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Edgar Villanueva, author of “Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance,” says just 7.5% to 8% of grants from foundations in the United States go to communities of color.
Villanueva explains that philanthropy is rooted in the same power dynamics of colonization. The largest donors are primarily white men, often with biases that result in them giving to organizations that uphold their interests — and the leadership of people who look like them.
Further, private foundations, many of which are helmed by white men, are federally required to donate only 5 percent of their assets on an annual basis. On average, they give away just 7 percent to 10 percent.
If we can shift the power dynamics of philanthropy, we can shift the flow of this funding towards leaders and communities of color.
In order to transform philanthropy, Villanueva created a seven-step plan that asks us to grieve, apologize and repair the wounds of colonization. First, he says, we must acknowledge the harms of colonization and apologize for them. Then, to heal these harms, he advocates for foundations and other donors to move serious capital into communities of color, with leaders of these communities at the head of decision-making tables.
In addition to foundations and individuals, giving circles are also participating in the movement of capital to these groups.
Giving circles are one of the fastest growing grassroots movements in philanthropy today. Women make up the majority of circle members and the groups tend to be more diverse than philanthropy as a whole.
Read the full article about how giving circles will decolonize philanthropy by Emily Schaefer at Medium.