An Unfunded Self-Mandate

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I wanted to remind all of our readers that we will be running a special and very important series of articles this year from nonprofit leaders under the age of 40. The articles reflect on aspects of equity, diversity, and inclusion from the perspectives of around two dozen young leaders deep in the work of this sector.

This series was something of an unfunded mandate (from us to us) that the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and NPQ took on together. A joint committee of volunteers from our boards and staff and networks has helped ussolicit, review and select the pieces, and the quality reflects their advice and care. So, I want to make sure that you read them not as “just another feature,” but also as an important collection of work about a set of issues that need our consideration in new and different ways.

On a more immediate basis, this week, we ran an article by author Austin Belali, entitled, “Is Democracy Funding Undemocratic? Funding Civic Engagement in an Era of Protest.” Belali is the director of the Youth Engagement Fund at the Democracy Alliance, a pooled fund of institutional and individual donors that invest in next-generation civic and political participation in the United States. His background is in community and labor organizing.

The article is insightful and bold, and worthy of your attention in that it challenges some of the funding assumptions on which a whole field of philanthropy is built.

I would encourage you to read not just this third piece in this important series, but the two preceding it—here and here—and all that come after.