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June 11, 2021

Decolonizing Philanthropy

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.

If there’s one thing that we learned in the past year, it’s that there are changes that need to be made within philanthropy to create solutions for challenging times. The pandemic showed organizations how important it is to be able to shift movement in the blink of an eye. One of the most effective ways funders can support organizations is through community-driven solutions. For some people, this may seem obvious, but solutions for people created by the people in their communities have a greater chance of making a difference. The term “decolonize philanthropy” was introduced by activist Edgar Villanueva. He wants philanthropists to think deeply about who they chose to give to and how their gift will help with the problems they want to solve.

To make sure that there is progress in giving, decolonizing philanthropy can help make every penny go far by centering donation in community solutions. Let’s look at ways philanthropists can be sure that their investments and donations will be more effective and efficient.

Collaborate rather than compete

Organizations are constantly competing to get funds for causes and solutions that go hand in hand with one another. For years organizations have kept lessons and tips learned to themselves so they can outshine their competition. The truth is that real impact requires collaboration. When organizations come together to tackle an issue and find solutions, they allow their communities to experience different opportunities all at once. Collaborating also brings the culture of sharing and helping each other navigate through the good and bad times.

Invest in leadership and community programs

For a long time, communities with ownership of solutions to their challenges have seen very significant changes. When organizations are forced to go about something in a forced manner, they usually don’t last very long. Community-driven solutions are effective when the organization’s leadership team has an excellent knowledge of the community and knows how to connect with them. These leaders also have a more significant idea of programs and operations that will work best within the community. Investing in leadership and community programs can bring in more partnerships and overall success.

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