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Update on the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative

September 1, 2016

The hope is that the NSI will help to further normalize the dialogue and activity around mergers and collaborations in the sector. The NSI's definition of success is: "By the end of the active NSI effort, Strategic Restructuring will be normalized in LA County's nonprofit ecosystem. This ecosystem understands, supports, and engages in SR as a tool for enhanced impact and sustainability." Part of the NSI's measure of success is whether we have helped to create an environment where nonprofits are more comfortable discussing strategic partnerships with their boards and with funders, where funders are more receptive to funding this type of work, and nonprofits have the tools and professional support needed to effectively engage in the work. The funders and the evaluation team believe that attitudes and perceptions around mergers and strategic partnerships within the local nonprofit and philanthropic sector have begun to shift since the launch of the initiative. However, the funders also recognize that beyond the life of the NSI, there may continue to be a need for education in the sector on the range of strategic partnership possibilities as well as training for consultants on facilitation of strategic restructuring and partnership work. Discussions are taking place among the funders now around what entity/entities might be best to carry that work forward.This project has brought together funders and nonprofits in Los Angeles to focus on long-term sustainability issues in the nonprofit sector in a systematic way. The NSI continues to garner attention from nonprofits and funders throughout the country and is already being looked at as a model to support strategic restructuring within the nonprofitsector.

Overhead Madness: A Look at Grantmaking Policies and Practices in Funding Real Costs in California

August 25, 2015

The Real Cost Project is a joint statewide initiative of Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers. The goal of the Real Cost Project is to increase the number of funders that provide real-cost funding and to build the skills and capacity of all those engaged in grantmaking, including foundations, corporations, individuals, and government. The critical first step of the project was to collect information and baseline data on the spectrum of current funder and sector practices that relate to real cost funding. From February to May 2015, research was conducted through qualitative methods, including an environmental scan of research and studies related to funding of overhead and one-on-one interviews with practitioners in the field statewide. Interviews were conducted with Board Members, Executive Directors, and Program Officers, representing a variety of funder types, including corporate foundations, family foundations, community foundations, giving networks, public endowments and individual donors.

2015 Grantee Perception Report

June 19, 2015

We are pleased to share your 2015 Grantee Perception Report (GPR) results with you, and we look forward to discussing the report with you and your colleagues. Throughout the GPR, ratings from Parsons' grantees are compared to ratings from more than 40,000 grantees of over 250 funders.In February and March 2015, The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) conducted a survey of The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation's grantees. The memo below outlines the key findings from the GPR, as well as the methodology used to collect this feedback. Parsons' complete results are included in the online report at https://cep.surveyresults.org/. This memo also includes page number references to relevant data in the Foundation's formatted PDF report available for download.Assessing funder performance is challenging, and a range of data sources is required. The GPR provides one set of perspectives that can be useful in understanding a foundation's performance, and should be interpreted in light of Ralph M. Parsons Foundation's ("Parsons" or "the Foundation") particular goals and strategy. Parsons should place emphasis on the areas covered according to your specific priorities. Low ratings in an area that is not core to your strategy may not be concerning.

Real Cost Project: Barriers to Change

January 1, 2015

The Real Cost Project is a joint statewide initiative of Northern California Grantmakers, Southern California Grantmakers and San Diego Grantmakers. The goal of the Real Cost Project is to increase the number of funders that provide real-cost funding and to build the skills and capacity of all those engaged in grantmaking, including foundations, corporations, individuals, and government. Representatives from more than 150 different foundations as well as government agencies and individual philanthropists participated in the Regional Forums. The following report reveals common themes that surfaced from these forums and reflects the issues that participants viewed as the most relevant and urgent.

A Portrait Of California 2014-2015: California Human Development Report

November 30, 2014

This report takes a dramatically different approach to assessing the state's performance. Instead of relying on traditional economic analysis, Measure of America's A Portrait of California uses the human development approach to tell us how people are doing. Three dimensions -- a long and healthy life, access to knowledge, and a decent standard of living -- are examined in detail and presented along a simple ten-point scale: the American Human Development (HD) Index. A Portrait of California brings together data, innovative analysis, and the American HD Index methodology to enable "apples-to-apples" comparisons of California's counties, major cities, 265 Census Bureau -- defined areas, women and men, and racial and ethnic groups. It provides a gauge of how different groups of Californians are doing in comparison to one another and a benchmark for tracking progress over time.

Strengthening Nonprofit Minority Leadership and the Capacity of Minority-Led and Other Grassroots Community-Based Organizations

December 22, 2008

Identifies ways to build diversity and capacity among the state's nonprofit leadership, including major multiyear grants to minority-led groups and others serving diverse and/or low-income communities. Outlines each participating foundation's commitments.