CEP in the News

July 20, 2022

Despite climate alarm, philanthropic dollars are slow to come: Report

Stephanie Beasley


Extreme weather events, including dangerous heat waves sweeping through Europe and large swaths of the United States this summer, have drawn more attention to the growing impacts of climate change, including among philanthropists.

But while philanthropic foundations recognize the dire consequences of inaction on climate change, so far they have largely failed to meet the moment with more funding and resources, according to a report from the Center for Effective Philanthropy, which provides data and other services aimed at helping donors give more effectively. …>Read more.

July 13, 2022

Where Are Foundations on Climate Change? “Much Alarm, Less Action,” Says New Report

Michael Kavate

Inside Philanthropy

Foundation leaders are overwhelmingly concerned about the urgent threat from climate change and the damage it will wreak on the people and places they care about, yet even with relatively limited philanthropic funding for the crisis, most who do not currently support such work see it as outside of their mission, according to a new survey.

Even among climate funders, who tend to see global heating as an “extremely urgent” challenge, very few dedicate more than 1 in 5 of their grant dollars to climate action, according to “Much Alarm, Less Action: Foundations and Climate Change,” published Tuesday by the Center for Effective Philanthropy. …>Read more.

July 12, 2022

Philanthropic foundations failing to act on climate change: report

Sharon Udasin

The Hill

While philanthropic leaders overwhelmingly cite climate change as a pressing issue, the efforts of their foundations to actually address climate change remain limited, a new report has found.

About 60 percent of foundation and nonprofit administrators surveyed said they believe climate change is an “extremely urgent problem,” but only about 10 percent considered this the most important problem to address right now, according to a survey conducted by the Massachusetts-based Center for Effective Philanthropy. …>Read more.

July 12, 2022

Foundations Say Climate Change Is Urgent but Still Fail to Fund Solutions

Jim Rendon

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Nearly 90 percent of foundation leaders say that climate change is an urgent problem, yet they are doing little to help stop it, according to report released Tuesday from the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

No matter the possible approaches, foundations are sitting on the sidelines, the report found. Only about 2 percent of all foundation giving goes to help curb climate change. And even now with so many dire warnings about the urgent need for action, foundations are not making climate change’s implications part of grant-making programs focused on, say, housing or immigration, nor are they funding community organization and advocacy groups seeking local solutions to climate change. What’s more, very few are divesting their fossil-fuel holdings. …>Read more.

June 21, 2022

In webinar, Center for Effective Philanthropy and Council on Foundations address declining trust in nonprofits and philanthropy

Michael Hartmann

Philanthropy Daily

The Center for Effective Philanthropy and the Council on Foundations co-hosted an interesting webinar discussion last week about declining trust in nonprofits and philanthropy in America. Introducing the webinar, the Center noted that “[f]raying trust in institutions, perceptions that nonprofits and philanthropy are politicized, intensifying critiques of philanthropy as a ‘ruse’ or self-promotion, increasing societal polarization, and well-publicized scandals all may play a part” in the decline.

The 75-minute event, “Rebuilding Trust in Nonprofits and Philanthropy,” was moderated by Center for Effective Philanthropy president Phil Buchanan. Its panelists were: Kathleen Enright, Council on Foundations president and chief executive officer; Beth Breeze, director of the Global Challenges Doctoral Centre and the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent; Chelsea Peters, chief strategy officer of the Walton Family Foundation; and LaTida Smith, president of The Winston-Salem Foundation. …>Read more.

June 17, 2022

Why are foundations and nonprofits losing public trust?

Stephanie Beasley


Foundations, individual philanthropists, and nonprofits should be worried about growing distrust in their organizations and sectors at large if they want to continue to effectively fundraise and drive societal changes, according to philanthropy leaders and advocates.

Even as philanthropic organizations begin to transition toward a more trust-based approach with their grantees, data shows a decline in public trust in them, said Phil Buchanan, the president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, on Thursday at a virtual event hosted by CEP and the Council on Foundations. The event focused on rebuilding trust in nonprofits and philanthropy. …>Read more.

December 10, 2021

Nonprofits That Serve Asian Americans and Native Americans Say Foundations Overlook Them

Dan Parks

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Leaders of nonprofits that serve Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and those that assist Native Americans say foundations’ understanding of and support for their causes lags behind grant makers’ support for other groups in need of help, according to two new reports by the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

The reports suggest foundation support for nonprofits helping people of color generally increased amid the pandemic, but that response was stronger for nonprofits that aid Black and Latino people. For example, 58 percent of leaders of nonprofits serving primarily Asian American people say foundations provided new, unrestricted support in 2020 compared with 68 percent of the leaders of nonprofits that meet the needs of all other groups, according to the report. …>Read more.

November 20, 2021

Foundations May Keep Some Changes Adopted During Pandemic, Report Says

Stephanie Beasley


Many foundation leaders are unsure of how long and to what extent they will maintain changes made during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as more unrestricted funding and streamlined processes, according to a new report out this week.

The Center for Effective Philanthropy heard from about 300 foundations in response to a survey on whether changes in practices during the pandemic were continuing. Key among its findings was that while almost all foundation leaders said they “plan to sustain at least some of the changes” made in 2020, “only time will tell whether these changes become permanent elements of foundation practice.” …>Read more.

October 26, 2021

Arcus Foundation Shares Findings from the Grantee Perception Report Administered by the Center for Effective Philanthropy

Philanthropy New York

As a foundation working in deep collaboration with grantee partners around the world, we at Arcus are acutely aware that the way we work with partners as well as how we are perceived by them is important to track, evaluate, and, when beneficial, improve. This helps us understand our level of impact and our alignment with our standards and values. That’s why since 2008, Arcus has collected grantee input on a periodic basis by participating in the Grantee Perception Report (GPR), a standardized survey of grantee perceptions administered by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP).

This year, we worked with CEP to customize the standardized GPR survey to focus on specific measures relevant to Arcus’ performance goals and values-aligned grantmaking practices. For example, we wanted to evaluate the impact of our long-time requirement that all grantees have a board-approved equal employment opportunity (EEO) policy with sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) protections included among their employment practices. Our hope was that this data would help us inform any future efforts to include other potential sustainability and equity-related policies. …>Read more.

September 15, 2021

Data Reveals Stark Divergences in COVID-19’s Impact Among Nonprofits

Danielle Holly

Nonprofit Quarterly

In writing about COVID-19’s impact on the US economy, journalists, economists, and researchers alike have sliced up the for-profit sector by location, size, industry, and myriad other dimensions when searching for and positing answers. Conversely, the nonprofit sector is often treated as a monolith, with catastrophic cases standing in for all nonprofit experience.

While it’s certainly true that many sectors of nonprofits were hard hit, others have moved through the pandemic with relatively little disruption—and some even thrived. A Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) report released in June 2021 noted that more than 30 percent of nonprofits report that the pandemic has had little negative impact to significantly positive impact. …>Read more.

June 8, 2021

Most Nonprofits Emerge from Pandemic Wounded, but Still Open

Dan Parks

Associated Press

Nonprofits across the nation suffered deep economic hardships and many cut services during the pandemic, but strong government support and stepped-up giving by foundations and individuals averted the widespread charity failures that many experts had feared, according to interviews with experts and a new study out Tuesday.

Steve Hayes, executive director of the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium, an organization in North Carolina that works to strengthen the management of nonprofits, said he’s not aware of any nonprofits in his region that have closed permanently. A few have ceased operating temporarily, he says, and it’s unclear if they will be able to resume services. But overall, he has not seen evidence to support predictions a year ago of widespread nonprofit failures.

“I had the same expectation,” Hayes said. “It did not come to pass.” …>Read more.

April 7, 2021

Pandemic Shifted How Donors Gave, but Will It Continue?

Haleluya Hadero

Associated Press

When Wendo Aszed, the founder of a health nonprofit in rural Kenya, is asked about her frustrations with donors, it doesn’t take long before she brings up a hot-button issue in philanthropy: restrictions on how to use donations.

The “pain point” for her is when funders won’t allow contributions earmarked for one project to be used on related emerging needs. One donor, she notes, funded family planning services — like birth control — but then objected to the money being used for HIV testing on the same women. And some, the 43-year-old added, didn’t want contributions they made prior to the COVID-19 pandemic to help implement virus safety measures at her organization, Dandelion Africa. …>Read more.

March 3, 2021

Nonprofits Welcome Billions in Pandemic Giving but Wonder if Support Will Last

Alex Daniels

The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The global reach of Covid and its staying power both as a killer disease and an economic menace attracted a philanthropic response of $20.2 billion last year, more than double the amount given to the previous top 10 disasters combined, according to preliminary estimates released Wednesday.

“The dollars that have been donated are staggering, just staggering,” says Regine Webster, a vice president at the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which, along with Candid, compiled data on Covid-related giving last year. …>Read more.