Enormous need … limited resources
The problems that philanthropy tackles are immense and resources are small, especially compared to the enormity and complexity of these challenges.
Now, more than ever, many foundations and institutional grantmakers – regardless of size, focus and approach – want to maximize the impact of their limited grant dollars. They want to get the most out of their resources and be more effective at achieving their goals. They want to know that their efforts are making a difference in people’s lives, in our communities and in shaping a more equitable, just and democratic world.
Bold, innovative and effective strategies … maximum impact
Philanthropy’s Promise is a project of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) that celebrates funders that apply two high impact strategies in their grantmaking: targeting grant dollars to address the needs of underserved communities, and empowering them by funding advocacy, organizing and civic engagement.
A broad cross-section of the country’s grantmakers – big foundations, small foundations, private foundations, family foundations, corporate foundations, community foundations and other public grantmaking charities – have signed on to this initiative by submitting public statements affirming their intent to meet the goals described below within the next three years:
- At least 50 percent of their grantmaking explicitly benefits at least one underserved community
Strategy 1: Targeted Universalism
Applying the concept of targeted universalism, many grantmakers that have signed on to Philanthropy’s Promise believe that in prioritizing the needs of underserved populations such as economically disadvantaged people, racial or ethnic minorities, women and girls, people with AIDS, people with disabilities, the elderly, immigrants and refugees, victims of crime or abuse, offenders and ex-offenders, single parents and lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, we all benefit.
- At least 25 percent of their grantmaking explicitly supports nonprofit advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement.
Strategy 2: Policy and Citizen Engagement
The social issues that grantmakers care about involve engaging in public policy to address the root causes of systemic inequity that threaten our democracy. By supporting advocacy, community organizing and civic participation, foundations can become more active agents of positive and lasting change.
Lead … inspire
The field of philanthropy is constantly looking for ways to achieve results and identify the most effective use of limited resources.
Through Philanthropy’s Promise, we have, in one place, gathered examples of how different kinds of grantmaking institutions are addressing the needs of underserved communities and seeking lasting solutions to tough issues through policy and civic engagement.
This shared knowledge helps accelerate learning, spark dialogue and inspire other philanthropies to consider how these high impact strategies might work for their foundations.
Learn more about the Promise
GCIP highlights the positive impact that communities have seen from funder-supported nonpartisan advocacy and community organizing. It provides a comprehensive resource list for nonprofits and foundations. Learn more.