Giving Compass' Take:

• Justice Funders is publishing a blog series focusing on how to liberate philanthropy by diversifying funding and re-evaluating foundations, honoring community-based organizations, and creating networks of foundations who want to re-distribute power. 

• How can this network hold other funders and donors accountable for their own power? 

• Read about another foundation re-evaluating itself in the Liberate Philanthropy blog series. 

This post is part of “Liberate Philanthropy,” a new blog series curated by Justice Funders to re-imagine and practice philanthropy free of its current constraints. There will be a series of philanthropy stories to illustrate these constraints:

I was living in Chicago working for The Libra Foundation, a private family foundation with a focus on human rights and social justice movements in the U.S. During my time at The Libra Foundation, we started to look critically at our grantmaking portfolio and investments and quickly realized that there were gaps, challenges, and new capacities that were necessary to implement strategies and find mechanisms to redistribute capital back to communities in alignment with our values of supporting regenerative and cooperative local economies.

Around this time we joined a diverse group of people working across different social movement and philanthropic organizations who were coming to similar realizations. From these conversations, “Shake the Foundations” was formed. We are a network that provides peer-to-peer exchange and support for funders and movement partners aiming to move capital into community-based, democratic re-granting and investment vehicles as mechanisms to redistribute capital, land and power.

We recognize that the path to liberation must include the intentional redistribution of power and resources as well as reparations to communities of color for the harms caused by our long history of wealth and resource extraction. Here are a few suggestions on what philanthropy can do:

  1. Move grants and investment capital into movement and community-controlled infrastructure.
  2. Give long-term, general support to bottom-up organizing.
  3. Organize and hold other funders and donors accountable.
  4. Engage in deep relational/personal transformation work.

Read the full article about liberate philanthropy from Justice Funders at Medium