Analyzing the Impact of the 2008 Financial Crisis on the Field of National Social Justice Philanthropy

Client: Cricket Island Foundation & Social Justice Philanthropy Collaborative
Faculty: Charles Brecher, Maria Doulis
Team: Shangshang Chen, Didi Ilunga, Kaity Ng, Kelly Richardson, Amita Swadhin
Year: 2011
Concerned that the full impact of the 2008 financial crisis has not yet been felt in the field of social justice philanthropy, Cricket Island Foundation (CIF), a New York­based foundation supporting youth­led social change, partnered with the Social Justice Philanthropy Collaborative (SJPC), a net­work of national philanthropic organiza­tions that calls on grantmakers and donors to deepen their commitment to funding social change. Together they requested a Capstone team to assess the current asset value, spending rate, and investment strategies of national social justice funders and to project what those might look like through 2015. The Capstone team designed criteria to determine which foundations to study, created an interview tool, conducted background research and financial modeling on the study popula­tion, interviewed a subset of foundations, and highlighted emerging trends. The Capstone team presented its findings to the clients who will use this research to publish a report for national social justice funders and their grantees. The clients will use this data to drive long­term funding strategies and educate grantees about the financial health of the field.