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National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Records

Identifier: MSS096

Scope and Contents

Organization of the documents reflects the original order they were presented in. A significant number of non-archival day-to-day financial records were removed during processing.

Administrative Records 1977-2004: contain records used in the day-to-day management of the work of NCPH, including correspondence, building information, staffing information, and collected subject files.

Board of Directors Records, 1977-2012: contain meeting minutes, board rosters, and board biographical information. Committee Records, 1991-2009: contain meeting minutes and agendas. Communications and Outreach, 1978-2003: information about how NCRP communicates its work and its research to members and the public, containing newsletters, mailings, speeches, congressional testimony, parties and events, awards, statements and press releases, and photographs.

Conferences, 1989: contain files related to the Alternative Funds conference of 1989.

Finance, 1977-2009: files include annual audits, grant applications, copyright registrations, and tax information.

Membership, 1987-1990: includes membership rosters

Projects, 1989-2001: contains administrative and internal information related to several major projects

Publications, 1929-1999: contains annual reports and well as reference publications and guides intended for philanthropy professionals

Reports, 1977-2005: contains research reports and working papers published by NCPH

Photographs, 1991, contains snapshots of the 15th Anniversary Celebration in 1991


  • 1976 - 2012


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) govern the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Biographical / Historical

The NCRP was founded during a time of increased scrutiny of private foundations. In 1973 John D. Rockefeller III started the Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs, better known as the Filer Commission, to study the effects of private foundations on American life and to recommend ways to increase giving. The Filer Commission was composed of donors from corporate, university, and foundation philanthropy. In response to the lack of representation from recipients of philanthropy, a group of public interest organizations, called the Donee Group, formed to critique the work of the Filer Commission and represent the needs and views of the recipients of philanthropy. The Donee Group, including Pablo Eisenberg, Thomas R. Asher, and Jim Abernathy, formally incorporated into the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in 1976.

At its founding NCRP set out three main goals: to work with local groups to further philanthropy for neighborhood revitalization, civil rights, and other legal equalities; to campaign for legal and tax reform of philanthropy; and lastly to conduct and publish research on private philanthropy.

NCRP’s first major campaign was fighting the United Way’s monopoly on workplace giving, as well as United Way’s funds being inaccessible to many non-profit organizations, especially women’s organizations and racial/ethnic organizations. They also worked to open up the Combined Federal Campaign to these same excluded groups. In the 1980s they worked on foundation accountability, and influenced the IRS adding more information requirements to 990-PF tax filings, as well as major private foundations publishing public annual reports. From 1989-1995 they scrutinized the work of several major community foundations. In the 1990s, in response to the increasing influence of conservatives in the federal government, they published several reports analyzing the work and transparency of conservative foundations.

Today the NCRP continues to work on promoting transparency and accountability in philanthropy through research, advocacy, and awards.


6 Cubic Feet (6 record cartons)


The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy is a progressive organization formed in 1976 to monitor private philanthropy in the United States. The records consist of board and committee records, meeting minutes and agendas, correspondence, subject files, reports and publications, and photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, 2012.

Related Materials

Commission on Foundations and Private Philanthropy Records, 1949-1970, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Commission on Private Philanthropy and Public Needs, 1964-1980, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Independent Sector Records, 1971-1996, Ruth Lilly Special Collections and Archives, IUPUI University Library, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.


  • National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy: 30 Years: A History from 1976-2006.
  • Private Charity and Public Inquiry: a history of the Filer and Peterson Commissions, Eleanor L. Brilliant, 2000.


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National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy Records, 1976-2012
Denise Rayman
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Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Philanthropic Studies Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA