How Nathan Cummings and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Are Shifting Grantmaking in the Trump Era
For the Nathan Cummings Foundation, Trump's election has induced a deeper rethinking. One lesson they’re learning since November is, “How we do our philanthropy may prove to be just as important as what we do with our philanthropy.”
A concrete way that’s taking shape is that NCF has decided to up the percentage of its assets that it pays out annually, in response to the election and resulting threats. President Sharon Alpert made the announcement in her latest “letter to the field,” and the foundation specified to IP that it will increase its payout rate from its usual 5.75 percent of its endowment (federal requirement is 5 percent) to 6.75 percent in 2017 and 2018. That might not seem huge, but based on the foundation’s assets of around $460 million in its latest tax filing, the difference could end up in the ballpark of $5 million more per year.
Rockefeller Brothers Fund is another progressive funder that has decided to up its annual payout to respond to threats posed by the Trump administration, as RBF president Stephen Heintz told Marc Gunther in a recent interview. Among other things, RBF has created a $1.5 million “urgent opportunities” fund."