What does being both a funder and a strategic partner to grassroots organizations look like in practice?
How Both ENDS Director Danielle Hirsch Is Using Philanthropy, Advocacy and More to Shift Power
By Mandy Van Deven
Most people in philanthropy don’t enter the sector because they have dreams of working in a financial institution. But that’s exactly what they’re doing. The philanthropic sector as we know it today was deliberately designed by the robber barons of the early 19th century as a response to extreme wealth inequality they created through exploitative labor practices in the oil, steel and shipping industries. Whether to genuinely make amends for the harms they created or to engage in reputation washing, the industrialists cornered the market on philanthropy, guarding against legal challenges to its tax shelter functionality and curtailing regulatory legislation that could induce democratic decision-making. Today, the value of philanthropy stands at about $2.3 trillion, which is 3% of the global economy.
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Mandy Van Deven is a philanthropy consultant who supports organizational and field learning, provides strategic advice to individual wealth holders and philanthropic institutions, and designs and implements funding initiatives that advance gender, racial, economic, and climate justice and fortify the infrastructure for narrative power.