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Emerging Impacts: The Effects of MacKenzie Scott’s Large, Unrestricted Gifts : Results from Year Two of a Three-Year Study

November 28, 2023

This report outlines the extent to which Mackenzie Scott's unrestricted funds have had an effect on recipients of her funding. Over three years, she gave more than $14 billion in unrestricted support to more than 1,600 organizations. An analysis of her donations are included within, inclusive of the challenges, surprises, effects and figures of how this funding affected recipients over the past 1-3 years. 

Foundations Respond to Crisis: Lasting Change?

November 29, 2021

Philanthropic and nonprofit leaders have called for changes in foundation practice for decades, asking funders to, for example, provide more flexible and unrestricted funding; streamline and simplify processes; listen to, trust, and support their grantees; and pursue racial equity and racial justice.But there had been little evidence of change until the spring of 2020, when many foundations shifted their practices as the scale of the COVID-19 crisis became clear. In a series of three reports released late last year by CEP, we found that foundations made many changes to their practices, such as providing more unrestricted support and streamlining processes. In addition, many foundations reported providing new support to lower-income, Black, or Latino communities, and to organizations created and led by people from the communities most affected by systemic inequities.Since then, CEP has collected new survey and interview data from foundation and nonprofit leaders to examine whether these changes continued into 2021 and whether they will continue in the future.

Foundations Respond to Crisis: Toward Equity?

December 9, 2020

The disproportionate public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on certain communities, along with nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice, have intensified the calls for foundations to focus on equity and reckon with anti-Black racism in a deeper way than they had before. To what extent have staffed foundations changed their practices in 2020 in response to this push for substantial shifts in how philanthropy approaches its work?CEP surveyed and interviewed foundation leaders to find out. Foundations Respond to Crisis: Toward Equity? reveals that almost all foundations participating in CEP's study report placing new, or more, focus on supporting Black, Latino, and lower-income communities; and most foundation leaders say they are reckoning with racism and paying greater attention to racial equity in their work. However, there remains still significant room for further progress, and it remains to be seen how deep and sustained this new focus will be.

Foundations Respond to Crisis: Toward Greater Flexibility and Responsiveness?

December 1, 2020

Nonprofits and funders alike have long called on foundations to be more flexible and responsive, to provide more unrestricted funding, to reduce what they ask of grantees, and to build more trusting relationships. In 2020, these calls for change only intensified in a time of immense challenge for nonprofits and the people and communities they serve.Have foundations responded to these calls with newfound urgency? And if so, is that response merely a momentary adjustment? Or will the crises of 2020 spur substantive, long-term change in how funders approach their work?CEP surveyed and interviewed foundation leaders to find out. Foundations Respond to Crisis: Toward Greater Flexibility and Responsiveness? reveals that foundations say they are loosening grant restrictions, providing more unrestricted funding, and reducing what they ask of grantees. Many plan to continue these practices in the future, though to a lesser degree than during their pandemic response.Findings in this report are based on survey data gathered from 236 foundations — 170 of which signed the pledge hosted by the Council on Foundations to act urgently in response to COVID-19, and 66 of which had not — as well as in-depth interviews with leaders of 41 foundations that signed the pledge. All data was collected between June and August 2020.This study is the final in a series of three reports from CEP examining the extent to which staffed foundations have changed their practices in response to calls for change to meet the unprecedented challenges of 2020.

The Philanthropy Toolkit: An Introduction to Giving Effectively

June 30, 2020

The Stanford PACS' EPLI Philanthropy Toolkit is comprised of six modules designed to provide you with the tools and resources you need for a successful philanthropic journey. This process can be completed with a trained facilitator (such as a wealth advisor) or independently. You may wish to include family members as well. Stanford PACS' EPLI created this toolkit in collaboration with wealth advisors across the United States in response to the philanthropic questions and challenges their clients face every day. Stanford PACS EPLI curated and created the activities and resources in each module, with references to additional non-EPLI resources in the Additional Resources section of each module.

The Education Combination Toolkit

February 20, 2020

Drawing on both research and the lived experiences of students, parents, and educators from across the country, this paper describes how the right combination of resources can make a difference for students' learning experiences.The Education Combination provides state and district leaders, educators, families, and community advocates with an overview of each dimension, including:A vision for what it should look likeResearch-backed reasons for why it mattersKey questions to considerExamples of challenges and trends from states, districts, and schools

My Brother’s Keeper? The Impact of Targeted Educational Supports

October 1, 2019

The My Brother's Keeper (MBK) Challenge developed by President Obama supports communities that promote civic initiatives designed to improve the educational and economic opportunities specifically for young men of color. In Oakland, California, the MBK educational initiative features the African American Male Achievement (AAMA) program. The AAMA focuses on regularly scheduled classes exclusively for Black, male students and taught by Black, male teachers who focus on social-emotional training, African-American history, culturally relevant pedagogy, and academic supports. In this study, we present quasi-experimental evidence on the dropout effects of the AAMA by leveraging its staggered scale-up across high schools in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD). We find that AAMA availability led to a significant reduction in the number of Black males who dropped out as well as smaller reductions among Black females, particularly in 9th grade.

Crucial Donors: How Major Individual Givers Can Best Support Nonprofits

September 19, 2019

The biggest source of philanthropic support for nonprofits in the United States is giving from individual donors. Of the $428 billion in total charitable giving in 2018, individual donors contributed 68 percent. However, the recent decline in giving among small- and medium-gift givers means that major donors are becoming increasingly important to nonprofits.The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) surveyed its Grantee Voice panel of more than 600 nonprofit leaders across the country to learn what support nonprofits receive from major donors, what major donors can do to support nonprofits better, and how nonprofits' relationships with major donors differ from their relationships with staffed foundations.WE LEARNED THAT:Relationships matter. Nonprofit leaders spend more time building personal relationships with major donors as their gifts become larger. In the coming years, the most common trend nonprofit leaders expect to see in how their organizations will work with major donors is that they will place greater focus on building personal relationships with them.There is an understanding gap. To be most helpful, nonprofit leaders believe major donors need to understand their organizations and the context of their work better than they currently do.Nonprofits most need multiyear commitments, unrestricted gifts, and support beyond money. Nonprofit leaders say that these kinds of support help their organizations do their best work and plan for the future.

Addressing the Intersections of Juvenile Justice Involvement and Youth Homelessness: Working with Girls

March 1, 2017

Juvenile justice agencies, youth homelessness service providers, and other related stakeholders play an important role in addressing the unique needs of girls. Stakeholders can improve the outcomes for girls experiencing trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder through gender-responsive practices, and by implementing policies that are specific to the needs of girls who have experienced abuse and homelessness.

Addressing the Intersection of Juvenile Justice Involvement and Youth Homelessness: Serving LGBTQ Youth

March 1, 2017

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and gender non-conforming (LGBTQ/GNC) youth experience increased levels of homelessness when compared to other peers and are also disproportionally more likely to be involved with the juvenile justice system. An estimated 20-40% of youth experiencing homeless are LGBTQ/GNC, as compared to 7-10% of the general youth population.

Addressing the Intersections of Juvenile Justice Involvement and Youth Homelessness: Principles for Change

February 28, 2017

A young person's involvement with the justice system can increase their likelihood of later experiencing homelessness for many reasons, including the fact that educational disruptions and juvenile delinquency records can make it harder to obtain employment. Youth experiencing homelessness may also be swept into the juvenile justice system through laws that prohibit simply being in public spaces, such as juvenile curfews, or anti-sitting or sleeping ordinances. Both juvenile justice involvement and youth homelessness have long-term negative consequences. The Principles in Part I of this document provide a roadmap for communities to help young people avoid experiencing juvenile justice system involvement and/or youth homelessness.

Hidden in Plain Sight: Homeless Students In America's Public Schools

June 13, 2016

Student homelessness is on the rise, with more than 1.3 million homeless students identified during the 2013-14 school year. This is a 7 percent increase from the previous year and more than double the number of homeless students in 2006-07. As high as these numbers seem, they are almost certainly undercounts.Despite increasing numbers, these students - as well as the school liaisons and state coordinators who support them - report that student homelessness remains an invisible and extremely disruptive problem.Students experiencing homelessness struggle to stay in school, to perform well, and to form meaningful connections with peers and adults. Ultimately, they are much more likely to fall off track and eventually drop out of school more often than their non-homeless peers.This study:provides an overview of existing research on homeless students,sheds light on the challenges homeless students face and the supports they say they need to succeed,reports on the challenges adults - local liaisons and state coordinators - face in trying to help homeless students, andrecommends changes in policy and practice at the school, community, state and national level to help homeless students get on a path to adult success.This is a critical and timely topic. The recent reauthorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides many new and stronger provisions for homeless students (effective Oct. 1, 2016); requires states, district and schools for the first time to report graduation rates for homeless students (effective beginning with the 2016-17 school year); and affirms the urgency and importance of dealing with homelessness so that all children can succeed.