REAL RESULTS

Why Strategic Philanthropy is Social Justice Philanthropy

Real Results

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The crises affecting our nation and the world have prompted philanthropists to become more organized, focused and, perhaps above all, “strategic” in their efforts. The movement toward “strategic philanthropy” has already contributed to greater philanthropic effectiveness.

Yet, despite important contributions to education, health, the arts and the environment, it is clear that philanthropy’s ultimate impact is still limited. Great disparities along the lines of race, gender, class and other identity markers persist and, in some cases, are even exacerbated.

This suggests that something is missing from our sector’s understanding of what makes for truly strategic and effective philanthropy:

A clear understanding of one’s goals includes not only the desired impact but also identifies who will benefit (or not) and how.

A commitment to evidence-based strategy cannot ignore the tangible, positive impact – and often the necessity – of influencing public policy.

Keeping a philanthropic strategy on course requires the input of those who stand to gain or lose the most from grantmaking: the grantees and the communities they serve.

Truly strategic philanthropy is social justice philanthropy.

Authors Niki Jagpal and Kevin Laskowski draw on common themes seen in a series of reports on high impact strategies for arts, education, environment and health philanthropy to demonstrate how a social justice approach produces concrete results and society-wide benefits regardless of issue focus.

ARTS AND CULTURE PHILANTHROPY

Art and culture are fundamental elements of a society, essential means by which people shape their identity, explain their experiences and imagine the future.

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ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE PHILANTHROPY

The environment and climate movement has failed thus far to keep up with movements for justice and equality

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PHILANTHROPY AT ITS BEST

Philanthropy should be accountable and transparent, employ effective grantmaking practices and benefit marginalized communities.

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