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The nation’s 75,000 foundations control half a trillion dollars in charitable assets and distribute $43 billion in grants annually. Amid growing inequality, how do those working for social justice and democracy understand, act with, and challenge these institutions to do more?
Despite the powerful roles they can play in furthering social justice, foundations are reticent to support grassroots social change and famous for burdensome application and reporting requirements. Last year, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the only independent watchdog of foundations, published Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best, a new series of goals and provocative benchmarks for grantmakers. Citing the tax privileges that foundations enjoy, NCRP called for practices that truly support nonprofits.
If more nonprofits challenged grantmakers along these lines, the result could transform philanthropy, our communities, and our democracy. In this session for all those working with and among foundations, participants will discuss their experiences with foundations, learn about philanthropic practices that empower and hinder communities, and challenge grantmakers to strengthen communities.
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