Much Alarm, Less Action: Foundations & Climate Change
What are foundation leaders doing to address climate change, in their mission-related work and in their investment practices? How pressing of a problem is climate change from the perspective of foundation and nonprofit leaders?
Join the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) July 14th 2-3:15pm ET for a discussion about climate change, including new findings from our forthcoming research report.
Research presenters will include Naomi Orensten, former director, research, at CEP, now senior director of programs and strategies at Dorot Foundation, and Katarina Malmgren, senior analyst on CEP’s research team. The session will be moderated by Crystal Hayling, executive director of the Libra Foundation, and panelists will include:
- Colette Pichon Battle, Co-Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
- Kara Inae Carlisle, Vice President of Programs, McKnight Foundation
- Taryn Higashi, Executive Director, Unbound Philanthropy
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Funds CEP’s Big Gifts Study
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has committed $375,000 to CEP’s Big Gifts Study, becoming the lead funder of this three-year effort. The study examines the effects of large, unrestricted grants on nonprofits by looking at the experiences of recipients of gifts from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. The first report, based on a just-fielded survey and a set of interviews being conducted this summer, will be released in November 2022.
The Hilton Foundation joins the Barr Foundation, Ford Foundation, Raikes Foundation, and Rita Allen Foundation in supporting this research effort. “It’s crucial that we develop the evidence base of the effects of different approaches to giving, to inform individual and foundation donors alike, and we are delighted to be supporting CEP in undertaking this important research,” said Shaheen Kassim-Lakha, director of strategic partnerships at the Hilton Foundation.
Find out more about the study, including a roster of advisors to the research effort, here.
How Can Philanthropy & Nonprofits Rebuild Trust?
The broad trend of declining trust in institutions is particularly worrisome for philanthropic institutions and the nonprofits they support. At CEP’s recent webinar, “Rebuilding Trust in Nonprofits and Philanthropy,” a panel of experts discussed why trust is declining and what the philanthropic sector can do about it. Moderated by CEP President Phil Buchanan, the panel included:
- Dr. Beth Breeze, director of the Center for Philanthropy at the University of Kent and author of “In Defence of Philanthropy,” who shared her detailed analysis of how critiques of philanthropy have changed in concerning ways in recent years;
- LaTida Smith, president of the Winston-Salem Foundation, who encouraged those in philanthropy use storytelling to connect with the public;
- Kathleen Enright, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations, who pointed to the scarcity mindset driving some critiques of philanthropy, as well as a need for foundations to acknowledge their role in wealth accumulation and push for greater equity through both programmatic work and policy;
- And Chelsea Peters, chief strategy officer at the Walton Family Foundation, who observed that the problems of today are too complex for any foundation to solve alone, encouraging a collaborative, comprehensive approach.
CEP is grateful to the Council on Foundations for their partnership in co-hosting this event, as well as to premier sponsor Walton Family Foundation and sponsors The Jacob and Valeria Langeloth Foundation and New Hampshire Charitable Trust.
CEP Releases 2021 Annual Report
Introducing CEP’s 2021 Annual Report, CEP President Phil Buchanan and Board Chair TiffanyCooper Gueye invoke the word “enduring,” referring to how both the philanthropic sector and the larger world weathered the second pandemic year alongside many other challenges. The report provides an overview of the work CEP undertook in 2021 and situates that work within the movements of the sector. As Buchanan and Gueye write, it “provides insight into how CEP has continued to support those searching for more effective solutions to philanthropy’s most challenging and pressing problems.”
Find updates on the work and progress of the research, assessment and advisory services, programming and external relations, and finance and operations teams, as well as YouthTruth, in CEP’s 2021 Annual Report.
Latest on the CEP Blog
Gabriela Alcade, executive director of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, reflects on the shifts in internal structures and processes, including, importantly, budgeting, that are required if a foundation is to put their values into action. Read: To Support Shifts in Philanthropic Practices, Foundations must Reimagine Their internal Structures and Processes
CEP’s Ellie Buteau writes that while it can still feel blasphemous to discuss putting the needs of donors second and instead prioritizing the mission, goals, and strategies of the organization, this is exactly what nonprofits should do — and what donors should want them to do. Read: Are Donors Prioritizing Themselves or the Organizations to Which They Donate?
In a series on the CEP blog, members of the Feedback Incentives Learning Group make the case that foundations and nonprofits must listen and respond to the people who are most impacted — and often least consulted — by philanthropy. Each post tackles a different aspect of listening and feedback. They include:
- “Using Our Power to Recenter Voice” by Clara Bennet, Joshua Elder, Katie Ensign, Lexi Mairone, and Veronica Olazabal
- “How Do Funders Encourage Grantees to Listen?” by Megan Campbell and Madison McDaniel
- “We Need Many Champions to Shift Foundation Listening Practices” by Rick Moyers
- “What Ted Lasso Teaches Us About Philanthropy” by Clara Bennett and Jessica Kiessel
- “The Case for Being Radical” by Mary Coleman
CEP & YouthTruth Hiring for Crucial Roles
CEP is hiring for a number of vital roles in the organization. Read more about what it’s like to work at CEP and CEP’s hiring practices here. Then, check out open positions — and share widely!