Philanthropy has reached a transitional moment. In the wake of 2020’s disruptions, the sector has an opportunity to reflect on and refine its role and to help drive transformational change. But what are the right next steps to take? With that question in mind, Arabella is convening a set of virtual convenings, conversations, and publications to explore the Future of the Social Sector and philanthropy’s role in it.

Here we offer three reflections based on the conversation, all related to philanthropy’s role in sustaining support for racial equity work and the people leading it.

  • Reflection 1: Don’t just support resistance. Act in genuine solidarity with BIPOC communities.  
    • Consider providing more multi-generational, unrestricted funding that supports longer-term movement building; this includes technology and infrastructure development.
    • Recognize that an issue-centric approach to funding will often be ineffective. Our most pressing problems typically lie at the intersection of multiple systems and processes; to address them effectively, philanthropy needs to recognize these connections and fund interventions that include an intersectional approach.
    • Embrace how local communities define progress and success rather than mandating reporting requirements from the outside.
    • Explore the whole array of assets available to invest in local communities.
  • Reflection 2: Align internal values and operations with external strategy.  
  • Reflection 3: Invest in self-care for BIPOC community leaders and activists. 
    • BIPOC leaders regularly risk their lives and livelihoods to build and sustain the movement for equity and justice. In the current moment, many are worn out and exhausted. To maintain their resilience, enthusiasm, and energy, philanthropy can invest more in their well-being.
      • Help protect movement leaders from digital and physical threats.
      • Fund retreats, professional development, and sabbatical opportunities.
      • Create opportunities for peer-to-peer support and mutual aid.

Read the full article about philanthropy for racial equity at Arabella Advisors.