Approaching the Intersection: Will a Global Pandemic and National Movement for Racial Justice Take Philanthropy Beyond Its Silos?

Approaching the Intersection: Will a Global Pandemic and National Movement for Racial Justice Take Philanthropy Beyond Its Silos?

Although U.S. foundations are expanding their commitments in response to inequities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement for racial justice, they have yet to embrace intersectional approaches, a report from TCC Group finds. Based on interviews with place-based funders and philanthropy-serving organizations, the report, Approaching the Intersection: Will a Global Pandemic and National Movement for Racial Justice Take Philanthropy Beyond Its Silos? (25 pages, PDF), found that foundations' responses to COVID-19 — including loosening grantee requirements, providing unrestricted support, and directing more resources to pooled funds — followed previous patterns, including the response to the Great Recession. The scale of the pandemic and its many impacts, however, may result in longer-term shifts in foundation practices, including building stronger, more reciprocal relationships with communities and increasing support for policy, advocacy, community organizing, and systems change work. At the same time, embracing intersectional work is likely to take time and a multiplicity of approaches — from conversations with boards about the opportunities inherent in such work, to learning among staff across program areas, to participating in funder networks that engage members from diverse institutions, to exploring strategies and grantmaking models in which communities are given the lead.

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