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  • Friday, May 28, 2021 9:03 AM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)

    As my final news as Philanos chair, I am delighted to share that during our May board meeting, we had an extraordinary event I want to share.

    After a discussion about the number of women who have been nominated for The Willoughby Award, a board member, our founder Colleen Willoughby, made a pledge to endow the award for 5 years. Additionally, retiring board member Dale Clifford made a 10-year endowment pledge, a memorial to her mother, Laura Egerton Lothrop.  We are incredibly grateful for their vision and generosity.

    Applications for The Willoughby Award are due June 30 and our Spotlight Awards are due July 15. Every affiliate has outstanding leaders and grants, we want to hear about yours.

  • Tuesday, May 18, 2021 12:24 PM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)

    Philanos Declaration of Unity

    We are stronger together.  

    No member of our society should ever feel threatened, or invisible, or devalued, or experience acts of violence. All people deserve to live full and abundant lives free of prejudice, discrimination, and oppression.

    We are stronger together.

    Every characteristic that makes an individual unique—height, weight, physical and mental ability, eye color, ethnicity, education, gender, race, geographic location, religious preference, sexual orientation, and more—is an asset if we choose to believe that. 

    We are stronger together.

    Our vision is that communities in which women’s collective giving organizations exist are healthier, safer, more equitable, and thriving.  This vision can be our community’s reality.

    We are stronger together.

    We are committed to equity, diversity, collaboration, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability because therein lies our strength.

    We are stronger together.

    Philanos supports philanthropy which is anti-racist and anti-bias through education, resource sharing, training, and open and honest discussions. 

    We are stronger together.

    Philanos encourages affiliates to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their grantmaking, and to fund organizations whose leadership includes the population they serve in order to recognize and value lived experience. 

    We are stronger together. 

    Women know the power of collaboration and that we are stronger when we advocate for our vision together.  Philanos accelerates this collaboration with our affiliates, partner networks and fellow philanthropists.

    We are stronger together.

    Print

  • Monday, May 17, 2021 1:39 PM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)



    Philanthropy Together along with Philanos and other networks are hosting the We Give Summit throughout the month of May! 

    The We Give Summit is designed to ignite and unite all of us in the powerful movement of collective giving.

    Open to giving circle members, philanthropy experts, community leaders, and social impact newcomers, we've been learning, growing, and dreaming together across four weeks in May as we joined sessions centered on this year's theme: Stronger Together.

    Here's a quick event overview:

    • 100+ incredible speakers who are making an impact their community through collective giving including Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Emmy-Winning Documentary Filmmaker Abigail Disney, Author Edgar Villanueva.
    • 25+ sessions that began on May 4 and have continued every Wednesday and Thursday throughout the month.
    • Hundreds of giving circle members and supporters from around the world connecting during lively networking events.
    • Session topics are covering everything from connecting with the next generation of givers to embedding racial equity into your giving circle to building a movement.

    If you've been participating, we hope you've been enjoying it so far. If you haven't yet had a chance, it's not too late to join in the learning and fun! See the full schedule and register here

    And, make sure to check-out the Philanos-hosted sessions that have taken place, and those coming up:

    • Trust-Based Philanthropy: How Giving Circles Can Redistribute Power - Wednesday, May 12th, noon ET. Features Impact 100 Richmond (Talley Baratka) and Washington Women's Foundation (Kris Kaminishi).
    • When Women of Color Lead, Climate and Environment Win - Wednesday, May 12th, 1 PM ET.  Hosted by Gwen Wesley Philanos Board Member (Spirit of St. Louis) and features speakers from Rachel's Network (new Philanos network affiliate), the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, and Georgia Conservation Voters.
    • The Shecession: Making Informed Funding Choices after COVID's Impact on Women and Girls – Wednesday, May 12th, 2 PM ET.  Hosted by Paula Liang, Philanos Chair, featuring Anna Fink of Amalgamated Bank and Dr. C. Nicole Mason, Institute for Women's Policy Research.  
    • Philanos Communications:  Tips and Tools - Wednesday, May 12th, 7 PM ET. Virginia Mills, Philanos Founding Member and Board Member (Giving WoMN) and Maggie Glasgow, Philanos Board Member (Greenville Women Giving). Virginia and Maggie are the Communications Co-Chairs for Philanos and will share ideas and resources from their recently revamped communications plan.
    • Against All Odds:  Growing Membership in a Pandemic - Wednesday, May 19th, 2 PM ET.  Hosted by Susan Benford, Philanos Chair-Elect (The Philanthropy Connection, Boston), featuring Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz (Women's Giving Circle of Howard County), Jennifer Bennett (Impact San Antonio), and Maureen Romito (Impact Las Vegas).
    • Start Your Giving Circle's Endowment and Grow Your Impact - Wednesday, May 26, 1 PM ET.  Hosted by Susan Benford, Philanos Chair-Elect (The Philanthropy Connection, Boston) with professional advisors Amanda Long, Philanthropy-Strategist Group, and Sherry Magill, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, on how to start or strengthen an endowment for your giving circle.

    Learn, grow, and think big with hundreds of everyday givers during the final weeks of May - join us!

  • Monday, April 19, 2021 9:50 AM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)


    Philanos, the leading women’s giving circle network in the U.S., announces five newly elected board members comprised of women who are members of Philanos affiliate organizations.

    “The Philanos board wholeheartedly welcomes these women to the board,” says Jenny Berg, Chair of Nominations. “These are all very skilled women who bring many talents, skills, knowledge and experiences to the board.”  


    Deepika Andavarapu, AICP, PhD
    Impact 100 Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

    Deepika is the founder and CEO of DEEP Consultants. Dr. Andavarapu, who uses she/her pronouns, is an urban planning scholar, community researcher, and evaluator working with government, nonprofits, and other philanthropic organizations. She is a strategic systems thinker designing long-term solutions with an emphasis on results and measuring impact.

    Deepika has over sixteen years of experience working with the public sector and philanthropy over many social justice issues. As a researcher, she has produced trailblazing scholarship related to social capital's role in the resilience of disenfranchised communities such as slums. She is a published author, a public speaker and presented her research at a TEDx conference. Dr. Andavarapu is an intersectional scholarly practitioner who brings academic rigor and expertise to the nonprofit world. She designed and implemented rigorous impact evaluations that meet the guidelines of federal and state grants such as CNCS, HRSA, etc. She conducted landscape assessments that included issue mapping, policy mapping, data mapping, and stakeholder interviews to assess the state of knowledge around a topic. 

    In 2018, Dr. Andavarapu received the Rising Star award by Cincinnati's YWCA and went through rigorous leadership and DEI training. Dr. Andavarapu has held many local and national leadership positions, and she was the first DEI committee chair for Impact 100 Cincinnati. In that role, she led the development of the first-ever DEI strategic plan for the 20-year-old organization. Under her leadership, the organization's diversity more than doubled (2.5% to 6.5%) in three years; today, the organization is working towards incorporating an equity lens into its grant-making process. In 2020, the 400+ members voted DEI as the top priority for the organization. In 2021, under Philanos Leadership, Dr. Andavarapu co-designed and facilitated the first-ever conversations around DEI with six collective giving organizations across the country.

    Buffy Beaudoin-Schwartz
    Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, Columbia, MD

    Buffy began her career working for an international human rights organization in Washington, DC. More recently she was the Communications Director at the Maryland Philanthropy Network and is President of her own firm BBS Consulting, working with foundations, nonprofits and political campaigns.

    She has come “full circle” by now serving as the first Executive Director of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County (WGC), having been an original founder 19 years ago, and a past advisory board chair.

    Buffy is a co-author of the award-winning book Women & Philanthropy: Boldly Shaping a Better World with Sondra Shaw-Hardy and Martha Taylor, is the author of numerous articles on women’s giving, and has participated in ground-breaking national research on giving circles for the last two decades.

    She’s in the “Circle of Excellence” being named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women three times - in 2003, 2008 and 2010 by The Daily Record, and an "Innovator of the Year" in 2004 by The Daily Record, and honored as one of "40 Under 40" in 2004 by the Baltimore Business Journal. She was a first Impact Award Winner in 2012 by The Mall in Columbia and the WGC, and is a 2019 Inductee by the Women’s Commission of Howard County into the Women’s Hall of Fame.

    Buffy has served on many boards including the Community Foundation of Howard County and Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County and she’s involved in political campaigns and gun violence prevention efforts.

    She has a BA in Russian history from the University of Maryland. Originally from Newtown, CT, she has lived in Howard County - between Washington, DC and Baltimore - for over 30 years. Buffy and her husband Howard have four children ranging in age from 28 – 14, and two granddaughters, ages 17 months and four weeks.

    Rebekah Bonde
    Washington Women’s Foundation, Seattle, WA
    Previously with Impact Austin, Austin, TX

    Rebekah graduated from Abilene Christian University with two Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting and International Business and minors in Economics and French.  Her professional background in Finance spans successive roles in oil and gas, financial services, and telecommunication industries, as well as consulting for both nonprofit organizations and high net worth individuals. 

    Collective giving became a passion for Rebekah in 2011 when she became a member of Impact Austin in Austin, Texas.  Elected to board leadership, Rebekah spent five years in different roles that included chairing the Audit, Finance, Personnel, and Governance Committees, as well as in executive leadership positions as Treasurer, Vice President, and Chair of the Board of Directors. After moving back home to the Pacific Northwest in 2018, Rebekah became a member of both 100 Women of Whatcom and Washington Women’s Foundation where she currently serves as a co-leader on a Pooled Fund Grant Committee.

    Rebekah’s previous board services include Street Youth Ministries, Sammamish Rotary Club, and Women’s Enterprises (all based in Seattle).  Rebekah is also a past director of Philanos where she served as Treasurer.  Her work in women’s philanthropy has been featured in Philanos webinars, newsletters, and conferences; local media; and in The Huffington Post Blog.

    Rebekah and her husband are supporters of Bellingham Food Bank (WA), Central Texas Food Bank (TX), Bellingham Symphony (WA), Manos de Cristo (TX), and pro bono financial education organizations in both Washington and Texas.

    Rebekah states, “My goal is to continue to meet and meaningfully interact with dynamic women representing collective giving groups across the county.  I enjoy building organizations from within and broadcasting our message externally.  Although financial management is my primary honed skill set, I am able to contribute in other roles, as evidenced by my written contributions on behalf of the communications committee.”

    Stephanie Cook
    San Diego Women’s Foundation, San Diego, CA

    Stephanie is the Executive Director of The San Diego Women’s Foundation (SDWF) where she oversees the organization’s strategic direction and mission to connect, educate and inspire women to come together in collective philanthropy. In this role, Stephanie is responsible for directing staff and operations, board and financial oversight, overseeing DEI initiatives and creating connections and partnerships in the community. She is also a proud SDWF member.

    Stephanie is on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of San Diego (YNPNSD), currently serving as treasurer and a member of the executive team, after previously serving as programming co-chair. In addition, she is a member of Girl Scout San Diego’s Leadership Advisory Bureau (GSSD-LAB), a group of local leaders committed to providing support and mentorship to Girl Scouts, troop leaders, and GSSD volunteers.

    Stephanie’s previous work experience includes program and event management, marketing, communications, and membership growth strategies in the nonprofit sector. Stephanie has a background in gender studies, certificates in nonprofit management and nonprofit DEI solutions, and an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago, where she conducted research and wrote a thesis on changing notions of community and empowerment in Cuban women’s movements throughout the 20th century.

    Paula Perkins
    Impact 100 Wichita Falls, Wichita Falls, TX

    Paula is the founder and president of Impact100 Wichita Falls, TX, incorporated in 2018.  She proudly champions women’s development and leadership as a result of her own experience with the Junior League of Wichita Falls and has recently expanded that passion to include strategic philanthropy through women’s collective giving.  Paula is also a member of the XIX Society of the Texas Women’s Foundation.

    Paula continually demonstrates a keen sense of purpose and meaning in her volunteer efforts with a strong commitment to improving her community through direct action. In 2014, her governance expertise assisted in founding the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts & Culture in response to a community-wide arts and culture plan.  Additionally, Paula has facilitated numerous efforts to address food insecurity through board service with the Wichita Falls Area Food Bank and co-founding its signature fundraiser, Empty Bowls, in 2012.  She has served as president of the Junior League of Wichita Falls and as a board member and the governance committee chair of the Association of Junior Leagues International.  Paula has been named as one of Nexstar Media’s Remarkable Women of 2021 and received a Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2013 for forging the way for others through her extensive community leadership.

    Paula has both BS and MA degrees in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University and is a recipient of Board Certification in Pediatrics and Specialty Certification in School Systems by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  She served as a school-based therapist for the first two decades of her professional career.  Currently, Paula is an Education Specialist for Region 9 Education Service Center, providing training and technical assistance for educators in the areas of special education and other federal programs.

    Philanos is a philanthropic network of women’s funds, foundations and giving circles that grant collectively into their own communities. Philanos accelerates women’s philanthropic giving by providing resources to its members to increase their impact. Philanos believes that communities with women’s collective giving circles are healthier, safer, more equitable and thriving. The network is comprised of women and those who identify as women. Philanos represents over 17,500 women in 80 affiliates in the U.S. and abroad who have collectively infused over $146M into their respective communities through their collective giving organizations.

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2021 12:10 PM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)

    The recent big news in philanthropy was that in late 2020 Mackenzie Scott donated $1.7 billion to 116 nonprofit organizations, followed four months later with an additional $4.2 billion given to another 384 organizations.  Each of the recipients received a carefully researched gift – many of which were the largest they had ever received.  Scott’s extraordinary generosity, coupled with the increased need caused by the pandemic, raised the question: Does a philanthropic gift have to be large to have impact?

    On January 12, the Philanos monthly webinar was The Power of Thinking Small:  Smaller Grants Can Have Big Impact.  It had the largest-ever registered audience.  The two presenting affiliates were Spirit of St. Louis, a founding organization of the then-WCGN network, and Impact 100 Seattle, founded just a year ago.  Members of affiliates can view the webinar in the Philanos member portal.  

    For both of these affiliates, identifying smaller non-profit organizations and giving grants of $25,000 or less, represented their approach to philanthropy.  But that is not true of all the affiliates who have recently begun looking at smaller grants.  There are intriguing examples of how other Philanos organizations have deviated from long-standing practices to supplement their granting with what each refers to as “small grants”.  These are two of them.

    Womenade Boston

    In a city of many women’s giving circles, Womenade Boston has carved out a special mission:  to improve the lives of underserved women and teen girls.  Their approach has been to make four grants (two supporting women and two for teens) each year in the $20,000 - $25,000 range to non-profits around $1.5 million in size.   Their vetting process was for their Evaluation Committee to reduce the number of requests to sixteen semifinalists (eight for each), all of which would receive site visits.  Following the visits, the committee would identify eight finalists.  From this group, the entire membership would select the grantees.

    But 2020 was a different year.  Like so many affiliates, they were right in the middle of their selection process when Covid-19 restrictions hit.  The Committee met to discuss the situation in a group that included leaders of some of the local nonprofits.  They realized there was no time to finish the formal process, including site visits, they had used previously.  And they knew many in their group of sixteen urgently needed the money.

    In a radical move, they decided to give all sixteen semi-finalists grants of $5,000 to use immediately as they saw fit, an idea immediately embraced by members and recipients.  Did it work?  Anecdotally, yes – but final reports are not due for another month.  What they do know, according to Jennifer Flanagan, President, and Sara Lavoie, VP and Chair of Evaluation, is that all sixteen organizations are still open and serving their constituencies – a significant accomplishment in these times.

     Girls Rock Campaign

    Impact 100 RVA

    To honor their tenth anniversary and in response to community leaders’ request for accessible funds, the women of Impact 100 in Richmond VA created the Neighborhood Catalyst Grant.  This four-year, place-based grant will fund up to $25,000 each year utilizing the trust-based philanthropic model.

    In 2019, the members selected the Fulton neighborhood with a focus on food security in the community.   A true partnership, Impact 100 members work closely with a panel of neighborhood leaders – Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NAC) – identified with the assistance of people living in Fulton who were already focused on marshalling community resources. The NAC has the responsibility to highlight very specific needs and concrete solutions for improvement.  Throughout the program’s three years, the NAC has played a key role in encouraging grant applications and collaborative projects among the neighborhood’s important support organizations.

    The Neighborhood Catalyst Grant is a complementary undertaking to the annual awarding of at least one $100,000 grant Impact 100 RVA has done historically (there have been two grants in recent years).  It has different committee members and the money is raised separately from the annual membership fee.  A big benefit to members has been the opportunity to work closely with the women neighborhood leaders in the Fulton community.   According to Talley Baratka, Impact 100 RVA founder and Catalyst Grant Initiative co-founder, “Trusting women is what women’s collective giving is all about.  This approach is about trusting women in their own neighborhoods to know what needs to happen.  It is that simple.”

    "We are standing on some good ground here." Ms. Linda Sutton says of the Fulton community. The Impact 100 Fulton-based Catalyst Grant Committee continues important work during their second virtual meeting to review invited proposals. More work continues next month by these dedicated volunteers. This is the third year of a four-year commitment by Impact 100 Richmond in partnership with the women-led committee.

    As these innovative programs show, a gift can be impactful if it is large or small.  It just needs to be the right size for its purpose.  To learn more, go to www.womenadeboston.org and www.impact100rva.org

  • Monday, March 08, 2021 12:38 PM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)

    In March, I and my team will launch a pilot project for online affinity group engagement among interested affiliates. The purpose of the test groups is to provide peer-to-peer sharing for affiliates involved in adopting DEI-related initiatives for their respective giving circles.   

    Several Philanos affiliates are participating, including Impact 100 Cincinnati (OH), San Diego Women’s Foundation (CA), Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County (MD), Impact 100 Essex (NJ), Baltimore Women’s Giving Circle (MD), Women’s Giving Alliance of Jacksonville (FL), Many Hands (DC), Women’s Impact Fund of Charlotte (NC), Idaho Women's Charitable Foundation (ID) and The Philanthropy Connection (MA).   

    These affiliates are assigned to one of the following two tracks and will meet for at least two sessions. Then they will determine how they want to stay connected as they proceed. 

    Track 1: “Grant Making with an Equity Lens” 

    For organizations that are exploring, testing and doing early-stage implementation of changes in grant making processes that further equity and trust-based philanthropy. 

    Facilitated by Laura Midgley, WA Women’s Foundation member; Philanos Board Member; Past Chair of WCGN (now Philanos)

    Track 2: “Organizational/Membership DEI Strategies” 

    For organizations that are implementing DEI learning resources for members, outreach to BIPOC women as members, and enhancing leadership diversity. 

    Facilitated by Deepika Andavarapu, VP, Impact 100 Cincinnati; Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee

    Other ongoing work by our Philanos AE&E team includes case studies of affiliates who have made multiple and significant changes in their grant making over time. Additionally, they have begun baseline interviews with any affiliate doing DEI work, capturing who they are, a description of where they are in the process, lessons learned, and further contact information. This information will be collated and shared in the Member Portal to assist affiliates as they move from theory to practice. We will let you know when this vital information is online! 
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2021 7:34 AM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)

    Philanos promotes the global initiative for the collective giving movement through Philanthropy  Together. 

    Philanos is proud to be one of five networks, along with Amplifier, Asian Women Giving Circle, Community Investment Network, and Latino Community Foundation, that founded Philanthropy Together (PhT) in April 2020. Its goals are to:

    • expand the number of global giving groups to 3,000 (from an estimated 2,000);
    • involve 350,000 individuals (from 150,000 currently); and
    • foster $1 billion of collectively made grants within 5 years.

    PhT’s global initiatives will bolster all networks like Philanos as well as individual giving circles. So what does PhT do and how is it different from Philanos?

    Philanthropy Together intends to democratize and diversify philanthropy around the world by incubating giving circles and supporting existing ones.  It has four strategic, global focus areas:

    1. Showcase: Expand awareness about giving circles (listen to PhT’s Executive Director, Sara Lomelin, discuss “What Big Philanthropy Can Learn From Giving Circles”)
    2. Scale: Strategically grow circles and circle membership (learn about Launchpad, the giving circle incubator that provides 5 weeks of virtual training for those who wish to start a giving circle and Launchpad for Hosts for those, like community foundations, interested in hosting one);
    3. Strengthen: Build capacity, leadership, and knowledge sharing (discover the “Community Calendar” in which giving circles can share their virtual events and learn of others, and watch for the first global giving circle directory in early 2021); and
    4. Sustain: Support ongoing vibrancy and effectiveness of the field.

    One way PhT will promote sustainability and vibrancy is through its We Give Summit  throughout the month of May 2021.  The purpose of this celebration of collective giving is elevating the movement and spawning collaborations across networks and giving groups.  If you have ideas for breakout sessions around perennial topics of interest like member retention, strategic planning and Board development, please send them to sbenford@philanos.org.

    Because Philanos had to cancel its planned PowerUP! in-person event for September 2021, we will be active presenters (and attendees) in the “We Give Summit”.  Plan on joining us!

    Also, PhT is creating an international, searchable directory of giving circles.  Each profile will cover the basics about each giving group: its mission, issue focus area, membership, dollars raised and invested, and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to raise the visibility (and impact) of your group and giving circles in general.

    Join Philanthropy Together on January 28 at 4 pm Pacific/7 pm Eastern as giving groups around the world complete their profiles together and meet each other for the first time.  Please register here, which also puts you in the running to win:

    • $1,000 for your giving group;
    • A specialized media kit for your giving circle and a 45 minute consultation about your social media strategy; and
    • Swag bags from PhT and Grapevine, a Philanos sponsor and the platform on which the directory is being constructed.

    If you’ve questions about the directory or the profile party, contact PhT’s Director of Engagement, Tyeshia Wilson (tyeshia@philanthropytogether.org) or Philanos Chair Paula Liang (pliang@philanos.org).

    See you there!


  • Wednesday, January 13, 2021 9:22 AM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)


    Giving circles and collective giving groups are working to address power in philanthropy. Why? Because there are times that funders inadvertently hinder nonprofits doing the work they know best.

    According to the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project (the Project), this can slow down progress, perpetuate inefficiency, and obstruct nonprofit growth and innovation. Trust-Based Philanthropy reimagines that dynamic. Infused by core values of power-sharing, equity, humility, transparency, curiosity, and collaboration, the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project believes philanthropic efforts will be more successful and rewarding if funders approach each grantee relationship as an ongoing partnership rather than a one-time transaction.

    The Project outlines a trust-based approach that relies on six interrelated principles which, when practiced together, can help alleviate power imbalances:

    1. Provide Multi-Year, Unrestricted Funding
    2. Do the Homework
    3. Simplify & Streamline Paperwork
    4. Be Transparent & Responsive
    5. Solicit & Act on Feedback
    6. Offer Support Beyond the Check

    If you were able to join the Philanos monthly webinar series on October 13 on Women's Giving Circles & Trust-Based Philanthropy, you heard an introduction to trust-based philanthropy for giving circles - what it is and how it can be reflected in collective giving. 

    The webinar presented its principles and practices, the reasons for its emergence, and the impact it has had on the social sector. We heard from two perspectives: Colby Swettberg, Chief Executive Office of the Silver Lining Institute in Boston spoke from the nonprofit perspective; and Philip Li, President and CEO of the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation in New York City, spoke from the funder perspective. In addition to sharing their experiences, they helped us understand how we might apply trust-based philanthropy principles to the collective giving model – how we educate our members, how we evaluate applications and organizations, and how we remain open to supporting organizations we may not know very well.

    Philanos affiliate member Impact 100 Seattle is committed to incorporating trust-based philanthropy principles and practices throughout their grantmaking philosophy.

    In fact, they proudly and publicly state their grantmaking philosophy as believing in trust-based philanthropy to drive enduring improvements in the Puget Sound Region. As a somewhat new organization, they are working hard to address some of the unhealthy power dynamics in traditional philanthropy. 

    Here are their grantmaking principles:

           Trust-Based Philanthropy. Impact Seattle 100 members see trust-based philanthropy as a process to address long-standing power imbalances and increase equity in philanthropy. They believe this approach requires funders to build relationships with grantee organizations through trust-based practices and behaviors.

           Partner for Transformative Change. This approach is based on their desire for transformative change – or addressing the root causes of issues and inequities as opposed to the symptoms. They want to support organizations that work in partnership with others toward collective impact and those that build power among those who may lack it.

           Embrace Risk. Impact Seattle 100 members are committed to embracing risk, by rewarding and encouraging new ways of thinking and acting to increase resilience and impact. 

           Listen, Learn and Evolve. They are committed to listening, learning and evolving, by recognizing the learning journey they are on with other members, and their partners.

    “We are offering support beyond the check ... we want to be an organization that grants with curiosity” said Jennifer Larsen, Impact Seattle 100 Vice President. “We worked hard to remain in a learning posture throughout the process and sustained an equitable process throughout.”

    The principles of Trust-Based Philanthropy have been important for funders across the country in general, and in particular the last ten months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Philanos affiliate member ninety-nine girlfriends has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting their work to be responsive to the situation at hand in their community. As they state publicly on their website, “ninety-nine girlfriends plays a unique role in our region in connecting women in collective action and supporting nonprofits. All of us must pivot as the pandemic moves through our community ... ninety-nine girlfriends will play our role in ‘flattening the curve’ to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and the severity of its impact on our community.”

    Ninety-nine girlfriends has been vocal about leveraging best practices by philanthropic leaders across the country and highlighting Trust-Based Philanthropy principles to their philanthropic response to COVID-19. In fact, they have highlighted recommendations from the Council on Foundations and the Whitman Institute.

    The Council on Foundations created a Call to Action to guide philanthropy’s commitment during COVID-19, where over 600 organizations have signed.

    Among the recommendations are to:

            Loosen or eliminate restrictions on current grants.
            Make new grants as unrestricted as possible to provide maximum flexibility for nonprofits.
            Reduce what we ask of nonprofit partners e.g. site visits, reporting requirements and other demands on their time.
            Support grantee partners advocating for important public policy changes.

    COF’s recommendations are based on the work of the Whitman Institute, advocating for Trust-Based Philanthropy. There is much we will learn about the Trust-Based philanthropic response to COVID-19 in the months and years to come.

    Giving circles and collective giving groups across the country are increasingly listening, learning, and responding by incorporating Trust-Based Philanthropy principles and practices throughout their grantmaking philosophy and seeking to help alleviate power imbalances.

    And, Philanos is committed to being an ongoing resource and partner to our affiliate members across the country on the principles and practices of Trust-Based Philanthropy.

    Listen to Pia Infante & Vu Le's PowerUP! 2020 presentation here!

  • Monday, January 11, 2021 8:40 AM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)

    Philanos proudly announces 11 of our affiliates were granted $1K to further their DEI practices.  

    Philanthropy Together made 25 grants of $1,000 each to organizations that had participated in PhT’s six-month Racial Equity Community of Practice.  Grants were made to attendees who had developed ideas about programming that would further their group’s DEI journey. The Philanos affiliates that were awarded are:

    • Anne Arundel Women Giving Together - MD, Giving Together - Chevy Chase MD, Impact Austin, Impact100 Philadelphia, ninety-nine girlfriends - Portland, OR, Women’s Giving Alliance - Jacksonville FL, and Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County - MD; each received funding to hire a trainer. Some will train their board, others their grants team, and some will train both board and members.
    • Impact100 Metro Denver, Impact100 South Jersey, Many Hands - DC and The Philanthropy Connection - Boston; each received funding to hire a facilitator or a coach to guide their DEI conversations.

    Explore Philanos DEI resources here!

  • Thursday, December 31, 2020 5:09 PM | Philanos Admin (Administrator)

    Spoiler Alert: It was extraordinary, just like all of their programming to date.

    Having been one of the original Co-Design team members whose mission was to  bring some infrastructure and support to the entire collective giving sector will, I believe, be one of the crowning achievements of my life.

    Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others, the five of us on that team took a leap of faith in the movement and each other: Felicia Harman of Amplifier, Hali Lee, founder of the Asian Women’s Giving Circle, Sara Lomelin of The Latino Community Foundation, Marsha Morgan, chair of the Community Investment Network, and myself.  We practiced radical transparency and decided early on that we wouldn’t be defined by “turf.”  Many philanthropic women sit at multiple tables. We aren’t in competition; we are in community.

    Now called Philanthropy Together, the initiative that we designed with input from more than 100 funders, leaders and members across the movement (men and women), launched on April 1, 2020.  I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that it felt like terrible timing in that moment, and we were all concerned about 18 months of work going up in the flames of a global pandemic. 

    We needn’t have worried.  The ED we hired, Sara Lomelin, (yes, an original member of the Co-Design team) and our amazing consultant, Isis Krause, who was Sara’s first hire, have the knowledge and the passion to push through many obstacles. They are also unhampered by an imposing structure, a large board and the expectations of hundreds of funders.  They hit the ground at a gallop and haven’t let up. 

    Their first two webinars, attended by hundreds, were all about the Black Lives Matter moment and philanthropy’s response. They featured Executive Directors of frontline organizations, answered crucial questions, and offered important “tips and tricks”. Two personal takeaways:

    • One consultant suggested that if it is difficult to diversify your giving circle because of your geography, think about how else you can help: where do you bank? Who do you employ as consultants, speakers, caterers, etc.?  You can support Black-owned businesses in many ways. I spoke with nascent groups in Vermont and Maine over the Summer, and this was helpful to them.
    • One session featured EDs of frontline organizations involved with the BLM movement.  One of them pointed out that “we” in the collective giving movement might be shocked by George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent fallout, but that none of them were surprised; they all knew it was just a matter of time and circumstance. Her appeal to us, and I’m paraphrasing because she was much more polite, was this: We’ve been doing this, and coordinating across organizations for a very long time. If you want to support our work, send a check. Don’t quibble about language, or nibble around the edges of the policy recommendations. As someone who can always come up with an opinion, it was a very powerful gut-check. 

    Following two outstanding webinars, Philanthropy Together found enough interest in these topics to host a six-month long Racial Equity Community of Practice, which was attended by dozens of staff, leaders and members of collective giving groups across the sector, including Susan Benford, Sandy Cook and myself and dozens of leaders of Philanos affiliates.  Marsha Morgan (who many of you will remember from her intro of Ijeoma Oluo at PowerUP!2020) and I recorded sessions for this Community of Practice (COP) and other organizations. A couple of takeaways:

    • Marsha asked me if there were affiliates who weren’t interested in “doing the work” of diversity, equity and inclusion. My response was “if they aren’t, they are being quiet about it. Everyone who came to Seattle wants to do the work. What they might not be ready for is the next step they have to take after they bring in diverse women. They have to let them lead.”  And in that moment, I realized that I was taking up space on at least two boards, which I will phase off of over the next several months, to make way for other voices. Stay tuned.
    • I learned that two of our affiliates, ninety-nine girlfriends of Portland, OR and Wood River Women’s Foundation in Ketcham, ID have morphed their language from DEI to JEDI: Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion.  How cool is that?

    As the final act of the Racial Equity COP, Philanthropy Together announced that they had $25K available to grant to organizations whose leaders had been part of the cohort, and who had ideas about programming that would further their DEI journey.  It was incredibly fulfilling to have 11 of our Philanos affiliates win these $1K awards. Details:

    • Anne Arundel Women Giving Together, Giving Together of Chevy Chase, MD, Impact Austin, Impact100 Philadelphia, ninety-nine girlfriends of Portland, OR, Women’s Giving Alliance of Jacksonville, FL, and Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County, MD each received funding to hire a trainer. Some will train their board, others their grants team, and some will train both board and members.
    • Impact100 Metro Denver, Impact100 South Jersey, Many Hands, DC, The Philanthropy Connection of Boston, each received funding to hire a facilitator or a coach to guide their DEI conversations.

    I look forward to hearing stories about the impact of these small but meaningful grants. I also encourage all of you to add Philanthropy Together to your bookmarks, check out their programming and the resources available on their website—you’ll recognize some of Philanos’ best content being promoted to a wider audience. 

    And if any of you have questions, suggestions, ideas, you all know how to reach me, pliang@philanos.org

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