More U.S. Philanthropies Pledge to Champion and Empower the Poor, Minorities and Other Underserved Groups

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2012  -- At one year anniversary, Philanthropy's Promise continues to gain momentum with 61 new foundations signing on to prioritize marginalized communities

Some 125 leading U.S. foundations that represent a total of more than $3.37 billion in annual giving pledged to prioritize the needs and promote the democratic participation of underserved communities such as the poor, the elderly and LGBTQ citizens through Philanthropy's Promise, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy announced today.

The NoVo Foundation, Cleveland Foundation and United Way of New York City were among the grantmakers that recently joined the Promise.

When NCRP launched Philanthropy's Promise a year ago, 64 grantmakers had made commitments to allocate at least 50 percent of their grant dollars to benefitting marginalized groups and 25 percent towards supporting advocacy, community organizing and civic engagement to address the root causes of social problems. Since then, 61 more funders have signed on - bringing the total to 125 - each providing a public statement describing the values and strategies that animate their own approach to this type of grantmaking.

"Research shows that not all types of grants are equal. Some have more impact and are more effective than others at making a real difference in the lives of people and communities, especially those in most need," said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. "The public statements submitted by those that have signed on show the variety of ways that foundations are meeting their goals, and we hope it has an inspirational effect on others."

Grants from foundations, such as the groups that have signed on to the Promise, are key sources of funding for the country's nonprofits working on a broad range of issues such as access to education and health care, supporting the arts and fighting poverty, inequality and environmental degradation. Many of these groups have been struggling to make ends meet since the onset of the recession, with increased demands for services while seeing a decline in donations and grants.

"Empowerment of underserved populations lies at the heart of NoVo Foundation's grantmaking and for that reason we enthusiastically sign on to the Philanthropy's Promise initiative," says NoVo Foundation in its public statement. The foundation, co-founded by Peter and Jennifer Buffett, is the largest private foundation dedicated to ending violence against women and girls in the country and the world. "We avoid top-down models for the improvement of societies, but instead commit ourselves to an earnest search for fresh ideas that show unusual promise for significant impact. We are willing to venture where others are reluctant to go; we remain patient in developing sustainable solutions; and we wish to convene diverse stakeholders to address common challenges."

"As the world's first community foundation, we are proud to support Philanthropy's Promise and embrace the guidelines established by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy," said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of The Cleveland Foundation, in the statement submitted in support of the initiative. "We recognized early on that making a lasting impact and improvement goes beyond dollars; it often involves systemic change. ... Improving economic and racial inclusion in our community is always at the core of our work."

"United Way of New York City is committed to fighting poverty across the five boroughs," said Gordon J. Campbell, president and CEO of one of the largest local United Ways in the country, in his organization's public statement. "We rigorously evaluate our programs and use lessons learned to inform and advance public policies, systems and practices that prevent and alleviate poverty citywide."

Grantmakers that are participating in Philanthropy's Promise include large and small foundations from across the country. These consist of private foundations, family foundations, corporate foundations, community foundations and other grantmaking public charities.

This month, NCRP marks the first anniversary of Philanthropy's Promise. A complete list of grantmakers that are a part of this initiative, along with their public statements explaining why they joined, and a Philanthropy's Promise video is available at www.philanthropyspromise.org .

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 www.ncrp.org .

Complete List of Grantmakers Signed on to Philanthropy's Promise:

        FOUNDATION NAME                                                                                       STATE
        Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham*                                                           AL
        Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, The                                                                  AR
        Akonadi Foundation                                                                                    CA
        California Community Foundation                                                                       CA
        California Endowment, The                                                                             CA
        Christensen Fund, The*                                                                                CA
        Common Counsel Foundation                                                                             CA
        Compton Foundation, Inc.                                                                              CA
        Conrad N. Hilton Foundation                                                                           CA
        East Bay Community Foundation, The*                                                                   CA
        Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund*                                                                     CA
        French American Charitable Trust                                                                      CA
        Fund for Santa Barbara, Inc.*                                                                         CA
        Groundswell Fund                                                                                      CA
        Hispanics in Philanthropy*                                                                            CA
        John M. Lloyd Foundation, The*                                                                        CA
        Levi Strauss Foundation                                                                               CA
        Liberty Hill Foundation                                                                               CA
        McCune Foundation, The*                                                                               CA
        McKay Foundation, The*                                                                                CA
        Mitchell Kapor Foundation, The                                                                        CA
        Penney Family Fund                                                                                    CA
        Rosenberg Foundation                                                                                  CA
        San Diego Foundation for Change*                                                                      CA
        San Francisco Foundation, The*                                                                        CA
        Silicon Valley Community Foundation                                                                   CA
        Tides Foundation                                                                                      CA
        United Way of Greater Los Angeles                                                                     CA
        United Way of the Bay Area, The*                                                                      CA
        Women Donors Network*                                                                                 CA
        Women's Foundation of California*                                                                     CA
        Women's Funding Network*                                                                              CA
        Chinook Fund*                                                                                         CO
        Global Greengrants Fund*                                                                              CO
        Arca Foundation, The*                                                                                 DC
        Consumer Health Foundation*                                                                           DC
        Discount Foundation, The                                                                              DC
        Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation*                                                                 DC
        Hill-Snowdon Foundation                                                                               DC
        Public Welfare Foundation, Inc.                                                                       DC
        Fund for Southern Communities, Inc.*                                                                  GA
        Southern Partners Fund                                                                                GA
        Hawaii People's Fund*                                                                                 HI
        Fund for Idaho*                                                                                       ID
        3Arts*                                                                                                IL
        Crossroads Fund*                                                                                      IL
        Retirement Research Foundation, The                                                                   IL
        Wieboldt Foundation                                                                                   IL
        Woods Fund of Chicago                                                                                 IL
        Foundation for Louisiana (formerly the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, Inc.)                  LA
        Access Strategies Fund, Inc.*                                                                         MA
        Eos Foundation, The*                                                                                  MA
        Grassroots International, Inc.*                                                                       MA
        Haymarket People's Fund*                                                                              MA
        Hyams Foundation, Inc., The*                                                                          MA
        Peace Development Fund*                                                                               MA
        Proteus Fund, Inc.                                                                                    MA
        Solidago Foundation                                                                                   MA
        Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts*                                                                MA
        Calvert Foundation*                                                                                   MD
        Maine Initiatives, Inc.                                                                               ME
        W.K. Kellogg Foundation                                                                               MI
        Blandin Foundation*                                                                                   MN
        General Mills Foundation                                                                              MN
        Headwaters Foundation for Justice                                                                     MN
        McKnight Foundation, The                                                                              MN
        Minneapolis Foundation, The                                                                           MN
        Northwest Area Foundation                                                                             MN
        Pfund*                                                                                                MN
        Saint Paul Foundation, The                                                                            MN
        Women's Foundation of Minnesota                                                                       MN
        Foundation for the Mid-South                                                                          MS
        Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust                                                                     NC
        Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, Inc.                                                                NC
        Warner Foundation, The                                                                                NC
        Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc.                                                                    NC
        Endowment for Health, Inc*                                                                            NH
        Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The                                                                   NJ
        Con Alma Health Foundation, Inc.*                                                                     NM
        Abelard Foundation, Inc., The*                                                                        NY
        Arcus Foundation                                                                                      NY
        Daphne Foundation, The                                                                                NY
        Edward W. Hazen Foundation, Inc., The                                                                 NY
        Elton John AIDS Foundation, Inc.*                                                                     NY
        Ford Foundation                                                                                       NY
        Funding Exchange, Inc.*                                                                               NY
        H. van Ameringen Foundation*                                                                          NY
        Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, Inc.                                                                   NY
        Marie C. and Joseph C. Wilson Foundation*                                                             NY
        Melville Charitable Trust, The*                                                                       NY
        Ms. Foundation for Women*                                                                             NY
        New World Foundation, The                                                                             NY
        New York Foundation                                                                                   NY
        Norman Foundation, Inc.*                                                                              NY
        North Star Fund, Inc.                                                                                 NY
        NoVo Foundation*                                                                                      NY
        Open Society Foundation, Inc.                                                                         NY
        Overbrook Foundation, The                                                                             NY
        Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, Inc.*                                                               NY
        The Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock and its Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program NY
        Third Wave Foundation                                                                                 NY
        United Way of New York City*                                                                          NY
        van Ameringen Foundation, Inc.*                                                                       NY
        Wallace Foundation, The                                                                               NY
        Cleveland Foundation, The*                                                                            OH
        Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, The*                                                                OH
        Needmor Fund, The                                                                                     OH
        McKenzie River Gathering Foundation                                                                   OR
        Meyer Memorial Trust                                                                                  OR
        Northwest Health Foundation                                                                           OR
        Western States Center                                                                                 OR
        FISA Foundation*                                                                                      PA
        Three Rivers Community Foundation*                                                                    PA
        Appalachian Community Fund*                                                                           TN
        A Glimmer of Hope Foundation*                                                                         TX
        Kirkpatrick Family Foundation, The                                                                    WA
        Marguerite Casey Foundation                                                                           WA
        Peppercorn Foundation                                                                                 WA
        Potlatch Fund*                                                                                        WA
        Pride Foundation, The*                                                                                WA
        Quixote Foundation, Inc.*                                                                             WA
        Social Justice Fund Northwest                                                                         WA
        Washington Progress Fund*                                                                             WA
        Women's Funding Alliance*                                                                             WA
        Wisconsin Community Fund*                                                                             WI

* Grantmakers that joined after Philanthropy's Promise launched in June 2011.

SOURCE National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

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