Community-driven Philanthropy: A Series

Community-Driven Philanthropy is a Nonprofit Quarterly series in which movement leaders explore what’s possible if philanthropy adopts a reparative model—one in which it supports the leadership of BIPOC communities, not just by writing grants, but by shifting assets and control over resources to frontline communities. 


Community-Driven Philanthropy: Giving Away Assets, Not Grants

Whatever you think about the growing role of megadonors in the nonprofit field, the sheer size—often equivalent to the total annual revenue of recipients—of the unrestricted grants that donors such as MacKenzie Scott have made to hundreds of nonprofits has injected a new sense of possibility into the field.

Notably, Scott has infused funds into sectors long overlooked or ignored by other philanthropists and foundations. Her approach has benefited from a rigorous selection process informed and strengthened by advisors with ears to the ground—who have relationships with people on the frontlines of social change work—and by an emphasis on investments that reveal and address inequities in the philanthropic field.


The Vital Connection: BIPOC-Led Narrative Change and Pluralist Democracy

Given the stark realities of generational trauma and structural inequities, building a pluralist democracy in the US requires a multifaceted strategy—coordinated across many movements, industries, and fields—that is accountable for and seeks to repair past injustices. This strategy requires centering narrative and cultural strategy and prioritizing BIPOC leaders as stewards of this work.

How Philanthropy Can Truly Support Land Justice for Black Communities

The question of land (and its loss) has been prominent throughout African American history. After the US Civil War, many formerly enslaved Black people made tremendous efforts to acquire land. Even though the Union promise of “40 acres and a mule” was not honored, African Americans bought land where they could. By 1910, Black farmers owned somewhere around 14 percent of all US farmland—with estimates of land holdings exceeding 15 million acres. These gains have since been largely reversed.


Dismantling the Land Theft System: A Land Back Vision for Philanthropy

Imagine a table. Now imagine a group of people who’ve come together at that table to talk. As at any table around which people gather, hierarchy will shape the ensuing conversation, whether participants acknowledge it or not: Whose table is it? Whose room?


Reimagining Philanthropy to Build a Culture of Repair

The movement for reparations in the United States—a Black-led movement that began even before slavery’s end—is making unprecedented strides forward, and governments across the country are beginning to act.


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About the Lead Author

Nonprofit Quarterly
Nonprofit Quarterly
NPQ uses a range of media channels to help advance critical conversations that can refine nonprofit and social movement policy and practice. In our work, we seek to be a challenging voice that helps to advance conversations in the sector, especially, as is too often the case, when they are “stuck.” In so doing, we consciously seek out a wide range of voices. In addition to the work of NPQ editors and staff, we rely heavily on the contributions of volunteer writers, contributors, and advisers, who push us to think about ideas in new ways.

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