Global philanthropy should increase diversity on every level and facilitate wider ownership of the philanthropy debate, increase levels of participation and trust-based philanthropy, urgently commit more resources to tackle climate change, and fulfil its unique role as a provider of patient risk capital. These are some of the key recommendations of the editors of the 100th issue of Alliance magazine, out today.
The special 100th issue is the centrepiece of Alliance magazine’s 25th anniversary year with 100 pages of reflection, analysis, and comment exploring the past and present of philanthropy.
‘Our field has undergone profound shifts in the last 25 years amounting to a quiet revolution,’ writes the editorial team behind the issue – Alliance editors Charles Keidan and Elika Roohi who were joined by editorial advisory board members Ingrid Srinath in India and Maria Chertok in Rusia, as well as former Alliance editor Caroline Hartnell.
In their lead article, the editors issue a call to ‘bend the arc of philanthropy towards justice’ over the next 25 years. They highlight two parallel universes which philanthropy has found itself being pulled towards. On the one hand, there is a democratic universe where the sector has experienced the rise of community-based philanthropy and movements to shift power to grassroots organisations. But on the other hand, today’s billionaire philanthropy reflects growing concentrations of wealth.
‘The fact that there are five times more billionaires today than when Alliance was born 25 years ago should give us cause for reflection,’ writes the editorial team. ‘Today’s picture of widening wealth inequity means that few would seriously claim that philanthropy in its totality is making society more equal.’
But what should the future of philanthropy look like? The editorial team convened Alliance magazine’s editorial advisory board representing every region of the world to ask what they thought. While there was no overriding consensus there was general agreement that philanthropy should:
- Adopt an international outlook and avoid solving problems in silos
- Improve funding practice including through participatory grantmaking and pooled funding
- Learn more and gather more data about non-institutionalised giving beyond the scope of the member bodies of institutional philanthropy
- Recognise the need for endowed philanthropy to use all assets including investments and grants in alignment with mission
- Increase tolerance of and appetite for critical analysis of philanthropy by providing arms-length funding of philanthropy focused media
Elsewhere in a beautifully designed and presented special issue, Alliance publishes:
- Results of a special anniversary reader survey looking at the key philanthropists and foundations, and most impactful trends of the last 25 years
- Perspectives from key figures in the birth of philathro-capitalism and the movement to #ShiftThePower
- Reflections from seasoned practitioners including Indian philanthropist Rohini Nilekani, Conrad N Hilton Foundation President Peter Laugharn and Humanity United’s Akwasi Aidoo
- Viewpoints from a new generation of philanthropists including Fran Perrin, Badr Jafr and Kristina Johannson
- Views from 21 young practitioners around the world who were born in 1996 – the same year as Alliance’s birth – on their hopes for the future of our field
- Analysis of what’s next for the philanthropy focused media from Alliance executive editor, Charles Keidan
- New directions for Alliance magazine
On 16 September, Alliance will be celebrating its birthday with a special event exploring the past, present, and future of philanthropy with expert guest speakers. Register for the event here.
Alliance magazine has been celebrating its 25th anniversary all year with a special event series, commissioned essays and analysis, and webinars. For more, visit alliancemagazine.org/anniversary.