Giving Compass' Take:

• Here are three steps that foundations can take to play a vital part amid the COVID-19 crisis to incite real change. 

• How is your charitable giving making lasting social change during the pandemic? What steps have you taken? 

• Read more on how you can help nonprofits during COVID-19. 

In the report “Shaping Inclusive Markets” from FSG and The Rockefeller Foundation, I and other authors found that some of the most significant progress in creating sustainable and equitable market systems has come during crises. Amid the responses to COVID-19, there are also opportunities for innovative solutions that can further the vision of equitable societies that serve all of their members. To identify, create, preserve, and augment these steps toward more just systems, civil society must support and expand the efforts beyond the immediate response to this crisis.

Foundations have a particularly important role to play. There are more than 260,000 of them around the world.

At FSG, we have partnered with dozens of foundations that are working toward a more equitable world by changing the practices, regulations, and informal norms that make up complex social systems, from business markets to health care to education. Based on this experience, here are three steps foundations can take to play an important role amid a crisis to bring about lasting, positive change:

  • Use New Crisis Responses to Reassess Old Systems To further the long-term goals of equitable and inclusive social systems, foundations need to identify and explore the innovative solutions taken in response to the pandemic that may be worth continuing beyond the end of the crisis.
  • Empower Champions New movements and their champions often come to the fore during a crisis. Identifying and empowering them to talk about longer-term issues and pulling them into an agenda for social change will help foundations strengthen their local alliances.
  • Move Quickly This crisis too shall pass, and the window of opportunity to solidify the changes it has sparked will close. Foundations need to deploy resources and form alliances now, not in weeks or months.

Read the full article about how foundations can make an impact by Rishi Agarwal at Stanford Social Innovation Review.