I’m thrilled to share with you two new Leadership Series papers written by philanthropy thought leaders and published by us. Both From Words to Action: A Practical Philanthropic Guide to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, by Barbara Chow, and How Community Philanthropy Shifts Power: What Donors Can Do to Help Make That Happen, by Jenny Hodgson and Anna Pond, are important perspectives that we published to spark conversation and fresh thinking by foundations around the world.
The topics are cross-cutting and linked in their call to intentionally consider where power sits in philanthropic practice. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have been long-standing challenges for philanthropy to address both through its funding and its internal workings — a challenge that has seen progress but requires critical ongoing work. Community philanthropy is a strategy that an increasing number of organizations are using to build trust and leverage local assets, and in doing so address the DEI challenge.
I encourage you to use these papers as a sort of “book club” with your colleagues both inside and beyond the walls of your foundation. What resonates? What doesn’t, or does but feels challenging in your context? How might some of these ideas translate to your work, and what benefits would you see? What are the costs of evolving your approach?
As with everything on GrantCraft, we’re not in any way advocating a “correct” approach to grantmaking. However, to see positive iteration and growth in philanthropic strategy, we need to regularly test our assumptions and challenge how we do things by looking to others’ experiences and wisdom. These papers written by deeply committed practitioners will undoubtedly help move our thinking forward.
I’m working on piloting a new tech solution to create a virtual book club discussion on these and other topics this summer/fall. Hint: I’m a Slacker with a capital "S". If you’re keen on being a part of that beta test, let us know here! Meanwhile, I always invite guest blog posts reacting to anything we publish, including these Leadership Series papers. Email us if you're interested.
Happy reading and thinking about these important topics, and stay tuned for another exciting launch at the end of this month.
This letter originally appeared in this week's GrantCraft newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter and special alerts, register for free.