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Partner Event

Funding Nonprofit Endowments as an Equity Strategy: Perspectives from Funders and Nonprofits

Tuesday, April 23 @ 11:00 am - 12:15 pm

Venue

Virtual

Organizer

The Center for Effective Philanthropy
Phone:
617-492-0800
Website:
View Organizer Website

Join the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) and The Bridgespan Group for a webinar co-hosted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on April 23, 2-3:15pm ET. The webinar will explore the how and why of endowment funding from both funder and nonprofit perspectives, including U.S. foundation practices in endowment giving, how funding endowments can foster nonprofit sustainability and advance equitable social change, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s approach to endowment funding as a tool to advance equity.

Funding nonprofit endowments can be a tool to ensure the stability of an organization, as well as to advance equity and shift power to frontline organizations. However, according to new Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) research, endowment giving remains relatively rare and represents a very small fraction of foundation giving. CEP’s research also reveals that, among those foundations that fund endowments, advancing equity has not been a primary consideration. A new report from The Bridgespan Group offers an example of how one foundation — the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — is using endowment grantmaking as a tool to advance equity, however, and its impact on nonprofits. In this webinar, we’ll explore the how and why of endowment funding from both funder and nonprofit perspectives, including:

• U.S. foundation practices in endowment giving

• How funding endowments can foster nonprofit sustainability and advance equitable social change

• The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s approach to endowment funding as a tool to advance equity.

Drawing on both new CEP and new Bridgespan research, this webinar will bring fresh data to bear on an old, yet rarely deployed, tool in the grantmaker’s toolkit.

Speakers

The panel includes Maisha E. Simmons, Assistant Vice President, Equity and Culture, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (moderator); Darren Isom, Partner, The Bridgespan Group; Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Vice President of Research, CEP; John Jackson, President and CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education. Can’t join live? All registrants will receive a recording of the webinar after the event.

Maisha E. Simmons, Assistant Vice President, Equity and Culture, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (moderator)

Maisha Simmons’ work at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is dedicated to helping operationalize equity, diversity, and inclusion through our programming and reparative policies and practices. She joined the Foundation in 2008 as a program associate working to support advocacy efforts to combat childhood obesity. Since then, she has been responsible for coordinating a variety of RWJF programs to promote healthy eating and active living, violence prevention, family supportive policies, N.J. specific state-based strategies, and health equity. Throughout her work at the Foundation, her aim has always been to “center communities in our solutions.”

Maisha holds an MPA from CUNY/Baruch College, School of Public Affairs, a master certificate in public administration from Kean University, and a BA from Douglass College, Rutgers University.

Maisha resides in New Jersey, the state where she was born, with her son and husband.

Darren Isom, Partner, The Bridgespan Group

Darren Isom is a partner in the San Francisco office, where he advises mission-driven organizations and philanthropic foundations in support of equity and justice and supports the firm’s work with arts and cultural organizations. He co-leads the firm’s commitment to advance racial equity in philanthropy and is also the host of the podcast Dreaming in Color: Creating New Narratives in Leadership, which offers leaders of color space to share how they have leveraged their unique assets and abilities to embrace excellence, drive impact, and more fully define what success looks like.

A seventh generation New Orleans native, Darren is a graduate of Howard University, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris, and Columbia Business School’s Institute for Nonprofit Management. An activist for disconnected youth and LGBT communities of color, he serves as an advisor to the leaders of several Bay Area, Southeast US, and national foundations. He currently serves on the board of Beloved Community of New Orleans, Collage Dance Collective of Memphis, Springboard to Opportunities in Jackson, MS, Kingmakers of Oakland, Alice James Books in New Gloucester, Maine, The Mondavi Center for the Performing arts in Davis, California, and The Sciences Po American Foundation.

Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Vice President of Research, Center for Effective Philanthropy

Before joining CEP in 2023, Elisha was a faculty fellow and professor of practice in philanthropy and education policy at the University of Texas, and she was the founder and CEO of Student Success Solutions, an education consulting firm that partners with philanthropies, nonprofits, and government to analyze, design, and execute equity-focused student success strategies. She previously held the role of managing director of the Dana Center at the University of Texas and executive director of Education Trust West. Earlier in her career, Elisha served as director in the Career Ladders Project at the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the first fellow at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and a director at Mathematica Policy Research.

Elisha has additionally served on a range of state and national advisory groups including Google’s Equitable Artificial Intelligence Research Roundtable, the advisory board of the American Mathematics Education Study, and the national advisory board at Just Equations, where she is also a research fellow. She has spoken widely at conferences such as South by Southwest, has published articles and op-eds on educational inequities, and has been interviewed by various media outlets, including CNN.

John Jackson, President and CEO, Schott Foundation for Public Education

Dr. John H. Jackson is President and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education.  In this role, Dr. Jackson leads the Foundation’s efforts to ensure a fair and substantive opportunity to learn for all students regardless of race or gender. Dr. Jackson joined the Schott Foundation after serving in several senior level positions. Among them, National Director of Education and Chief Policy Officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 2000-2007.  In 1999, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Dr. Jackson to serve as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.

A native of the Southside of Chicago and product of the public school system, Dr. Jackson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Xavier University of Louisiana; A Master of Education in Education Policy from the University of Illinois’ College of Education; and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Illinois’ College of Law. In addition, Dr. Jackson received a Master of Education and Doctorate of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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