National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

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The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), established in 1976 and based in Washington, DC, is a privately funded non-profit organization that conducts research on and advocates for greater accountability, transparency and a focus on social justice in the philanthropic sector. NCRP is unique in that it is the only existing national progressive watchdog of philanthropy in the United States.


NCRP was founded in 1976 by The Donee Group, a coalition of nonprofit leaders across the nation who asserted that traditional philanthropy was falling short of addressing critical public needs.

The Donee Group encouraged foundations to support nonprofit organizations that monitored institutions of power and those that advocated for change and nurtured innovative solutions to the root causes of societal problems.


1976 – NCRP is founded by the Donee Group, a coalition of nonprofit leaders, to urge philanthropy to serve vital public needs.

1977 – NCRP challenges United Way’s giving strategies, advocating for funding of grassroots social change.

1980 – NCRP’s publication, Foundations and Public Information: Sunshine or Shadow?, encourages foundations to be more financially transparent and accountable.

1981 – NCRP helps establish local committees for responsive philanthropy to increase awareness of community foundation giving practices.

1985 – NCRP assists in hosting the first National Conference of Women’s Funds, from which the Women’s Funding Network was created.

1991 – NCRP initiates a study of community foundations in America’s largest cities, including Denver, Philadelphia, Seattle, Atlanta and Chicago.

1997 – Sally Covington's Moving a Public Policy Agenda: The Strategic Philanthropy of Conservative Foundations is published. This groundbreaking research ignites debate and discussion among progressive and mainstream foundations that continues today.

1999 – Executive Director Rick Cohen steps in for Robert Bothwell, continuing NCRP’s 23-year legacy as the nation’s only progressive philanthropic watchdog.

2002 – NCRP begins publication of annual State of Philanthropy reports.

2004 – NCRP testifies in front of the Senate Finance Committee on the need for increased public accountability for philanthropy.

2006 – Rick Cohen steps down as Executive Director; Mary Lassen appointed Interim Executive Director

2007 – Aaron Dorfman appointed Executive Director.

2009 – Philanthropy at its Best is released

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