Arthur N. Rupe Foundation

Case Study

Identifying and evaluating nonprofit partners.

Foundations typically encounter many obstacles in evaluating their current nonprofit partners-and in identifying potential new grantees. Should you continue making grants to the same organization year after year? How well are your partners using your grants? How can you get an independent, objective evaluation of your grantees? Which current or potential groups could best help you fulfill your mission or programmatic aspirations?

The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation is a California-based organization with a growing national giving profile. Its namesake founder Arthur Rupe started a highly successful independent record label and an oil company before turning his efforts to philanthropy. The foundation is dedicated to funding nonprofits involved in public policy, public debates, and health.

Bylaws protecting donor intent require the foundation to expend all funds and close in just a couple of decades, yet foundation assets continue to grow. So the Rupe Foundation asked American Philanthropic to help manage the acceleration of its giving. The foundation needed to grow quickly yet deliberately, without drifting from its strategic objectives.

AmPhil helped to focus the Rupe Foundation’s vision by researching the philanthropic landscape in the Foundation’s giving areas, then helped actualize that vision by identifying worthy new grant recipients. In order to preserve the foundation’s focus over time, we also established a system that rigorously evaluates grantees in key areas of their organization, from personnel and management to financial reporting. The Arthur N. Rupe Foundation is now better equipped to fund the highest-performing centers of social innovation.


AmPhil is registered as “fundraising counsel,” “fundraising consultants,” or other similar designations in all states requiring this kind of registration. We did not act as a “professional fundraiser” in the case cited above, meaning, among other things, that we did not at any time solicit funds, assets, or property on our client’s behalf.