Giving Compass' Take:

• Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors uses Resource Generation as a successful funder collaborative case study to show an example of a systems change funding approach.

• How can this be replicated by other collaboratives? Why is a  systems change lens important?

• Read about four lessons for effective systems thinking. 

Resource Generation (RG) occupies a unique position in the funder collaborative landscape. It is a national, multi-racial organization of young people ages 18-35 in the top 10% of the economy who are using their resources and class privilege for racial and economic justice. It is structured as a membership organization organized into locally-led chapters around the country. It’s for and run by young people, organized around common, clearly-stated values and beliefs.

Its mission is to organize young people with wealth and class privilege in the U.S. to become transformative leaders working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land and power. RG activates young people to be open about their class background, to use their wealth as a tool, supporting social movements, and to be activists, working in solidarity with poor, working class partners on long-term solutions.

Even though RG is not set up for pooled funding nor re-granting, involvement in RG has influenced members’ propensity for philanthropy. RG engages an external researcher, Laura Wernick, PhD, Assistant Professor at Fordham University of Social Service, to survey its members and study its impact. Her work has uncovered that members’ giving increases on average by 16 times after getting involved. In addition, many of RG members are in leadership positions in family foundations.

RG fits into several categories of our systems change typology. Without a doubt, it is a funder network, exchanging information and learnings, but it is just as much a systems change collaborative focused on long-term, societal and political impact. Through its work with a large number of wealthy individuals, RG recommends that collaboratives focused on systems change ensure that members have a shared understanding of what is meant by systems change and how they aim to get there.

Read the full article about Resource Generation funder collaborative by Dustin Sposato at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.