America’s Most Effective Grantmakers Honored by Philanthropy Watchdog Group in Inaugural Awards

By National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2013 – 7:43 am

CHICAGO, April 9, 2013 — 2013 NCRP Impact Awards winners Include NoVo Foundation, Woods Fund of Chicago, California Community Foundation, and Levi Strauss Foundation


CHICAGO, April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On April 8, 2013, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP; held the inaugural NCRP Impact Awards ( in Chicago to celebrate and honor foundations of all sizes showing effectiveness, leadership and innovation in solving some of society’s most difficult challenges.

Since 1976, NCRP has served as the voice of nonprofits and the communities they serve in philanthropy. Through research and advocacy, NCRP works to ensure that philanthropy contributes in meaningful ways to the creation of a fair, just and equitable world.

“This year’s awardees have inspired me and many others with their courage and leadership in helping solve the tough problems our world faces,” said Aaron Dorfman, executive director of NCRP. “They serve as great examples for others wanting to practice philanthropy that produces real results and benefits our communities.”

Through the NCRP Impact Awards, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy honored foundations practicing smart, high-impact philanthropy in four categories.  The 2013 awardees were:

NoVo Foundation ( for Large Private Foundation (annual giving of at least $25 million)

NoVo Foundation is dedicated to catalyzing a transformation in global society, moving from a culture of domination to one of equality and partnership. It supports the development of capacities in people – individually and collectively – to help create a caring and balanced world. Recently, NoVo’s grants to anti-violence and human rights advocacy groups helped support efforts that led to the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

“We are so pleased that the work of NoVo Foundation has been honored by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy,” said Peter and Jennifer Buffett, co-chairs of NoVo. “We acknowledge with gratitude NCRP’s important role within the philanthropic community – to promote philanthropy that serves the public good and is accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness, thereby ensuring that charitable resources are used to support meaningful societal change.”

Woods Fund of Chicago ( for Small/Mid-Sized Private Foundation (annual giving less than $25 million)

Woods Fund of Chicago is a grantmaking foundation whose goal is to increase opportunities for less advantaged people and communities in the Chicago metropolitan area, including the opportunity to shape decisions affecting them.  Woods provides key support to grassroots groups in Chicago that make sure voices of parents, students and teachers are heard in debates on how to improve public education.

Grace Hou, president of the Woods Foundation, accepted the award on behalf of the foundation. She said, “Thank you NCRP for valuing our work and the work of our grantees. This recognition gives us the space to lift up their work. They are doing the daring and amazing work, who continue to win against staggering odds and who are dedicated to changing the odds, creating new rules to replace the faulty ones.”

California Community Foundation ( for Grantmaking Public Charity

The California Community Foundation (CCF) has been greater Los Angeles’ community foundation since 1915. Its mission is to “strengthen Los Angeles communities through effective philanthropy and civic engagement.” Its “Immigration Integration Initiative” seeks to increase the civic participation of immigrants in L.A. County to improve the quality of life of marginalized immigrant communities and the county as a whole.

Antonia Hernandez, president and CEO of the California Community Foundation, represented CCF at the awards. Hernandez said of the award, “I’m a civil rights lawyer at heart, and I will tell you that philanthropy is no different than civil rights – it is a tool, and wealth is the tool to empower people. So I thank Aaron and this wonderful organization for recognizing us. And at the end of the day, power to the people.”

Levi Strauss Foundation ( for Corporate Foundation

The Levi Strauss Foundation advances the human rights and well-being of underserved people touched by our business by taking courageous risks, supporting innovative community partnerships and promoting the practice of good corporate citizenship.” One example of its outstanding work is its support of an open-source global health curriculum focused on identified needs of factory workers, including nutrition, maternal and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS.

“It is a poignant honor to receive the 2013 Impact Award from the NCRP, a fearless and values-driven watchdog of foundations,” said Daniel Lee, executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation. “NCRP’s benchmarks offer a rigorous ‘outside-in’ perspective – sorely needed in every sector – informed by the best thinking among nonprofit and social justice leaders. They serve as a mirror to examine how the Levi Strauss Foundation lives up to our own values and aspirations – empathy, integrity, originality and courage.”

Hundreds of national leaders in philanthropy attended the awards reception, held in Chicago, including Sherece West-Scantlebury, president & CEO of Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and vice-chair of NCRP Board of Directors; Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the White House Office of Social Innovation; John Bouman, president of the Shriver Center; George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action; Luz Vega-Marquis; president and CEO of the Marguerite Casey Foundation; Kevin Walker, CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation; and Prof. john a powell, director of the Haas Diversity Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Levi Strauss Foundation also contributed Mercado Global souvenir bracelets, which are made by Guatemalan artisans as part of a larger initiative to empower indigenous women to overcome poverty in their own communities. The foundation supports this effort through its asset-building portfolio in the Americas.

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) in Washington, D.C., is a national watchdog, research and advocacy organization that promotes philanthropy that serves the public good, is responsive to people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity, and is held accountable to the highest standards of integrity and openness. Visit

Twitter – @NCRP #ImpactAwards Facebook –

SOURCE National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy



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