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The California Endowment: How Can This Leading Health Equity Funder Bolster Its Community Impact?

June 20, 2014

The California Endowment (TCE) is actively moving the needle toward health equity through its support of national health reform, changes in school discipline policies and focused attention on the urgent needs of boys and men of color. Its primary grantmaking strategy, Building Healthy Communities (BHC), funds both statewide policy advocacy and targeted investments in 14 communities across California. By investing in efforts to build community power and also directly engaging in advocacy, TCE exemplifies strategic, social justice philanthropy at its best. However, some of TCE's grantmaking practices limit its grantees' effectiveness. To expand its impact, TCE could provide more general operating support, build nonprofit advocacy capacity and better align the large foundation's many efforts.

Daniels Fund: How Can this Colorado Grantmaker Fuse Donor Vision with Community Needs for Greater Impact

June 20, 2014

The Daniels Fund supports a wide variety of programs that preserve the vision and interests of founder Bill Daniels. These include everything from funding scholarships for low-income students, teaching ethics and financial responsibility to youth and funding often-ignored issues like substance abuse, amateur sports and homelessness. While the foundation clearly supports many individuals who need a leg up, its lack of consistency in seeking long-term systemic solutions in these areas undermines its effectiveness.

William Penn Foundation - Is Philadelphia's Leading Philanthropy Back on Track?

May 5, 2014

For nearly 70 years, the William Penn Foundation has been a philanthropic giant in the Philadelphia area, leading efforts in the arts, environment and education. While the foundation is largely seen as an effective institution, recent changes in leadership and strategy have challenged the foundation's values of transparency and equity. Encouragingly, William Penn has signaled a renewed commitment to advocacy and organizing that engages affected communities. But there's much work to be done before William Penn is the proactive civic leader its constituents need it to be -- one that breaks through the major problems facing Philadelphia and its underserved communities.

Lumina Foundation for Education: Can A Champion for College Attainment Up Its Game?

May 5, 2014

Established in 2000, Lumina Foundation for Education's mission is defined by a specific goal: to increase the proportion of Americans with college degrees, certificates and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Overall, NCRP's review revealed a highly focused, effective foundation with savvy policy advocacy strategies, staff that are well respected and initiatives that are progressing ahead of schedule. However, in addition to investing in policy, Lumina should invest more in the community organizations whose support and input are critical to achieving success.

Robert W. Woodruff Foundation: Will Atlanta's Quiet Changemaker Adapt to 21st Century Opportunities?

May 5, 2014

Atlanta's largest and most popular foundation, the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation is an independent private foundation established by the former Coca-Cola president. The foundation has had tremendous positive impact on the city's physical landscape, and can do more to strengthen its social fabric. Atlanta is changing, and for Woodruff the real question is whether they're changing with it. What are they doing to bring groups together to solve pressing issues? How are they incorporating the voices of diverse community members?