Giving Compass' Take:
- Amy Klemen discusses the harm of top-down traditional philanthropic models and the importance of reimaging equity in philanthropy by putting power into the hands of communities.
- How can individual donors ensure that they're making equitable philanthropic decisions? How can your philanthropy revolve around community-led solutions?
- Understand more about power dynamics in philanthropy.
What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
For those who work in philanthropy, the chaos that began in early 2020 have propelled more much-needed critical introspection than the field has ever faced. The inequities laid bare by the devastating pandemic highlighted how too many of our systems have been failing the majority of people. For us at Imaginable Futures, an education- and learning-focused philanthropic investment firm, owning up that we’re part of the system and have been part of the problem was only the first step.
It’s clearer than ever that for philanthropy to be truly effective in driving sustainable change, we need to rethink traditional models that are too often top-down and risk perpetuating the same systems of oppression they seek to transform. We, as philanthropic organizations, need to work harder to undo the culture of colonialism and white supremacy that is deeply woven into our field of work. And, critically, we must commit to utilizing an equity lens, starting from the inside out.
While a strategy refresh for Imaginable Futures was always the plan for 2020-21, it was done against the backdrop of COVID-19 and the global movement for racial justice. We’ve spent the last year and a half listening, learning, and evolving our approach to reimagine our philanthropic efforts.
Throughout this process of reevaluating and refining our strategies, the entire Imaginable Futures team has committed to doing the work individually and as a team to continually evolve and evaluate our own mindsets, behaviors, and approaches.
- Don’t be afraid to let go of assumptions and more directly respond to what you’re hearing.
- Philanthropic investing must prioritize shifting power back into communities.
- Solely focusing on impactful innovation can exacerbate racial, gender, and other inequities.
Read the full article about equity in philanthropy by Amy Klemen at Philanthropy News Digest.