October 2019

Responsive Philanthropy October 2019


Written by: Aaron Dorfman

Date: October 07, 2019

Dear Reader,

Now is not the time for business as usual. Frontline activists and organizations across the country and the world continue to fight for dignity, security, inclusion and a thriving future for all.

From the youth-led global climate strikes and Puerto Ricans’ successful ouster of its governor to Indigenous Hawaiians pushing back the construction of a giant telescope on sacred ground and immigration activists continuing protest over ICE raids and family separation, I am inspired by the brave and steadfast people of color, Native Americans, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants and other marginalized communities leading the work for equity and justice.

I am thankful for the funders who have stepped up in support of their efforts. In this edition of Responsive Philanthropy, 3 philanthropy leaders share what they think are the mission-critical strategies that grantmakers need to embrace to truly partner with these efforts for transformative change in our society so that no person, no community is left behind.

For Wes Moore, chief executive of Robin Hood, policy advocacy that is grounded and informed by the people it serves is an important component of anti-poverty efforts in New York City. Read “Philanthropy for change, not charity.”

In “How philanthropy can help us be better as a nation,” Rick Williams, former chief executive of Sobrato Family Foundation, identifies 10 priority action items for grantmakers to help the country reach its full potential.

Taryn Higashi, Unbound Philanthropy’s executive director, sat down with Anita Khashu, director of NEO Philanthropy’s Four Freedoms Fund; Bridgit Antoinette Evans, executive director of Pop Culture Collaborative; and Aleyamma Mathew, interim director of Collaborative for Women’s Safety and Dignity, to discuss how funder collaboratives are playing an important role in breaking issue silos and enhancing grantmaker impact. Check out “The power of bridging issue silos through funding collaboratives.”

In a recent post for Candid’s PhilanTopic, I asked: “In a decade or two, when you look back on this time, a time when the fate of American democracy — indeed, the fate of many species, including our own — seemed uncertain, what do you hope to be able to say about your work?”

Be bold. Be brave. Take risks. Leverage your power in support of grassroots movements leading the way.

Yours in solidarity,

Aaron Dorfman
President and CEO

Responsive Philanthropy October 2019

by Aaron Dorfman


Philanthropy for change, not charity

by Wes Moore


How philanthropy can help us be better as a nation

by Rick Williams


The power of bridging issue silos through funding collaboratives

by Unbound Philanthropy