MICRO-BLOG: All Hands on Deck – A Call to Action for Philanthropy

July 5, 2022 Leave a comment

A message to funders and their staff: 

There’s never been a more important time to claim your full power in philanthropy. We need you – your authentic and most daring selves during these times. This is the moment to relinquish power and exercise deep trust in the field. This is the moment to recognize the important role we need you to play as a catalyst for transformative and progressive social change.

Remove and redefine the boundaries of what a funder or program officer should be.  

Resist rolling out long applications and grant reports again. The field is working and we can’t be overtaxed as we fight the many battles that have been placed upon us. We need you working alongside us, not reading proposals and reports. 

Avoid reverting back to prioritizing program grants. We need unrestricted general operating funds to apply what we are learning each day to what must be done.

Fund movement organizing and capacity building organizations so that we can work together to unlock profound social change during this period. 

Make strategy with us, not for us. Together we must be emergent and adaptable to our challenges and opportunities. Change is not always linear. Like COVID-19, further attacks on social and racial justice will be unpredictable and hate and greed will produce new variants.

Please…come now out of your homes and offices to toil alongside us. You are not apart from us. You are us. And we need you. 

We need all hands on deck. Come as you are, but come, and please do all that you can to make justice easier for us. 

P.S. I share these words as someone who has spent twenty years in philanthropy – leading a charitable foundation, working with foundations, and advising donors. Discard the constraint of what you think philanthropy is and was.  Philanthropy, a Greek word, means love of humanity. That’s your job now – to love humanity – and it’s urgent.

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