At a time of deep social anxiety as we grapple with a pandemic, police brutality and systemic racial inequalities brought into even starker relief because of COVID-19, we need to be honest with ourselves about exactly where and how we are falling short.
While most philanthropists are eager to do the right thing, the hard part is changing something that you don’t even know you’re doing. So, here are three very common blind spots to recognize, and what to do instead. By doing these things you’ll pivot away from too much isolation, privilege and power, and create more inclusion and equitable impact.
1. You have a scarcity mentality. Instead, embrace abundance.
If you routinely do everything on the cheap, without investing in the infrastructure or long-term health of your organization and its people, you’re limiting yourself with restrictions instead of building yourself up with opportunities. Although your heart might be in the right place thinking more money will go to the cause, you are doing more harm than good.
2. You’re extraordinarily busy with little to show for it. Instead, quickly find your North Star.
Even if you have means, trying to figure out which way to go is one of life and philanthropy’s significant challenges, especially when you want to make a substantial difference. Instead of spending an outsized amount of time deliberating in the board room to create a three-to-five-year strategic plan, make strategy a vital but more short-term tool. In addition to being more helpful for galvanizing your team and collaborators toward a common goal, when a crisis hits, your plan won’t become immediately obsolete.
3. You wield too much power. Instead, cede control and build trust.
You hold the resources that other people need. You are the Grantor and they are the grantee. Ultimately, it’s a set-up for limiting honesty and trusting relationships.
But you hold the power to remove these barriers. You can do that by consciously working harder to build trusting relationships with your community, your grantees, essentially anyone who is a potential partner and collaborator in this work.
Read the full article about effective philanthropy by Kris Putnam-Walkerly at Forbes Welcome.