Giving Compass' Take:

• Resource Generation breaks down the definition of social justice philanthropy to help funders understand their role in the movement. 

• How does social justice align with your philanthropic goals? To what extent are you already engaged in social justice philanthropy? What is your next step?

• Learn about the role of trust in social justice philanthropy


  1. Social justice philanthropy focuses on the root causes of social, economic and environmental injustices. This means that social justice philanthropy supports organizations that are getting to the roots of problems instead of only addressing the symptoms.
  2. It strives to include the people who are impacted by those injustices as decision-makers. In social justice philanthropy, the process of giving is as important as where the money goes.  Asking those who are directly affected by and working on an issue what to fund is a key part of this process.
  3. It also aims to make the field of philanthropy more accessible and diverse. Because right now this isn’t the case.  For example, a study done by The Joint Affinity Groups shows that 10% of foundation board members and only 2.2% of family foundation board members are people of color.
  4. In social justice philanthropy, foundations are accountable, transparent and responsive in their grantmaking.  When foundations and donors are transparent about their process and goals, it can open up the possibility for conversations about whether the grantmaking is responsive, and the ways in which foundations and donors can be accountable to the communities they impact.
  5. Donors and foundations act as allies to social justice movements by contributing not only monetary resources but their time, knowledge, skills and access.There are many concrete ways donors and foundations can be allies to social justice groups, from helping an organization fundraise to sharing your access and powerful connections to hosting an organization’s event at the foundation’s office.
  6. Foundations use their assets and investments, alongside grant-making dollars, to support their social justice missions. Social justice philanthropy employs investment dollars in alignment with the foundation’s larger social justice mission. This is often called mission-related investing, impact investing or program related investing.

Read the full article about social justice philanthropy at Resource Generation.