Giving Compass' Take:

• Dana Kawaoka-Chen explains how funders can escape extractive philanthropy in order to truly make an impact for those who need it most. 

• How can funders honestly analyze their own practices? Can you do more to avoid and dismantle extractive philanthropy?

Are wealthy philanthropists standing in the way of true change? 

In my work at Justice Funders, I work with grantmakers to liberate themselves from extractive philanthropic practices that are rooted in cultures of white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy. These practices can happen at the strategy level (e.g., where strategy is developed by donors without input from the community), in the grantmaking process (e.g, where an over-emphasis on due diligence assumes distrust of grantees), or through the misalignment between one’s mission and where investments are made (e.g., where 95% of endowments are invested in for-profit companies that cause social, economic and environmental devastation).

Regenerative practices are rooted in trusting relationships amongst and between board members, community partners, and philanthropic peers.

The liberation of philanthropy requires that we do what is necessary for justice.

This means we must courageously take risks, as Vanessa Daniel of Groundswell Fund calls on us to do, by “organizing for what is right,” which offers “a deep connection to our humanity and to a life purpose that goes beyond protecting our position and status, to being a part of transformation and liberation.”

Disrupting cycles of white supremacy will entail decolonizing the institutions that preserve the accumulation of wealth and power says Edgar Villanueva of the Schott Foundation. 

The way forward for philanthropy begins by seeking greater values alignment.

Read the full article about extractive philanthropy by Dana Kawaoka-Chen at Medium.