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PEAK Grantmaking

Weekly Reads – October 30, 2019

A roundup of timely insight from the grantmaking community and beyond.

The will and self-determined priorities of these communities [we serve] must be our North Star. They hold power to account—including our own. The barrier to progress is Big Philanthropy’s inability to let go of control and truly trust Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to bring change that will not only improve their lives, but that will improve all lives. That’s what mass liberation means.”  [more]
—Crystal Haling, The Libra Foundation

This happens a lot. This belief that others are not ‘ready’ for things, that they are too fragile to handle stuff. I’m going to call it Gatekeeper Fragility, aka Meta-Fragility, a sense of emotional discomfort caused by thinking of others’ potential experiencing of emotional discomfort, which leads to prevention of uncomfortable conversations and gatekeeping of progress.”  [more]
—Vu Le, on Nonprofit AF blog

“To be frank, strategic grantmaking, more often than not, is just overly prescriptive grantmaking. Put more bluntly, as someone who works for a national nonprofit serving Native Americans, it is just another iteration of colonialism. As a Native American, I am all too familiar with the countless failed policies that were developed to help us or save us from ourselves.”  [more]
—Sarah EchoHawk, in Nonprofit Quarterly

“[C]olorblind application of financial assessment and funding practices can make it harder for organizations led by and serving people of color to get grants and make the most of them. […] Organizations led by highly skilled people of color, operating without access to the same networks of wealth, could appear less resilient if a grant maker analyzes their financial condition without taking this context into consideration.”  [more]
—Antony Bugg-Levine, Nonprofit Finance Fund, in Chronicle of Philanthropy