Democracy Movement Update - May 2019

Greetings from NCRP. I think we’re well enough past the danger of any late snows to hope everyone’s enjoying spring at last!

1) Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) remain in the news and also remain a mystery for lots of grant seekers. While many of you already receive DAF funding via major donors who have accounts at community foundations or national sponsors like Vanguard or Fidelity, others are still in the head-scratching mode. Kari Aanestad at NCRP member Minnesota Council of Nonprofits has co-written this very helpful short guide: Why Donor Advised Funds Aren’t Really for Grantwriters (But Can Be…)

2) As we’re well into the 2020 election cycle, some of you will be seeing that perennial presidential year boom in short-term voter participation money. At NCRP we’re constantly pushing funders to move away from that framework – and now veteran Nevada organizer Bob Fulkerson has written a very pointed piece on how harmful the traditional boom-bust cycle can be. Check out When Boom Goes Bust - Why Civic Engagement Funding Must Change.

3) And looking just past those elections: funders all across the country remain focused on ensuring an accurate count in the 2020 Census (and challenging the Administration’s push to include a citizenship question). In addition to national sources we mentioned in the last update, many regional grantmaker associations now have active grants programs for census related outreach; examples include Northern California and New Mexico. As well, a variety of funders are focusing on harder to reach rural communities.

4) Finally, in case you missed it: Last month USA Today and the Center for Public Integrity teamed up on one of the best reports and set of data I’ve seen on ALEC’s model legislation efforts: Copy, Paste, Legislate.


Dan Petegorsky

Senior Fellow and Director of Public Policy

National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP)

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