Foundations that want to see breakthroughs on complex issues, such as poverty, the environment and education, should fund cross-issue grassroots organizations as part of their overall grantmaking strategy, according to the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
These groups organize and mobilize multiple constituents and citizens to cultivate the power, leadership and relationships necessary to move toward lasting solutions, NCRP said in a report released this week.
The report notes that as more foundations turn to “strategic” philanthropy to improve effectiveness and evaluation, they have tended to direct grants to organizations working on the grantmaker’s single issue of choice. This, in turn, directs more resources away from multi-issue advocacy and organizing efforts.
As a result, groups that have longstanding roots in communities and that work to address multiple issues confront great difficulty in fundraising.