An exasperated colleague in an ED group I belong to quoted a rejection letter she got from a foundation: “The Foundation Board appreciates that the XYZ program requires staff in order to function; however, the Foundation’s preference is to provide funding toward equipment or other non-salary related expenses, rather than toward wages. How do we change this narrative, people?!?!” my colleague added.
Philanthropy invests billions of dollars into charitable causes each year. According to Foundation Center, foundations gave an estimated $59.28 billion in 2016. That’s a tremendous amount of capital. For better or worse, the field of philanthropy is a leader in determining what’s important and how social change happens. Whoever holds the purse also holds the power.