Whether you call it “social justice philanthropy” or “social change philanthropy” or you don’t call it anything at all, the “it” has existed in a bit of bubble. Let’s break it out of the bubble and welcome it into the 21st century. Quite frankly, it is long overdue for a “makeover.” To that end, we need vibrant discourse in the field of philanthropy about its meaning and relevancy (or lack thereof) — and we need it now. To this end, Changemakers has launched a video project to help jump-start the conversation.This is how it started: In mid-March we invited people from the field of philanthropy who were in San Francisco for the GEO (Grantmakers for Effective Organizations) conference to be interviewed for this project. The goal: engage people in conversation in the hope of uncovering new messaging that matters AND moves people. Here is the opening paragraph from that email request to potential interviewees:”I hope this e-mail finds you well. 2008 is looking to be an exciting year for philanthropy and Changemakers. This coming year, Changemakers is celebrating its 10-year anniversary of grantmaking and advocacy to promote social change philanthropy. In connection to our 10-year anniversary, we are engaging leaders and stakeholders in grantmaking and community building in a dialogue to explore (1) ways to make the message of social change philanthropy relevant to our times and (2) strategies for building a “bigger tent” for change that reaches “beyond the choir” and increases our potential impact on the sector.”This is where the project is going: on the road to set up shop at the Council on Foundations’ Summit in early May. So what do you think?How would you like to see the final product used? Do you want to be part of this? (We particularly want to include voices of people for whom the term may not be so meaningful or relevant in their work.) We would love to hear your thoughts/insights!
The Reimagining Philanthropy Dialogue Project March 28, 2008