Peter Wagner, Executive Director
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Prison Policy Initiative included in video library for philanthropists

by Peter Wagner, August 17, 2012  

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has given the Prison Policy Initiative a great platform to tell funders about what we do. On Tuesday, the foundation launched the Giving Library, which features video presentations by 250 non-profits, including the Prison Policy Initiative.

On the site, each organization is featured in a short introductory video, and a “virtual meeting” allows donors to hear the answers to 10 questions about the organization’s history, success, challenges, myths and future plans. I filmed our video in February, and the Giving Library website went live earlier this week.

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation produced the Giving Library to make it easier for philanthropists examine a large number of potential recipients. Meredith Johnson, director of Communications for the foundation, explained in a press release that going online to meet potential new grantees streamlines philanthropy: “What would have taken months or even years of meetings and travel can now be done in a matter of days, from anywhere.”

We were particularly thrilled to participate in the online Giving Library because, while our work is national in scope and impact, we are located in a part of the country where networking with potential donors often requires expensive and time consuming travel.

Making the videos was a great opportunity for us to step back and explain how the Prison Policy Initiative came to be and present our vision for the future of the criminal justice and democracy reform movements. The Laura and John Arnold Foundation has made a great tool that will bring philanthropy and non-profits together, and I’m honored that they choose the Prison Policy Initiative to participate.

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