Some context: This is a letter I drafted to family members on my father’s side. Last year, I received an inheritance from this side of my family, after both my grandparents passed away.
The largest share of their estate was given out immediately, but a small part of the money is distributed through annual payments to each of us from investments that have grow rapidly over the past year, sparking this letter. …
I’m curious, how much of your giving goes to BBIPOC-led work?
(That’s organizations led by Black, brown, indigenous, people of color)
Overall in the U.S., less than 10% of philanthropic giving goes to organizations led by and for people of color.
My challenge to you:
>>Direct at least 50% of your total giving to BBIPOC-led movements.<<
I started work as an organizer and fundraiser in 2007. That was also probably the year I started to donate to grassroots organizations as well. Like many nice white ladies™ in non-profit work, I started by funding what I knew. Organizations I worked for…
It truly is a terrible system. And I work in this dang industry. I help people make their philanthropic plans, deciding where and how much to give. And still, the whole structure of philanthropy sucks.
We are working within a broken system of enormous inequality. Most often, philanthropy is a band-aid solution for huge problems. But at its worst, philanthropy is a PR machine to make rich folks feel better about continuing the status quo.
I’m not the first to say it, and I certainly won’t be the last:
Philanthropy should be working itself out of business.
Philanthropy should be…
Cautionary warning: Stories of police brutality and murder.
Written for white folks who may see themselves in me, and the blatant white privilege I’ve benefitted from. I did not include reference links because I don’t want to spread images and videos of violence against BBIPOC. Do your own google-ing if you must.
You may relate to some of the stories. Or maybe you know someone else who had this experience.
Maurice Gordon was pulled over for speeding on the NJ turnpike and…
I’m often asked: What is the best organization to give to? And I can’t answer that question for you. Until you know what your guiding values are, and what your goals are, and where you are focusing, it’s impossible to say.
If you’re wondering where to start giving, start with social justice funds.
Public social justice foundations have been around for a while, and are doing things in a completely different way than traditional foundations. I’ve written about how many of them started and were part of the Funding Exchange years ago.
Today they are more important than ever.
It’s no surprise that organizations are struggling to make budget with cancelled events, scarce government and foundation funding, and the inability to meet with donors face to face.
On top of that, an increased need for social services, technical needs of transitioning their workforce to work-from-home (does everyone have a laptop, strong wifi, and video conferencing know-how?) and allowing for flexibility for the realities of working parents and other caregivers.
Numerous organizations have added Covid-related emergency funds for their staff and clientele, but the everyday work still has to continue. Immigration reform, environmental justice, and electoral organizing are still desperately…
This is a question I keep getting asked right now.
Folks are getting inundated with asks from folks for funding basic needs for individuals, covering bills and food for families who have lost jobs. I am on an urgent funding ask listserv, and just yesterday I got five different asks for funding. And that doesn’t count things that come across my radar on social media or my local mutual aid community. Are you feeling overwhelmed? I sure was.
As someone who started the year with a…
You should be moving more money right now.
Stimulus checks started going out to folks last week. You might not be getting one if your total household income exceeded $99,000 ($198,000 for couples).
If you got a check while still getting paid, or made too much money to be eligible, chances are you should be moving money out into the world. And probably more than just 1200 bucks.
First, pay your house cleaner, dog walker, or other domestic workers. Planned a trip that you aren’t taking? Pay your dog-sitter as planned. Gone over a month without your housecleaner? …
A few years back, I hit a wall at my job. I was miserable, in pain, and was unable to hit my benchmarks for the basics of my job. I was also experiencing the physical manifestation of burnout. For me, that showed up as migraines, back pain, insomnia, panic attacks, and crying almost every single day.
I struggled to understand that the job itself was causing the other stuff, I thought it was just the other way around. …
My letter to the editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy
To the editor:
As someone who spent a decade as a fundraiser and left due to burn out, I deeply resonated with this special report, Why Fundraisers are Fed Up. The article called out a few themes of why this is happening — all tied to leadership, management, and resources.
But why are we blaming non-profits for these issues? Philanthropy is to blame for much of this toxic culture, and should be doing more to change it. It’s true that managers and CEOs are putting lots of pressure on fundraisers…