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Effective Matters: December 2023

Date: December 30, 2023

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NEW CEP RESEARCH: The Emerging Impacts of MacKenzie Scott’s Giving

MacKenzie Scott’s large, unrestricted gifts are having dramatically positive effects on recipient organizations and the communities they serve and have so far rarely resulted in the challenges or difficulties that many predicted, according to new CEP research.

CEP’s new study is the most comprehensive research conducted on the impact of Scott’s giving so far. Key findings from the research include:

Nonprofit leaders describe expanding and improving programs to pursue opportunities — often related to equity – resulting in what they increasingly see as demonstrable impact.

Nonprofit leaders describe using Scott’s grants to strengthen their organizations’ capacity and staff climate, translating into better support for the communities their organizations serve.

Funders generally express positive opinions about Scott’s giving, but many have concerns, particularly about the ability of nonprofits to handle large, unrestricted gifts.

Despite funder concerns, nonprofit leaders report few challenges or unintended negative consequences and are planning for the long term to minimize risks of a financial cliff.

Read the Report

Recapping CEP2023: Resources from CEP’s Conference

Last month many of you gathered in Boston for the first CEP conference since 2019. In addition to the joy of in-person gathering, there was abundant learning, be it in plenary sessions, breakouts, or hallway conversations. While it’s impossible to capture and distill all that learning, CEP is excited to share the first of several resources from that event that will be available to everyone.

  • First, in case you missed it, check out our blog recaps from day oneday two, and day three
  • For attendees, we’ll soon be sharing out notes from breakout sessions — watch your inboxes for those.
  • See below for the first of several plenary sessions that will be available to watch on CEP’s YouTube channel (and a reminder that you can watch previous CEP conference videos, webinars, and even stream podcast episodes there, too!).
The Future of Climate PhilanthropyCity Innovations in Racial Equity: A Conversation with John Legend, Mayor Michelle Wu, and Andre Perry

Book Your 2024 Assessment or Advisory Project Now!

It’s not too late to plan ahead for 2024! 

Be in touch now to discuss how a CEP assessment tool (e.g., the Grantee Perception Report, the Staff Perception Report, or the Donor Perception Report) or custom advisory project (like a demographic data collection project) can be tailored to meet your learning goals and amplify the impact of your giving in the new year and beyond. Reach out to Joe Lee to secure your spot for a 2024 engagement while there’s still space available!

CEP in the News

Have You Heard? CEP on the Airwaves

The Pulse: Putting the “Effect” in Effective Philanthropy: How to Make the Most of Your Giving, with Alison Morse and Phil Buchanan

CEP’s Phil Buchanan joins The Pulse host Stacie Jacobson and National Philanthropic Trust’s Alison Morse to discuss maximizing the effectiveness of end-of-year giving.

The Heart of Giving Podcast: Phil Buchanan Aims to Maximize the Impact of Foundation Giving. Find Out How.

Host Art Taylor and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance interviews Buchanan about his career working on philanthropic effectiveness, his views on how foundation giving has shifted in the last few years, MacKenzie Scott’s giving, and more.

Latest on the CEP Blog

The Trust Gap: What Funders Can Learn from MacKenzie Scott’s Giving

The contrast between what funders think will happen when nonprofit organizations are trusted with large, unrestricted grants and what these organizations actually do with the funds is on full display in a new research report from CEP…” – Pam Foster

The Power of Trust-Based Philanthropy for Black Women Leaders

“Imagine what this world would look like if black women were given the trust we deserve to lead our organizations — if philanthropy operated in trusting partnership with us. We would all be better for it.” – Vanessa McDowell-Atlas

Weaving Trust-Based Philanthropy into a Participatory Initiative

“Our experience with a recent grantmaking initiative demonstrates the benefits of taking both approaches into account and the challenges of trying to integrate them.” – Winifred Olliff and Katy Love

Investing in the Black Rural South to Enable Social Mobility Nationwide

By recognizing the critical role of the Black rural South and directing resources to it, we can take meaningful steps toward ensuring that the American Dream becomes a reality for all.” – Mike Soskis, Angie Estevez Prada, and Mark McKeag

New Faces at CEP!

Seara Grundhoefer, Analyst, Research
John Muñoz, Manager, Research
Mercedes M. De La Riva, Associate Manager, Learning Institute

Seara Grundhoefer

John Muñoz

Mercedes De La Riva

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