philamplify.org

'Philamplify' to Burst the 'Isolation Bubble' in Grantmaking

ICTMN Staff
5/6/14

Today, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy launched Philamplify, a new project aimed at bursting the “isolation bubble” in philanthropy by delivering honest feedback to grantmakers. Philamplify’s unique approach pairs comprehensive assessments of prominent foundations with an interactive website that gathers user-generated commentary on foundation practices.

Philamplify.org users have the option to remain anonymous, allowing all those whose lives are touched by philanthropy, from foundation leaders and staff to experts and community members, the opportunity to comment on and share their experiences with foundations in a safe space. In addition to providing comments on the assessed foundations, users are also encouraged to weigh in on issues affecting the philanthropic sector and share stories about the impact of philanthropy in their lives and communities. The site, which is available free of charge, also enables individuals to reach out to leaders of the assessed foundations.

“Philamplify is all about opening up philanthropy in ways not seen before,” said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. “The shared goal of most people who work in our sector is to strive for the greater good. But doing this to the best of our ability means being open to constructive criticism. Everyone involved in philanthropy, from foundations to nonprofits to the communities they serve, has a stake in what Philamplify hopes to accomplish.”

At the heart of Philamplify are individual foundation assessments conducted by top-notch researchers that provide a comprehensive examination of a foundation’s grantmaking and operations. These assessments incorporate feedback received from the foundation’s key stakeholders, including peer foundations, nonprofit partners, issue experts, members of the media and other individuals. Key recommendations that result from the analyses are designed to maximize foundation effectiveness and impact. For the launch of Philamplify, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy assessed Lumina Foundation for Education in Indianapolis, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation in Atlanta and William Penn Foundation in Philadelphia. Additional assessments covering other top-100 foundations will roll out in the coming months.

“The reports offer data that we hope foundations would use to consider in their grantmaking: their practices, their policies and the impact of their grants,” said Sherece West-Scantlebury, president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and board chair of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. “We hope that foundations will embrace Philamplify with the spirit of wanting to learn, and will view it as an approach to grantmaking that is effective, efficient, responsive and relevant.”

To foster transparency, mutual accountability and knowledge sharing, all individual foundation assessment reports are made public on Philamplify.org.

Check out the below video for more information:

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