Doris Duke to Spend $6 Million on Leadership Development in Child Well-Being Sector

The New York-based Doris Duke Charitable Foundation invested nearly $6 million this month aimed at bolstering leadership in the child well-being sector.

“Effective and diverse social sector leadership is critical for ending intergenerational cycles of poverty and persistently inequitable outcomes for families and children,” said Lola Adedokun, program director for child well-being at the foundation. “We are excited to support a new set of leaders as they innovate and implement approaches to tackling the complex, systemic issues that unduly burden U.S. communities contending with vast health and economic disparities.”

In announcing the grants, the foundation cited a “chronic underinvestment” in leadership throughout the social services sector, which has been exacerbated by a 25 percent increase in the overall number of nonprofit organizations this decade.

Doris Duke will provide grants to five national organizations:

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago ($700,000 over two years), a research and evaluation leader in child welfare. Chapin Hall will strengthen the Doris Duke Fellowships for the Promotion of Child Well-being, another of the foundation’s ventures.

Foster America ($1 million over four years), which seeks to place mid-career professionals with public and private child welfare agencies.

NDN Collective ($2.5 million over four years), an empowerment organization for indigenous people. The collective’s grant is to strengthen Native American-led community development and start the “NDN Collective Changemakers Fellowship.”

National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) ($800,000 over three years), which engages policymakers and professionals on issues of development for black children and families. The grant will launch the NBCDI Fellowship Program, which aims to increase the number of black policy professionals in executive-level roles in child and family policy.

Ascend at the Aspen Institute ($800,000 over two years), a hub for breakthrough ideas and collaborations that move children and their parents toward educational success and economic security. The grant will support the third cohort of the Ascend Fellowship Program, which will focus on development of diverse leadership on economic and social mobility pathways for children and families.

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John Kelly
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John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change.