Amid the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice, we’ve seen how untenable and inequitable our society’s way of life has become. If we are to truly build back better — a phrase coined by disaster relief experts and championed by many, including President Joe Biden, during 2020 — then we must also build a better, braver philanthropy: one that eschews tinkering around the edges of a broken system, for supporting ambitious new solutions that shape new systems where everyone has a right to security and happiness.
Leaders and luminaries within the NationSwell Council are already making the case for this new, sometimes provocative approach to philanthropy — and pushing their peers to join them in working towards that seachange.
During a digital convening for NationSwell’s #BuildItBackBetter initiative, Wes Moore, CEO of Robin Hood Foundation, asked big funders to rethink their role in society: “We have to remember that our job [in the philanthropic sector] is not to make pain tolerable. Our job is to break down why the pain exists in the first place, and make sure people don’t have to keep going through it. There is actually a unique role that philanthropy can play. It can be the seed capital, the risk capital, the thing that’s able to address and come up with things that have the potential to be scalable, show how to be scalable and pass them on to our governmental partners to address it in the long term. Philanthropy should not be thinking about itself as a line item.”
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