Giving Compass' Take:

• Abby Rolland shares perspectives on addressing critiques and crises to impact social change through philanthropy.

• How are you addressing critiques and crises to make an impact with your own giving experience? Can you focus on needs and gaps when strengthening your philanthropy?

• Learn more about why you should increase your giving during the coronavirus crisis.

Recent (and not-so-recent) critiques of philanthropy have affected the sector before and during COVID-19. Yet, crises often have ways to expand generosity amongst many people.

Based on clips from The Fund Raising School podcasts, learn more from Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Dean Amir Pasic and Dr. Kathi Badertscher, director of graduate programs.

“Critiques of the concentration of wealth and power, and how people use their philanthropy to alter the public space, have been around for an extended period of time,” Pasic explained.

“For fundraisers and practitioners, it’s important for them to understand and read this critique, if for no other reason that it deepens our understanding of philanthropy, as well as our sense of the various dimensions that are involved in generosity, not all of which are necessarily positive.

“We typically think of generosity being one of the best things about human activity. Most faith traditions also reinforce that when people are generous and give, it’s one of the highest expressions of what it means to be human. Yet when we organize to be generous and when it gets channeled through various institutions, all kinds of unintended consequences, both positive and negative, can happen.”

Badertscher explained that during crises, individuals, families, and groups conduct random acts of kindness in order to help the people around them.

However, how can formal organizations channel that “warmth and kindness” to drive social change?

Pasic noted that there are ways for formal nonprofits and foundations to change practices to encourage more trust and accountability in the sector.

Philanthropy can have positive and negative consequences. How are you, or your organization, contributing to the positive and driving social change?

Read the full article about addressing critiques and crises by Abby Rolland at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.