Funders to Launch National Conversation on A ‘Common Purpose’

Here’s an important heads-up for NCDDers…

During a plenary session at the Independent Sector’s annual conference on September 30, 2013, Stephen Heintz, president of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector, unveiled planning for a “National Purpose Initiative,” an effort to reunite Americans around a common purpose. The project aims to engage hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of Americans in a dialogue that will culminate in a broadly shared agenda of national priorities by 2016. Other funders of the planning, proof of concept, and development phase of the initiative include the Open Society, Rockefeller, W.K. Kellogg, Carnegie, Hewlett, Packard, Mellon, and MacArthur foundations. (Read the full speech here.)

RBF-logoA contact emailed me to let me know that RBF is seeking a Program Associate to coordinate the new National Purpose Initiative, so in addition to an exciting development for our field, there’s a job opening that perhaps one of you would be perfect for!

The above text came from the RBF website. An October 1st article on The Nonprofit Times website added this and much more:

Heintz used the forum to unveil an attempt to reunite Americans on a common purpose. RBF and six other major foundations are funding a project called the National Purpose Initiative (NPI). It is a multi-year effort to combine citizens’ dialogues and other forms of public consultation “engaging hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans, online and face-to-face, with a parallel but integrated effort to engage a wide range of issue experts, policy analysts, scholars, advocates, and leaders from the nonprofit sector as well as from business, the media, and the cultural and faith communities,” said Heintz.

Along with RBF, funders include the Rockefeller Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Carnegie Foundation, The Hewlett Foundation, the Packard Foundation and Mellon Foundation and MacArthur Foundation.

The hope is that by 2016 the initiative will be able to offer a broadly shared agenda of national priorities, a statement of shared principles to guide the nation’s politics and economic life, and an emerging vision for America’s future that is animating, unifying, and empowering.

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Profile Photo Peter Sperry

I notice that all of the participating organizations have very liberal reputations and track records of thinly disguised political activism. How "common" will their national purpose appear to those of us who are not liberals and have had more than enough experience with wolfs in sheep's clothing?