Now is the time to build a movement for philanthropic equity 

Carly Hare

I congratulate Alliance for bringing even more global attention to the issues around diversity in philanthropy in the September special feature.  

In this unprecedented political climate where the most basic rights are under threat, philanthropic professionals and institutions in the US must stand in solidarity with immigrants, the LGBTQI community, people of colour, women, people with disabilities and all those who intersect with these identities.

For philanthropy, this means we must collectively advocate for equity in every corner of society. Equity in philanthropy is the investment of social and financial resources in policies, practices and actions that produce equitable access, power and outcomes for all communities. To move toward philanthropic equity, we invite you to shift your practice and embed equity into your work.

  • Change your operational policies and practices to be inclusive of people from underinvested communities – from the board and leadership team to entry-level associates. 
  • Create space in your foundation to gain an understanding of diverse communities. Then define, assess and transform your practices – both operationally and in grantmaking – to be more inclusive. 
  • Shift your investments to unrestricted resources in underinvested communities, bolstering the power of those communities to make self-directed social change. 

The momentum for philanthropic equity is building. We saw this demonstrated at the recent CHANGE Philanthropy’s 2017 Unity Summit, in New Orleans, Louisiana, which, with over 700 participants, was the largest and most diverse convening of progressive funders in philanthropic history.

More philanthropy-serving organizations are exploring equity in their programming, including partners like Grantmakers in the Arts, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, United Philanthropy Forum and Peak Grantmaking. All these organizations, and many more, are examining how their institutions continue the equity journey, internally and externally.  

Carly Hare
Coalition catalyst, CHANGE Philanthropy

For other views on this issue see ‘Move beyond diversity – reframe power‘ by Jennifer Choi and ‘Multiplying value, not dividing it‘ by Mike Buonaiuto. 

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Move beyond diversity – reframe power 

Jennifer Choi