Independent Sector

aka IS   |   Washington, DC   |  http://www.independentsector.org

Mission

Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers at nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs working to strengthen civil society and ensure all people in the United States thrive. As the vital meeting ground, we advance our mission by fostering a sense of belonging, catalyzing action, and providing policy leadership across the full breadth of the charitable sector. Our organizational strategies are results-centered and racial equity-focused. We believe that all charitable nonprofits and foundations in this country should be healthy and equitable to ensure that all people in the United States thrive, with targeted focus on Native, Black, Latinx, Asian, and other communities of color.

Ruling year info

1977

President and CEO

Mr. Dan J Cardinali

Main address

1602 L Street, N.W. Suite 900

Washington, DC 20036 USA

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EIN

52-1081024

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (T01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector

The annual Independent Sector Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector is a new and developing resource that conveys important information on the current health of the U.S. nonprofit sector across multiple dimensions and in a single, accessible format.

Population(s) Served

Public trust is the currency of the nonprofit sector. The public’s belief that nonprofits will “do the right thing” is one of the central reasons the sector exists. Done in partnership with Edelman Data & Intelligence, the Trust in Civil Society report explores the nuances of trust in American nonprofit and philanthropic organizations.

Population(s) Served

The Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice outlines 33 principles of sound practice for charitable organizations and foundations related to legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, financial oversight, and responsible fundraising.

Population(s) Served

Upswell is a growing wave of energy, experiences, and engagement. Our clear purpose: fighting for racial justice and getting the nation healthy, in every sense of that word. Through our free virtual Pop-Up events and our annual Summit this fall, you will build relationships, focus on wellness and care, and bridge divides toward belonging to to take your organizations and communities into a more just future.

Population(s) Served

The Bridging Fellows Program provides changemakers in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Dallas the opportunity to strengthen their individual and collective leadership capacity and grow networks to support building healthy and equitable communities. The program focuses on bridging specific areas of division, including ideological, racial, socioeconomic, and geographical.

Population(s) Served

Each year we recognize an American visionary whose work has empowered constituencies, strengthened participation, inspired movements, and improved communities.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Adults
Adults
Adults
Adults
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of website pageviews

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of public policy related briefings and/or convenings hosted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of research or policy analysis products developed, e.g., reports, briefs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

We envision a world of engaged individuals, robust institutions, and vibrant communities working together to improve lives and the natural world, and strengthen democratic societies. To help create this future, we lead and catalyze the charitable community, partnering with government, business, and individuals to advance the common good.

Our organizational strategies are results-centered and racial equity-focused. We believe that all charitable nonprofits and foundations in this country should be healthy and equitable to ensure that all people in the United States thrive, with targeted focus on Native, Black, Latinx, Asian, and other communities of color.

Beliefs
• Collective Solutions – We find better solutions to complex problems when diverse groups, committed to the common good, come together in networks of responsibility.
• Opportunity, Respect, and Inclusiveness – Societies thrive when all people have equal opportunity to succeed, are treated with respect, and can fully participate in the life of the community.
• The Power of the Charitable Community – By taking bold risks, encouraging creativity, fostering collaboration, and inspiring optimism, the sector is a vital, leading force in improving lives and the natural world, and strengthening democratic societies.
• Responsible, Transparent Institutions – Democratic societies rely on transparent, ethical, and accountable institutions and people.

Sector Impact
We create and share knowledge and research to both understand and accelerate the impact of the nonprofit sector. By assessing the health of the nonprofit and philanthropic sector as a whole, we can map out a clearer path toward driving more health and equity in our communities.

Sector Impact Priorities in 2022
1. Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector 2.0
2. Trust in Civil Society
3. Continued Community Engagement around new and current Impact knowledge and research

Building Community
We build community among changemakers who work and volunteer in the social sector in order to focus on wellness, build trust, bridge divides toward belonging, and create this healthy and racially just society to ensure all people thrive.

Building Community Priorities in 2022
1. Advance innovation and activation through constant evaluation of our Sense of Community
2. Offer a comprehensive Fellows Program, including launching new Alumni Network and new Bridging Fellows
3. Upswell events focused on Racial Justice, Self/Community Care, and Bridging and Belonging

Public Policy
We advocate for public policies that strengthens nonprofits, foundations, and diverse communities nationwide – and helps social sector organizations fulfill missions. We serve as a unified voice and information source on pressing legislative and economic issues in our sector.

Public Policy Priorities in 2022
1. “A Seat at the Table” campaign for permanent partnership between nonprofits and the Executive Branch
2. Continued advocacy to strengthen core tax policy priorities and infrastructure investments toward a healthy and equitable communities
3. Launch of a new Advocacy Survey that will fill a 20-year gap in data around nonprofit advocacy and civic engagement (i.e., voter engagement) activities

Founded in 1980, Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good. From the biggest foundations to local charities, with staffs from 35,000 to 2, our membership of more than 500 organizations consists of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations from around the United States engaged in every kind of charitable endeavor. We are the “vital meeting ground” for America’s changemakers and problem-solvers. We seek to be the place where vision and strategy come together, where dreamers and doers find common ground. This is “The Great Shared Task,” as our founder John W. Gardner put it.

Independent Sector operates within an Impact Ecosystem that seeks to generate greater health and equity in the United States. At the center of this ecosystem – in collaboration with our members, funders, partners, staff, and board – Independent Sector vigorously strengthens itself as a force for good. We use that enhanced strength to nurture a more healthy and equitable leadership community within civil society. Those bold leaders work with unified purpose to ensure that civil society at large is both healthy and just. Eventually, and ultimately, civil society will resolutely infuse our entire democracy with health and equity – creating the necessary conditions for every individual to measurably thrive.

Accelerating Sector Impact
• Independent Sector, in partnership with Edelman Data & Intelligence, released our second annual “Trust in Civil Society” report. We conducted two national surveys, totaling 8,000 American adults, to assess general population trust in philanthropy and nonprofits and uncover the factors that drive trust in the sector.
• IS, with the Do Good Institute, announced that the latest value of a volunteer hour is $28.54 – up 4.9% from the previous year.
• IS released our second annual “Health of the U.S. Nonprofit Sector” report, an evolving resource that collects the most current data on the health of the U.S. nonprofit sector across multiple dimensions in a single, accessible format.
Community Building
• Hosted four Upswell Pop-Ups attended by 2,000 changemakers. We also held four Upswell Exchanges, one after each Upswell Pop-Up, to give changemakers the opportunity to unpack the Pop-Up presentations and connect through deeper relationships with one another.
• On October 20-22, IS brought together more than 1,100 changemakers from across the nation for the 2021 Upswell Summit to focus on our collective mission: building a healthy and racially just nation
• Engaged 28 Fellows through the Upswell Fellows program and the American Express NGen Fellows program to strengthen their individual and collective leadership capacity.
• Continued to refine and execute around a data-driven sense of community theory of change based on quarterly Sense of Community Surveys, distributed to all community members in our database.
Public Policy Leadership
• Created in 2021 through a proposed executive order and draft legislation, Independent Sector’s “Seat at the Table” initiative would create permanent, structural mechanisms for the sector to help shape and improve federal policy.
• Compiled a list of resources and educational content about the Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act – which revises current laws dictating the pace and transparency of resources flowing from private foundations and donor advised funds – and, more broadly, philanthropy reform.
• Now in its second year, Nonprofit Infrastructure Investment Advocacy Group (NIIAG), co-founded by Independent Sector and KABOOM!, continues to engage our diverse community leaders from across the charitable nonprofit sector. The coalition, now more than 50 organizations strong, wrote Chairman DeFazio and Chairman Pallone in support of H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act of 2021. The Act is intended to bolster community and civic structures that ensure all communities across America, especially those disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, can rebuild, engage, and thrive.
• The charitable deduction faced a grave threat in 2021: an earlier proposal from the Biden presidential campaign that could have eliminated billions of dollars in giving. Our community has been able to convince the Biden Administration not to put this policy forward in its annual budget or other legislat

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

Financials

Independent Sector
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Independent Sector

Board of directors
as of 08/16/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Fred Blackwell

San Francisco Foundation

Term: 2021 -

Sonya Campion

Campion Advocacy Fund

Larry Kramer

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Nicole Anderson

AT&T Foundation

Fred Blackwell

The San Francisco Foundation

Phoebe Boyer

Children's Aid Society

Ann Mei Chang

Candid

Jim Clark

Boys and Girls Club

Marco Davis

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

Sarah Kastelic

National Indian Child Welfare Association

Janine Lee

Southeastern Council of Foundations

Michael McAfee

PolicyLink

Suzanne McCormick

YMCA USA

Diane Melley

Philadelphia Foundation

Manuel Pastor

Eboo Patel

Interfaith Youth Core

Jennifer Reedy

Bush Foundation

Stacey Stewart

March of Dimes

Adam Taylor

Sojourners

David Williams

Deloitte Financials LLP

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/30/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/30/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.