Judy Belk, chief executive of The California Wellness Foundation, reflects on how the foundation wields its power in ways that are grounded in the wellbeing and interests of the communities it serves to maximize its impact.
There’s no way around it, and it’s futile to deny it. Grantmakers have power.
In “Wielding Philanthropic Power with Accountability,” Judy Belk, president and CEO of The California Wellness Foundation, writes about the importance of speaking up about power and money, and of acknowledging the many choices at the disposal each grantmaker to effectively achieve its mission.
“We get to choose the issues we want to spotlight, the groups we want to fund, how much they get, when they get it and when they don’t, how we want to use our voice, who manages our investments, who we collaborate with, and who calls the shots in our board rooms and executive suites. We also have significant money, power, and influence with little accountability. … So I worry. Even though most days I agree I have one of the best gigs in California, I worry about how we can most effectively leverage all the assets we have at our disposal given so many choices and so little oversight.”
– Judy Belk, President and CEO
The California Wellness Foundation
“Wielding Philanthropic Power with Accountability”
“Wielding Philanthropic Power with Accountability” is part of the new Power in Philanthropy series on the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) blog in collaboration with NCRP. Contributors from NCRP and nonprofit and philanthropic leaders explore popular concepts in philanthropy – such as risk, capacity building and public leadership – through the lens of power and equitable outcomes.
Power in Philanthropy is based on NCRP’s “Power Moves: Your essential philanthropy assessment guide for equity and justice.”
Power, Privilege, and Effectiveness: Are Funders Connecting the Dots?
by Kathleen Enright, Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
The Power of Families: From Poverty to Agency to Unity
by Luz Vega-Marquis, Marguerite Casey Foundation
Philanthropy’s Ultimate Power-Sharing Opportunity: Governance
by Jim Canales and Barbara Hostetter, Barr Foundation
Philanthropic Leadership Means Following the Frontlines
by Alison Corwin, Surdna Foundation
Wielding Philanthropic Leadership With, Not For
by Grant Oliphant, The Heinz Endowments
Family foundations benefit from diverse boards
by Ruth Cummings and Sharon Alpert, Nathan Cummings Foundation
Don’t miss forthcoming posts by Linda Campbell of Building Movement Project and NCRP’s own Lisa Ranghelli.
Or stay tuned on NCRP’s blog for links
to the latest articles in the series.