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Rewriting the Rules of Philanthropy: Panel Discussion Provokes New Ways to Look at Generosity

14 Oct 2021 by GivingTuesday
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The landscape for giving is changing and expanding in all directions. As we peel back layers of institutionalized philanthropy, we’re recognizing how much generosity has been happening right in front of us the whole time. Communities everywhere give in creative ways to drive social change, yet these informal, often nonmonetary acts of giving tend to be overlooked, marginalized, or deprioritized by the social sector and policymakers.

How We Give Now, a new book by Lucy Bernholz, senior research scholar at the Stanford University Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, examines the many ways people give money, time, and even data to help communities seek justice. In our recent panel discussion, Rewriting the Rules of Philanthropy: How We Give Now, Bernholz explained, “We talked to people away from the coasts of the United States. We asked them, ‘How do you make the world a better place?’ Answers ranged from kinship care to helping a neighbor to taking public transit instead of driving to shopping at a farmers market. … People care and they help. People care and they take action.” 

Moderated by Rhodri Davies of the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, this lively conversation pulls no punches as the panelists explore emerging trends in giving and how our response to current crises is reshaping the future of philanthropy through collective action, mutualism, and reciprocity. 

“Philanthropy means ‘love of people.’ That’s a beautiful word. I think we just need to reclaim it as a community, because it’s ours,” said panelist Edgar Villanueva, principal at the Decolonizing Wealth Project and Liberated Capital and author of Decolonizing Wealth.

The panelists dissect how the landscape of giving hasn’t so much changed as it’s being revealed, layer by layer, tackling topics like what impact means and who decides, decolonizing wealth, the implications of giving data, and why some communities are deliberately opting out of the formal nonprofit sector. 

“Generosity is fundamentally about agency. We’re exercising our power to help, to heal, to make a difference in solidarity,” said panelist Asha Curran, CEO of GivingTuesday.

Ready to rethink what generosity looks like? Check out the video replay of Rewriting the Rules of Philanthropy: How We Give Now  

Rewriting the Rules of Philanthropy: How We Give Now from GivingTuesday on Vimeo.  This session is made possible thanks to generous support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

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