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Native Nations and Communities 101

Published: 
March 2022
In March 2022, MCF and WASH-MN (We Are Still Here)* hosted a rich learning opportunity about Native Nations and communities. A recording of the presentation, linked here , introduces high-level topics specific to Native Nations and peoples, including what it means to be a Native Nation, the importance of treaties, basics of tribal citizenship and enrollment, and information on how to engage more effectively with Native communities. Viewers will gain base-level knowledge to help their foundations better understand and support Native communities and resources to continue learning. The session...
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Crafting a Compensation Philosophy

Published: 
December 2021
A compensation philosophy serves as a guide for employers who are making compensation decisions. It also provides transparency to employees who seek to understand decisions that are made. The attached documents offer a starting point for crafting a comprehensive compensation philosophy along with sample excerpts from philanthropic organizations.
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Principles for Philanthropy: Introductory Presentation

Published: 
October 2021
MCF offers this PowerPoint deck as a tool for educating your colleagues, staff, board or community members about the Principles for Philanthropy. Ideas for using this PowerPoint deck: Use the whole deck to introduce all of the principles at a staff or board meeting. Focus on one slide – one of the 8 principles – for 15 minutes at the start of a meeting. Use the questions at the end of the deck to engage your team in discussing one principle – or the entire set of principles: What principles / concepts resonate most with your foundation? What principles / concepts do you think will feel...
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Embracing Complexity: Towards a Shared Understanding of Funding Systems Change

Published: 
January 2020
As we stand on the threshold of an epochal decade, we are confronted with an urgent need to find, fund, and support transformative solutions at a far greater pace than ever. To that end, Ashoka and McKinsey invited additional partners to join their annual collaboration to co-create a shared perspective: Catalyst 2030, Co-Impact, Echoing Green, the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, the Skoll Foundation, and SYSTEMIQ. Together, we seek to reflect on the sector’s insights to the question: how do we get better at funding and supporting systems change? This report is the product of a...
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The Role of Philanthropy in Systems Change

Published: 
December 2017
This paper was created to spark conversation and ideation for foundations interested in exploring investments in “systems change.” It offers a scan of the work of systems change within the philanthropic field, as well as a focus on policy advocacy – a key systems change strategy. It also provides an overview of approaches grantmakers are using, along with some examples of systems change investments at work, to help foster ongoing conversation among Foundation board and staff.
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Foundations Respond to Crisis: A Three-Part Series

In early spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic worsened, foundations in the U.S. began to respond by shifting resources and practices. Some funders, nonprofits, and others in the field called for fundamental changes in how funders approach their work — including upping the provision of long-term, flexible funding; shifting the funder–grantee power dynamic; placing greater trust in nonprofits; and increasing foundation payout. The pandemic has exacerbated long-standing structural inequities — especially in Black, Latino, Native American, low-income and working-class communities, and for...
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Advocacy Field Guide for Lean Funders: How Small and Place-Based Foundations and Donors Can Make Big Change with Little Money

Success in the advocacy and policy arena depends on knowing who the decision-makers are, what motivates them, the best arguments and supporting data to use, the most effective voices and champions, and the best timing. These will be specific to every issue and will vary in every town, city or state. Therefore, to apply the principles and practices in this guide, you first need to choose a focus for your policy work — usually one or two issues you care deeply about — and then you need to learn everything you can about that issue. This, then, is the essential preparation for advocacy — focus...
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Foundations Facilitate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Partnering with Community and Nonprofits

This research study, commissioned by the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning by the D5 Coalition in 2012, investigates the systemic factors in the philanthropic sector that facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion in grantmaking and nonprofit practice. In spring 2013, OMG conducted a qualititative study of nine foundations through in-depth interviews with executives, program officers, and nonprofit partners.
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Foundation Diversity Policy & Practices Toolkit

Changing demographics throughout the United States are redefining the role of diversity within the field of philanthropy. Foundations are embracing diversity in their grantmaking and organizational practices and thereby strengthening their knowledge of the communities they serve. This, in turn, broadens their perspective on the political, economic, and social problems they aim to resolve. A foundation that both reflects and acknowledges the myriad characteristics of its communities operates from a richer range of viewpoints toward successful grantmaking and as an authentic philanthropic...

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