Dr. Jason Franklin on the Many Faces of Philanthropy

“We are now living in a moment in American history where wealth is more concentrated than ever before, and one of the results of that is the rise of the mega-donor- the greater concentration of more philanthropic dollars in the hands of millionaires and billionaires. And that is both a cause for excitement and concern.” -Dr. Jason Franklin

About This Episode

Philanthropist, Author and Researcher, Dr. Jason Franklin, talks about the role of philanthropy in transforming communities. In his work, Jason is focused on reframing conversations and actions about how communities take care of the people that occupy them. From “outrage giving” to donating time, he talks about the many ways and reasons that people give. Jason’s deep understanding of philanthropy and loyal support of underserved communities leads to a candid conversation that is analytical and insightful.

About

Dr. Jason Franklin is the first holder of the W. K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair. He previously served as the Executive Director of Boulder Giving, which he led through five years of major growth after Melinda Gates accredited them as an inspiration for the Billionaire Giving Pledge. During his tenure, he helped Boulder Giving refine its focus on promoting philanthropy for social, racial, economic and environmental justice, and dramatically expanded its reach including launching its first programming outside the U.S. Jason has delivered more than 150 workshops and speeches about philanthropy, generosity and social change and oversaw the launch of new efforts to inspire and support donors to give, including giving communities.org and Give Out Day, which is a national day of giving for the LGBTQ community.

In his words…

“My vision for community philanthropy is one where we build the practices and the vehicles of giving that keep us connected to each other and strengthen our connections. The act of giving collectively can be an act of creating community.”

“One of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the last year since the start of the Trump Administration has been a wave of ‘outrage giving’ by people who are upset and angered by the actions that this administration has taken…I think the real question mark is what is that going to translate into. There’s an outrage gift that you make when a particular post goes viral or a speech is made or a policy proposal is released, and people respond. The translation is how you go from outrage giving to collective action. That’s the challenge for community groups all over the country who are having this flood of new dollars and new interest. Hundreds of thousands of people turning out to become activities- millions marching in the women’s marches- a powerful indicator of research and energy in so many of our communities. And now we’ve got to build the capacity for organizations to keep people engaged to channel the outrage into action, before people walk away.”

“I think the challenge for many local community non-profits is that the solutions that are being proposed and the innovations that are being developed are radical transformation, rather than incremental innovation. The second piece around innovation is not only look at the incremental, but also invite boards and staffs of different organizations to take a step back and ask, ‘Are they resisting innovation because of change or because they don’t believe the innovation will work’?”

“Many institutional funders are actually proactively looking and desiring the groups they support to come to them with ideas around innovation- to come to them with ideas around evolution or experimentation. Opening those conversations can be tricky. You can’t simply go from a once-a-year ‘here’s our proposal, please give us a renewal,’ to ‘we’d like to have deep conversation about how we’re re-imaging our entire business model.’ You actually have to build a relationship with your funders to then be able to have conversations that are based on the trusting relationship.”

“The non-profit world is racing to catch up with the realities of a global environment. And, whether that means rising demands for translation of your work in a local community, because you’re now serving 18 different immigrant communities who all have different language needs, or whether it means engaging in art exchanges around the globe to foster a different type of artistic expression, the impacts of a global society are varied but all very real in the work of the non-profit sector.”

Questions Answered on this Episode

What is your definition of philanthropy?

what do you think inspires people to give?

What is your vision for community philanthropy?

Have you seen any major changes in community philanthropy since our President took office last year?

I love the term “outrage giving”. Do you see that happening inter-generationally or is it just with particular age groups?

In philanthropy in general, in its current state, do you think that we are in position to solve our most pressing issues?

Tell me what trends do you think we should be bracing for in philanthropy or excited about in philanthropy.

How do we create more diversity and inclusion in the philanthropy sector?

Transcript

Vanessa

Welcome to the Social Change Diaries, the show that looks behind the curtain at everything you want to know about the social justice and non-profit landscape.  I’m your host, Vanessa Wakeman.

Welcome to Season II of the Social Change Diaries. I am your host, Vanessa Wakeman. I want to thank everybody who listened to Season I and got us off to a great start, and of course all of our amazing guests. And this season is going to be equally exciting, and we’re shifting to a different topic. We’re going to be talking about philanthropy.

So, a few things that I’ve found in my experiences in this social change sector is that philanthropy means many different things to different people, and so I wanted to grasp some of the general understandings of how people perceive philanthropy and what their role is in philanthropy. I also wanted to get some expert opinions on how do we change our thinking and approach to philanthropy. If there are opportunities to engage more people of color and make philanthropy more inclusive and just think about some of the history of philanthropy. And so this season, there’s going to be a varying number of opinions and ideas and concepts, and I hope this information is helpful to you and valuable and educational as you think about your work in the sector.

So, our very first guest for this episode is Dr. Jason Franklin. Jason is the first holder of the W. K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair. He previously served as the Executive Director of Boulder Giving, which he led through five years of major growth after Malinda Gates accredited them as an inspiration for the Billionaire Giving Pledge. During his tenure, he helped Boulder Giving refine its focus on promoting philanthropy for social, racial, economic and environmental justice, and dramatically expanded its reach including launching its first programming outside the U.S. Jason’s delivered more than 150 workshops and speeches about philanthropy, generosity and social change and oversaw the launch of new efforts to inspire and support donors to give, including giving communities.org and Give Out Day, which is a national day of giving for the LGBTQ community. 

 

Jason is a friend of mine. I’ve known Jason for about 15 years, met him early on in the beginning on the early days of the Wakeman Agency. And one thing that I’ll say about Jason is I always walk away from a conversation with him with a new perspective. He is a researcher and an author and a philanthropist, and really a very generous person. So, I always I find that I learn something when I’m speaking with him. There’s an opportunity to consider a different perspective and a viewpoint and really just interesting insights, so I hope that you all will enjoy this interview with Jason as much as I enjoy talking with him.

All right, folks, so I am here with my old friend, Mr. Jason Franklin. Thank you so much for joining us for Social Change Diaries today.

Jason

My pleasure. Glad to be here.

Vanessa

Thank you. Look, Jason, I have so many questions. I feel like when we’re talking about philanthropy, there’s so many different interpretations of what it means and how things get done. There’s so many different perceptions of who’s responsible for what. So, let me start at the beginning.

What is your definition of philanthropy?

Jason

That’s a great question.  So, I think there’s a couple of different ways to define philanthropy. Obviously, we often hear the root of philanthropy is the great love of humanity and it’s taking care and taking action on the behalf of others. So, I think in one sense, you can define it that broadly as taking action. In the work that I do and have done for the last 20 or so years, I tend to focus on financial giving. So, how do people give money to the causes and communities and issues that they care about, whether that’s $2.00 or $200 million, and anything in that entire spectrum makes you a philanthropist. The act of giving of your own resources to support things bigger than  yourself.

Vanessa

I think what makes it so interesting to have a conversation with you is that you play so many different roles.  So, you’re a philanthropist yourself. You are absolutely an activist. You’re an author, a researcher. The list goes on and on. And so, looking at philanthropy through all of those lenses, what do you think inspires people to give?

Jason

The reasons we give are as diverse as ourselves. The backgrounds and dynamics of what moves people from a passion for an issue to a concern about broader ideas of fairness. Faith traditions are huge, often unspoken or undiscussed, as the joy we get from giving and the chance to connect. But I get asked often not only what motivates but what’s the best motivation, and I always push back. I don’t think there is a best. I don’t think any of those fairness, faith, passion, joy are all critically important that people are moved to give because we care about things bigger than ourselves and we want to be part of supporting a vision of a world that we want to live in, not only that we live in today.

Vanessa

As someone who is so closely connected to community philanthropy, I often think when I’m having conversations with people that they are focused on philanthropy from a macro level, but I think that so much value to looking at the micro level and how philanthropy has the power to transform communities, and a lot of the organizations that we at Wakeman work with are indeed in the community. And I feel like they’re often overlooked for the role that they play in really keeping communities solid. You are the W. K. Kellogg Community Philanthropy Chair, the country’s very first endowed chair focused on community philanthropy. What is your vision for community philanthropy?

Jason

That’s a great question, and a fun question because I often get asked instead, what is community philanthropy. So, maybe I’ll start there. Community philanthropy means a lot of different things, and importantly it’s not saying community foundations. Community foundations are one really prominent vehicle for community philanthropy, but I think of the term of meaning two related things. One, how do we give together and how do we give to the communities we care about. So, the idea of how do we give together, it’s how do we come together and pool our resources and learn about the issues we care about, so coming together through a community foundation, a giving circle, a donor network, a peer community, passing the hat in church are all forms of community philanthropy.

And then how do we give to the communities we care about is important to define community in a number of ways. It’s the physical community, the neighborhood or the city that we live in. It’s the racial or ethnic community we’re part of at the aspect of the community we may connect to. And those various ways that the aspects of our personal identity that make us feel connected to each other. Do I see you as part of my community because we live in the same town or because we’re both part of the [unclear] community? We’re in community based on those aspects of our identity.

And my vision for community philanthropy is one where we build the practices and the vehicles of giving that keep us connected to each other and strengthen our connections to each other that a giving circle or donor network can make us feel more connected to place, can make us feel more connected to our heritage, can make us feel more connected to those who have shared similar experiences to us. And actually the act of giving, collectively, can also be an act of creating community, even as we’re supporting community.

Vanessa

Have you seen any major changes in community philanthropy since our President took office last year?

Jason

Yes. No question. Actually, I just had an article published a couple weeks ago in response to philanthropy where I talk about how do we amplify the impact of outrage giving. And I think one of the biggest changes we’ve seen in the last year since the start of the Trump Administration has been a wave of outrage giving, of people who are upset and angered by the actions that this administration has taken, whether it be on the Muslim travel ban or attacks against women or immigration attacks and the attempts to end the [docket and protections for dreamers] that you’ve seen people giving at levels that’s really unprecedented. You’ve seen a wave a new gift from new donors, people who have not given before to social change work, in defense of their own communities and in defense of communities that they care about.

I think the real question mark is what is that going to translate into. There’s an outrage gift that you make when a particular post goes viral or a speech is made or a policy proposal is released, and people respond. The translation is how you go from outrage giving to collective action, and that’s, I think, really the challenge for community groups all over the country who are having this flood of new dollars and new interest – hundreds of thousands of people turning out to become activities – millions marching in the women’s marches, a powerful indicator of research and energy in so many of our communities. And now we’ve got to build the capacity for organizations to keep people engaged to channel the outrage into action, because otherwise people will – I think we have a moment to capture that energy and to support that energy before people give up, before people walk away.

And so, that’s really our opportunity of the moment is now to translate the energy and the giving into sustained action.

Vanessa

And within – I love the term outrage giving – do you see that happening intergenerationally or is it just with particular age groups?

Jason

No, what’s really interesting is you actually see it intergenerationally. You see young, you see students and teenagers who are getting activated for the first time ever. You see young professionals who are also figuring out how to become activists alongside their first work experiences, and you see grandparents who are getting back out on the streets and marching. 

I was talking to one family that said they had four generations of women out at the women’s march together, the great-grandmother, the grandmother, mother and her two daughters, and none of them had been an active volunteer for several years. The grandmother talked about being an activist when she was young, but none of them identified as being activists. And so you see this activation and engagement, and even a connection between generations where parents and kids are getting involved together. They’re grappling with these questions of what are the issues of the day and what do they mean for our family and what do they mean for our community.

That, to me, is probably one of the hopeful silver linings from the moment that we’re in. If the struggles that we’re facing and the challenges that we’re looking at can actually lead to a renewed level of engagement, that has really powerful possibilities for the future. I wish we could get that level of engagement without all the trauma and without all the attacks, but I will look for a silver lining wherever I can find it.

Vanessa

Amen to that, for sure. So, as someone who did not cut her teeth in the social change space – I was in corporate America and my last role prior to opening Wakeman was with Morgan Stanley and technology. And one of the things that I think definitely transferred with me to my new role at Wakeman was this idea of innovation. I’ve always been pretty fortunate that places where I worked, there was a culture, even before we had language around and even before technology was central to what we were doing, there was space for people to try different things and disrupt the norms. I find, in philanthropy, at least my experience in working with clients and having conversations, innovation often is discussed as if it’s a dirty word. And so people sort of tense up and get nervous and like, “No we can’t do that. We’ve always done it.” 

And what I realized, and it took me a while to put the pieces together, a lot of organizations are concerned about innovation because they are fearful of losing funding from their donors and from foundations. What do you think is the role of innovation in philanthropy. If we really want to solve these problems, to me, it takes a different approach than what we’ve done in the past to solve them. Where do you think innovation could fit in in a way that has some level of safety and that people aren’t running rampant, but that there is a bit of freedom to be able to explore other approaches.

Jason

So, we’re going to take the next eight, nine hours to talk about this topic, right? No, that’s a really good question, and to answer seriously, I think that the non-profit sector has a really complicated relationship with the idea of innovation. On one hand, we are seeing a steady stream of new disruptive organizations and innovators and models and non-profit incubator and accelerators, and particularly carrying the Silicon Valley ethos of digital disruption and new technology innovation. How can we bring it to every sector.

And we’ve got a phrase for it. You just add the word tech after whatever the topic is. So, we’ve med-tech, and we’ve got ed-tech and we’ve got development-tech. How do you bring a technology solution to education with new digital education tools to medical treatment by having remote treatment locations and virtual patient consultations? 

And so that’s one type of innovation is a technology innovation. And I think the challenge for many local community non-profits is that the solutions that are being proposed and the innovations that are being developed are radical transformation rather than incremental innovation. What I mean by that is to completely upend the model of the community clinic with a digital consultation format means that your physical clinic space, your consultation, your staff structure is all being completely re-imagined. And that’s really challenging for a community healthcare clinic to figure out, “What does that mean besides a direct existential threat to the existence of the organization.”

On the flip side, what we haven’t embraced enough and what I think is really, I hope, will be the next frontier for innovation, is what’s the questions and options for incremental innovation.  How can you adapt some of the practices and ideas from brand new digital software and mobile application tech for current practice, because we know that most small and medium sizes non-profits are not going to be able to fundamentally re-tool their entire business model quickly.

The second piece around innovation is not to look at the incremental, but it is to invite boards and staffs of different organizations to take a step back and ask, “Are they resisting innovation because of change or because they don’t believe the innovation will work?”

If you believe that your model works, stay with it. If you’re attached to your model because it’s safe, that’s not a good enough reason to stay with your model. If the brand new innovations that are coming out are fundamentally better than redoing your whole model, maybe what you need to do, and that’s a daunting tasks that requires a lot of conversation with your donors and your funders to get them on board, a lot of conversations with the community to engage it, a lot of trial and error and experimentation to figure out how to adapt a major innovation to your own community. 

If our fundamental commitment is to improve the quality of life in our community, to advance a vision of healthcare, education, culture, science, then we have to be willing to redo our operating models if what we are doing is out of date, and safety isn’t enough.

Vanessa

Jason, do you feel like, based on your years and years in this space, do you feel like there is room to have those different conversations with funders around – I know this grant says we need to be doing it this way, but we have an idea that we think is better. Do you think that program officers and other types of funders are open to that response saying that we think we can really make a difference here if we just have a little bit of money to try something different, or do you think that it’s going to take some time before we get to that place where institutional giving will allow organizations to drive how they approach problems in that way.

Jason

[unclear] many institutional funders are actually proactively looking and desiring the groups they support to come to them with ideas around innovation, to come to them with ideas around evolution or experimentation. And opening those conversations can be tricky. And you can’t simply go from a once-a-year here’s our proposal, please give us a renewal, to we’d like to have deep conversation about how we’re re-imaging our entire business model. You actually have to build a relationship with your funders to then be able to have conversations that are based on the trusting relationship.

So, it takes actually getting to know each other to have the conversations and to have the trust and then be able to have the conversations around changing your work. But most institutional funders, at some level, want innovation. What does not work is out of the blue, one week before your proposal is due, e-mailing your funders saying, “Hey, I want to submit something completely different. I heard about it at a conference. I think it will be great.” The responsible approach that stops all that’s measured that says, “Here’s where we’re headed. Here’s why we think it makes sense. Will you fund a pilot project. Will you fund an experiment. We’re going to do this new model alongside our old model to see which one works better.” Those work. Just innovating just for the sake of innovating doesn’t work.

Surprising anybody with a new idea that’s not well thought out and hasn’t been previewed and developed doesn’t build a lot of confidence. And I say all that and want to acknowledge that the challenge is that all of these organizational leaders are generally running a thousand miles a minute just trying to keep up, trying to run their programs and keep the organizations open and raise some money to pay for salaries and respond to the communications demands. And so, I know that when I say you need to build relationships, you need to thoughtfully develop programs, you need to think through carefully your pilots, that can feel daunting, because carving out the time to do that in the midst of a time-strapped non-profit leader is one of the biggest challenges that we face.

And so the last part around innovation is taking it into manageable chunks. If you don’t have the time to overhaul everything, don’t. Figure out something you can manage and do that well, so that you can build up to bigger changes.

 

Vanessa

Thank you. I was about to say, so we’ve been speaking for almost 20 minutes and I can assure you that if I were to just pull out the last two and a half minutes and share that response with our network, that would probably be the highest listened to blurb from any of our podcasts. I feel like so many of our organizations are so concerned about innovation or so concerned about how to solve problems, and I so appreciate your candidness and your transparency and how you answered that. I think that information will be tremendously helpful to our clients, our listeners and anyone else who is interested in this space, so thank you so much for that.

And staying with this innovation topic a little bit, actually no, in philanthropy in general, in its current state, do you think that we are in position to solve our most pressing issues?

Jason

Nice easy question. Is philanthropy in the moment to be able to solve our society’s most pressing issues? I would say the answer is both yes and no.

So, on the yes, we see technology advancing and new approaches to some of our most intractable issues being developed and prototypes and experimented with. The prospect of an actual HIV/AIDS vaccine is real within my lifetime. The ideas of a true global communications infrastructure are viable and increasingly available. So, there are some of our challenges that we may actually develop solutions for, and philanthropy has a critical part in each of those when you look at vaccination and the work that has been funded by the Aaron Diamond Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and others for the development of an HIV/AIDS vaccine, and then eventually the dissemination and distribution of such a vaccine. Philanthropy will play a huge role.

And then on the other side, actually no, because we see rising wealth and equality across the globe, which is one hand spurring philanthropy, but is also pointing to one of our most intractable problems. We see the challenge of climate change, and while we have all sorts of new ideas and [unclear] solutions scaling those solutions to the level to actually make an appreciable impact against the daunting dynamics of climate change is really hard to imagine. And philanthropy is not big enough to solve the question of poverty, to solve the question of inequality, to solve the question of climate change. Philanthropy’s role, to me, on issues of that scale is to explore, it is to help us understand the parameters of those issues, it is to experiment and test with possible solutions and ultimately to build the public will so the governments take on these massive problems.

You see some interesting developments like philanthropy’s work with the sustainable development goals with the United Nations to actually build a global platform to implement transitions to a sustainable global economy that are inspiring, but to say that philanthropy will solve these problems is too simple. To say that philanthropy has a powerful role in helping, absolutely.

Vanessa

Got it. So, Jason you have your finger so much on the pulse. Tell me what trends do you think we should be bracing for in philanthropy or excited about in philanthropy.

Jason

Well, the Johnson Center, where I work, just put out a new piece on eleven trends in philanthropy. You can find it on our website, johnsoncenter.org. And two in particular that strike me that I wrote about, so I know them well among the eleven, in particular. One is this question in equality and the concentration of wealth. So, we are now living in a moment in American history where wealth is more concentrated than ever before, and one of the results of that is the rise of the mega-donor – the greater concentration of more philanthropic dollars in the hands of millionaires and billionaires. And that is both a cause for excitement and concern.

On the excitement side of the ledger, as we see the concentration of wealth, we see more people who have capacity to give beyond ever before. We see new major donors stepping up on an [almost] monthly basis or more. We hear announcements of new major funding for criminal justice reform, for the arts, for basic scientific research and some of the possibilities for these new major gifts and the work that they will product is really inspiring. The challenging part of this equation is that more of these philanthropic decisions will be centered in the hands of fewer people. So, their personal importance for different organizations will increase, the control that they will have on non-profits is likely to go up, and the challenge at an ecosystem level will be that if you are not a favorite organization of a major donor, it may be harder and harder to find ongoing support.

Less of an issue at the local level, because we’re not going to see billionaires being the primary funders of neighborhood organizations. But for regional or national organizations, this concentration of wealth is a particularly challenging one.

The other trend, I would say, is around globalization. And more and more of my work is looking at global community philanthropy and the patterns and dynamics of collective giving around the globe. We know that global [unclear], racial and ethnic [unclear] are more and more important, connect people are feeling and sustaining connections to their home communities for longer periods because of social media and other technology that enables us to stay connected to where we came from. And, our economy is equally globalized, so more product is moving across borders and more people are moving across borders.

So, the non-profit world is racing to catch up with the realities of a global environment. And, whether that means rising demands for translation of your work in a local community, because you’re now serving 18 different immigrant communities who all have different language needs, or whether it means engaging in art exchanges around the globe to foster a different type of artistic expression, the impacts of a global society are varied but all very real in the work of the non-profit sector.

Vanessa

Those are interesting and I will definitely check out the article. So, let’s put on our human resources hat for a moment and let’s talk about the pipeline. How do we create more diversity and inclusion in the philanthropy sector? What are your thoughts?

Jason

So, we know empirically that wealth maps onto race in the United States. The history of slavery and the history of discrimination and oppression in this country has meant that more wealth is the hands of white Americans than in African-Americans, Latino or Asian hands or native hands. You see the results of that play out in philanthropy, that the majority of people who have significant wealth are white, and therefore the majority of major donors are white.

So, at the individual donor level, yes we are seeing rising wealth within Black and Latino and Asian communities, and I think that broader policy work around trying to close the wealth divide, both between rich and poor and across racial and ethnic lines is really critical. And that as we see, or if, I hope it’s when, but if we see the close of wealth and equality and racial wealth divide, we will see greater diversity among individual major donors first.

Second, even given those divides, there are more people of color, and there are more women who are giving than ever before. And for organizations, it’s about making sure that you’re welcoming. It’s about how do you invite those donors in those communities to support your work. It’s being really conscious of your own language within your organization, the messages that you use, the messengers who share the word about your organization, because all of the ways that an unconscious bias show up in our work and show up in our speech and show up in  selection of leaders reinforces the patterns that we may be trying to break.

And at a really pragmatic level, when we look past the individual donors, also the staff inside foundations and the staff inside philanthropy organizations, we just have to do a better job of recruiting, supporting, promoting and nurturing leaders of color and women and LGBT leaders into greater roles. 

I do not buy the argument that I sometimes hear that there’s just not a good pool out there. It is not true. I have never found it to be true. It takes time and intention to do better outreach, to reach out to communities you’re not already connected to. A white Board of Directors has to work extra hard to make sure they don’t just turn to their own network, which happens to also be white, when they look to recruit new board members.

A white-led organization has to do extra work to make sure that it is reaching out to invite and, more than invite, make sure that other communities know positions are open when they’re hiring for new positions. But the skill is out there. The experience is out there. The leadership is out there. It’s really about crossing the communication divides, and providing the support once you do, that we can’t also then bring one person from a different background into our community and say, “Hey, we [extra stepped] so we’re diverse.”

Having been a young leader and having been an LGBT leader in spaces, where I was the only young person or spaces where I was the only LGBT person, I know personally, it can be very isolating. And the tokenizing impact of that experience is a challenging one. So, now when I have various leadership roles and I’m trying to bring other voices into and be an advocate and an ally, one is telling people as I’m inviting them to join me, saying, “Hey, I know you’re going to be the first Latina in this space, and there has to be a first before there’s a second and a third, and I will try to be there as much as I can to support you, and let me know how I support you, and thank you for taking on this role, and let’s work together to make sure that you’re not the only Latina in this space for very long.” First one, then the next, then the next, to shift the patterns over time.

That that transparency acknowledging that we start with one and being a support for the first person, but also working to break the pattern and to acknowledge that patterns are bigger than single people is really critical.

Vanessa

I think that that’s such a solid approach, and I think that the support piece is so important. I’ve been in roles where I’m the first, and having support versus not having support has made a tremendous difference. And so, thank you for your leadership for all of the folks out there who are the first. I’m sure they are thankful for your help there.

I feel like I could continue this conversation with you for at least another two hours, but that isn’t fair to you.  So, I am going to ask just one final question, and that is, what are you most excited about in philanthropy.

Jason

I am most excited in philanthropy today because of the resurgence of collective giving and the rising focus on social and racial justice. We are seeing more conversation and more action about how do we pool resources, how do we give together, and I think when people do join together whether it’s through giving circles or funding collaborative or donor networks, people give better. You learn from your peers. You make better decisions because you have more voices and more insight. You share risks, so you may also take more risks. You move bigger dollars, which is what so many of the issues that we care about need. 

So, the rise in collective giving gives me real hope, and more than ever before, I feel like there is frequent and more honest and more direct conversation about the role of philanthropy in confronting issues of racial and social and economic and environmental injustice. And what’s the role of philanthropy to stand in solidarity with movement for justice that are springing up and gaining momentum around the country. 

So, the more the conversation and then conversation being followed by action, in philanthropy, the really center, the social justice movement of today, the more optimistic I am for what it means for tomorrow.

Vanessa

Thank you, Jason. This was absolutely a pleasure to chat with you. I always enjoy having an opportunity to pick your brilliant mind. So, thank you so much.  

Jason

Completely my pleasure.

Vanessa

And we will talk again soon, friend.

Jason

Thank you. Thanks for the chance to do this. It was fun.

Vanessa

As promised, Jason shared a number of valuable insights, and I’m particularly appreciative for his commitment to creating inclusive environments so that we can see shifts in the issues that are being championed by philanthropic organizations. If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Change Diaries, please leave a review or share it with a friend. Thank you so much and see you next time.