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Foundation Grants III
By Super User
Published April 30, 2009

 In the last two weeks we have brought you information about the Foundation Coalition grants, or to put it in blunt language, the lack of foundation grants. We are not alone in our concern about foundations.

Recently the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy issued a report entitled “Criteria for Philanthropy at It’s Best”, and argued that foundations should meet a handful of benchmarks to practice philanthropy at its best, including making half of their grants to lower income communities, communities of color and other marginalized groups.

Surprisingly, some foundation leaders criticized the report; one foundation cancelled its membership with the committee. Another president called the proposal “arrogant”.

It is to be noted that many foundations endorsed the report.

The committee further stated the following:

a. A grant maker practicing Philanthropy at its Best serves the public good by contributing to a strong, participatory democracy that engages all communities.

b. Provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars to benefit lower-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized groups, broadly defined.

c. Provides at least 25 percent of its grant dollars for advocacy, organizing and civic engagement to promote equity, opportunity and justice in our society.

We continue to raise this issue because grant making is a sleeping giant and minority groups have been left out.

The question is a simple one: Do these foundations realize that they are tax-exempt groups and as such the have an obligation to the entire public, including minority groups?

We would like an answer to this question from the following nine (9) foundations, which make up the California Foundation Coalition.

They are:


            The Ahmanson Foundation

            The James Irvine Foundation

            UniHealth Foundation

            The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

            The California Endowment   

            Anneberg Foundation

            The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

            The David and Lucille Packard Foundation

            Weingart Foundation 

            The California Wellness Foundation

(Of the original ten (10) the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation dropped out.)


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