The Growing Power of Diverse Philanthropy

A quick plug for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s new report, Cultures of Giving: Energizing and Expanding Philanthropy by and for Communities of Color. The report dives into the world of identity-based philanthropy—“a growing movement to democratize philanthropy from the grassroots up by activating and organizing its practice in marginalized communities, particularly communities of color.”

The report is a great primer on the core characteristics of identity-based funds, the scope of the field and its grantmaking, and its key organizations and leaders.  Even most seasoned philanthropoids and philanthropists will be surprised by the breadth of the field:  the funds award $400 million in grants annually, and that’s just the giving through these formalized groups.  The report also describes the Foundation’s activities and lessons learned in supporting the funds and their leaders.

Three quick quotes from the report to whet your whistle:

  • “We hope this report will inspire everyday givers—of all backgrounds, genders, races, and ethnicities—to embrace their power as philanthropists.”
  • “Communities of color teem with generosity. Much of that generosity is informal and casual, expressed through acts of benevolence and support so prevalent that they simply seem part of the fabric of a community taking care of itself.”
  • “It is not enough, then, to say that the field—and the face—of philanthropy is changing. Philanthropy has already changed. The only question is how fast and how well our traditional structures will catch up with it.”

If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you’ll know that I’m a big fan and advocate for making philanthropy and community leadership accessible to anyone.  A big thanks to the Kellogg folks for sharing their knowledge and inspiring the rest of us to learn and do more to diversify and democratize philanthropy.

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