Giving Compass’ Take:
• Scott Fitzmorris argues that with our democracy and climate in active crisis, it is time for foundations to distribute, rather than stockpile, their capital.
• What are the returns on capital stockpiled vs. capital spent on grants? What high-priority funding opportunities could benefit most from an immediate influx of money?
• Learn why many philanthropists, including Chuck Feeney, are engaging in lifetime giving instead of endowing foundations for the long term.
Our democracy and our climate are in crisis. The nation’s activists and organizers are rising to meet this challenge with inventiveness and courage. It’s time for philanthropy to do the same.
That’s why the Wallace Global Fund will nearly double our grant budget this year, dedicating all of our portfolio gain from the last year to grant making — and none toward increasing our endowment. That will mean an additional $10 million in grants to tackle the extraordinary challenges our country and the world face.
Our sister foundations and all major donors working for social change should consider doing the same. By increasing our collective grant-making power, we could exponentially grow the power of civil society to serve as a check against undue influence of special interests over our government.
When we face existential threats to our democracy and our life-supporting planet, should we be stockpiling our capital and continuing only to grant the minimum 5 percent required by law?
The organizations we fund are on the front lines of the fights to defend basic human rights for all, regardless of class, gender, immigration status, race, or religion. They are defending access to an open internet and accessible voting rights for all. And they are fighting for sensible regulations of corporations to ensure we protect our air, water, climate, and health.
Read the full article about stockpiling capital by Scott Fitzmorris at Health and Environmental Funders Network.
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If you are ready to take action and invest in causes for Civil Society, check out these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects related to Civil Society.