Kellogg: Private Philanthropy

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Forges Social Change in Communities of Color

In 2006, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation reached out to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors building on its efforts to promote philanthropy in communities of color and to maximize innovation and impact. The foundation was seeking to expand on more than 10 years of its efforts to explore and unleash new resources for social change in emerging donor communities. Although there is growing affluence in many of these communities, there is much work to be done to address poverty, inequities and discrimination. The result was the Culture of Giving: Innovation and Impact program, a $3.4-million pilot grant program focused on empowering emerging donor communities to lead, develop and grow philanthropic resources for community social change.

Increasing impact

Over three years, 30 grants were awarded to 23 organizations through the Cultures of Giving Fund, a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors established with a grant from the Kellogg Foundation. They included challenge grants to culturally-specific and multicultural social change funds to increase the impact and effectiveness of individual and collective giving in African-American, Latino, Asian-American, Native American and underserved immigrant communities. The program also awarded grants to community-based organizations and philanthropic services to increase the capacity of community-based nonprofits to reach out to individual donors and connect them with community causes.

Growing the donor base

RPA leveraged its staff expertise and background in the areas of multicultural donors, diversity-focused funds and development and fundraising to develop guiding principles and a program design, which they tested and refined with key stakeholders in the field. In partnership with the Kellogg Foundation, RPA awarded grants to diversity-focused funds in communities of color to grow their individual donor base, through matching challenge grants and support to conduct culturally-specific donor engagement focused on community issues. By building donor leadership in communities and strengthening community-specific giving vehicles, the program was able to substantially build the capacity of individual funds and increase resources in communities of color for social change.

Promoting philanthropic diversity

Through its engagement with the Kellogg Foundation, RPA conducted program design, researched philanthropy in communities of color, served as a re-grantor for Kellogg funds through the Cultures of Giving Fund, convened grants advisory panels, monitored all grants and provided ongoing technical assistance to grantees. RPA also conducted original research on the field of community philanthropy, including the first comprehensive inventory of U.S.-based diversity-focused funds, and shared these findings with the field through a series of webinars. This project was a key component of RPA’s growing body of work in the area of diversity in philanthropy.  Prior experience in this space also includes a series of publications funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, research and program design for the Diversity in Philanthropy Project, and individualized assessment and advisory services for major foundations.

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