Past Programs and Projects

The Coalition for New Philanthropy was a six-year initiative promoting philanthropy in communities of color throughout the metropolitan New York City area, as well as select cities in the United States. The primary purpose of the Coalition is to increase community assets to meet community needs.  The aims of the Coalition were to empower donors of color and to strengthen community nonprofit organizations. The initiative was designed to offer donors of color information and opportunities to explore their philanthropic options, and support for their efforts to give with more impact and personal satisfaction. 

The Coalition members included:

The Donor Research Project analyzed information and attitudes about philanthropy in communities of color, and among women. The research objectives were:

  • To examine contemporary giving patterns and motivations of donors in communities of color; that is, how do individuals decide how and where to contribute, and what do they hope to accomplish with their contributions?

  • To understand how nonprofit organizations can reach potential donors more effectively.

  • To explore the relationship between donor motivation, social conditions, and nonprofit fundraising campaigns over time.

Stages of Research

  • Literature Review: The literature review set the stage for current research and provided nonprofit organization partners with updates on findings and insights from scholars, practitioners, and market researchers.

  • Quantitative Overview of Demographic and Economic Data: Analyses of census and housing data outlined characteristics of communities of color in the New York City metropolitan region.

  • Interviews with Donors and Professional Intermediaries: Direct communication with donors and professional intermediaries served as a keystone in understanding donors’ motivations for giving, as well as their future goals and objectives.

  • Focus Group Meetings with Nonprofit Organizations: This stage of the research, along with the interviews, allowed researchers to develop profiles of historical giving patterns and related motivations for giving.

Project research and publications are available under "Donor Research Project".

The project was sponsored by the Coalition for New Philanthropy in New York and The Ford Foundation.


n spring 1995, the Center for the Study of Philanthropy received a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation for the development of undergraduate, graduate, and extension courses, curriculum guides, television programming, lectures and publications on multicultural philanthropy. This project developed courses and related resource materials for ten (not necessarily mutually exclusive) groups: Women, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Latin Americans and Latinos, African-Americans, Europeans, Native Americans, Middle Easterners, and Asians.

Within this framework, the project focused on the political, social, and economic roles that philanthropy (i.e., the giving of time, money, and/or valuables) has played in enabling each of these groups to broaden opportunities within their communities. The underlying hypothesis is that philanthropy holds the key to understanding the workings of participatory democracy and civil society. Through this program, the Center hoped to redefine popular perceptions of the meaning of "philanthropy" by moving beyond stereotypical associations with robber barons and middle class "ladies bountiful" to include people of every level of society.
 A CUNY-wide survey identified over 200 faculty members who are writing and teaching about philanthropy and/or nonprofit studies, or are working with community nonprofits and student volunteer programs.
In autumn 1995, a faculty seminar was convened to begin to conceptualize courses that would draw on this faculty strength. Thirty participants in the seminars included Distinguished Faculty, Center Directors, and selected professors from The Graduate Center and the Senior Colleges of the CUNY system (Brooklyn, Queens, Baruch, Lehman, City, Hunter, John Jay, and Staten Island). The seminars led to the development of curriculum guides for use in the classroom.

Multicultural Philanthropy Curriculum Guides Series

Project research and publications are available under "Social Justice Philanthropy Project".