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Effective Matters: March 2024

Date: March 28, 2024

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New Research from CEP: Funding Nonprofit Endowments

The CEP report sheds light on the prevalence of and approach to funding nonprofit endowments, finding that these types of grants represent a small slice of foundation giving.

Fewer than a third of foundations fund nonprofit endowments, according to new CEP research, and for those that do, these grants represent a small fraction of their giving.

Read the Report

While in recent years, endowment giving has been advocated as an equity tool, CEP’s new research finds that for those that do fund endowments, advancing equity is not their primary consideration. The Bridgespan Group simultaneously released a report today that presents a case study of endowment giving as an equity strategy.

Mark Your Calender: CEP Webinar on Funding Nonprofit Endowments

Join us on April 23, 2-3:15pm ET, for a free webinar presenting new research on
foundation support for nonprofit endowments. 

Co-hosted by CEPThe Bridgespan Group and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this conversation will draw on just-released research from CEP and Bridgespan, and will include discussion of:

  • U.S. foundation practices in endowment giving,
  • How funding endowments can foster nonprofit sustainability and advance equitable social change,
  • And the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s approach to endowment funding as a tool to advance equity.

The panel includes: Maisha E. Simmons, assistant vice president, Equity and Culture, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (moderator); Darren Isom, partner, The Bridgespan Group; Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Ph.D., vice president, Research, CEP; and John Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education.

Register Now

How Foundations Are Responding to the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Rulings: CEP Research and Webinar

In CEP’s recent Research Snapshot, foundation leaders report on their outlook and plans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 2023 rulings against affirmative action. Following the release of the report, CEP and Philanthropy New York co-hosted a webinar in which Vice President of Research at CEP Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Ph.D. presented the research and then led a discussion with Vice President of Programs at the San Francisco Foundation Raquiba LaBrie, President and CEO of the College Futures Foundation Eloy Ortiz Oakley, and President and CEO of Independent Sector Akilah Watkins.

Read the Research Snapshot

Support CEP’s Research

CEP’s resources — including our researchblogwebinarspodcasts, and range of other offerings — are made possible by the generous support of foundations and individuals who share our belief in the power of effective philanthropy. If you value our work, please consider making a donation to CEP today. You can donate online or contact Grace Nicolette for more information.

Thank you for your support!

Latest on the CEP Blog

Foundation Approaches to Endowments and Equity
“This research by CEP and Bridgespan offers new insights into endowment giving and explores how endowments can be used to advance equity. Through this work, we hope to further build understanding of endowment grantmaking in the field of philanthropy and spark conversations about using this longstanding funding mechanism in new ways.” – Emily Yang, Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Ph.D., and Darren Isom

Responsible AI: How Philanthropy Can (and Should) Support the Movement
“hilanthropy has a responsibility to thoughtfully address one of the biggest challenges that we will face in the history of our sector. How we act now will determine the future of our work. We are creating history, and while we may not like change, we will like irrelevance a whole lot less.” – Rachel Kimber, Joanna Drew, Ravit Dotan, Ph.D., and Mark Greer II

One Year After ChatGPT4: Where is Philanthropy?
“By investing in AI projects in general, and specifically supporting the development of educational resources and case studies, we can begin to close the data divide with the commercial sector and give the social and education sectors a stronger voice in AI and civil society.” – Sarah Di Troia, Project Evident

The Path Forward: How Funders Can Respond to the Supreme Court’s Affirmative Action Rulings
“While SCOTUS’ affirmative action decisions represent yet another dark moment in U.S. history, the democratic process has shown us — time and time again — that there is a path forward: it is called the ballot box.” – Anthony Richardson, The George Gund Foundation

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