Giving Compass' Take:

• The author discusses Hill-Snowdon Foundation's efforts to fight policies that threaten vulnerable populations in the U.S. Known for its courageous grantmaking, the foundation launched the Defending the Dream Fund and the Making Black Lives Matter Initiative.

• It's important to note that this didn't happen overnight. The foundation's board spent 15 years seeking answers to systemic change.

• Hill-Snowdon Foundation's progressive policies occur from within as well. Learn more about their personnel framework.

Since winning an NCRP Impact Award in 2014, the Hill-Snowdon Foundation has been unrelenting in calling out white supremacy and anti-black racism while taking risks to invest in black-led social change work. The D.C.-based foundation's grantmaking has long been bold, but the leadership it has modeled through its Defending the Dream Fund matches the urgency of the real threats to our democracy. The foundation's decision in 2017 to simplify its practices and collaborate with other funders in creating the fund has resulted in more than $1 million in rapid-response grants being moved to groups working to fight policies that threaten the most vulnerable populations in the United States.

Even in 2017, however, the foundation knew this moment in American history — one that has seen the emergence of movements calling for just and fair elections, human rights for LGBTQ people and people of color, and economic equity — would not last forever.

So the foundation launched its Making Black Lives Matter initiative (MBLM), pushing philanthropy to look beyond the immediate moment and invest in longer-term infrastructure for black-led social change work. Grantees, funding partners, and other nonprofit groups in the community have rated that work as the most impactful they have done in recent years.

How did the foundation do it?

Read the full article about how philanthropy defends democracy by Jeanné L.L. Isler at PhilanTopic.