Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best
Benchmarks to Assess and Enhance Grantmaker Impact
2009, 126 pages, ISBN: 978-0-615-27727-1. National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, 1331 H St NW, Ste 200, Washington, DC, 20005, 202-387-9177 www.ncrp.org
As the only independent watchdog of institutional philanthropy, The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) seeks to bring the voices of nonprofits and marginalized communities into deliberations about philanthropic priorities and practices. This report provides four criteria determined essential to better grantmaking—values, effectiveness, ethics, commitment—and ten benchmark practices that support these criteria:
- Provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars to benefit lower-income communities, communities of color and other marginalized groups, broadly defined.
- Provides at least 25 percent of its grant dollars for advocacy, organizing and civic engagement to promote equity, opportunity and justice in our society.
- Provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars for general operating support.
- Provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars as multi-year grants.
- Ensures that the time to apply for and report on the grant is commensurate with grant size.
- Maintains an engaged board of at least five people who include among them a diversity of perspectives—including of the communities it serves—and who serve without compensation.
- Maintains policies and practices that support ethical behavior.
- Discloses information freely.
- Pays out at least 6 percent of its assets annually in grants.
- Invests at least 25 percent of its assets in ways that support its mission.
Also included in the report is an appendix list of "field leaders" determined by NCRP to meet or exceed these measures.