Countering the demagogues

Vikki Spruill, Sara Lyons, Paula Fabiani and Keiran Goddard

From the shock of Brexit in the UK to the surprise election of President Trump in the US and the ensuing massive global mobilization of women’s marches in early 2017, populist movements are achieving unexpected political success around the world. In this time of upheaval, philanthropy is exploring its response to rapidly changing national contexts.

The infrastructure groups representing and leading foundations globally are working to redefine their roles and responsibilities amid intense political change, which can be especially challenging when foundations reflect growing political divisions and are themselves divided.

In the following pages, philanthropy infrastructure groups in the US, Canada, Brazil and the UK reflect on the impact of populist political movements in their countries and how their organizations are responding. Across diverse political contexts, these associations collectively see four main roles for philanthropy associations globally:

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Messages that work

Martin O'Brien