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Disrupting the Status Quo

Philanthropy means “the love of humankind” which is how an idealist like me ended up in this work.

But, many of our philanthropic systems and approaches are not very loving or caring, especially to our Black, brown, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized brothers and sisters.

So, how do we lean into the intent of philanthropy, but help disrupt and reimagine the aspects of the nonprofit sector that are broken?

The simplified answer: we all keep learning and take baby steps forward. We’re bound to say the wrong thing at times or otherwise make mistakes as we roll up our sleeves into this work. But here’s the thing: we must embrace the messiness or it won’t get better. Silence is complicity; doing nothing supports the status quo.

What does this look like in your day-to-day?

It might be publicly calling out #CrappyFundingPractices when you see them.

It might be better aligning communications with the target audience rather than the wealthiest donors.

It might be opening up a meeting by acknowledging the native lands on which the meeting is taking place.

It might be embracing the use of more inclusive language.

We’re learning that we all must push each other to a greater level of awareness. In our AltruNext team meetings, we recently shared information and ways in which we are committing to growth. Here are some of the resources that are challenging our team’s thinking:

Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance by Edgar Villanueva

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

● “How the Best Bosses Interrupt Bias on Their Teams” by Joan C. Williams and Sky Mihaylo (available at Harvard Business Review)

● Data from Leading with Intent and Race to Lead about the lack of diversity in the nonprofit sector

What resources are you turning to as you embark upon this journey?


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