horn of Africa that has "pushed millions of the world's poorest to the edge of survival" — all, writes Landesa's Karina Kloos, "are stark reminders that the most severe consequences of climate change are being inflicted upon people living in the Global South...."

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg traveled to Iowa this week to take the temperature of Democratic primary voters and while there vowed to make climate change "the issue" of the 2020 presidential race. Trip Gabriel reports for the New York Times.

Criminal Justice

A new report funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation found that the arrest rate for California has dropped 58 percent since 1989, reaching a historic low of 3,428 per 100,000 residents in 2016. The report also found that individuals who are arrested tend to be nonwhite, younger, and male; that racial disparities in arrests have narrowed; that overall declines are mainly due to plummeting arrest rates for juveniles and young adults; and that women account for nearly a quarter of all arrests.

Giving

Carolyn Kenyon and Judith Jones, both of Ithaca, New York, raised $12,500 and sent it to  R.I.P. Medical Debt, a New York-based debt-forgiveness charity, which then purchased a portfolio of $1.5 million of medical debts on their behalf. Sharon Otterman reports for the New York Times.

Nonprofits

Forbes contributor Afdhel Aziz has a nice Q&A with Robert Egger, founder of D.C. Central Kitchen, Campus Kitchens, and the recently shuttered L.A. Kitchen, who tells Aziz that he is "dedicating the rest of my career to 'taking a knee' so that younger [social sector] leaders can climb up on my shoulders, see the future coming, and react with their own ideas."

Is your organization thinking about scaling a program or initiative? Forbes contributor Eric Griswold has some good advice for boards and management teams about the areas they should focus on.

Two new reports, one from the Center for Effective Philanthropy and the other from Open Road Alliance, "suggest that nonprofits need to speak up and be more direct in their communications with foundations. After all," writes Open Road's Maya Winkelstein on the CEP blog, "funders can't solve problems they don't know exist."

What is decision fatigue and how can you avoid it? Nonprofit AF's Vu Le and his team at Rainier Valley Corps have stumbled into an alternative that just might be the answer.

Social Good

"With a growing number of indicators pointing towards the coming end of the business cycle," writes Avi Deutch, a a principal at Vodia Capital, "it's worth considering how ESG and thematic impact investing strategies will fare during the next recession."

(Photo credit: Associated Press)

That's it for this week. Got something you'd like to share? Drop us a note at mfn@foundationcenter.org.

NoVo Foundation: Empowering Marginalized Women to Drive Change

December 08, 2018

Too often funders doubt the ability of grassroots leaders to drive change, but NoVo Foundation's grantee partners are proving them wrong.

NCRP-2013logo-color-no-taglineNoVo believes that centering the leadership of people who live every day with injustice is the single most powerful way to create transformative change.

The foundation's consistent adherence to its values was a major factor in it being named an NCRP Impact Award winner in 2013. In making the announcement, NCRP highlighted the foundation’s investment in training, coaching, and networking grassroots women leaders through its Move to End Violence initiative, which continues to support leaders in the U.S. working to end violence against girls and women.

Today, NoVo is putting these values to work in even more ways.

Against the backdrop of the #MeToo revolution, NoVo has spent the last year convening hundreds of donors and funders to hear directly from activists working to end violence against girls and women. In New York, London and Los Angeles, these activists challenged philanthropy to meet this once-in-a-lifetime moment of opportunity for transformative change, made possible by millions of girls and women speaking truth to power, sharing their stories, and demanding safety and dignity. Now that effort is poised to bring new resources to the table. In the coming weeks, NoVo will stand with a dynamic group of funders to launch a new landmark fund to end gender-based violence and build women's power.

In 2017, in response to Donald Trump's election, NoVo announced the launch of the Radical Hope Fund, a new $34 million commitment to support bold and transformative social justice work around the globe. In its first year, the fund has supported nineteen projects spanning six continents that leverage new partnerships for innovative and transformative social justice work.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition, which includes women leaders from more than nine organizations, received $2 million over four years to advance a new initiative, Radical Hope Florida, aimed at sharpening the feminist lens of existing racial, economic, and gender justice organizations in the state, transforming the values and politics of Florida.

The Center for Justice at Columbia University received $2.5 million over four years for the Women Transcending initiative, an effort to support a network of women impacted by mass incarceration and help them organize to transform the structure of the justice system.

The Radical Hope blog raises up the social justice work of these and other grantee partners for anyone who is interested. NoVo notes that the Impact Award was an endorsement of the power of their grantee partners’ work, and the blog lends additional credibility to the voices of those who often go overlooked by society.

NoVo also is one of the initial partners in Grantmakers for Girls of Color, a network committed to expanding support for girls of color in the U.S., and it is launching The Women’s Building at the site of a former women’s prison in New York City. The transformative space is expected to provide leaders working to end violence and discrimination against all girls and women with a place where they can collaborate and leverage their shared power to create lasting change.

NoVo Foundation models what it means for a foundation to be anchored in its values. Through its grantmaking and other practices, it invests in collaborations with others who share its goals and vision, while making space for its partners to operate in similar fashion.

The foundation would not have achieved the impact it has, however, if it wasn't willing to put its trust in the innovation and wisdom it routinely finds in marginalized communities.

The lesson? Funders can achieve the broader social impact they seek when people who are directly affected by injustice have access to unrestricted funding, platforms on which to share their vision, and a seat at the tables where philanthropic decisions are made.

Headshot_jeanne_islerJeanné L.L. Isler is vice president and chief engagement officer at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

Rooted Communities: Placemaking, Placekeeping

December 06, 2018

IRetail for rentn Seattle's Central District, or "CD," gentrification and rapid development are displacing the largest African-American community in the state, reducing opportunities for wealth creation and accumulation among thousands of lower- and middle-class people and threatening the black community's political representation in city government, as well as its social, cultural, and economic capital.

In just a single generation, the African-American share of the neighborhood's population has fallen from 70 percent to under 20 percent, creating a cultural "diaspora" from what had been a diverse, welcoming neighborhood for more than a hundred and thirty years. Shaped early on by racist housing policies that pushed families of color into the neighborhood and limited their access to economic opportunity, African-American members of the community responded by building powerful neighborhood businesses and institutions. Now, those businesses and institutions are being forced out by surging rents and taxes, eroding the sense of community in the district.

Nationally, African Americans have a homeownership rate of 42 percent, a rate virtually unchanged since 1968 and a third less than the 70 percent enjoyed by whites. In Seattle, the home ownership rate for African Americans is just 24 percent. Low rates of home ownership, in both Seattle and nationally, increase African Americans' vulnerability to gentrification, which inevitably leads to rent increases, reduces the stock of affordable housing, and decreases economic opportunity for long-time members of the community.

As the growing un-affordability of housing — coupled with historically low incomes in black communities — continues to drive displacement, Seattle's African American Financial Capability Initiative (AAFCI), a coalition of African-American organizations motivated to find long-term, community-based solutions to racial economic inequality, has recognized the need for a more synergistic approach to the problem. Seattle's AAFCI had its genesis in Creating an Equitable Future in Washington State: Black Well-Being & Beyond(42 pages, PDF), a 2015 report from the African American Leadership Forum–Seattle, Byrd Barr Place, and the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs. The report was generated as part of a three-year, $4.35 million investment by the Northwest Area Foundation in an AAFCI initiative aimed at establishing African-American communities of practice focused on racial economic inequality in six cities within its footprint, with technical assistance provided by the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative at Prosperity Now. In Seattle, the CoP comprises Byrd Barr Place, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs, and the Africatown Community Land Trust (CLT).

CLTs, legal structures of communally owned property that are formed with the intent to preserve long-term control of land — often for the purposes of preserving a cultural and/or economic mission such as affordability for businesses and housing — have proven effective in slowing the negative impacts of gentrification and provide a mechanism for more equitable land development and ownership. While there are hundreds of CLTs in the United States, relatively few exist in urban areas, and even fewer work to address the racial disparity of gentrifying cities. Those that do, however — including Dudley Street in Roxbury, Massachusetts — are proving to be successful.

In Seattle, Africatown CLT is actively involved in two commercial development projects — the Liberty Bank Building and Midtown Plaza — which will provide more than two hundred and fifty affordable housing units in the heart of the city. And it is working on three additional projects, with the goal of ensuring that African-American families in Seattle most threatened by displacement can live and thrive in the city.

Drawing on the strength of the culturally-anchored land trust model, AAFCI's SeattleCoP is developing a twenty-first-century African-American Community Land Trust blueprint. Building on the success of the Africatown CLT, the CoP is finalizing a replication model, Rooted Communities, to help communities of color across the nation who are grappling with the negative effects of gentrification. The goal of the model is to enable local communities in mid-tier metropolitan areas where land is still readily available to understand, form, and run CLTs.

The Seattle CoP also plans to include a culturally responsive financial education program focused on short-term personal finances as well as long-term wealth-building at the individual and family levels, and it is exploring how to augment existing programs and community development networks to more consistently deliver content and technical assistance in ways that are motivating and actionable.

Next steps for the pilot phase project include working with other similarly situated communities across the state and nationally to implement land trust models with a similar mission. AAFCI hopes to officially launch the blueprint before the end of the year, and communities interested in participating are encouraged to check out www.ourrootedcommunities.org after December 10 for more information.

As Seattle moves to identify and build upon what works for African-American communities, we are hopeful that the community engagement and CLT model we develop here can serve as an example for communities of color nationally that are dealing with issues of gentrification and displacement. It is our belief that we are stronger together, especially when that work builds on a rich history and powerful traditions.

AndreaCaupain 2Andrea Caupain Sanderson is CEO of Byrd Barr Placeformerly Centerstone, a nonprofit that works for a more equitable Seattle by providing lifeline services to the poor.

Liberty Hill Foundation Pushes for Higher Social Justice Standards

December 05, 2018

Liberty Hill Foundation's approach over the last forty years has been to ask grassroots community organizing leaders, "How can we help?"

NCRP-2013logo-color-no-taglineStaff would do what communities asked of them, providing general operating support and multiyear funding, when possible, and stepping back so that community organizers could take the lead.

This is why Liberty Hill won an NCRP Impact Award in 2013; its grantee partners have won important policy and social victories, including passage of the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.

But, recently, the foundation has acknowledged the extent of its power and influence and made a conscious decision to leverage it more aggressively.

In the wake of the 2016 election, Liberty Hill staff observed that many of their allies were overwhelmed and feeling pressure to respond to the onslaught of policy and social threats to their communities. They knew that defending the gains made by progressive social movements was important, but they also knew that being in Los Angeles made it easier to secure gains that weren't possible in other parts of the country.

Liberty Hill staff engaged board members, donors, grantees, and other allies to discuss how, beyond, funding, it could strategically support the work of progressive nonprofits in Los Angeles.

The resulting Agenda for a Just Future aims to:

  • End youth incarceration as we know it.
  • Fight for a roof over every head.
  • Eliminate oil drilling near homes and schools.

The foundation does not compete with its grantees but instead looks for ways to exercise its power in roles that support grantees. For example, it has organized pooled funds to advance policy initiatives. Foundation staff have met with the editorial board of the Los Angeles Times to influence the coverage of issues that are important to grantees. And staff are working to leverage longstanding relationships with public officials, advocate around grantee issues, and organize wealthy progressive philanthropists to move more of their funds to grassroots groups.

The foundation's long-term investment in building relationships with grassroots leaders makes it easier for it to be effective in the face of urgent threats. It's also why community organizers are willing to provide forty hours of their time over a four-month period to serve on a community funding board and help Liberty Hill’s staff and board make grant decisions. While they can ask for reimbursement for their service, very few do. The advisory board, in turn, helps build accountability within the foundation and fosters stronger ties to and trust among members of the community.

Funders in communities less progressive than Los Angeles can have the same kind of impact by adopting two practices modeled by Liberty Hill:

  1. Invite grantees to inform your strategies, decisions, and practices via surveys, grantmaking and advisory boards, and ongoing conversations.
  2. Keep asking, "How can we help?" and use your foundation's power to play an advocacy role that complements your grantees' strategies.

Liberty Hill Foundation did not panic in the face of systemic attacks on the communities it is committed to serve. Instead, the foundation's leaders, informed by the deep relationships they had forged  over decades, made an honest assessment of the foundation's role in the social justice ecosystem in Los Angeles. Our current social and political climate requires other funders to do the same: recognize and step into your power and, in partnership with marginalized and underrepresented communities, use it to move our economic, legal, and educational systems toward greater equity.

Headshot_jeanne_islerJeanné L.L. Isler is vice president and chief engagement officer at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

A Conversation With Barbara Chow, Heising-Simons Foundation, and Shannon Rudisill, Early Childhood Funders Collaborative

December 04, 2018

This month, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, and Foundation Center will be launching a joint effort to map the last ten years of philanthropic giving in the field of Early Childhood Care and Education. The resulting interactive map of the funding landscape is publicly available and offers a valuable starting place for funders and practitioners to explore historical giving data in the context of demographic and education indicators. The map also includes deep dives into the evidence base around professional development and family engagement efforts, two areas of particular growth and interest to the field. A free webinar about the project will be held starting at 1:00 pm EST on December 12.

In advance of the launch, we spoke with Barbara Chow, director of the education program at the Heising-Simons Foundation, and Shannon Rudisill, executive director of the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative, about the project.

Headshot_chow_rudisill_compFoundation Center: Tell us about your motivations for commissioning and/or participating in this effort.

Barbara Chow: Well, we were about to start a strategic planning process, so naturally, the first question we set out to address was, how does our past and future funding fit into the larger funding landscape? We recognized that our understanding of the landscape was largely anecdotal as opposed to empirical. So, our interest was in figuring out whether what we had assumed to be true could be validated by grants data.

I realized that this was not the first time I had encountered this question. Usually, a foundation works with a consultant to conduct a series of interviews for the purpose of understanding the funding priorities of other foundations. The limitation of this approach, in my experience, is that as soon as the scan is completed it’s often out of date because one of the foundations has embarked on its own strategic planning process and will soon be on to something different. The real value in working with Foundation Center on this is that the map is dynamic and continuously updated with new data. It doesn't require human beings to go back and redo it every time a foundation wants to scan the field.

Shannon Rudisill: This project and the idea of hosting it with the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative is a natural fit for us. As our name says, we are about helping philanthropic collaborations in the area of early childhood get started, deepen their work, and thrive. The map is a fantastic tool for helping both national and regional foundations identify others who are working on these issues and who have similar goals.

The other reason this is a great resource to have sitting with the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative is because, as a publicly available resource, it’s not only available to ECFC members and early childhood funders, it’s also available to funders who are focused on K-12 education, poverty alleviation, and family economic success. We’re seeing a lot of outreach from folks working in those areas, and this tool can serve them as well.

Foundation Center: After spending a significant amount of time with both the grantmaking data and the evidence review, what are some of your takeaways?

Barbara Chow: I have four main takeaways.

My first takeaway is that, according to the map, between 2006 and 2016, philanthropy invested a little more than $6 billion in early childhood education. It's not a huge amount, especially when you think about it in relationship to public-sector funding for the issue, which is a much bigger number, and the clear and unequivocal return on investment for the field. Even though so many foundations are supporting powerful work, the scale overall is pretty small.

Shannon Rudisill: One way to think about it is that when looking at the total philanthropic funding over ten years, it's about two-thirds of annual public funding for the Head Start program.

Barbara Chow: The second thing I took away from the map is that the ECE funding landscape is fairly fragmented. When we look more closely at the $6 billion of funding over ten years, we see that the number of recipients and number of funders is not that different. Unlike some other fields, the bulk of the money is not going to a few nonprofits; in the case of ECE, it's going to a lot of different groups. In some ways that mirrors the fragmentation of early childhood care and education generally in this country. Unlike K-12, which has a lot of challenges and can be a hard system to move but nevertheless is a system, ECE isn’t. It's an amalgamation of many, many different funding sources, each with their own interests and each subject to different regulations from different levels of government, whether federal, state, or local. And that has resulted in a lot of challenges for providers, who struggle to meet all the different requirements from different government agencies, as well as for families, who have to contend with a maze of different, non-intersecting requirements. This fragmentation is a topic that the ECE field talks and worries a lot about, and it is something that philanthropy is trying its best to address. But the numbers here suggest a lot of dispersion, despite what in my experience has been a high level of collaboration in the early childhood grantmaking community.

Shannon Rudisill: I agree that we are still a long way from a cohesive early childhood system, but when I look at this data, I draw a different insight.  Due to the lack of adequate public funding, I see a layer of philanthropic funding spread thin across a lot of areas. There are so many bases to be covered because there is no publicly-funded system. If we had a system, philanthropy could concentrate resources on innovation, cutting-edge professional development, or driving changes to an already functioning system. But a lot of funders are just trying to provide basic spaces for care because there is such a shortage. By any measure, only a third — or fewer — of eligible families are getting the public subsidies they need to pay for care. And what you get when you have an environment of scarcity like that is people trying to cover a lot of bases with limited dollars.

Barbara Chow: As for the more specific takeaways, there's a part of the map that lets you look at the kinds of strategies that foundations employ in supporting the field, and a couple of things really jumped out at me. One is that the level of general operating support — which is usually considered to be a best practice in philanthropy — is pretty small in the ECE space. In 2015, it was 14.6 percent, compared to 20.7 percent for K-12 funding. There are a lot of reasons for that, but it struck me as something we need to investigate. What also struck me was the level of support for policy and systems change, 5 percent, which is close to what we see in K-12 funding and is actually a little higher than what we see for the philanthropic sector overall. But given the importance of public funding in this field, it still seemed like a relatively low number to me.

Shannon Rudisill: I had the same takeaway as Barbara did in terms of the levels of public versus private investment. One of the things that ECFC has been particularly good at over the years is helping people think about the best use of private dollars in leveraging public money through public-private partnerships. This is a core ECFC principle. The data shows that to build the system we need for kids and families in this country, it's not going to be funded primarily by philanthropic money. The data helps us identify specific levers and best practices as we start to think about partnering with the public sector.

Foundation Center: Barbara, how do you think your program team members, and, Shannon, your members, will use the map?

Barbara Chow: Shannon already touched on this, but the Heising-Simons Foundation works both in California and nationally. We're already pretty familiar with our colleagues in California — although there are always foundations popping up that we haven’t worked with before. But nationally, for instance on the work we are doing around the ECE workforce, the tool will help us better understand the interests of foundations in states we are less familiar with.

I also foresee it being of assistance to us as we enter into new areas we have not yet worked in but are interested in exploring. The map gives us a set of other foundations and grantees we can look to who have already done work in a specific area and who we can consult with and learn from. For instance, we are interested in further supporting grassroots organizing. If you look at the data for that specific support strategy in the map, it quickly becomes apparent how little support there has been for it in the ECE space. I think it’s an area that is about to break out, but it doesn't yet command a lot of funding. The first name that came up when I searched for foundations supporting grassroots organizing was the Minneapolis Foundation, which is not a group I have worked with before, but now I know they have experience in this area.

It also can be helpful, if you’re working with a grantee for the first time, to speak with other funders of that organization to get a sense of how they work, what challenges they have experienced, and what’s the best way to support them.

Shannon Rudisill: We are seeing a real trend in new funders coming into ECE, whether they are new philanthropists who, after looking at a lot of the evidence, have decided that early childhood is going to be their focus or are funders who fund in related fields but want to add ECE to their portfolios. One of the things we do for new funders is to provide expertise on the topic and connect them with peer funders. The map will be a valuable tool in both orienting people who are new to the field and in helping them identify peers.

Foundation Center: As Barbara mentioned, it's not uncommon for funders to participate in scans that are static. But it's also become common for these scans to remain private. Can you speak to why it was so important to make public availability a guiding design principle of this project?

Barbara Chow: Like many others, we are huge believers in the value of funder collaborations. So, by making this work publicly available, we are hoping to stimulate even more collaboration. We also thought that if the map was made publicly available, many foundations would look at it and realize their data wasn't there. Our hope in making the map public is that it will stimulate other foundations to add their data and, more generally, report their grants data to Foundation Center electronically. There’s a network effect in that which is pretty important, but we only really benefit if the data is publicly available and accessible to lots of people. We very much see this as a first draft. It's a good one, but it will continue to change and get better over time. It's a start, not in any way an end, and the more foundations participate, the better the data will be.

Shannon Rudisill: When you really look at the map and the underlying data, it sparks really interesting conversations and new questions. Every time you look at it you're struck by something else. The biggest value might be the conversations that are sparked by the data.

— Gabi Fitz

Woods Fund Rejects Notion of Philanthropic Risk, Acknowledges Risk of Status Quo

December 03, 2018

Grantees of Woods Fund Chicago are working to move $25 million from Chicago's operating budget to support trauma-focused and mental health services for some of the most marginalized and vulnerable residents of the city. Without the investment, people in areas without city-run clinics may lose access to much-needed healthcare services. Winning the budget fight will save people's lives.

NCRP-2013logo-color-no-taglineSouthside Together Organizing for Progress, better known as STOP, is one of the organizations working to secure the $25 million, and it knows what it takes to win. In 2016, the organization was part of the Trauma Care Coalition, a group of community-based organizations that mounted a campaign demanding that the University of Chicago open a Level 1 adult trauma center in its South Chicago neighborhood.

When one compares the value of an adult trauma center (not to mention a $25 million investment) for a community like the South Side with the $30,000 general operating support grants the Woods Fund has awarded to STOP annually since 2005, one quickly realizes that any risk for the funder is slight.

Yet many funders look at community organizing and advocacy as something too risky for them to support. Yes, strategies that seek to change systems and advance equity can create conflict and challenge powerful individuals and institutions, but they are also the drivers of the kinds of long-term solutions that philanthropy considers its raison d'être. Funders must always remember that the perceived risk of investing in systems change strategies led by marginalized people cannot compare to the actual physical, financial, and emotional risks of grassroots leaders.

The Woods Fund makes a habit of the kind of "risky" grantmaking so many other funders avoid. Its 2013 NCRP Impact Award acknowledged its support for grantees like the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and the SouthWest Organizing Project, which helped win policy changes allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

And the foundation not only shares its power and resources with marginalized leaders through its grantmaking but also in the way it goes about its work. For example:

  • It contracted with three of its grantees to test and evaluate a new online grantmaking system.
  • It launched a pilot to support small, emerging grantees and hired a consultant to help the organizations navigate the new system and complete their applications.
  • Its leadership commits at least 30 percent of the foundation’s investments to socially responsible businesses led by marginalized people.
  • One of its core strategies is to invest in people and then get out of the way – behavior that invariably makes some funders uncomfortable.

After a convening of the foundation's grantees in 2017, grantees wanted to continue to share wisdom and advice with each other about how to best leverage community benefits agreements. Woods Fund staff did not attend the convening, but they supported the grantees that organized the event, and the foundation subsequently committed to organizing more of these "peer-shares" in the future.

Another important milestone for the foundation was the decision by its leaders, almost ten years ago, to make a commitment to racial equity. Once the board made clear its decision to commit to goals and practices that advance equity, the rest was relatively easy. The NCRP Impact Award in 2013 merely inspired the foundation to push ahead with its already impressive record of innovative grantmaking.

Based on its record of impact, Woods Fund Chicago's rejection of the notion that investing in grassroots groups equals risk has served it well. Our advice to other funders? Don't be afraid to reframe your idea of risk and acknowledge that, sometimes, it goes hand in hand with movements and community organizing. Think about what you're willing and able to do to ensure that the communities in which you work are health and thriving. And remember: grassroots groups are just as committed to their neighborhoods and communities as you are, if not more so.

Headshot_jeanne_islerJeanné L.L. Isler is vice president and chief engagement officer at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.

Most Popular PhilanTopic Posts (November 2018)

December 02, 2018

Devastating wildfires in California, a freak early season snowstorm in the Northeast, and a blue wave that flipped control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the Democrats' favor — November was at times harrowing and never less than surprising. Here on PhilanTopic, your favorite reads included new posts by John Mullaney, executive director of the Nord Family Foundation in Amherst, Ohio, and Jeanné L.L. Isler, vice president and chief engagement officer at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; three posts by Larry McGill, vice president of knowledge services at Foundation Center, from our ongoing "Current Trends in Philanthropy" series; and oldies but goodies by Thaler Pekar and Gasby Brown, as well as a group-authored post by Nathalie Laidler-Kylander, May Samali, Bernard Simonin, and Nada Zohdy. Enjoy!

What have you read/watched/heard lately that got your attention, made you think, or charged you up? Feel free to share in the comments section below.

Interested in writing for PND or PhilanTopic? We'd love to hear from you. Send a few lines about your idea/article/post to mfn@foundationcenter.org.

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    — Kofi Annan (1938-2018)

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