For Funders

In this section you will find resources to help social justice funders, donors, and philanthropists. We provide books, webcasts, and other tools so that funders can step up at this critical moment and join the fight to win. For funders attempting to join the fight, it can be often lonely and isolating, so we offer organizations and contacts where you can reach out to other funders. We’re here for everyone who’s ready to get a switch flipped in their brain. For everyone who’s ready to go from being an organizer in theory, to a transformative one in practice. Because every organizer started somewhere.

 

Co-author and co-host Greg Jobin-Leeds is the Founder, first president and former co-chair of the award winning Schott Foundation for Public Education and is the lead editor of this page. 

 

Philanthropy is rapidly being called to change and many donors are heeding this call. Justice Funders offers a blue print for a just transition in philanthropy from philanthropy’s historical extractive practices to a more generative holistic approach. 

Right now, many donors are doubling their giving, moving assets and we are beginning to see Black and brown, women led movement orgs getting more money.

 

“Fund us like you want us to win”

– Ash-Lee Henderson, co-executive Director, The Highlander Center 

 

Traditional vs. Just Philanthropy:

 

Radical means going to the root, addressing problems at their root cause. Radical philanthropy exposes these root problems and shifts power to those most impacted.  This moment in history asks our listeners and readers to consider radical philanthropy as an alternative to philanthro-capitalism, exploring ways both imagined and real that seek to transcend, and works to provide visions that create a new common sense. 

 

“As a movement organization made up of working class artists, we struggle with the contradictions of both fighting and living with an economic system designed to exploit our people. Under these conditions, we realize that the accumulation of wealth in the U.S. (and around the world) has been built off of the stolen surplus labor of oppressed people.” – AgitArte

 

Radical solutions come from the root, the base, those most impacted. As Jitu Brown says in episode number S1X, “those who are closest to the pain, must be closest to the power”. This phrase is becoming more and more popular.

 

Just philanthropic practices challenge traditional philanthropy and the tendencies of philanthro-capitalism, by exploring issues of structural causes: patriarchy, capitalism and white supremacy, insufficient responses, and the origin and history of philanthropy as an outmoded model for effectively delivering integral contribution.

 

Through the resources on this page and in our episodes we help educate foundations and  people with wealth on:

 

(1) why new futures need to be created

 

(2) what new futures are being envisioned by grassroots leaders, people of color, and people who experience marginalization by systems of oppression

 

3) what is our role as people with wealth to participate, facilitate, fund (and sometimes step back and get out of the way) of these new futures. 

 

For people of wealth, there is a challenge to their control over dollars which they have been used to having. Donors are being asked to spend at a rate that challenges the perpetuity of their wealth. And are being challenged to give at levels such that the organizations we fund can control the assets, not just be grateful recipients.

 

We watch as Trump and many wealthy people spend little to nothing on taxes for their “passive investment income” while workers income is taxed at a higher rate.

 

Poor people of color (especially  women) cannot access the necessary dollars to run big organizations, afford to run for office, and have no lobbyists.

 

We MUST be the generation of donors to take risks and respond to the deportation camps, mass incarceration, ecocide and structural racism. We MUST be the generation to end the silence about the concentration of wealth. 

 

The stakes are too high to not act– and the consequences of not acting will fundamentally alter the terrain of our democracy, our national moral conscience (to the degree there is one), and the possibility of NOT acting would alter our collective soul. And, as we know, the option to chose not to act, is also one of privilege itself so for donors and funders — particularly white donors or white folks with wealth- this is a must.  

 

To not act is a death sentence for many immigrants seeking asylum. 

 

To not act is a death sentence for many living under the threat of drought, flooding or fires. 

 

To not act is a jail sentence for many sitting in our jails. 

 

It is our turn… it is the ethical imperative to act. 

Resources:

 

Southern Power Fund: The Highlander Center, Southerners on New Ground, Project South, and Alternate Roots. They asked foundations, donor networks, and funders across the country to move $10 million to a new Southern Power Fund by August 31. $8 million of these dollars will be redistributed to over 200 Black led organizations across the Southern region. These include organizations like AgitArte, People’s Advocacy Institute, Smile Trust, Inc., The Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, & The Ordinary People’s Society (TOPS) and many many more. $2 million of these dollars will seed a community controlled fund that will resource Black, southern led organizations with eyes toward the future.

 

#PhilanthropySoWhite

 

Divest from For-Profit Prisons

 

Participatory ways to think:

 

Defund the Police

 

Transformative Justice

 

Ways to Support Decarceration:

 

Sisters Unchained 

 

Structural Racism and Wealth: exploring evolving practices and values for Jewish donors and our allies

 

“Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex” by Indigenous Action

 

Buy Black and poc run businesses:

Support a local black owned bookstore in MA – Frugal Bookstore

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