What does it mean for funders to build power?
As more and more grantmakers embark on or deepen journeys to embed values of equity, diversity and inclusion into their work, how can we incorporate a power-building frame to measure meaningful progress on equity?
In July, NCRP hosted the second in a series of webinars on NCRP’s exciting new toolkit, Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justice.
The toolkit has been incredibly well-received, with more than 1,600 downloads since its release in early May and nearly 300 registrants for each of the first two webinars!
Foundations of all types and sizes, sector consultants, philanthropy serving organizations and nonprofits alike are eager for a deeper dive into the “how” of funder assessment on power.
The presentation, “Grantmaking at the Grassroots: Building power for equitable systems change,” cosponsored by the Funders Committee for Civic Participation (FCCP), featured four sector leaders’ insights on examining how well funders build power in philanthropy:
Before digging into the discussion, we set the stage with what NCRP and our Philamplify project’s research have found about funders who successfully make grants that build power and advance equity for marginalized communities.
The philanthropic best practices outlined in the build power section of Power Moves and highlighted in the webinar are:
While the Power Moves framework on power is timely and unique, conversations about using philanthropic resources to build power in communities are certainly not new.
The guide builds on extensive work by NCRP, CHANGE Philanthropy partners such as the Neighborhood Funders Group (NFG), grantmakers such as the The California Endowment and other sector organizations such as FCCP, Justice Funders and the Black Social Change Funders Network.
During the webinar, our speakers highlighted the range of practices, policies and institutional cultures that influence how we approach power building in philanthropy as both a strategy and an end goal.
They provided tangible examples of entry points for reflection, what it looks like in practice and what success can entail, including:
It continue to be a work-in-progress, but pushing foundations to engage in risk assessment, especially in *raising* their risk tolerance, to explore new and different ways investing/partnering in community change, will only help to build power! #PowerMovesEquity https://t.co/65tbRM7WKc
— Connor Daley (@ConnorDaleyVT) July 24, 2018
— annie hillar (@anniehillar) July 24, 2018
Elizabeth Tan: Funding organizations in a way that allows them to grow and thrive (like capacity building) is a great way to to start and get your foot in the door. This is especially if you aren't able to do that full institutional shift. #PowerMovesEquity
— NCRP (@NCRP) July 24, 2018
How do you measure success in #buildingpower? Elizabeth: community self-determination, ability to determine own destiny, e.g. influence master planning. When orgs are involved from get go, all the way through implementation process #PowerMovesEquity @NCRP
— Lisa Ranghelli (@lisa_rang) July 24, 2018
Follow ongoing conversations on social media using #PowerMovesEquity, and add your voice by sharing what power building means in your work.
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