Foundations and donors: Stop funding the gentrification of movements

Written by: NCRP

Date: September 25, 2018

The mid-term elections are just a few weeks away. Our strength as Americans comes from our ability to work together. With so many nonprofits and foundations knitting together a landscape of people from different places and of different races into a whole, I am hopeful for our future.

We cannot let the greedy few and the politicians they finance divide us against each other based on what someone looks like, where they come from or how much money they have. It’s time to stand up for each other and come together. It is time for us to vote for leaders who see all of us as equal, whether we are white, Black or brown, who respect all of our families, and who will govern for all of us.

Our latest edition of Responsive Philanthropy invites us to reflect deeply on our work and then take action that is grounded in the communities that matter to us and the future that’s at stake.

The gentrification of movements: 4 Ways funders can stop putting raisins in the potato salad

Vanessa Daniel of Groundswell Fund observes how grassroots strategies that have been used for decades by people of color-led organizations have gained the attention of funders. Yet it is well-funded, white-led organizations appropriating the strategies as their own that are reaping the benefits. “Aside from being ineffective in moving the needle on social change generally, this funding approach only reinforces white supremacy,” writes Daniel.

In pursuit of equity: A family foundation’s story

For many family foundations, taking the big step towards diversity, equity and inclusion is daunting. Cynthia Addams and Colin Jones of The Collins Foundation share the foundation’s growth and evolution. Opening the board to non-family members has been an integral part of their efforts.

Reflections in the wake of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

BoardSource’s Anne Wallestad and NCRP’s Aaron Dorfman identify four important questions on CEO oversight that boards need to ask themselves to protect their organizations.  They write, “The board’s role in CEO oversight is not a straightforward or easy role to play, but it is an absolutely critical one.”

Change culture and attitude to get it right on immigration reform

Define American’s Rev. Ryan Eller urges funders to get behind efforts to shift people’s perceptions of immigrants. Eller observes that the focus on policy change hasn’t been effective and may lead to more harm: “While our movement is investing in ballot measures and bills, the anti-immigrant movement is investing in a cultural narrative that has successfully convinced the public that immigrants are our enemy and ought to be feared.”

Finally, our Member Spotlight features NCRP member LA Voice, a multi-racial, multi-faith community organization that believes all people have a voice and the power to transform their communities and the country.

Image: Michelle Dione captured on the viral video of “BBQ Becky” calling the cops on a group of Black people for having a barbecue at Lake Merritt in April 2018. View the video at