While it’s no replacement for government, philanthropy has an opportunity to wield great influence. One theorist, calls philanthropy to: "Bring people together, and stimulate the human spirit; Champion, support, and strengthen nonprofit organizations; Raise crucial concerns, such as equity, that might get overlooked; and, Help fortify and rebuild communities." Philanthropy’s voice holds special power in the ecosystem of societal change, even when the pace of change is daunting.
The unprecedented events of this year have changed the course for many in Northern California. The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over 200,000 lives in the U.S., the highest death toll in the world. Many families, fighting to survive the economic downturn caused by the pandemic response, struggle to pay rent, put food on the table, and support their children’s virtual learning. And, on top of it all, many communities grapple with assaults and murders of Black men and women at the hands of law enforcement. We cannot turn away; we cannot unsee the injustices.
These multiple pandemics show clear racial disparities in communities across our region. There have been too many preventable COVID-19 deaths, far too many Black lives lost, and too little action from the government to mitigate death and suffering in Black, Indigenous, and People-of-Color communities. Today, we also find our democracy under threat and expect protests and violence regardless of the election results in November — take a look at our 2020 Election Guide to find out what you can do.
Learn more about our Slate and NCG's support for each below.
Philanthropy has an opportunity to not only respond to the crises at hand but to also take a long view for a stronger and more equitable California. Northern California Grantmakers invites you to join us in pursuing a better, more just California. In doing so, philanthropy can make a significant difference by engaging on the policy issues that shape the conditions for communities across our region. We must protect our democracy so that every eligible vote can be counted, we must continue to support a full and accurate census count, and we must ensure our redistricting processes reflect the diversity of California’s communities. And, beyond the election, we must lift up policy opportunities that undo systemic racism and discrimination.
The magnitude of the current social context requires us to recalibrate and accelerate change. NCG has assembled an array of opportunities for philanthropy to make the most of its influence:
- Listen to grassroots movement leaders whose proximity allows a clear pulse of the communities they represent;
- Connect with movement leaders in trust-based relationships and also learn from one another, explore innovative approaches for philanthropy to show up at its highest level;
- Speak up alongside the communities we serve. As leaders, we must be prepared to harness our full arsenal, including our influence. Our voices matter, and they signal to the communities we serve where we stand in moments of crisis and beyond.
- Fund grassroots efforts to build power in Black, Indigenous, and People-of-Color communities. As we each figure out how we can get involved, it is critical to channel funding resources where they are needed most and trust those dollars will be put to good use.
Northern California Grantmakers is committed to continue providing its members with fresh programming, accessible resources, tailored learning opportunities, and trusted partnership, so collectively, philanthropy can meaningfully address the multiples crises we have faced this year and also plan for the long-haul as change takes time.