Inside MCF

Marguerite Casey Foundation Honored with 2019 NCRP Smashing Silos Award

Foundation Recognizes that Focusing on a Single-Issue Misses Out on Multiple Aspects of People’s Lives

November 22, 2019

By National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

Seattle, WA — Marguerite Casey Foundation (MCF) was announced as the winner of the Smashing Silos award by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) 2019 IMPACT Awards. The Foundation invests in community change by putting families first and acknowledges that when funding is focused on a single issue, it doesn’t adequately address other aspects of people’s lives.

Marguerite Casey Foundation was one of four recipients recognized in Seattle during the CHANGE Unity Summit on Wednesday, November 20, 2019.

“Supporting families to build power and connections that benefit their lives requires an integrated, radical approach. The Foundation has invested in networks that connect across issues, geography, race, culture and egos. The end result is strong ties and trust-based relationships that lead to better outcomes for families,” said Luz Vega-Marquis, president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation. “It’s a huge honor to be recognized along with our grantees because we’re diverting from the status quo, lifting up all families including low-income, families of color, and single-headed households.”

This year’s Impact Awards fall against the backdrop of politically divisive and unsettling times. People of color and immigrants are under intense attack, facing threats and acts of violence. Racist and xenophobic rhetoric and policies from the Trump administration have emboldened white nationalists, fueling a nationwide rise in hate crimes. Each day, families are separated, children are caged in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, and construction has started on Trump’s border wall.

Award recipients have risen to these threats, but are major outliers in a philanthropic sector where less than 12% of total funding goes to social justice or to benefit people of color.

Key Marguerite Casey Foundation milestones include:

  • The Foundation has provided over $450 million in long-term general operating support to grassroots organizations since 2002.
  • MCF’s intersectional model of funding has been in place since 2002. To date, 86% of MCF grantees are led by people of color including Inner-City Muslim Action Network, Causa Justa :: Just Cause, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, and Working Partnerships USA.
  • MCF’s grantees employed an intersectional approach to address minimum wage and child care issues facing low-income families in California.

“As both a board member and a long-standing grantee who has witnessed the 15 year growth, evolution, and impact of the Marguerite Casey Foundation’s commitment to transformative grantmaking on the ground, I couldn’t be more thrilled to see its legacy honored by NCRP through its Smashing Silos Award for Intersectional Grant Making,” said Rami Nashashibi, executive director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network and member of the 2019 NCRP Impact Awards Selection Committee. “Most of us know how dependent innovative ‘silo-smashing’ community of color-led organizing is on long-term, multi-year, general operating grants to grassroots community organizations, and the fact that MCF has never wavered from such support speaks volumes about its commitment to alliance-building work.”

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About Marguerite Casey Foundation

Marguerite Casey Foundation nurtures a national movement of low-income families advocating on their own behalf for change. We invest in grassroots activism that builds the power and voice of families living in poverty to create their own solutions for a more just and equitable society for all. Our grantmaking provides multi-year general support in four regions — the South, Southwest, Midwest, and West – as well as nationally.

About NCRP

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy amplifies the voice of nonprofits and the communities they serve in the philanthropic sector. Through research and advocacy, it works to ensure that grantmakers and donors contribute to the creation of a fair, just and equitable world.

Since 2013, NCRP has awarded 19 Impact Awards to grantmakers in recognition of support, leadership, and partnership with grassroots organizations and community leaders around LGBTQ rights, minimum wage, environmental justice, health equity, and other critical issues. A full list of past NCRP Impact Awardees is available on www.ncrp.org.

Marguerite Casey Foundation Honored with 2019 NCRP Smashing Silos Award

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