Back in April of 2019, a World Economic Forum article started with the sentence, “This is a difficult time for philanthropy.” It went on to detail all the many ways the world’s problems from climate change to shifting demographics required collective action and how philanthropy needed to change to keep up and stay relevant.

Now we’re in a different world. As our civil society safety nets strain under the weight of a struggling economy and the needs of so many; as the pandemic magnifies inequities in health care, education, access to green space, technology, safe work environments, and more; as the cry for equality and justice rings in the street, this call to change has only gotten louder and more urgent.

With more problems comes more potential for philanthropists to make long-overdue changes. In fact, lots of change is already happening. How are leading philanthropists becoming the changemakers we need? Here are six ways:

  • They know why they exist.  
  • They know when and how to act. 
  • They are agile. 
  • They adapt. 
  • They innovate.
  • They learn and improve.

Even with so many good examples of effective philanthropists, there’s still a lot of room to grow. All kinds of norms and previously drawn lines and boundaries are changing. New alliances and partnerships are forming. Are you in the thick of it, on the fringes or in the nosebleed section?

The sector needs us now, continually changing and becoming the best version of ourselves, working cohesively to create the kind of representative, just, equitable, powerful and resilient civil society possible.

Read the full article about leading philanthropists by Kris Putnam-Walkerly at Forbes.