• Charlie Bernstein

    Great article. Thanks! You’re right: [i]Robin Hood Was Right[/i] is a must for foundations and philanthropists.

    Here at Maine Initiatives (www.maineinitiatives.org), we fund groups organizing for social, economic, and environmental justice.

    Our goal is to build the social justice movement. We especially recognize the need for general operating support, multi-year grants, seed grants for promising programs, and long-term funding of groups that are having an impact.

    And we’re not the only change-not-charity foundation around.

    To learn more about the small but vital world of foundations that actively support advocacy, policy change, and grassroots organizing, you can get in touch with such networks as National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NRCP, http://www.ncrp.org), Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG, http://www.nfg.org), and the Funding Exchange (www.fex.org).

    NCRP’s downloadable publication [i]Criteria for Philanthropy at Its Best[/i] stresses the importance of funding social justice organizations. Center for Community Change (www.communitychange.org) and its Linchpin Project are providing concrete metrics to demonstrate the effectiveness of grassroots organizing in alleviating poverty and inequity.

  • Simone Joyaux

    Thanks, Charlie, for your response to the columns on philanthropy’s moral dilemma. Congratulations to the Maine Initiatives for its justice work. More foundations, more organizations, more fundraising professionals – and more donors, too – need to know about this other approach to philanthropy.

  • Jara Dean-Coffey

    Hi Simone,

    Thanks for opening the curtain on the moral dilemma. It is an interesting position given the tension in the field beween innovation and rigor, best practices and community driven approaches. Both of which are about the how as opposed to the “to what end?” It continues to remain eaiser to talk about what we are going to do as opposed to the change we seek to make.

    That being said more foundations who have engaged in more progressive, provocative and power shifting models seem to be coming forward. Some examples:

    Common Vision – I had the pleasure of working briefly with Charlie as part of Common Vision(http://www.lgbtfunders.org/programs/vision.cfm) which engaged foundations in two regions in the development of a approach to structural change grant making that will be shared with the field later this year.

    Peace Development Fund – which continues to engage it community partners in grant making models which defy the power dynamic that inherently exists when money is on the table

    Kellogg Foundation – It’s America Healing Initiative http://www.wkkf.org/what-we-support/racial-equity/america-healing.aspx

    Change seems to be in the air….