Giving Compass' Take:

• Sophie Monaghan-Coombs discusses three ways for funders to think about dispersing power in philanthropy: Making changes inside out, protecting democracy, and bridging the gap between tech and civil society. 

• What are the ways that you think about power dynamics in your philanthropy? 

• Read more about managing power and privilege in philanthropy. 

Many of the conversations taking place within philanthropy at the moment centre around legitimacy, transparency, equity, diversity, inclusion…the list goes on. These topics skirt around what really needs to be addressed: the unbalanced power dynamics entrenched throughout the sector.

This is why at SIX we are focus on decentralising power within philanthropy this year. For this to happen, funders will need to surrender some of their organisational and individual power, and we know that this has the possibility to be a painful process. Here are three ways in which we think funders need to address power in 2020:

  1. Making change from the inside out. Foundations should be interrogating how power works throughout their organisation, as well as how it influences relationships with grantees and communities. Governance structures of many foundations have not evolved as the organisation or the funding environment has.
  2. Protecting democracy. While some funders declare their work to be entirely politically neutral, for others I’ve spoken with, to fund anything is to make a political decision.
  3. Bridging the gap between technology and civil society. Without doubt, one way in which democracy is endangered is by digital threats. We’ve seen how digital platforms can spread misinformation, amplify hate speech and aid extremism.

Read the full article about power in philanthropy by Sophie Monaghan-Coombs at Alliance Magazine.