Until the current COVID19 pandemic and the havoc it is wreaking are history, grantmakers will see a significant part of their work dominated in some form or fashion by the disease.

In fact, barely a month into the national spotlight, Candid maps show that close to $700 million have been allocated domestically for COVID19 grantmaking.

As philanthropy’s response continues to unfold, what lens can we use to assess the impact of the sector and individual grantmakers? How can you know that you are acting decisively to exercise equity and justice in this trying time?

You can start by taking stock of how well your institution is building, sharing and wielding power.

Measuring your actions alongside these 3 interrelated practices can help funders redefine risk and harness the financial, reputational, intellectual and social capital of your institution to change the systems that perpetuate inequity both in the current moment and alongside the enduring drive for justice.

  • Building power in the time of Rona Recently, a group of 40 social justice funders have pledged to ease the burden on their grant partners, demonstrating trust in those movement partners so they can continue fighting for justice.
  • Sharing power by nurturing transparent and trusting stakeholder relationships Hundreds of funders have since pledged to ease grant requirements and to listen and act on feedback, echoing many of the best practices advocated by the Trust-based Philanthropy Project.
  • Wielding power by exercising public leadership beyond grantmaking What may be the biggest stretch for many funders is for them to exercise public leadership beyond their grantmaking. Practically speaking, it means leveraging and tapping into relationship that you might have with elected officials and other influential policymakers to create equitable, catalytic change, all the more important in today’s rapidly evolving policy environment.

Read the full article about equity in grantmaking during COVID-19 by Lisa Ranghelli at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.