Saturday, January 28, 2012

Communities of Color Find More Prominent Role Within Philanthropy Sector

As the U.S. population shifts, with ethnic and racial groups growing faster than the overall American population, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has found the face of philanthropy is rapidly changing to become as diverse as the country’s population. The new report, “Cultures of Giving: Energizing and Expanding Philanthropy by and for Communities of Color” commissioned by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, with major funding by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, shows how philanthropy is evolving, with some of the most significant growth stemming from identity-based philanthropy -- a growing movement to spark philanthropic giving from a community on behalf of a community, where “community” is defined by race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

This report explores current shifts within the philanthropy sector and showcases key learnings, best practices and successful models to promote and enhance philanthropy and giving among communities of color. Among these learnings, the report reveals several factors catalyzing the current evolution of philanthropy:
  1. The face of philanthropy is rapidly changing to become as ethnically, culturally and socioeconomically diverse as our country’s population.
  2. Collective power, action and resources exist within communities of color that conventional philanthropy has not fully recognized, embraced and partnered with to bring about change.
  3. Understanding and supporting this emerging area of philanthropy are becoming increasingly essential for any foundation, funder or donor who wants to drive social change.
This report shares WKKF’s journey so that others might learn from both their successes and mistakes, and it challenges fellow funders to consider new ways to collaborate with and advance the impact of identity-based philanthropy: by providing seed support and other forms of assistance, by embracing identity-based funds as critical partners in the sector and forging stronger connections within communities of color and with other philanthropic leaders, by diversifying the leadership of mainstream philanthropy to reflect changing demographics and by shifting practices to reflect what communities of color are teaching about the future of giving and how funders can positively impact the country’s most vulnerable children and families.

The report is also intended to inspire everyday givers ... no matter their background ... to embrace their power as philanthropists.

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