Philanthropy Together is committed to exploring and implementing corrective action steps with a fiery passion and clear sense of urgency toward an equitable future for everyone. Diversity, equity and inclusion are core values to the Philanthropy Together team and these values ground us in our work everyday.
As we continue to navigate through the challenges of social, civic and human injustices that erupt from doing DEI work, the organization is guided forward by four key values:
- the power of collaborations among the giving circle community, modeling a better-together practice for timely, relevant causes while still supporting and catalyzing the existing efforts within the field
- practicing the cycle of learning-applying-reviewing-improving to maintain awareness around issues that affect the work
- empowering communities to be their own best experts and promoting the creation of spaces where all donors can participate in a way that fits their ambitions, values and personality, especially those traditionally underrepresented
- building spaces that reflect and rejoice in passion joy and fun, as this work is an amazing experience grounded in love, respect and hope
In effect of Philanthropy Together’s commitment, key values, keen awareness to social justice issues and quick-acting, we launched the Racial Equity Community of Practice in June 2020, following the murder of George Floyd. It was a pledge to stand in solidarity with the Black community and a peaceful, proactive retaliation to the outrage and disgust shared from a parade of senseless, avoidable acts of violence.
Philanthropy Together, in partnership with the giving circle field, responded with purpose and intention, and will keep working to change this broken system of racism and discrimination that hinders society. In putting together the two-part webinar series on racial equity with Community Investment Network, Philanthropy Together called on other like-minded friends, leaders and supporters in philanthropy to do the same.
Part one of the racial equity webinar series covered the state of the Black community, facilitated by Marcus Little of Frontline Solutions. Part two detailed ways collective giving groups could support Black communities. The webinar series had a turnout of 700+ attendees.
Participants gained a wealth of knowledge including an understanding of racial equity, its origins and present-day impacts; opportunities for self-reflection and awareness; how to discuss race constructively; and short and long term equity goals and strategies. The major objectives for participants included understanding and exploring:
- Roles giving circles can play to support policies, programs, and services to advance equity
- Adaptable and actionable steps giving circles can take to support their short and long term efforts for racial equity
- Guidelines for grantmaking with a racial equity lens
With hundreds inspired and ready to employ long-term, sustainable change, Philanthropy Together deepened their partnership with Community Investment Network and CommunityBuild Ventures to launch a six-month Racial Equity Community of Practice to bring everyone together on the shared mission of embedding racial equity into the practices and processes of giving circles. This Community of Practice ran from July to December 2020 and was a monthly gathering for participants that focused on three key topics: culture, grantmaking and growth impact. The meetings alternated between webinars and public forums, and resources, tools and online discussions were also provided.
As a culmination of the six-month Racial Equity Community of Practice, Philanthropy Together awarded 25 giving circles with $1,000 support gifts to help advance their work in racial equity. The support gifts resulted in three categories among the awarded giving circles:
- 11 giving circles committed to engage in racial equity training
- Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County; Anne Arundel Women Giving Together; Women’s Giving Alliance (Jacksonville , FL); Social Venture Partners Cleveland; Ninety-nine Girlfriends; Jewish Teen Funders Network; Social Venture Partners Boulder County; Impact100 Philadelphia; Impact Austin; Giving Together; Latino Giving Circle Network
- 3 giving circles committed to further their education in racial equity
- 11 giving circles committed to hire racial equity/DEI facilitators and coaches
Philanthropy Together persists in fostering and cultivating learning opportunities, collaborations, conversations and community of practices in order to dismantle crippling systems of injustice that impede on the rights, freedom and safety of others.
Check out the Equity and Justice in Collective Giving webinar series, along with the resource library for guides, videos, and more to help you impact your community with positive changes of anti-racial, democratized philanthropy today.
Ilyasah N Shabazz
For more than a decade, Ilyasah has worked with nonprofits to help them grow their audience by telling impactful stories, implementing strategic plans, and streamlining digital communications. A proud New Yorker, Ilyasah now lives in Greensboro, NC.