What can philanthropy learn from the municipal movement when it comes to supporting social change?
Credit: Eduardo Luzzatti
Philanthropic foundations make an important contribution to the municipal movements’ development and their pursuit of broader social change goals. This article draws on conversations about philanthropic foundations and frontline activism with the aim of addressing philanthropy’s role in the current discourse of municipalism, in the ever-present search for a more radical change. While we reject the idea that philanthropy is not political, foundations can nevertheless support political and social change without being its leaders. We understand the tensions of funders wanting to be ‘outside’ and ‘objective’ to what they fund, yet we would rather welcome a more inclusive collaborative approach to analysing the issues and strategising around them. For that, we think progressive foundations can learn from municipalism in terms of how.
While we reject the idea that philanthropy is not political, foundations can nevertheless support political and social change without being its leaders.