Last April, funders and movement partners gathered at the EDGE Conference in Berkeley, California to participate in an Engagement Lab on regenerative finance and equity-based strategies across grants and investments. Out of these conversations was launched ‘Shake the Foundations’, whose goal is to deepen political and strategic alignment to shift philanthropic and investment resources in support of community wealth regeneration.
An initial design phase is under way to develop a community of practice aimed at educating and engaging the philanthropic community on ways to move capital into community-led transition initiatives through non-extractive finance, and diverting foundation resources to place-based community reinvestment in cooperative development that shifts ownership of productive assets.
Shake the Foundations will seek to redefine risk in terms of the long-term viability of human communities and the ecosystems they depend on, while placing the burden of financial risk on those most able to bear it rather on those with the least accumulated wealth.
Over time, funders and their allies hope to encourage a culture shift in philanthropy towards valuing and supporting grassroots social movements, strategies that shift social, economic and political power, regeneration rather than extraction, and long-term systemic transformation over short-term transactional outcomes.