Trans leaders need the spaciousness–many of us understand to be provided by sufficient resourcing–to be able to dream even bigger. As funders, we must understand, now is not the time to center our individual agendas; we cannot focus on single program areas, issues, and strategies, or tepid expansion of portfolios. The Right continues to fund for the long haul, and progressive philanthropy needs to expand our funding and our imagination. If we are working toward equity, we must be steadfast in resourcing trans leaders committed to, and creating long-term strategies for, trans people to live with self-determination and full autonomy.
When we announced a few years ago that NCG would be taking up racial equity as a central part of our work we received praise, and we also encountered some skepticism. Many cautioned us that everyone seemed to be “getting into equity” and that we’d better be sure we had something distinct to add. We have taken that to heart.
As the political economy ebbs and flows, California finds itself dealing with significant budget deficits more frequently, which ultimately impacts our state’s most historically marginalized residents. Cuts to important programs impacting housing and homelessness, the social safety net, climate resiliency programs and much more have a disproportionate and adverse effect on women and children, low-income families, rural communities, and neighborhoods of color. Nonprofit and direct service organizations often see an uptick in their clients during economic downturns and are compelled to fill the gap without augmentation in funding and resources.
Together with Philanthropy California (a statewide alliance of Northern California Grantmakers, SoCal Grantmakers, and Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Counties), we’re championing a sustainable nonprofit sector by supporting the California Nonprofit Equity Initiative. This package of state bills will support and strengthen the larger nonprofit ecosystem. We’re proud to support this package of bills. Philanthropy has a critical responsibility to advocate for their individual grantees and the larger nonprofit ecosystem. We encourage you to learn more below and use your voice to bring more fairness and equity to government grant-making processes.
In the last year alone, Californians have experienced the impacts of multiple climate disasters including severe drought, extreme heatwaves, earthquakes, catastrophic wildfires, and now several back-to-back Atmospheric Rivers. Climate change will only continue amplifying the risk that Californians face from natural hazards. We can’t keep doing business as usual philanthropy to meet the scope of our current reality.
Anti-Black racism and white supremacy are embedded in philanthropy and in our institutions, often invisible to the majority of us, even as we work with intention towards equity and justice. As change agents within philanthropy, we are stretching to become our best selves, rise to the moment, and progress toward racial equity.
The 2023 edition of the NCG Annual Conference was powerful on so many levels. We had 411 folks represent the complete diversity of philanthropy and their nonprofit allies. The theme – mapping a collective future – held deep resonance with participants, and the content received high marks throughout the day.